mini displayport to Thunderbolt Display

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by murdock25, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. murdock25 macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2006
    I have an older macbook pro with the mini displayport and have purchased a new Thunderbolt Display.
    Where can I purchase a mini displayport to Thunderbolt connector?
    How do I get this working?
    I have a blank screen so far connecting the thunderbolt cable to my macbook pro mini displayport.:mad:
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    The computer must have a Thunderbolt port to use the Thunderbolt display. There are no adapters.
  3. murdock25 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2006
    You're telling me a two-year old MacBook Pro can't connect to the new Thunderbolt display with any sort of adapter! what the hell! Apple doesn't even sell the older displays any more. Is there any workaround? any connector I can purchase?
  4. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Apple still offers the 27" Cinema Display for Macs that do not have a TB port. They're available online and my local Apple Store stocks them.
  5. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2010
    Before you get upset, you should realize you probably should have read the requirements clearly listed on the home page. The ThunderBolt connector does not only supply video to the display, but also data for the hub (3 x USB, FW800, Gb Ethernet), so allowing a minidisplayport connection through adapter would be much too difficult (as it would require a way to increase the data throughput). Furthermore, the 27" ACDs are still being sold alongside the 27" ThunderBolt Display as well.
  6. TH.Architecture macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2011
    Dear Murdock, I am currently in the same situation as you, however I have not yet purchased the Thunderbolt Display.

    I do think I have the solution. Obviously, there múst be a way to connect the monitor to a MiniDisplay Port MacBook Pro. However, you must realize that there is no way the 'thunderbolt' connector / ethernet / usb ports will work, since all this information is transmitted by Thunderbolt, and this hardware is not inside you MBP.

    What probably will work, is the monitor / speakers / webcam itself, since this data is transmitted via a MiniDisplay Port signal.

    To test if the monitor itself (so not the hardware, but only the monitor) will work, you need to purchase 2 MiniDisplay Port to HDMI switches (from Belkin or w/e) and link the display via HDMI to your MBP.

    So the setup will be:

    Display - MiniDisplay Port to HDMI - HDMI cable - HDMI to MiniDisplay Port - MacBook Pro.

    The display should transmit the monitor signal. I cannot tell you this with certainty because nobody in the world seems to have tried this and the display is still not in stores for me to try this method out. But since atm your monitor is not responding, this might be the only way to actually get your screen to work. Again, note that the back ports on the screen (Thunderbolt/Ethernet/USB) will likely not work since this data is not streaming through the MiniDisplay Port signal, but through the Thunderbolt signal.
  7. filman408 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2006
    San Jose, CA
  8. murdock25 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2006

    Thanks for the detailed reply I'm gonna try this set-up you described. I don't care about ethernet or the other ports I just need the display part to work with my work MacBook Pro when I bring it home.
  9. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    This will not work, for a host of reasons.

    1. The only way to connect a computer to the TB display is to have a computer with TB.

    2. HDMI doesn't even support the full resolution of the display

    3. Even if it did, a MDP-> HDMI adapter cannot convert a HDMI (DVI) signal back into a DisplayPort signal.

    OP, you need to return the display and order one of the older models online.
  10. Aldaris macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2004
    Salt Lake
    Chatting with an Apple Employee on the online store said I could use my 2008 unibody (late 2008) with mini displayport would work with the thunderbolt display just supplying video USB, FireWire and all else would be non-existant.

    But again it was probably some person who didn't know what was going on. Although I don't see why it wouldn't be compatible with just the video signal anyway???
  11. KScottMyers macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    From Apple's Mac Mini web page...
    • HDMI port with support for up to 1920-by-1200 resolution

    Even if it did work - you're not even getting the correct resolution for that display. Return it.
  12. xraydoc macrumors 604


    Oct 9, 2005
    The Thunderbolt display REQUIRES a Mac with a Thunderbolt port, even just for the display image, saying nothing about the extra ports. Period, end. No two ways about it. No adapters. No cables. No drivers. No praying to flying spaghetti monsters.

    Apple, however, STILL SELLS the 27" mini-display port Cinema Display. If you want a 27" screen for your non-Thunderbolt Mac, buy that one instead.
  13. amt-austin macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2010
    Seems crazy that Apple doesn't just add a displayport port on the thunderbolt display, which would eliminate the need to maintain 2 different displays in their inventory. I understand the desire to move towards new standards, but this is just nuts.
  14. whyrichard macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2002
    is it possible to get a mac pro '09 modded to support a thunderbolt display?

    if not, is it clear yet if a thunderbolt display would work as a display only through the mini display port on an '09 mac pro?

  15. jimmychimp macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2006
    mac mini??

    I am also looking to buy a new 27 inch display and want a solution to use the thunderbolt display now until I can afford to upgrade my (mid 2010) macbook pro..

    I also often need to process a lot of video material and having an extra computer would be handy. The Mac mini is pretty affordable.. and correct me if I am wrong.. but would it not be possible to boot up off my macbook pro HD through the new mac mini via firewire which does have a thunderbolt port and thus be able to use the thunderbolt display whilst showing the system from my macbook pro???
  16. ray648 macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2008
    Its quite simple. The thunderbolt display requires your computer to have a thunderbolt port. If you don't have a thunderbolt bolt you need to buy the older (but still available) cinema display. No amount of adapters are going to change this.
  17. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Either swap out the laptop for one with thunderbolt....which you would be doing at some point in the future anyway.....or swap out the ATD for ACD.

    In either case, accept that Apple is doing thunderbolt and USB 3 as the main external I/O transports. Get off of minidisplay ports and FW as soon as possible. Neither has a future.
  18. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    Even if it could be done, firewire has totally inadequate bandwidth. The 27" iMac requires a bandwidth of 5.3Gb/s for full resolution, vs the firewire's 800Mb/s. MiniDisplayPort has 3 lanes with a bandwidth of 5.4/Gb/s for each lane.

    There's no way to connect a non-Thunderbolt Mac to a Thunderbolt device with any kind of adapter. Thunderbolt is an extension of the PCIe 2.0 bus, and also carries the DisplayPort signals. Also, the Thunderbolt display has no electrical connections to the MiniDisplayPort pins.
  19. jimmychimp macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2006
    Makes sense... but seems odd that the 2 current versions of the 27 inch displays are essentially identical other than the connection.. another clever way to try to get us to buy everything?!


    I will for sure be buying a thunderbolt equipped macbook pro at some stage, but not until they get rid of the horrible shiny displays... hopefully the new iMac antiglare display will be on the next gen of retina macbook pros

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