MBP + Thunderbolt + DVI monitor?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by latestmonkey, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. latestmonkey macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2002
    I was hoping to get a new work setup with the following:

    13 or 15" MBP
    27" Thunderbolt display as my primary
    24 inch Dell (DVI input) as my secondary (I already own this.)

    Now I'm reading that you can't daisychain the second monitor and that it'd have to be a second Thunderbolt display. Can anyone confirm that?

  2. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    You would need another non-display Thunderbolt device between the Thunderbolt display and the DVI adapter, like a hard drive.

    The Retina model has two Thunderbolt ports and an HDMI port so you can connect 3 displays without any daisy chaining.
  3. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I currently have an HDMI display at 1080p and a display to mini display 2560 display plugged in with ethernet adapter.
  4. latestmonkey, Aug 30, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012

    latestmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2002
    I'm shying away from the rMBP. Well, I'll see how the 13" rMPB looks.

    I'm confused by your first statement.

    if I go

    MBP --> TBD ---> hard drive, you're saying the hard drive would need to have a thunderbolt out port (edit: like this) (I'm not in the market for a hard drive) and then using that thunderbolt port, I can attach a DVI monitor (with a connecter)?
  5. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Yes, you would need a Thunderbolt device with a pass through port between the TBD and the DVI monitor. You can't plug a Mini-Displayport to DVI adapter directly into the TBD's pass through port because of the way Thunderbolt handles Displayport connections.
  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Afaik the whole Thunderbolt Display is a bit of a broken thing. It doesn't want to work with any display that isn't also a TBD.
    Put a random specification abiding thing in between (like an external Thunderbolt HDD with two ports) than you can put one DisplayPort Display at the end.
    I am not entirely sure if HDMI or DVI still work forwared through all those controllers.

    Thunderbolt only carries Displayport 1.1a not HDMI, DVI. Might be you need some special sauce to get a DVI signal at the end. I think the signals are switched on the GPU if HDMI or DVI is detected. Might not make it all the way through.
    One shouldn't buy Apple if one means to use old peripherals. They break something that should work according to specifications and pretend that it just cannot be done. So people that might already own one 27" mini DisplayPort Apple display have to buy two new TBDs.
    It is ridiculous.
  7. latestmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2002
    ok thanks for the info.
  8. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    As far as I know all "Mini-Displayport to X" adapters should work just fine at the end of a Thunderbolt daisy chain. I don't think that the Mini-Displayport connection on the laptop itself ever carried HDMI, DVI, or VGA signals, just Displayport which can then be converted via an adapter to other formats.

    The TBD's functionality is a side effect of how Thunderbolt works. Each Thunderbolt device gets a maximum of one Thunderbolt channel and one Displayport channel. It can either expose that Displayport channel on it's daisy chain connector or it can use that Displayport itself, as in the case of the TBD, but can't do both.
  9. nisachar macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2012

    I am looking to connect my Cintiq 21UX directly to the tunderbolt port on my macbook pro retina via Mini display port to Dvi adapter/Cable.

    Any suggestions ?

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