Can the Thunderbolt 3 devices output to Target Display (Thunderbolt 1)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jackoatmon, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    Obscure and discontinued (but excellent) feature.

    I'm planning to use my 2011 27" iMac as a Target Display for my new MBP, when i receive it.

    Has anyone sucessfully done Thunderbolt Target Display with a new USB3-C port?

    I assume it would require:

    Thunderbolt 3 -> Thunderbolt adapter (or hub)
    Thunderbolt Cable

    Perhaps someone's done it with a TB3 Macbook or a 2016 13" MBP?
  2. jermwhl macrumors regular


    Sep 29, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    It's still supported in Sierra, so I don't see why not. As you stated, you'll need the TB3 to TB adapter. I just picked up one today for my external hard drive, but no TB display to test this.
  3. jackoatmon thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    Well, I personally can see one reason why not (potentially):

    Target Display through TB (not MiniDisplay) has only ever worked TB -> TB across TB cable.

    Now we're introducing a signal converter in the TB3->TB adapter. No telling whether that signal conversion supports whatever protocols were used for Target Display. Or whether TB3 sends it out in the first place.

    For the record, this is a question the techs at my local Apple store did not know the answer to, so real-world testing is the only way to find out.

    Hoping it still works!
  4. Gudi macrumors 68020


    May 3, 2013
    Berlin, Berlin
    Most likely the TB3 to TB adapter is just a plug shape adapter and not a signal converter. I suppose the TB3 ports are backward-compatible and can speak TB2 and TB1 protocol if needed. Being able to serve as a display is a property of the iMac. The MacBook Pro needs to be able to send a DiplayPort stream via Thunderbolt port anyway.
  5. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    Anyone know if this is possible on a rMB and if so, using which adapter?
  6. tophr macrumors newbie


    Oct 17, 2016
  7. jackoatmon thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    Pretty sure the new machine does not output DisplayPort. It would have to be a 2011 or '12 with the TB port. Don't quote me but I've read that elsewhere.

    Basically, the weird thing about target display, was it only worked between Tb -> TB or Displayport -> displayport, but not between TB and displayport devices.

    Or something. It was complicated, as I recall.
  8. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    Actually I'm writing this on my Non-TouchBar 2016 13" MBP right now. Power plugged into one of the TB3 ports, and a mono price USB-C to Displayport cable with a Displayport to Mini-DP adapter on the other end on the other. It's plugged into my 2009 iMac and Target Display is working fine.

    This CABLE:
    This Adapter:

    Setup works on my 2015 12" MacBook too (though without the extra port for power)
  9. tophr macrumors newbie


    Oct 17, 2016
    Excited to report after a misguided purchase of some HDMI adapters (oops) at MicroCenter, I am now posting from my 13" touchbar MBP on my 2010 27" iMac in Target Display Mode.

    Monoprice Adapter on Amazon:
    This USB-C Male to DisplayPort Male cable:

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