Buy Thundebolt Display or not?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by arcangel06, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. arcangel06 macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2014

    Hi guys.

    I'm looking to Apple Thunderbolt Display, but its last update is during 2011.
    I'm not sure to buy or not now, In your opinion?

    Usb 2.0 ports are not a real problem for me because I use a Belkin Thundebolt dock to replace them.

    What do you think?

    Thanks :) :):confused:
  2. PhoenixMac macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2010
    I wouldn't buy it, there are better options out for cheaper. As you said it hasn't been updated since 2011
  3. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    The TB display not having USB3, in 2014, is really a dealbreaker. A far cheaper 2560x1440 DisplayPort or HDMI display, plus your existing hub will give you much the same functionality.

    Where you might justify the cost is if you have a Mac with only one Thunderbolt port, no HDMI and want to connect 2 external displays, or use another Thunderbolt peripheral that only has one TB port. You can't easily do this unless one of the displays is Thunderbolt (this has been discussed in many other threads).
  4. arcangel06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2014
    I've already bought last year a DELL LED 22" and now i'm looking to expand my desk with multiple displays.
    I've never considered TD because it's very expensive to be a "single monitor", but now i've an opportunity to buy it with discount.
    Will Apple update TD soon?! 2011 --> 2014 ... no idea what to do!
  5. Garsun macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2009
    I see three possibilities for Apple:
    In order of likelihood
    1st:Apple is waiting for faster thunderbolt for the 5K display.
    2nd:Apple is out of the display business.
    3rd:Apple will include a graphics card in the 5k display and feed it with the current Thunderbolt speed.

    I believe the first route is most likely.
    I really hope they don't go the second route.
    Personally I wish they go the third route because then you could plug any number of monitors into a Mac Mini with no loss of graphics speed.
    In my opinion a graphics card should be matched with the monitor, not matched with the computer. It just makes more sense to me.
  6. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 23, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's a terrible purchase, even refurbished. It's horribly overpriced for the performance, it will never work on anything but a Mac, and it includes outdated interfaces. If you are looking to spend a grand on a monitor look into one of the LG ultra wide displays that also use thunderbolt or a 4k display (if your computer can drive it).

    If you must buy an Apple display, get the 27" LED Cinema Display. It's the Thunderbolt display without the built in dock, so it uses normal display port and USB cables and can work on any computer. It should also be quite a bit cheaper.
  7. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    I got a new one last year for $525 - didnt consider it a good deal. I considered it a fair price. :)
  8. Starfia macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2011
    Only if you reeeally like the display or something, or can get it at a particularly good price. I bought one for my 2011 Mac mini a while ago, but eventually upgraded to a new iMac, whose display is at least comparable (and a lot of its area – computer and all – is thinner than the display-only Thunderbolt unit)… and the cost of the iMac isn't too far from the cost of a Thunderbolt display plus a noticeably less powerful Mac mini.

    Either Apple is planning to update this display – which I think we can expect to be really improved both in form and capability – or they're planning not to offer a display in the future.
  9. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Nobody knows, but I can't imagine them releasing another 1440p screen now that their whole range is on the verge of "going retina". Question is, does your current Mac have a 4k-capable GPU and Thunderbolt 2? If Apple do release a new display, I can't imagine it working with anything less.

    Anything less than 5k @ 27" will look shabby alongside the 5k iMac, but a non-kludgey 5k display is probably going to have to wait for Thunderbolt 3.

    If Apple release a "retina" version of the 21.5" 1080p iMac (for which a UHD "4k" resolution would be an exact pixel-doubled replacement) then a display-only version of that might make sense, mainly as a MacBook peripheral.

    Currently, I'd look at third-party displays - lots of alternatives discussed in other threads here.
  10. arcangel06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2014
    Thank you guys for answers and opinions! #

    my current mac is macbook pro 2011 but i'm looking for new one (probably MacBook pro 15 retina).
  11. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Well, I don't think that is ever going to run a 4k screen... apart from that, the great thing about the 2011 MBP is that you can easily slap a (relatively) cheap SSD into it and upgrade the RAM to give it a new lease of life.

    I'd get a third party 27" 1440p monitor and hook it up via a DisplayPort cable. Lots of discussions of various brands in the Peripherals forums here. Some need this patch to work properly.

    The display will look great c/f the screen on your MBP and, although its not Retina/4k, the pixel density is still pretty high (esp. when you figure in viewing distance) so its not going to look shabby alongside a retina MBP.

    Personally, although 4k+ is clearly the future, I'd give it another year or so to settle down (sounds like a bit of a crapshoot at the moment), and see if 5k (really the optimal resolution for a 27" retina monitor for Mac) takes off.
  12. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd only buy it from the Apple Certified Refurbished section of the online store (as it'll be discounted by a good $200) and I'd only buy it if you have a 2011 Mac (mini, i, Book Pro, Book Air). Otherwise, it's not that great of a proposition given how otherwise outdated it is.
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Not to be sarcastic but buy whatever you want. It seems you don't really mention any purpose for your proposed purchase.

    If you are dealing with graphics and photos you would be better off with a monitor that is more advanced in colour calibration such as NEC PA series or an Eizo.

    If you just want high density (pixel count) monitor and don't care if its fills a particular colour space there are many options out there from the typical makers such as Samsung, HP and Dell to name a few.

    On a more subjective note - I wouldn't buy any Apple displays (having owned in the past iMacs and the 30" Apple Cinema Monitor). They are over priced for what you get. The only plus is the form and certainly not the function. I am sure some will disagree but the specs and tests tend to favour my opinion.
  14. grandM macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2013
    you will get more value for your money buying from another manufacturer such as dell
  15. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Well, the function is that it includes a MagSafe power supply, webcam, microphone, half-decent speakers, USB, GB Ethernet and Firewire controllers (not just hubs/port replicators that replace or share bandwidth with your existing ports) and connects that all to your laptop with just 2 plugs. It also enables multi-monitor support for Macbooks that you just can't get with third-party DVI/HDMI/Displayport devices (its about the only non-kludge way you can connect 2 external monitors to a 2011 MacBook).

    Apart from one LG Thunderbolt monitor which (I believe) includes a USB controller, the only way to get close to that functionality is to include the cost of a Thunderbolt dock in your calculation, which levels the pricing a bit, and put up with the extra spaghetti.

    The display itself is still lovely - as you say, there are screens from the likes of NEC and Eizo that are better suited for pro colour work, but they're at least in the same price bracket (and the sky is the limit) as the ATD and still don't include the extra functionality.

    IMHO the only thing that really puts the ATD out of the running now is the lack of USB3 - but that really is a deal-breaker, especially for those of us with pre-USB3 Macs. If, like the thread starter, you need a TB dock to get USB3 anyway, bang goes much of the extra worth of the ATD.

Share This Page