mini thunderbolt?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by xtempo, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. xtempo macrumors 6502

    xtempo

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    #1
    I have tried to figure this out but can't. I am trying to use the thunderbolt connector on my early 2014 air so far I have been able to use a mini display port cable to dvi. the main question is is this OWC dock compatible with my air? Also what else is compatible with my MB air?

    https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/Dock/OWC/Thunderbolt2-Dock/

    I will try to include a picture of my port later.
     
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #2
    no need to include a pic
    the mini display port and thunderbolt have the same shape and connector
    thunderbolt has a lightening bolt by it, MDP has a box with lines on either side.

    as long as you have thunderbolt, it's compatible, although you may be limited by the speed of your computer, so even though you could chain 3 monitors off of it, the graphics card might not handle it.

    MDP can plug into a thunderbolt port, but not the other way around, as MDP is only for displays.

    and if you're buying the dock just so you can use the port on your air, they're going to love you, because you're going have to add a dozen more ports that you'll have to buy something to use.
     
  3. xtempo thread starter macrumors 6502

    xtempo

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    #3
    I have legacy devices and need for other ports since the USBs aren't even enough. I could not figure out the thunderbolt cable size itself so I was afraid of buying something that I can not hook and I previously bought a lightning cable by mistake. Yes I have a lightning bolt next to it which is why I was thinking to include a picture so as to make sure everyone knew what I was talking about.

    basically the size of the connector confused me and I wasn't sure about buying that since I have only seen MDP in person and can not find any thunderbolt cables offline.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    If you just want an external display, then you would use a Mini DisplayPort cable. That will have the connector that you need for your display on the other end. Could be DisplayPort, or DVI, VGA, or HDMI.
    If you need to hook up other devices, like storage drives, or one of those multi-port docks, then you will need a thunderbolt cable.
    The end that plugs in to your Mac is physically identical, both Mini DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt. The difference comes with what you want to connect. Mini DisplayPort will be video only. Thunderbolt will be for everything else.

    Likely you will need to go to a shop that sells Apple accessories, if you want to find Thunderbolt cables locally.
    And, you can get the thunderbolt cable when you buy a thunderbolt dock, such as the one that you posted from OWC.

    Note that dock does NOT come with any cables, not even one thunderbolt cable. You have to purchase those separately.
    OWC sells the cables, too. http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/OWC/Thunderbolt-Cables/
    Notice that you CAN purchase really long thunderbolt cables, but they are really expensive.
    Fiber-optic cables are needed if you want more than 3 meters.
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #5
    It's a shame that Apple uses both Lightning and Thunderbolt names for different, and mostly unrelated connectors ...
    It's hard to avoid calling that symbol a "lightning bolt" when the connector is actually named "thunderbolt"
    If you can avoid being confused by that, you are doing better than I.
     
  6. xtempo thread starter macrumors 6502

    xtempo

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    #6
    Thanks for the help to both of you.

    I thought the size for thunderbolt was bigger and that the mini display port connector size was not the real size of thunderbolt. I tried looking around and was confused nothing has made any sense at all which now is corrected and I can finally have more HDs and the Superdrive connected since usb hubs working working well. and one HD has firewire so I couldn't use on this machine.
     

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