MBP Mini DisplayPort to Thunderbolt Display via adapter

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by perryazevedo, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. perryazevedo macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2012
    I'm going to be upgrading to a Retina MacBook Pro within a few months and until then, will continue to use my mid-2009, 15" MacBook Pro. I bought a brand new, 27" Thunderbolt display as the Apple Store employee ensured me I could use the display with my non-Thunderbolt MBP.

    Of course, upon unboxing the display and plugging it up, nothing happened. Most Google searches return forums saying it can't be done.

    However, I called Apple Technical Support and they said differently. They said that although the Thunderbolt display doesn't officially support MacBook Pros that only have Mini DisplayPorts, you can use the Thunderbolt Display as just a monitor (no hub or camera use) with the use of an adapter.

    However, when asked "what adapter" they said I would need to figure that out on my own.

    Has ANYONE had success with this yet? Is there an adapter that will make this work? :confused:
  2. DanGallagher macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2013
    Did you get an answer to this? I'm curious as well.
  3. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I've researched this before as have many others and none of us have ever found anything. I believe that tech is wrong.

    One big clue is that the Thunderbolt ACD is not compatible with any Mac Pro. If an MDP to Thunderbolt adapter were available, it would be compatible with all Mac Pros.
  4. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Just speculation, but (looking at the iFixit teardown) I believe the LCD panel inside the TBD is actually driven directly by a DisplayPort connection from the main logic board. So if you cracked it open you could possibly hook your Mac MDP directly to the panel with a suitable adapter, bypassing the Thunderbolt stuff.

    ...which might explain why the tech wasn't handing out suggestions.
  5. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    From Apple's FAQ regarding the Thunderbolt Display:

    From this I would have to assume it's not possible. If such an adapter existed it would at least be mentioned. If apple made one they would surely link it.
  6. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    It's not possible. You cannot connect an unmodified ATD to a Mac that doesn't have a Thunderbolt port, and there is no low-cost adapter available that will change it.

    Go back to that Apple Store and confront that "genius".

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