Question - Connecting 2 thunderbolt displays

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jameswdmb, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. jameswdmb, Oct 10, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012

    jameswdmb macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2012
    I have googled this and cant seem to get a direct answer anywhere. I have a thunderbolt display at home and a thunderbolt display at work. I have a project coming up where I could really utilize having both monitors together. Do I need to purchase a thunderbolt to thunderbolt cable to chain them together or can I just use the built in cable to join them together? Please advise.
  2. jameswdmb thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2012
    Lots of views but no response......anyone have an idea if you need the additional cable or will the built in cable work?
  3. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I have not tested with two ATD's. I only have one.

    One thing that I noticed is that power does not seem to be supplied over the built in pigtales. Hence:

    Using a bus powered device (ex: a portable TB HDD):
    - Pigtale does not work
    - Cable works

    Using a self powered device (ex: Promise Pegasus R4):
    - Pigtale works
    - Cable works

    From my experiments... I would expect that the pigtale would work since an ATD is a self powered device. Untested with two ATDs.

  4. raymondkerr macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
    I could be wrong, but I don't think you are able to daisy chain two thunderbolt displays together. I think you have to connect a thunderbolt peripheral to the first TB display then, plug the second display into the thru port on the powered peripheral, i.e. something like a TB hard drive, which makes running two TB displays extremely expensive.
  5. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    if you use the existing built in TB cable to connect to the other display, how will you connect to the first display?
  6. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Display 1 to computer, display 2 to display 1? If you mean port-wise, the TV display has an extra TB port with no cable on the back.

    And poster above mentioning requiring a device in between. This is partially correct but I think the OP's circumstances are the exception. I believe that you can directly daisy chain TB displays, but you have to have a device in the middle if the 2nd display uses only Mini DisplayPort.
  7. Outrigger, Oct 12, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012

    Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    sorry, I have no idea what you're talking. What TV display?

    the TB display has one open TB port and built in TB cable. The OP was asking if he could hook up the two TB displays without an additional TB cable. My answer was if he used the existing TB cable from #2 to #1, and use the TB cable from #1 to his Mac. He would not need an additional TB cable.

    there is no TB peripheral needed.
  8. tn9design macrumors member


    Sep 8, 2011
    You don't need to buy anything extra as long as your computer has a thunderbolt port (which I assume it does), you can daisy-chain the displays to each other.

    Here is a video I did a while back when the thunderbolt displays first came out. I run through the wiring explanation (although it's so simple not much is needed)

    Good Luck.
  9. iHeading macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2011
    I am currently using 2 TD's connected to a retina macbook pro and you do NOT need anything else just plug 1 display to the computer and the 2nd display to the first with the cable the display comes attached with.
  10. jameswdmb thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2012
    Thanks to all for the response. If it wasnt such trouble to transport back and forth I would have just tested myself. I did talk to a genius at a apple store and they did not have a direct answer either so your feedback is appreciated.

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