Thunderbolt Display & Wacom question

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Artful Dodger, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #1
    Since I will be getting a 2011 Mini (server model) I thought about the Thunderbolt Display and how one could use both the TB display and connect my 12" Wacom Cintiq which also uses the DVI (Displayport).

    If I understand correctly, I would connect the TB Display into the Mini first and then use the TB port on the back of the Display to daisy chain my Cintiq using the DVI adapter correct?

    Would both screens then run independent of each other as far as resolution goes or would they end up being in mirror mode? I'm just trying to keep the HDMI port from being used since the Cintiq has a resolution of 1280x800 plus I don't really want to buy another type of adapter per se.

    Thanks a bunch for any help.
     
  2. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I can't comment on the Wacom portion, but I am curious to know why a separate Mac Mini and Display over a 27" iMac? You'll get a much beefier machine if you put the money into the iMac (even the base 21" iMac is more powerful than the Mini Server), not to mention two Thunderbolt ports vs one.

    I initially picked up the Mini Server, but returned it and went for a refurb base 21" iMac i5 quad core and am much happier. Granted, if you need portability, then I understand the Mini Server approach, but if its going to be stationary, I would suggest looking into the refurb iMacs.

    Sorry for being a bit off topic...:)
     
  3. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #3
    Well a few reasons as I'm thinking about another Cintiq at this time but as too why not an iMac, I have a 20" iMac now and while I like it, I've also been S.O.L. a few times because the drive died. As far as the 27" Display, it is nice to see my art, almost if not the actual size I will be printing it up as. I would also be turning an iMac on it's side from time to time for portrait mode which wouldn't make me too comfortable doing that to an iMac. If I did get a 27" display, I will be getting an arm to mount it on for added room and flexibility.

    Another reason, to get what I would like by putting it all in an iMac would also be more than I would want to invest in an all in one again. The Mini will make it's way into a media center at some point as well. That would leave what type of display I end up with being used on another Mac, again down the road.

    Back to the first way of thinking, this might be my LCD over the 27" http://www.wacom.com/en/Products/Cintiq/Cintiq24HD.aspx as well as using my 12" Cintiq for all my pallets and brushes etc. I just don't have the space for two (2) 27" or close to displays. That would be the cost of a new house of sorts which makes the Mini look really good ;)
     
  4. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

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    #4
    You won't be able to daisy-chain a non-Thunderbolt display off of Apple's Thunderbolt monitor. The entire chain (including the end device) needs to be Thunderbolt-compatible.

    However, the mini comes with an HDMI->DVI adapter, so you should be able to hook up the cintiq that way. 1280 x 800 is not a problem for HDMI, as it can drive any resolution DVI can up to 1920 x 1200.
     
  5. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #5
    Actually the Cintiq will work since I have the DVI adapter as it's the same port that I would use to input the Cintiq into a MBP, iMac and so on. I tried this at the Apple Store last night since I wanted to make sure before buying anything. A bit of a pain lugging everything around but it is a for sure answer.

    Thanks for the help. I'm starting to rethink my purchase now and as I have held off I will decide this up coming week what to do :cool:
     
  6. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

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    #6
    While the port is physically the same, Thunderbolt requires compatible devices for daisy chaining. In other words, the Displayport adapter you have only works when hooked directly into the Mac's Thunderbolt port. In that situation, the port only acts as Displayport and you can't use it for Thunderbolt. Apple says the Thunderbolt port on the display itself "is not compatible with DVI, VGA, or Displayport displays or adapters." So right now, the only thing you could daisy chain off of a Thunderbolt display is another Thunderbolt display or peripheral: Displayport-only won't cut it.
     
  7. reputationZed macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Isn't it possible to do this...

    Thunderbolt Display -> TB peripheral -> Display Port display ( or DVI/VGA via an adaptor)

    Provided that is that the TB peripheral can pass through the signal, in other words the peripheral will need two TB ports.
     
  8. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

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    #8
    I don't believe so, because if there were a Thunderbolt peripheral that did the conversion to vanilla Displayport, you couldn't use that port as Thunderbolt. As far as I know, the Thunderbolt/Displayport switchability can only take place on the Mac itself. So, since the daisy chain in question will be operating in Thunderbolt mode, I think the end device still needs Thunderbolt so it can properly handle the separation of streams (PCI Express and Displayport).

    I imagine there will eventually be Thunderbolt->DVI adapters, but because T-bolt requires electronics in the cabling, adapters will probably be $30 or more.
     
  9. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #9
    This is where all the I don't knows came from when calling Apple. I just went there and plugged into the mini itself and it worked but if it can't work from the back of a TB display then I'll end up going the iMac route. Either way I end up with a 27" display but I was also thinking about down the road, the mini would end up being my media center :cool:

    Thanks for the input, I will have to go back and try to hook it up to a TB Display and see what happens. If nothing then iMac, if it works I'm not sure. A few other things had me rethink last night about my end goal and a mini. I will repost the outcome here either way so it helps others.

    It would be nice if it did work though…
     
  10. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

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    #10
    Yeah, if you have the opportunity to try daisy chaining the Cintiq at the Apple Store, that would be the best way to get some definitive information. Let us know how it turns out!
     
  11. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #11
    I will be heading there right after my coffee this morning, I still have my Cintiq all packed up so round two here we go ;) Either a Mini or an iMac in an hour…
     
  12. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #12
    So for the update, The Cintiq worked using the TB port out of the Mini just fine. Trying to use it out of the port on the Display proved a weird thing. The Display was the old unit and not the TB Display and for whatever reason it wouldn't detect the Cintiq no matter what I tried.

    Went over to an iMac and tried using both TB ports, all went well after having the demo disabled. Since nothing was setup for the Cintiq it worked well but obviously needed to be set for a 27" screen but it worked enough for me to have confidence it would be much better once it was fully setup to my liking.

    The last part, the ports on the iMac are the same as on the TB Display and once the Demo mode at the store was disabled (thanks to the manager) it worked with a but… The USB port has to be used on the display that the Cintiq is plugged into. So the DVI adapter and USB from the Cintiq was plugged into the display and it was fine after a restart, if you plugged the USB into the Mini then it didn't work giving a message "sync not found".

    I'm not sure what was going on so in the end I went with the 27" iMac and I'm plenty happy yet still questioning what was going on with the Mini and the TB Display :confused:

    Hope this somewhat helps.
     
  13. seysearles macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Im trying to plug my Cintiq into my Thunderbolt display using an HDMI adapter (Monoprice) but it wont detect. If I use the same adapter directly with my MBP it works but for some reason not with the Thunderbolt display. Any idea why this may be the case?
     
  14. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #14
    If I am understanding correctly, you have the display plugged into ? If you use the MBP it's a direct connect, if you are using the display that would be the "start" of the chain then from the other TB port you would connect the wacom using the DVI adapter. So TB cable from TB port to display 1, then the dvi connect using the wacom cable into the second TB port on the display.

    I have never used a HDMI cable/connect with either my MBP or iMac so give a bit more info for sure or post a pic of the connection setup and I will try and help the best I can :)

    FWIW I bought the adapter from the Apple Store when I was there, $29 for issue free connect was fine as I use my other one in another area.
     
  15. CH12671 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    It's pretty clear, and you have both been given the answer already. You cannot plug a non Thunderbolt monitor into the TBD and expect it to work, it will not. You can only daisy chain TBD's together. It worked on the iMac because that is a computer, and you were plugging the monitor into the computer's TB port, which acts differently from the TBD's output port.
    Here is the official Apple article regarding this:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5219?viewlocale=en_US#20
     
  16. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #16
    Yes, I already had an answer back in 2011, just trying to understand the question a bit better as my original issue was to use a split of sorts which I really didn't want to do if I went the mini route but that was back then ;)
     
  17. seysearles macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Doesn't using an adapter to convert the HDMI plug to thunderbolt effectively make the Cintiq a "Thunderbolt display" as you put it? After all, it is a display which is connected by thunderbolt.
     
  18. seysearles macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I have a Wacom Cintiq 13HD with an HDMI connection (no DVI). You can see the cable clearly here. The power connection is not a problem, nor is the USB, the challenge is convert the HDMI into thunderbolt so that I can have the tablet plugged into my Apple Thunderbolt display which is my bas station at work rather than my MBP which which comes and goes from the office. So I purchased a Monoprice HDMI to Thunderbolt adapter to do so. I specifically bought Monoprice after reading online that other Wacom users had had success with that brand.

    I am not able to post a pic of the setup at this moment but its pretty simple. The following diagram illustrates the configuration:

     
  19. Acorn, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014

    Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    #19
    that is very bizarre if you have that configuration working. that hdmi to thunderbolt cable is actually a hdmi to display port. it lists thunderbolt because it is backwards compatible with thunderbolt. its meant to be used directly though like off a laptop (laptop thunderbolt ports are compatible with display ports) not in a chain off a thunderbolt display which functions entirely different. The issue is the thunderbolt display thunderbolt port is not compatible with display port which is what that adapter actually is.

    I dont believe that that configuration will work because you cant chain a non thunderbolt display (without a thunderbolt device in between like a thunderbolt drive). The adapter doesnt matter. That diagram shouldnt work.
     
  20. seysearles macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Actually I don't have it working. Thats my problem. Is there no way I can extend from the Thunderbolt display to the Cintiq so that I don't have to plug into the MBP? If I were to buy a specific HDMI to thunderbolt (not Minidisplay port) adapter perhaps?
     
  21. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #21
    Hmmm, since I don't have the newer 13" like you have I put a shout out to some friends because to go to the Apple Store and try this all over again is a pain I'm hoping I can just drive over a friends house and try a few things out. If you ask Wacom they claim it's just like a display and should work yet it is hit or miss with others out there using Wacom Cintiqs. I couldn't test on the TB display because the store didn't have the new models in at the time and instead of hoping I just went with the iMac over the Mini.

    Though…I have used the DVI to HDMI to display to another monitor but that is still using my MBP as pointed out above so I'm stumped. If Apple is stating no then a work around might be needed of sorts like a hub, maybe?
     
  22. blanka macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Go use the HDMI. You don't need an adapter. If the Wacom has HDMI too, that means a friggin 3$ cable! That is as in ONE BEER.
    For the time being just use that port.
     
  23. CH12671 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    No, it doesn't make it a thunderbolt display. That adapter is hdmi to display port. They may look the same (mini display port and thunderbolt), and thunderbolt may carry both signals, but they are different protocols. As stated, hook the thunderbolt display up to the thunderbolt port, and the wacom up to the hdmi with adapter....problem solved. If op wants to add thunderbolt storage later on, it can be plugged into the Apple thunderbolt display
     
  24. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

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    #24
    I've been reading this thread trying to understand why this wasn't the recommended approach as well.

    Standard two monitor setup on a Mini is one from the Thunderbolt port, one from the HDMI. Pretty straightforward and works just fine.
     
  25. CH12671 macrumors 6502

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    #25
    It was....Post #4. But the OP insisted that he/she had tried it at the apple store, and was sure it would work. I think that's how we get to this point. You are correct, there is absolutely no need for any other setup.
     

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