Macbook Air 2013 13" thunderbolt port help

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by esatamacmodular, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. esatamacmodular macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    #1
    This is my first time with the opportunity to use a TB port/ cable and I'm overwhelmed by the terms and my options. My goal is to be able to plug in my macbook air and use target display mode with my 2013 imac. I'm not interested in wifi screen share or non-tethered options.

    Why do I keep seeing verbage for mini display port? Is that the headder on all thunderbolt cables? If I'm only using it as a display output (eg and not to a PCIe box) does it have to be a thunderbolt cable? Additionally would I be able to find a thunderbolt to hdmi for a non-thunderbolt monitor?

    belkin? apple? are there certifications I need to look for?

    someone on this site linked to this cable as one that works in my scenario, but the product description explicitly says "NOT compatible with iMac Display Mode or Thunderbolt Display"

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HNF0L2C/?tag=stackoverfl08-20

    thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    Never tried connecting an iMac in target mode, but it seems like an Apple Thunderbolt cable would do that. They are expensive, like $40 IIRC for a 3 foot cable. I have a store brand Best Buy thunderbolt cable and I think it has developed problems after about two years. Used to work fine but I have seen some errors using different devices so I don't trust it now. I also have an Apple cable and it works fine.

    For MiniDP to HDMI, I also got one of those store brand cables at Best Buy, I think it was "Rocketfish". It has always worked perfectly with a wide variety of monitors and I have used it extensively since 2012.
     
  3. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #3
    I doubt a displayport cable will work.
    I've used thunderbolt for external video recording and displayport cables failed.

    Also you want to have a tunderbolt bridge you need a tb cable.
     
  4. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    #4
    Like the others here have said, you must use a thunderbolt cable, not display port cable.

    The difference is that a true thunderbolt cable has active electronics in the plugs that allows thunderbolt to work. Confusingly, both cables have the same physical plug, so you have to know what you are buying.

    Rule of thumb, if it is way cheaper than the Apple thunderbolt 1/2 cable, it is probably the wrong type.

    Either use an official apple thunderbolt 1/2 cable, or a third party equivalent. (I have one Apple cable & one third party one, both work fine.
     
  5. esatamacmodular thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    #5
    thanks everyone for the excellent advice. I now know i'll need the TB cable for the iMac in target mode. And I can try mini Display port to hdmi if I use a non-TB monitor, but it may not work.
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    Why wouldn't it work (unless it is defective)? As stated above, I've used a cheap miniDisplayport to HDMI cable on many different TV's and monitors since 2012 and no problems whatsoever.
     
  7. esatamacmodular thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    #7
    ok thanks for pointing that out. so with my 2013 MB air I will try TB 1/2 cable for use with imac 2013 as TDM monitor and mDP to HDMI for other non-TB monitors or TVs.
     

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