Dual monitors: 27" iMac and 27" Thunderbolt Display

Discussion in 'iMac' started by henders98, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. henders98 macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    Hi guys,

    I just wanted to share my new setup with the forum for those who may be interested. I just added the Apple Thunderbolt Display to my 27" iMac i7. I write software for a living, so I've been wanting to add a second monitor for a while and decided to go for it when the Thunderbolt Display came out.

    My thoughts so far:

    - I LOVE the extra screen real estate. It's so nice to be able to have all my developer tools on one screen and reference material, e-mail, etc. on the other one.

    - I ended up using the ATD as my "primary" screen with the iMac as the "secondary." I did this because I didn't want to keep having to move the displays around when I needed access to the iMac's SuperDrive. With it being on the right, it's never blocked.

    - I'm using the ATD with the Macessity LowKey Stand. This ends up making the ATD ever so slightly higher than the iMac -- maybe 1/8 of an inch. I don't really notice it, but just wanted to mention it in case anyone was wondering.

    If anyone has any particular questions, fire away.

  2. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I also moved my 27" iMac to the right of my ATD to keep the DVD drive clear and set the ATD as my primary. It also allows me to have the iMac just low enough on it's stand that it perfectly lines up with the ATD and lets me use the ATD with my MBP as necessary (I bought a separate TB cable to connect the ATD to the iMac - be nice if I could keep them both plugged in and switch, but oh well). :cool:
  3. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    Do you think that the TD should have a disk drive? IMO it should! Think of all the benefits:
    -mac mini users would gain a disk drive
    -macbook air users would gain a disk drive
    -mac Pro users who have the towers on the ground would have the drive joy re accessible
    -iMac users would be able to choose were they put there display (in terms of blocking the port)

    My other ideas for the displays:
    -make it the same hight as the iMac
    -add the aluminum band below the screen just for the looks
    -make more options, people who want the TD for a second display don't need a magsafe charger...
  4. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    The fact that the 27" Thunderbolt display does not vertically align with the 27" iMac seems like a rather silly oversight. They should at least ship an alternate base with it or something.

    Anyway, that's a cool stand, I'm going to check that out.
  5. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    i really want to run multiple monitors .. but it just looks off to me .. i had a dual monitor setup with my mac pro but since selling that and getting this iMac i am missing multiple monitors .. ahh what to do
  6. iMaci7 macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2011
    Thats so many pixels!

    Question: When you switch desktops (left or right) with OSX Lion, do both monitors switch? Like, if you move to the right, will your right monitors screen push to the left monitor, and a new desktop appear on the right?

    Hope im being clear enough
  7. MrT-Man macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2008
    How close are the colors & color uniformity of the two screens when you have them side by side like that? Are they identical or is there a bit of a difference?
  8. Martyrd0m macrumors regular


    Jun 18, 2010
    I dont think I could ever use another desktop setup after doing the same (27" iMac with TB display). I have a hard time using anything else as I keep trying to drag windows around.
  9. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    It looks identical to me.

    A heck of a lot closer than with the Dell I used to have as my second iMac display. :)
  10. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    it looks really nice .. i just wish apple would have made them have adjustable stands so you could line them up
  11. henders98 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    Both monitors switch desktops when you swipe left or right. OSX Lions treats both monitors as a single "space."
  12. SuperMiguel macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
  13. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Sorry I couldn't resist. So many pixels.

    Attached Files:

  14. henders98 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    Not that I'm aware of. The stand I have is probably about as close as you will find without making your own.
  15. SuperMiguel, Oct 25, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011

    SuperMiguel macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
    Wondering if the $1000 is worth it... Can get a 3d tv for that price :(
  16. SmogHead macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2011

    I have recently bought a ATD - loving it!

    I have found that a bare 3.5 harddrive is a nats chuff off the adjustment height needed....thought you guys might like to know.

    Now, about the brightness control, has anyone go the screens sync'd so when you use the keyboard brightness key thay both change?

  17. SuperMiguel, Oct 28, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011

    SuperMiguel macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
    kinda ugly ah? naked hd underit
  18. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Why on earth would you want a 3D TV?

    "Thank the Lord. Now, with these large and uncomfortable goggles, I can watch things like the news, and time-lapse footage of plants in 3D all day long."
  19. SuperMiguel macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
  20. Idlefrog macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011
    With that set up can you have a full screen application on both displays at the same time?

    I have a ViewSonic 28" monintor connected via DVI to my 27" iMac which is running Lion. If I move an application to the ViewSonic monitor and the make it full screen, the application slides back to the iMac and the monitor displays the grey canvas type back ground. Ideally I would like to have both screens working in full screen mode.
  21. gabicava83 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2010
    I just don't see it looking identical, in fact, looks kind of off.

    Don't like it when you have a dual screen setup and one monitor is slightly different to the other.

    It's a shame Apple didn't make this work perfectly out the box.

    I have a single 30" ACD and would love to go Dual, just like I use at work, but those prices are shocking.

    As for the OP, looks like you've really thought it out, dual screens is lovely and once you've had it, you won't go back to a single screen.

    Well done on both your purchases,

  22. Neous macrumors member


    Oct 9, 2009
    Woodstock, CT
    I'm digging this dual screen setup

    I'm debating whether to get a mac pro to replace my 09 imac, but this might have given me another "Pro" for another imac

    questions: can one setup the desktop spaces to be monitor specific.

    e.g. have lightroom opened on space 1 which is on display 1 while Photoshop opens on space 4 which opens on Display 2
  23. Tombs macrumors regular


    Feb 28, 2010
    Sutton, Surrey England
    I agree, just seems so expensive when you could have a 30" for not much more money if screen estate is what you are after.


    Yeah gold medal.
  24. britboyj macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2009
    I just got a 15" 2.0 i7 AG MBP and a 27" TB display at work.

    I wish the TB had a couple of things -

    1. SD-card slot in the side
    2. CF card slot in the side (pro users are the ones buying these, give us CF support!)
    3. USB slot or two in the side. Seriously. Reaching around the back to plug in flash drives is a PITA.

    There should also be a utility in screen arrangement to line things up. ;)
  25. Lastmboy macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2012
    Sorry, I'm jumping in really late here, but I'm very curious about your setup, as I am thinking of doing the same thing. However, I read a review of the thunderbolt display saying that it wouldn't work very well with the iMac. He said he couldn't extend the desktop to it, so couldn't use it for any additional real estate. However, in looking at your photo, it seems you are doing just that. Did you have any trouble configuring it to extend to the extra display?

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