Have you guys had issues with the Thunderbolt Display?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Zen Desk Pro, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. Zen Desk Pro macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    Hey guys, I recently got a good deal on a Thunderbolt display, so I purchased it. However, after doing some digging online, I've come to find out that many people have had complaints about the display. Complaints about things such as not being able to sustain a docked connection, color calibration issues (when driven with rMBP).

    I just wanted to know if anyone has also run into these issues? Also, how big of a concern should USB 2 ports be for me? I plan on storing a good 3/4 of my data/media on a 1TB external hard ddrive - although my plan is to only back up the drive weekly, and not keep the hard drive plugged into the display 24/7.

    Anything else I should know about the display?

  2. Mikael H macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2014
    Some people seem to have issues, others are happy with their TBDs.
    If you find that USB2 speed is an issue for you, it's still possible to buy FW800 disk cabinets for external drives.
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    The wife and I each have had one for years without problems. At this very late time in their lifecycle, I would not advise anyone to get one. Instead get a good 4K or 5K monitor that can handle lesser resolutions if your current Mac can not do 4K at 60Hz. There are also many 3rd party Thunderbolt docks to select from.
  4. Zen Desk Pro thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    Thanks for your replies, guys.

    As a follow up question, are you advising against the monitor because of the problems it can cause in it's late life cycle? Or are you advising against this display because of it's outdated technology?

    Because I have a rMBP, picture quality isn't so much an issue as much as other things are. I usually watch movies via Apple TV on my home theater big screen TV. I most likely will be watching some YouTube videos here and there, but I considiered this screen for primarily 3 different reasons:

    1. The screen real estate is fantastic. I'm a multitasker. And I'd love to have more space to do things when I'm at home using my rMBP as a desktop workstation. Creative digital imaging, amateur video editing, web browsing, etc.

    2. It's a very compatible docking station for the Macbook. I like all of the ports it contains, and I like how well it works with Apple products.

    3. Because the TBD is only natively compatible with Macbooks. I have brothers. And if any of you guys have brothers, you'll be able to vouch for me when I say that brothers like to BORROW things. Well, since the monitor won't work with their computers, there's a good chance that they won't haul the display around whenever I'm not home. Instead, they're more likely to use my computer with the monitor if they so desire.

    I just don't want to run into any issues with the display (both in the short term or the long term) especially because of how pricey it is. For an Apple product, I was able to search for an unusually high amount of complaints regarding this particular product. This product is not brand spanking new (the one I purchased) however, it's being sold used from a reputable vendor.

  5. Mikael H macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2014
    I suspect @MCAsan simply pointed out that the TBD no longer is competitively priced compared to similar products if you buy one new.
    (For reference: where I live, if you purchase a new TBD today, you pay a >$200 premium over a similarly specced IPS monitor, a separate thunderbolt dock, and an extra MacBook Pro charger).

    If you have found a good used or refurbished one, and especially if the seller gave you some kind of warranty, then I don't think it was a bad choice of monitor at all. Of course no-one can tell exactly what will happen to the electronics in your particular screen over time, but again: I don't think the odds are against you.
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I have had mince since March 2012 and had zero problems. I have not really noticed an unusual amount of problems reported here on the forums with these. I think you can search on any product Apple or anybody else makes and find some reports of problems.

    If you can get a decent price on one, I would say it is still the best solution out there. The problem is there is no similar product out there where can run ethernet, USB, audio, and video (webcam) over one wire. Really, the only downside I see at all is USB2, and I just connect my backup drive directly to the USB3 port on the MacBook for the occasional clone.

    If you are just running Time Machine backups over USB2 to an external, that will just run in the background and work fine.

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