should i buy thunderbolt display ?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kelly135, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. kelly135 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2016
    Hi I can get my hand on one for $400 is it still worth it ? isn't the display a bit old ? i want to use it with an imac 27
  2. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Does it offer anything you can't get in a better 3rd party display? I'm not to well versed on the Thunderbolt display but I never found it that impressive so I overlooked it.
  3. gian8989 macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2015
    I don't think it is worth it. The material is nice but the panel is old: It is a 2011 monitor (i don't even know if apple repair them anymore in case you have a problem). Even the input lag is high (12 ms).
    Moreover i personally don't like glossy panels (would love a matte iMac).
    For that price you should look at something new (something like this -link-).
  4. infinity69 macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2016
    Same advise as gian8989. Go with something newer. Dell monitors are a good choice. If budget is limited,
    get a Benq GW2765HT (with mini DP to DP cable to get WQHD resolution).
  5. rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    Personally, I think it's a great deal. If you can get the serial number, you can decode its exact age online. They were only discontinued a few months ago ($999 retail before stock dried up, $799 apple refurb), despite what another poster said, apple will continue to carry parts for 3 years for AppleCare warranties...2019. If your iMac is pre 2014 retina, the display quality will match the iMac perfectly.

    I have one paired with my Late 2015, and it works wonderfully. I love having more ports and the ability to unhook and dock my MacBook Pro. Also, I personally love the look.

    I also picked up a LED Cinema Display (Mini DisplayPort) in the refurb store late last year with AppleCare. I'm a big fan of these last ever Apple displays.
  6. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    I wouldn't.

    As a "docking station" for a MacBook, $400 might be tempting, but since you'd be using it with a desktop iMac then most of the display's unique features (built-in ethernet, firewire, USB, half-decent speakers, webcam, microphone and Magsafe power supply, all from 2 cables) of the TBD will be redundant - I'd look around and see what other 1440p displays you could get for the same price or less.
  7. Nessdufrat macrumors member


    Jul 19, 2015
    Between France and Switzerland
    I was in the very same situation: I always wanted a thunderbolt screen, and waited, waited, waited, like forever, hoping for a thunderbolt 2 version or at least a version with usb 3 ports.
    I had to change my PC screen, so obviously I didn't go for the thunderbolt there, but bought a really great fudjitsu 27" screen with non-glossy display. The screen is awesome, colors are great, I love it. I use it everyday for work.
    But then, I got my hands on a $350 thunderbolt screen and I went for it. I figured, I've wanted that screen ever since it came out, so maybe it's stupid, but I'm buying it.

    BUT in my case, the situation was very different. I was buying the screen because I had an iMac 21.5" with a busted screen and was going to use the thunderbolt as main display if I couldn't repair the screen (in the end, I wasn't able to repair the screen, so this solution will be chosen) or to use it with my macbook pro if I ended up repairing the iMac screen.
    The iMac repair took forever because I was waiting on some parts and stuff, which means I've been using the screen on my macbook pro for two months now, everyday, and it's a DREAM. I simply love it. The interaction between the macbook pro and the thunderbolt is perfect, but it was made that way. A few months before I purchased the thunderbolt display, I gave up on my "one day apple will make a thunderbolt display with usb 3" dream and bought a belkin thunderbolt dock, so that I would have usb 3 on my macbook pro (late 2011, usb 2 on it). Good thing with the thunderbolt is that you can daisy chain the thunderbolt devices. And the displays. I actually picked up a thunderbolt display for a friend (I'm babysitting it, it's in a box at my place until he picks it up) and I had a bit of fun and chains them both, it was actually pretty awesome. I read you can chain up to 4 thunderbolt 27".
    For me, what was good is that I could plug in the thunderbolt display in the macbook pro, plug in the belkin dock in the thunderbolt port on the thunderbolt display, and plug in my Cintiq 24HD, so that I can have both my cintiq and my thunderbolt display on my macbook pro at the same time (which is otherwise not possible).
    So, for the reasons I listed above, the thunderbolt was a very good match for me.

    Now, like others said, think about it: do you really need what the thunderbolt is offering? (thunderbolt port, usb 2 ports, ethernet port, all that you already have on your iMac) The color is amazing, I must say. I haven't taken the time to calibrate it yet because I wasn't sure where I was going to put it in the room, so no use calibrating it everytime I move it around, but I believe the result will be good. If you think the thunderbolt port at the back of the display will be of any use to you, then yeah, why not! It is a very good display.

    I own 5 screens, all of them are completely different and intended for different purposes, and I love them all. I don't do any gaming, so I couldn't say anything about that, but I do some webdesign, some drawing, and a LOT of text reading (but not on the thunderbolt, it wouldn't be a good screen for that).

    The guy I bought the Fudjitsu from owned a Thunderbolt, he was a professional photographer, we talked a bit when I went to pick up the screen, and I kind of expected him to talk trash about the screen, like "it's overpriced, colors are agressive, glossy screen is horrible", etc., the kind of things you read and hear everywhere. But surprisingly, not at all. He loved the Fudjitsu, had actually been using it for photography and editing, was selling it because he was now sharing a studio with another photographer and they didn't need a pile of screens, and he said that yeah, the thunderbolt was super expensive, but it was worth it, the colors were amazing, and it was really a very good screen.

    Sorry for the very long comment, but now you have a detailed opinion of somebody a little bit biased but not too much, who is working on 4 other screens on a regular basis, and who asked herself the very same questions you are asking not so long ago :)
  8. pmouritz macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2015
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Unless you are doing it for the unity between the designs, I would say go for a Dell U2715H instead. You can even buy it at cyber monday tomorrow, great IPS panel and great value for money. It connects via mini displayport so it will fit right into your iMacs Thunderbolt!
    If you have a 5K iMac I would look into monitors with higher resolution.
  9. varian55zx macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2012
    San Francisco
    The Thunderbolt Display has a pathetically bad resolution. Looks terrible and grainy next to the 5K iMac.

    I'd say get a dell 4K monitor
  10. rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    Disagree...2560x1440 (atd native) is a pretty good resolution, even today, not as great as 5k obviously (sure beats what a lot of people look at in corporate America everyday) Since the iMac 2015 is a scaled resolution of 2560x1440 going back and forth between displays is painless as elements stay at the same scale.

    I agree in terms of value, you can probobaly find a higher resolution display for about the same price as OP found ATD for. I'd try for a 27" 5k though so the scaling remains similar. Also, I hate monitors that are dissimilar sizes next to each other.
  11. varian55zx macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2012
    San Francisco
    I use a dell 4K display at work and it works great for me, great resolution. It's comparable to my 5K iMac at home.

    The Thunderbolt display's quality was so bad it hurt my eyes. Sadly it looks nice as it is an Apple product but as a display it's just junk
  12. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Since its about opinion - I would skip the Tbolt Display. I find zero redeeming qualities to it as a monitor when speaking relative (to other monitors out there to be had).
    If you need a high end graphics/photo monitor - NEC and Eizo are typical in that venue
    If you need a solid performing monitor that can do some graphics/photo work - look no further than Dells Ultra line
    and the list keeps going... so its best to realize what you want the monitor for before going out and buying the "latest - greatest." If it were only word processing then you could get easily a much cheaper LCD monitor than the NEC or Eizo.

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