TBD viewing experience vs rMBP 15"

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by karhong, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. karhong macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2011

    Looks like I will have to get the Thunderbolt Display TBD now rather than wait for the new release in Dec (or later). I have the rMBP 15" with the Thunderbolt ports.

    My eyes are accustomed to the sharpness of rMBP, in terms of browsing, word processing.

    How is the viewing experience comparing between the rMBP 15" vs the TBD ?
    Will the experience be better in TBD ?

    Currently I have an external LCD 1920x720 connected to rMBP. When I close the lid of rMBP, the external LCD shutdown too.
    I have seen others using their lid-shut rMBP(with ext keybrd/mouse) with external LCD.
    How do they do this ?

    Any advice appreciated. Rgds.
  2. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    I would like to know the answers to questions above if someone could help us out?
    One other question? Would a TBD be better viewing than a late 09 27" iMac with a new 15" MBPr?
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Viewing experience is subjective. If you have a Apple store or Best Buy nearby, swing by and audition the newer displays.

    By default the external display should remain on and becomes the primary display when you close the lid. Mine does with either a display port monitor or HDMI TV monitor. Not sure off hand how you can turn that behavior off, but you may have managed to do it.
  4. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    if you close the lid, of course the laptop will go to sleep, thus the external display. you have to hit the external keyboard to wake it. thats how people use it with the lid closed.

    I have never heard of 1920 x 720 resolution. are you sure its not 1080 or 1200?
  5. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    When the RMBP or any other Thunderbolt enabled device is connected to the TBD the screen is awesome. Because of the size and the distance of the TBD the quality is fine. I much rather use the TBD when I can for the added real estate. When the laptop lid is closed, the TBD automatically displays the contents and no need to do anything else. When the lid is open then both screens can be used either as dual monitor or mirror mode.

    The iMac and the TBD in general have the same screen panel so your viewing experience would be the same. The TBD advantage is a docking station while the iMac when use as a external monitor acts like a dummy screen.

    When an iMac as a screen, you have keep it on and an extra set of keyboard/mouse to enable it with some keyboard command to view your laptop screen. With a TBD, its just plug and play. I have both setup (see sig) but prefer the TBD for docking purposes.
  6. meistervu macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    No, that's not the default behavior if you use the second display to extend the desktop as mine. When I close the lid, the laptop continues to operate. I use the control-command-power key combination to suspend my MBPr.
  7. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    I have this same setup, Thunderbolt Display with 15" MBPr.

    The TBD looks great, and is my primary display when I'm at home. I can close the lid and the computer continues running with the TBD. I don't recall if that's the default behavior, or if I had to change preferences somewhere to make that happen, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's the default behavior when you have a TBD connected.

    I bought a HiRise at the Apple store, which allows me to raise the MBP so that the bottoms of the two displays are aligned.

    As another poster mentioned, the other big benefit of using the TBD is that it acts as a docking station. I have a keyboard, mouse, and FW800 hard drive all connected to the display. I only have to plug in the TB cable and power adapter and I'm off to the races. You will need the little PowerMag to PowerMag 2 adapter. It's around $10 IIRC. Anyway, I keep my iTunes media on the external drive. I created a second "on-the-go" library that is much smaller and resides on the internal SSD. When I travel I used that library. I also subscribe to iTunes Match which gives me access to all of my music in either case.

    Now in terms of video quality, the rMBP display is definitely better. The text looks smoother and sharper. The TBD just doesn't have the same resolution, but it is huge, which is why I use it as my primary. Don't get me wrong, the TBD still looks fantastic, but it's not at the same level of the Retina display.

    Another thing to note...I play a lot of StarCraft 2. When I play in full-screen mode with the MBP lid open, even though the built-in display is dark, it is still "active" and it causes a performance hit in the game. So for best graphics performance, I've found that closing the lid turns off the built-in display and allows the GPU to dedicate all of its resources to the TBD.
  8. karhong thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2011
    Thank you all.
    I have placed an order for 27" TBD.
    I will be using it as a docking station; ie LAN will also be connected to TBD.

    Two questions ::
    The Thunderbolt also carry the LAN traffic , right ?
    I will be using with the rMBP lid closed. If I use the 3-finger swipe leftwards, will I still be able to see the dashboard widgets in Mac OSX 10.8.4 ?

    Thank you for support. Rgds.

  9. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    Yes I believe the dashboard widgets will be on the TBD if the lid is closed. I'm assuming you are using a magic trackpad?

    The Thunderbolt cable carries the LAN traffic, USB, FireWire, audio, webcam, microphone, etc, from your TBD to your MacBook. One cable to plug in, it's a pretty nice setup. Enjoy!

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