Apple Thunderbolt Display-Connection Confusion!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ENVY16, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. ENVY16 macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2011
    OK, I have quite a lot to explain here so this is going to be a big post.

    In September, I'll be going to University to study Computer Games Animation and as such over the past few months I've sorted out the computer I need for the course, or I thought I did anyway. I intended to buy a Mac Pro (the upcoming model, following the rumours of an early August update for 2011) and two Apple 27" Cinema Displays. Along with this, I was going to purchase the Atlona HD620 (on one side of the device there is an MDp output and HDMI output to put in your Mac and 360 into and the other side is another MDp output to your display) to connect my Xbox 360 to one of the displays (MDp). I was aware that the HD620 doesn't work with the 2011 iMac due to Thunderbolt and thus it was possible I would run into the same problem with the new Mac Pro and displays. I kept my plan however and decided I'd look into it when the time came.

    ....and then it did.

    Yesterday as I'm sure you're aware, Apple went and released the new Thunderbolt Display which did away with MDp completely. I looked into the new displays and Thunderbolt and as I now understand it, Thunderbolt is backwards compatible with MDp but obviously, MDp can't be forward compatible with Thunderbolt. In other words you can insert a Thunderbolt input cable into a MDp output but you can't insert a MDp input cable into a Thunderbolt output (right?). This would make sense regarding the HD620 and the new iMac as the iMac only possesses a Thunderbolt output forcing you to input Mdp from the HD60 into the Thunderbolt and thus, doesn't work.

    This however is not the case with the Thunderbolt display. As I'm sure you're also aware, the Thunderbolt display possesses an output AND the built-in Thunderbolt cable. Now I wonder if using the Thunderbolt cable into the MDp output on the HD620 would work? The HD620 would then be connected to the Mac Pro via the Apple Thunderbolt cable from the (highly presumed) Thunderbolt output on the Mac Pro into the MDp output on the other side of the device and I'm hoping this would work. I'm also wondering, despite using Thunderbolt cables between the Mac Pro and the display, even if this does work, would the MDp element on the HD620 cancel out the USB outputs, speakers, FaceTime camera and mic functionalities on the display?

    I hope this makes some sense, I've been rattling my brain over this for months and as much as I love the new displays, it's a real pain that they've come out now and shaken my plans. I hope there are members here who know what they're talking about a lot more than I do on the subject, my understanding here could be completely mistaken. Infact the more I think about it and the more I learn, the less confident I become. If this isn't right, is there any way this set up could work?

    Thank you.
  2. dlegend macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2009
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    You confused the hell out of me, but couldn't you just the non-thunderbolt display that they still have for sale online? Or spend then $300 you were going to spend on that converter for a TV?
  3. Ashok0 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2010
    No offense ENVY16, but how has Apple "shaken" your plans? The 2010 Apple LED Cinema Displays all work fine with PCs, XBOX360s, PS3s, etc. They are also still available for sale at the official Apple store. They aren't going anywhere.

    No, the 2011 Apple LED Cinema Displays do NOT work with the Atlona HD620 and will not work with PCs or consoles. But who cares? Screw Thunderbolt, man. :D
  4. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA

    thunderbolt devices require a thunderbolt port. MiniDP devices can work with a miniDP OR thunderbolt port.

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