Daisy Chain DVI Monitor to Thunderbolt Display

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by LukaStellwag, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. LukaStellwag macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #1
    Hi there,
    I have a 2011 MBP with Thunderbolt and I was going to order the 27" cinema display. However, I'd love to use my old monitor next to it. Is it possible to daisy chain a different display (maybe with the MiniDisplay Port to DVI adapter) to the 27" and run both screens with the MBP?

    Best,
    Luka
     
  2. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #2
    The Cinema Display does not support daisy chaining. This is the old model, introduced last year. Sorry for being pedantic, but I just wanted to make sure we're talking about the same thing here... :p

    The Thunderbolt Display - which is the one that supports this - is not available for sale yet so nobody who can speak freely about this product has tested if it's possible to daisy-chain non-Thunderbolt displays. In theory it should work by using a mini displayport adapter, but best to have it verified first...

    In any case, you will need the 15 or 17 inch Macbook Pro models for daisy chaining to work. The 13 inch model can't support it, since the Intel GMA 3000 GPU only supports the integrated display and one external monitor. This means you need to run off of the discrete battery-hogging AMD GPU in the larger models, although this should not be a bother to you if you're at your desk and can just plug in the powersupply cable. :)
     
  3. LukaStellwag thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for your answer. I have the 2011 MBP 15" with the AMD 6750m and I meant the Thunderbolt Display, sorry. I didn't know it has not yet been released. Knowing that would be very interesting before I order one, I thought it might be available in the US. Here in Germany it usually takes much longer for products to launch...

    I have the Display Port Adapter that I'm using right now to connect my 24" DVI Samsung Monitor to the MBP and thought I could maybe plug that into the Thunderbolt connector located in the back of the Thunderbolt Display and use both screens at the same time.
     
  4. jlukas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #4
    According to Apple, you can only chain Thunderbolt displays (I asked this question to an Apple store employee).
     
  5. LukaStellwag thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #5
    Oh, that's unfortunate... I was looking forward to finally having two monitors on my MBP. I don't really want to buy another Thunderbolt display and trash my 24"...
     
  6. laxman101 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #6
    I hate to kinda hijack this thread, but I was wonder about something similar. If I was to get a Lacie Little Big Disk, and daisy chain that to a dvi display, would it work? 15" MBP>Little Big Disk> DVI monitor. Obviously no one can give a 100% concrete answer because no one has a little big disk yet. So in a more basic form: does the mini display signal also travel alongside thunderbolt signal when being daisy chained.
     
  7. reinhrst macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    #7
    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_(interface)#Market_introduction, it should be possible to daisy chain normal DisplayPort 1.1 devices on the end of the Thunderbolt line. I would imagine a miniDP2DVI connector behaves as a DP1.1 device...

    Actually Intel seems to have demonstrated this behavior when launching Thunderbolt: http://www.appleinsider.com/article...derbolt_as_exclusive_to_apple_until_2012.html
     
  8. LukaStellwag thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #8
    Interesting. That would mean I CAN daisy chain my DVI monitor with an adapter to the display...
     
  9. FakeWozniak macrumors 6502

    FakeWozniak

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #9
    All that means is that you can have the devices on the same Thunderbolt port. It is not clear if the graphics chip and OS can support another display.

    I just got the MBA 2011 11" (remember those Crystal Quest dudes that kept saying "eleven eleven eleven") and have a Thunderbolt Display on order. Hoping to use my current DVI monitor at the end of the chain too.

    Similar, I think it is pretty cheesy that the Thunderbold display won't work on MiniDisplay port machine. I wouldn't expect the Firewire, Gigabit Ethernet, etc to work, but the screen ought to. This is just software.
     
  10. LukaStellwag thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #10
    The MacBook Air's integrated gpu can't handle two monitors, so you won't be able to do that.

    I have the MacBook Pro with a dedicated AMD gpu that can handle two thunderbolt displays and I was wondering if I can daisy chain a thunderbolt display and my existing 24".

    I'm eagerly waiting for someone to tell me if that's possible :(
     
  11. FakeWozniak macrumors 6502

    FakeWozniak

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #11
    I know that the OS and Intel GPU *can* handle dual displays as I am running two right now; the internal LCD and a DVI monitor through a mini display port adapter.

    Now, if closing the lid on the laptop (aka clamshell mode) releases the resources for 1 of the monitors, one hopes that there is enough resources to run two *external* displays. I would expect that if lid is opened when 2 external monitors are connected through Thunderbolt, the end one is disabled. It's all software, right! :p

    Nobody on the web has considered, or explicitly mentioned, the clamshell mode angle. Anyone know?
     
  12. Westacular macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #12
    It's not just software.

    The internal display of a MacBook is hard-wired to one of the Intel GPU's outputs as part of the hardware architecture; even in clamshell mode, you can't 'release' that output and pass it to the Thunderbolt controller.

    And since the Intel GPU is only capable of two outputs, you can only connect 1 TB display to a MBA.
     
  13. Westacular macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #13
    Well, we have the answers now.


    Looks like I was only half-right on that last point:

    Odd, that you're able to override the built-in display to get a second external one for the 13-inch MBP but not the MBAs. They're both using the same Intel HD3000 GPUs that are built into their CPUs. I'm guessing that this week's firmware updates are what made that change to enable this behaviour on the MBPs, and the MBA limitation is an intentional bit of product differentiation.

    Also, quite disappointing that the final answer to the original question of this thread is "no": Regardless of everything else, the only other display you can functionally chain off the end of a Thunderbolt display is another Thunderbolt display. :(
     
  14. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #14
    The reason for one TB display on the MacBook Air and two on the 13" MacBook Pro is not the graphics processor (both use the same Intel solution), it's the difference in the Thunderbolt controller chips. The MacBook Pros, like the iMac, use a 4-lane (two channel) controller while the MacBook Airs use a smaller, lower-power 2-lane (one channel) controller.

    The 4-lane solutions support two displays while the 2-lane controller only supports one. The DisplayPort video signal occupies nearly a full channel, thus the smaller TB chips in the MacBook Airs only have enough bandwidth for one external display.

    On top of that, the 13" MacBook Pro loses it's built-in display as the Intel HD 3000 only supports two displays max., while the dedicated graphics chips of 15" and 17" MBPs can handle three.

    So the various limitations are technical due to design choices made for the machines, not simply Apple's purposeful gimping of firmware.
     
  15. tekboi macrumors 6502a

    tekboi

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    New Orleans ✈ WesŦward
    #15
    I know this thread is old but...

    I know this thread is old but...i'm having issues trying to do this now. I have a Late 2011 iMac hooked up w/ a TBD. I also have a 17-inch samsung syncMaster which I want to daisy-chain to the TBD. I'm using the apple DVI-D to MiniDisplay converter to hook it up, but it's not working.

    Is there a compatibility issue with the TBD and DVI monitors? when hooking the dvi monitor directly to my Mac, the monitor works fine. But with the TBD... no bueno.
     
  16. Volkan1984 macrumors member

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    Feb 7, 2013
    #16
    And that would be a 21.5 or 27" iMac? This information is crucial here.
     
  17. tekboi macrumors 6502a

    tekboi

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    Aug 9, 2006
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    New Orleans ✈ WesŦward
    #17
    it's a 27"
     
  18. Volkan1984, May 21, 2013
    Last edited: May 21, 2013

    Volkan1984 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    #18
    Why would you want to daisy-chain the Samsung display to the TBD? Your iMac has two Thunderbolt ports.
     
  19. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #19
    regardless if its a 27 or 21, you CANNOT daisy chain to a non TB display. You can however, hook it up directly to the mac.
     
  20. tekboi macrumors 6502a

    tekboi

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    New Orleans ✈ WesŦward
    #20
    I already have two monitors hooked up to the iMac. I just wanted a fourth monitor for my setup.



    I'm greedy. :cool:
     

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