Considering buying 2nd hand Thunderbolt Display - am I nuts?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by alFR, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Since the LG 5K is allegedly pretty buggy & the jury's still out on how many of the problems will be fixed by the upgraded shielding / software updates, the LG 4K is too small, most of the USB-C monitors I've seen don't have any sort of hub facility and there aren't any Thunderbolt 3 docks out yet I'm thinking of buying a second hand Thunderbolt Display (there seem to be quite a few good examples around ATM). Pros:
    • Has speakers and FaceTime camera
    • Has Ethernet
    • Easy to connect with thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter
    • Good display quality
    • Great build quality
    • Not been beaten with the ugly stick
    • "Only" 1440p / sRGB, not 4/5K and P3 colour
    • USB 2
    • Can't charge MBP as no MagSafe - USB C adapters exist
    • No warranty (unless I find one with AppleCare that the previous owner will transfer for me)
    Still looks like a reasonable alternative to me, the other option being to wait for a TB3 dock and buy a monitor / speakers / camera to plug into that, or wait for the issues with the 5K to be resolved. Thoughts?
  2. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Yes, you're nuts. TB3 docks are coming next month. Caldigit has one right now if you don't care about power delivery. There are plenty of 4K monitors available.
  3. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    Dual TBD on a 2016 Macbook Pro 15" and it works great!
  4. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    TBD was nifty item in 2011/12. Worked with one in early 12 with a topped out MBP.
    Nice speakers, charging the MBP, etc. Even with it's twitchy connection problems,
    it was worth it for certain people. Along comes the improved late 2012 iMac and OH, USB3.
    The portables a few months earlier had the same UASP enabled 3.0. That was the beginning
    of the end for the display. Firewire was suddenly on a death march, so half the ports were
    dead to quite a few of us. Got out of mine for a stunning 750. It was like being paid to heave
    an old cannon off a ship.

    The fact that Apple continued to sell the thing for so long is perhaps one of the most glaring examples
    of marketing BS I've ever witnessed. You can't pull that crap off with a dated computer. (Oh wait, Apple did try that with one of the most underpowered iMacs ever) Cupertino is full of bean counters. Never forget it. Flash Storage price ring any bells for you guys?

    Something tells me they committed to a mountain of LG panels and just decided to keep going till the thing literally ran off the road. It Did!

    Are you interested in a SCSI 1 hard drive? We got one for ya right here ;)
  5. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Caldigit one isn't available in the UK. The rest of them are vapourware at this point e.g. the OWC one: announced ages ago, firstly "coming soon" then "ships February" then "ships March". The rest of them are "ships q1 2017", at this point I have little confidence they'll make that date. As noted in my other thread I just can't see why they're taking so long to come out unless there's some major issue we aren't aware of.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
  7. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    Yes, you are nuts alFR! ;)

    If you choose to ignore the crazy/wonderful warranty coverage that Dell and others offer for their better monitors I fear that you will have to "Pay the Iron Price." :mad:

    PSU failure! :eek:
    USB 2.0 Hub? :(
    Firewire? o_O
  8. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
  9. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    That's the preorder for the not-yet-available / vapourware charging one, not the non-charging one that was referred to above.

    [edit] I see the non-charging "lite" one is on their uk store too. Odd, it didn't come up on google... thanks for the link though!

    OK, you've persuaded me - I'll stick it out and see what happens over the next month or so with the LG displays / the TB3 dock situation. I still don't think that (arguably with the exception of the LG 5K) there's anything available now that's functionally equivalent to the TB display though.
  10. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    I wouldn't exactly call it vaporware. Unlike some of the others, it has moved only once, from Q1 2017 to late Q1.

    In any case, I wouldn't worry about these things coming out soon. TB3 Macs, and the new intel TB3 chip Apple is using, have only been out since November, and these companies have to develop firmware for the power delivery functionality.
  11. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Fair point. I wonder why they put 2 x esata on there, there aren't exactly a lot of esata devices around now if you search on Amazon, for example. A couple more USB 3 ports would maybe have been more use.
  12. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Yes, it's a bit weird. I'll be using one of them though, with my old Lacie external.
  13. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    Get the display that works for you. If it's a thunderbolt or a Cinema Display so be it. Other manufactures will make higher refresh rates, color calibrations, etc the apple displays worked for the all in one aspect, 3rd party ones are hit or miss.
  14. anson42 macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    I've used two TBD for years and I still like them a lot, not interested in getting new monitors even though I know there are betters out there. Since I don't have a requirement (not just a desire) for 4K+ displays there's even less reason for me to replace them. All the pros you outlined are the main reason I purchased them before and while I have no complaints re the network and FireWire connectivity the USB 2 ports are definitely on the old side so I get my USB3 kicks with a USB-C to USB3 cable — I don't like adapters and a replacement cable is cheaper anyways.

    You didn't mention the price at which you could purchase a used TBD. If cheap enough I believe the integrated experience is still worth it. If I was looking for a used model it better be at under $300 though.
  15. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    I still have my TBD alongside my 5K iMac. I'm using the outdated USB ports for hard drives that backup my iMac and hold my iTunes library. Although the resolution and outdated connectivity are certainly minus points, the Apple aesthetic is a plus. It's also something the LG displays will likely never have.

    As ZMac noted, use whatever suits your needs. Even a 24" ACD is worthwhile if it does what you want it to do! I would not, however, pay more than about $500 for a TBD ... that's about what a pristine example would be worth, in my view.
  16. itdk92 macrumors 6502


    Nov 14, 2016
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Funny because I actually have a 24" ACD beside my LG cinema 4K and I actually like the 24" best design wise.

    Man, if it only had 4K, P3 and 10bit color...

    My 2c are against buying a used TB display.

    Old tech and still pretty expensive. If it's only for office work, go ahead, it's still probably the most beautiful.

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15 February 18, 2017