Running a second display off of Thunderbolt Display's Thunderbolt Port?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Rob.G, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Rob.G, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012

    Rob.G macrumors 6502

    Rob.G

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Location:
    NW Oregon
    #1
    I remember when the 27" Thunderbolt Display came out, the various blogs pointed out that you could NOT run another regular display off of the Thunderbolt Display's TB port, which was a bummer.

    What doesn't make sense is that you can run a normal display off the Mac's TB port, but then of course you can't use the TB display.

    Yet, one blog noted, interestingly, that one of the TB-based RAID boxes that had a TB thru-port would drive a regular display off of its TB port. So if you went from Mac -> TB Display -> RAID box, you could then run another regular display. This is great, but not worth $1500 to do that.

    Has anybody come up with a way to accomplish this without an expensive RAID or other TB hard drive box? The display on my MacBook Pro is too hard to read (I'm getting old), and I'd love to hook up a nice 22" Dell display I have here (1920x1080) in place of it. Otherwise, I'm thinking about selling the MBP and getting a Mac Mini, so I can run a second display off of its HDMI port. I don't have room on my desk for another 27" display or I'd go that route. 'Course there's also the issue of the cost of those things too. :)

    Thanks.

    Rob
     
  2. colshine macrumors regular

    colshine

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I think you are getting a little confused. The thunderbolt port on the MBP can be used to connect to any external monitor (you just need the appropriate TB - display adapter). I had my MBP connected to a Dell U2311H via a TB - DVI adaptor without issues.

    If you bought an Apple Thunderbolt Display you cannot connect a regular monitor to the Thunderbolt Displays thunderbolt port to drive a "regular monitor".

    Does that make sense?
     
  3. Rob.G thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rob.G

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Location:
    NW Oregon
    #3
    Yes, that's what I said. No confusion.

    The only way I know of to drive another regular display off of the Thunderbolt Display's TB port is to go through a RAID box, and it may even be JUST the one the blog talked about (I forget the brand).

    I wanted to know if there was another way. I know I could get a USB-based solution, but that really isn't what I had in mind.

    Rob
     
  4. colshine macrumors regular

    colshine

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    There isn't, this is the best explanation on the technical limitations.
     
  5. rpg51 macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #5
    Hence my feeling that there is a market for a 21.5 TBD. I'd buy one in a heartbeat.
     
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #6
    Well it doesn't have to be a RAID box, it can be any Thunderbolt device that has Thunderbolt pass thru. The cheapest way (that I know of) is the Seagate Thunderbolt Desktop Adapter. It is a single hard drive connection for Seagate External drives. It has both Thunderbolt in and Thunderbolt out. A nice way to add a fast external drive and use a secondary display. I think it runs about $150 (sans hard drive). Think of it as an expensive display adapter I guess? Oh and yes you still have to "bring your own cable" so that adds another $50. I believe this is the cheapest way to do it.

    Or you could get one of the Western Digital Thunderbolt RAID boxes (has two drives), the 4GB runs about $500 + Thunderbolt cable....
     
  7. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #7
    This is correct. Currently, this is the ONLY way of connecting a non TB display to a TB display. You have the place the non TB at the very end of the chain.
     

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