Cinema Display or Thunderbolt Display

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bertbekkelik, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. bertbekkelik macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2015

    I'm sorry if this doesn't belong here.

    You don't need to read this part:
    My boss is replacing almost all Windows desktop PC's with 13" MacBook Pro's (non Retina). This way, everybody can work on the go with their 'personal' laptop, instead of having to log in (and out) everywhere on a desktop PC.
    Everybody will get a 24" Cinema Display in their offices and probably a Henge Vertical Dock, too (they're not sure about what dock to use yet).
    When you come into your office, you only have to slide your MB in the dock and can finish your work on a bigger screen.

    The thing is: I've though about maybe getting an iMac quite a lot, but I still don't have one because I already have a MBP Retina 13", and except for something like iCloud Drive, I don't see a user friendly way of transferring your files easily so I can start something on my iMac and finish it on my MBP or the other way around.
    I also have a 2011 MBP 13" which is hidden in a closet and hooked up to my beamer, and I sometimes do edit documents on there (in the couch, ...) but it's a hassle to get your files from the one computer to the other.

    So, somebody told me I should get a Thunderbolt Display, and he's actually right.
    The problem is, It costs like €1.149 over here ($1.290), which is €50 more than the base model iMac, and an iMac is basically a TD with a computer inside of it...
    Apple used to sell something that's $1 in the U.S. for €1 in Europe, but these days they sell something that's $1 for €1,20, which makes no sense (since the Euro is more expensive than the U.S. Dollar).
    So yeah, the TD is pretty expensive in Belgium (and the rest of Europe).

    My question starts here, lol:
    But I found out that I can get a CD for only €350 ($390) via my boss. It doesn't have an ethernet port, which I think is important when I'm using my computer on my desk at home, to use my entire 200 Mbps connection, but I guess I can solve that with a Thunderbolt dock.

    What would you do? Go with the 24" CD for $390 or with a 27" TD for $1.290?
    Is a TD worth the extra $900?
    I'm not an expert, that's why I'm asking you guys. I only want a display that I can use for the next couple of years.

    If you'd go for the CD, do you know any good Thunderbolt docks? I can't use the Henge one, because I have a case on my MB. The ones I found are all close to or over $200-300, which really is too much for me.
    It's not that important, but it'd be cool to be able to use ethernet instead of Wi-Fi when I'm on my desk at home, and it'd be nice to only have to plug in one TB cable, and the power cable, instead of a power, display and USB cable.

    Sorry for the very long, maybe not interesting and/or relevant, story.
    Excuse me if my English isn't too great.

    Thank you guys so much in advance for your reply.

  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    I'm going to say neither. The 24" LED Cinema Display has a rather bad 1920x1200 resolution, and the Apple Thunderbolt Display is much too expensive for such old tech.

    Instead, get a good UltraSharp monitor such as U2515H and a Thunderbolt dock if you like the dock functionality. This can be had for $500-650 (based on Amazon UK pricing) depending on which dock you go with, or less than half the price of the ATD for a better monitor, a better dock and an allround more flexible solution.

    I also don't get how a $200-300 dock can be too much for you when you're considering a $1,300 Thunderbolt Display.
  3. bladerunner88 macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2009
    Off World
    I'm currently using a 24" LED CD attached to a TB Retina 15" MBP. Very Happy with this Set-Up, the Display is bright and sharp and I use it for editing my Photography Work. The mini display connector is compatible with the thunderbolt port so no worries there.
  4. Ultracyclist macrumors regular


    Oct 13, 2014
    Zwijndrecht, Netherlands
    As JTToft said, get the U2515H!

    I used to own a TD but when I got my classic Mac Pro it became useless... I sold my TD and got myself 2 U2515H, best choice I've made!
  5. shoehornhands, Apr 23, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016

    shoehornhands macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2014
    I strongly encourage you to look into some other options, as the current thunderbolt display was released back in 2011 / is extremely outdated, and ridiculously over-priced for what it is (e.g. it still uses the original thunderbolt (as opposed to thunderbolt 2) and has a lower resolution than even the 13" MacBook Pro).

    For example, here's a similarly priced (more up-to-date) alternative to Apple's thunderbolt display:

    It's a 34" curved ultra wide thunderbolt display (designed for Mac), which beats Apple's thunderbolt display in just about every imaginable way.

    Anyway, that's just one alternative to show you what you can actually get at the price point of the thunderbolt display these days (the LG displays actually regularly go on sale for around $800, and you can get the flat / non-curved version for around $600). Or you can get a high-quality 27" 4K display for around $500.

    You can always wait and see if Apple releases an update to the thunderbolt display as well (replacing it with a high-resolution / 4k, or 5k panel), but it still won't be any different from what's already out there (Apple gets the display panels from the same place everybody else gets them from / the differences will be primarily cosmetic).
  6. bertbekkelik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2015
    Thank you for your reply!

    I used the wrong words. I meant that I think it's too much for what it is.
    I'd rather not invest in a CD anymore — if I'd get one — because it's an even older monitor than the TD.
    If I would get the CD, I'd probably replace it within like 2 or 3 years.
    If a TD was well worth the money (that's why I asked you guys), I'd get a TD and keep it for way longer.
    But thanks to you guys, I now know that the TD uses outdated technology, and isn't worth its price. :)

    That monitor looks really cool, btw. I had a bad experience with Dell (that's why my boss replaced all Dells with HP's and Compaq's in 2010), but that was just the computer. The monitors were great.
    I like its size.

    I'll admit that I do love the Apple logo on the CD/TD, but I also do want a good monitor that I can keep for a little while.

    Can you daisy chain this monitor? Because for this price I'd better get two.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 24, 2016 ---
    Thanks for the reply!
    That would be pretty much my set up too, if I had a CD.
    How's the screen quality of the CD?
    --- Post Merged, Apr 24, 2016 ---
    Haha, lol. I was thinking of getting 2 of those monitors, too.
    But what do you mean your TD became useless?
    Is it really that bad?
    --- Post Merged, Apr 24, 2016 ---
    I like the ports on the back. I never used a curved display, though. Is a curved display nice to look at?
    I don't really like the aspect ratio, but the screen looks pretty darn good.

    Indeed, I'm considering this too. They have a 5K iMac, so how long can they stay behind? People use this with iMacs, too, right?
    Plus the iMac is flat and had a computer inside of it, while the TD had 2010 technology inside of it and is bulkier.
    The problem is: nobody knows when Apple is going to release a better TD, and I'm not sure if my tiny Macbook can push all those pixels (without a significant lag). It's a dual core i5 2,6 GHz MB, with 16 GB of ram and an Intel Iris 1536 MB video card.

    So maybe I should get a not too expensive monitor right now, and upgrade to a TD when it's worth its price, and if my laptop can handle it.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 24, 2016 ---
    Thank you guys sooooo much for the replies and your help!
  7. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - UltraSharps are some of the best consumer monitors around. You have nothing to worry about there.

    - Technically, yes. But you need a Late 2013 or later machine, and support in OS X is still lacklustre if not entirely absent.
    For whatever reason, Apple doesn't find it very attractive to incorporate DisplayPort 1.2 daisy chaining capabilities in OS X.
    In practice, you'd probably need to employ both Thunderbolt ports on your rMBP.

    - He means the classic Mac Pro doesn't have Thunderbolt and that therefore the TD couldn't be used on the machine.

    - It can't. Based on the specs you're listing, it's at most a Mid 2014. You need Early 2015 or newer for proper support of 4K displays.
  8. bertbekkelik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2015
    Yay, thanks!

    That's stupid...

    Oh my god... Are you kidding me?
    I got my Late 2011 MBP in February 2012, and one month later, the RMPB was released.
    I got this Mid 2014 MacBook in February 2015, and a little later the RMPB with Force Touch trackpad was released (I was looking for a new MB, and I had one week off back then, so it was my only chance to go pick one up, I even asked for more ram because I wanted to keep this one for more than 3 years).
    I though it wasn't as bad as the 2011 MBP that got replaced with a way faster RMPB, but it can't even handle a 4K display...
    If the early 2015 MBP can, I'm quite sure this one could do it too, because the only real difference I see is a 2,7 GHz processor instead of a 2,6 GHz one.
    But okay, it might be pretty laggy.

    I see that this MBP can handle 4K televisions, though...
    Is it just Apple that doesn't allow us to use 4K TB displays with this Macbook or is there literally a technical restriction?
  9. JTToft, Apr 24, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016

    JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - It can do 4K at 30 Hz, which is pretty unusable and laggy. There's a very significant difference in the integrated Intel graphics between the two models. The 6100 on the 2015 is considerably more powerful than the 5100 on the 2014, which is responsible for the difference.

    There is no difference in requirements between computer monitors and televisions.

    It seems you've had some pretty bad luck with buying computers right before a major feature upgrade occurs.

    - Well, there aren't any 4K Thunderbolt displays, so it can't be an arbitrary restriction for those. As described above, the graphics just aren't powerful enough. It applies no matter which interface (Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, HDMI) you use.

    Your best options for resolutions are either 2560x1440 as with the UltraSharp I suggested (x2 if you feel like it), or the 3440x1440 of the LG also suggested. If you prefer UltraSharp, Dell has the competing non-Thunderbolt U3415W of the same resolution and size.
  10. bertbekkelik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2015
    @JTToft thanks!

    It indeed sucks that I've always gotten a Macbook right before they got updated.
    Too bad for Apple too, because that means I'll probably won't get any of their monitors.

    I'll definitely take a look at the Dell and LG monitor and I guess I'm getting the Belkin Thunderbolt 2 dock, too.
    I'll go for the DP port monitor, because I have two TB ports that I don't use anyways.

    Thank you guys so much for your time and help.
  11. Ultracyclist macrumors regular


    Oct 13, 2014
    Zwijndrecht, Netherlands
    As JTToft said, The classic Mac Pro doesn't support Thunderbolt in any way and because I really wanted a classic Mac Pro I sold my Thunderbolt display for € 700,- and bought myself 2 of these handsom screens at € 325,- a piece! :)

    Left me with € 50,- to get a sound system
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I agree with JTToft's post above.

    You don't want either a Cinema Display OR a Thunderbolt Display.
    Both are old and near-obsolete.

    Get yourself a new IPS-based display, with the size and resolution that you need.
    Here's as comprehensive list of what's available -- browsing here is a good place to start:
  13. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    I would get an IPS display (Dell Ultrasharp or 4k) and a USB 3 hub.
  14. Ultracyclist macrumors regular


    Oct 13, 2014
    Zwijndrecht, Netherlands
    The Dell's come with buildin USB 3.0 hub
  15. shoehornhands macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2014
    Yep, I'll second this. I currently use a Dell Ultrasharp U3415W 34" curved ultrawide with my 15" MBP, and everything about it is fantastic (build quality, warranty, and the adjustable stands used in the Dell Ultrasharp monitors are head and shoulders above anything else I've used).

    The display is curved because the monitor is so wide (the curve creates a more consistent viewing angle across the display). The curve is very subtle / not at all something you'll focus on. It's pretty much like using 2 displays side-by-side (with a dual display setup, you'd typically angle each monitor inward slightly, as opposed to keeping them both perfectly straight).

    The curved displays are great to look at, and absolutely fantastic for productivity (I much prefer the single ultrawide over a dual-display setup). Just make sure you go with one of the 3440x1440 34" displays, as opposed to the lower resolution 34" and 29" displays (which often look exactly the same / can be easily mistaken for the higher res versions, and are usually quite a bit cheaper).

    The nice thing about the 34" 3440x1440 displays, is the vertical resolution (it's the same vertical resolution as a typical 27" display). Prior to these 34" displays were the 29" ultrawides, which only have a 1080 vertical resolution (this was one of the big criticisms of the ultrawide aspect ratio, which is now a much more attractive option with the higher resolution 34" displays).

    Here's a decent overview / review of the curved ultrawide displays (that's not the same model I previously linked, but most of what's mentioned in the video is applicable to all the curved ultrawide displays):
  16. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - A thousand times agreed. Those 2560x1080 are the most pointless monitors I've ever heard of. It's only ultrawide because it loses vertical resolution, not because it gains horizontal resolution. No thanks.
  17. bertbekkelik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2015
    @Ultracyclist Thank you for the photo of your set up. It looks really nice!
    And your mini Steve Jobs looks pretty cool, too!
    Echt hartstikke leuk, hoor! :p

    @Fishrrman Got that, thanks!

    @Freyqq Indeed, I'd better choose a future proof display.

    @shoehornhands Thank you for the video!
    I remember I had the choice between a 1080p curved TV or a 4K normal TV, and I went with the 4K one, even though there aren't any TV stations in the Flanders part of Belgium that broadcast in anything higher than 1080p...
    But a computer monitor is something different, and it is wide.
    I guess it'll be a nice monitor, but I think I'd like to have two on top of each other. It might be pricy, but it's not like I'm gonna buy new monitors every year.

    I'm going to try to find the Dell and LG monitor as mentioned somewhere to take a look at them and decide which one to get.

    Thank you all, you guys!
  18. shoehornhands macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2014
    Yeah, a single 34" ultrawide vs a dual-display setup (such as the one Ultracyclist showed) just comes down to personal preference / what the exact application will be. A dual-display setup does provide a bit more raw screen real estate than the 34" ultrawide, so if you think you'd prefer / can make better use of the dual-display setup, that's also a great option.

    Either way, you can't really go wrong. If you go with dual high-res / 4k displays though, just double check that your GPU can drive both of them (integrated GPUs can have trouble driving dual 4k displays at a full 60Hz).
  19. ValiumEater macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2015
    This is what I have and edit video professionally on a daily basis. It beats the Thunderbolt display hands down.
  20. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I have been noticing a disturbingly high failure rate of Apple's 27" TB display, primarily due to the power supply not being able to handle the TB and USB 3.0 demands. There seems to be a growing number of resentful buyers.

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