Displayport vs Thunderport with my 2015 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bobcatou, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. bobcatou macrumors newbie


    Jan 6, 2009
    I'm considering a non-Thunderbolt external monitor. While I don't need the Thunderbolt now, does having a display with Thunderbolt give me an advantage over DisplayPort. I'm talking mainly in speed. Will the display render images faster with a Thunderbolt or will it be the same as a DisplayPort connector? Only advantage I can tell right now is that I might be able to daisy-chain with another monitor or connect TB hard drives.


  2. treekram, Apr 14, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016

    treekram macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    DisplayPort 1.2, approved in Dec. 2009, is 17.28Gb/sec. DP 1.3, approved in Sept. 2014, is 32.4Gb/sec. Thunderbolt 1 (2011) is 10Gb/sec., TB 2 (2013), what you have, is 20Gb/sec., TB 3 (late 2015, not yet in Apple products) is 40Gb/sec. I'm pretty sure manufacturers don't have different internals in the monitor (other than the hardware that handles the protocol) for DP vs. TB. (The 2015 MBP has DP 1.2.)

    While you have the 2015 MBP and probably don't want to replace that soon, a lot of people will keep their monitors even as their computer gets outdated and they buy a new one. That's why I think the question of what's coming in the future is important.

    But this is a tricky question because the technology is on the move. I think that Apple will move toward a USB-C connector that will support both USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3. (There is an inexpensive Intel chip that would allow them to do this, but I don't know if the bus bandwidth is there to support 2 ports.) Hopefully they will be able to put two ports in a future MBP, replacing the 2 Thunderbolt ports. The VESA folks have stated that you can use DisplayPort in a USB-C 3.1 "dock", but not a "hub" (see http://www.vesa.org/faqs/ for the strange explanation). I would presume you'd be able to do the same with a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 dock or hub or whatever. But - I wonder how easy it will be to find a USB 3.1 hub that will support Thunderbolt in the future. Right now, a simple USB-C with USB 3.1 to DisplayPort adapter is $21. There's a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 1/2 adapter that will come out in June for $81. I think DisplayPort and Thunderbolt monitors will be supported by either USB 3.1 or TB3 but the cost and the number of products available will probably, as is the case now, be cheaper and more plentiful for USB. So, given that you don't have Thunderbolt devices now or have an imminent need, I would get a DisplayPort monitor. I'm guessing a TB monitor is more expensive than a DP monitor. You also have 2 TB ports so that you can use one for the monitor and one for TB devices if need be.

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