MBA + Thunderbolt Display + 2nd Monitor

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dlim, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. dlim macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2012
    Hi everyone!

    I've tried to do some research on the forums but wasn't able to find an answer to my question.

    Basically, I currently have the 2011 13" MBA and was considering getting a TBD. I've seen many posts and set ups by people using an MBA + TBD display and it's just awesome!

    My question is, can I add a second monitor (via mini-display port -> HDMI) to the TBD? Is that what daisychaining monitors is?

    I feel like the answer to that question is yes, so my second question is would my MBA's integrated GPU be able to handle dual monitors like that? Or is the TBD what would be powering my second monitor? The second monitor would be the HP2311x, which is what I have hooked up to my MBA right now.

    Thanks in advance!


    Never mind! Answered my own question haha. But for anyone else who comes across this who had the same question in mind:

    "As far as compatibility, Apple notes that all Thunderbolt-enabled systems with the exception of the MacBook Air can handle two Thunderbolt displays, with a caveat for the 13-inch MacBook Pro being that the computer's internal display will not function if two Thunderbolt displays are connected. The high-end $799 Mac mini with discrete AMD graphics is also capable of running a third display via HDMI.

    "One other note of interest that will be a disappointment for some users is the disclosure that users will not be able to daisy chain a Mini DisplayPort display off an Apple Thunderbolt Display.
    Mini DisplayPort displays will not light up if connected to the Thunderbolt port on an Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch)."

    If things have changed though, please do let me know!
  2. jterp7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
    so for those of us with 2011 MBA's, what can be hooked up to the TB port on the TBD display, only HDs?
  3. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    You can't do it the way you have expressed/hoped. On the 15MBP you can do this by putting another thunderbolt device in-between your ATD and 2nd monitor (engadget [or someone] showed that) but I'm not sure if it'll work with the MBA.

    You can however use a USB->DVI/VGA/HDMI module. I got one off amazon for £45. It supports 2560x1140 you just have to make sure it has the Display link 195 (for Mac support). The drivers still need improving - they say they're working on them. It works perfectly on smaller monitors (can play 1080p movies on a 1280x1024) but animation are laggy and sloppy on my second 1920x1200
  4. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    The trick you mention will not work with a Macbook Air, as this model only has one video link enabled in its thunderbolt connector, instead of the full two links that the other Macs offer, so you can only show video on one monitor regardless how many hoops you try to jump through... This is due to the physical size of the thunderbolt controller on the MBA's logic board; the full version literally can not fit inside the tiny chassis... ;)

    This will most likely be fixed by the time Apple updates the Air in the 2012 model series...probably. Maybe! :D

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