Thunderbolt Monitor

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by welling111, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. welling111 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #1
    Hi all,
    I previously used a thunderbolt monitor for work and loved it. No issues, etc. I'm now in the market to buy one for myself but am very concerned that Apple might update it in a few months (the last update was sept 2011!).

    Should I wait a few months and see what happens? i really do need it soon, but I'll be very upset if they suddenly release a thinner and more powerful version and I'm sitting here with the old one.
     
  2. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #2
    Have not heard any recent rumors of a new one. If you need it now go for it. I never wait for something new to come along when I need it for my business.
     
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    If and when there is a one cable solution for 5K I think apple will do a 5K thunderbolt monitor. That won't be until skylake at the earliest though. To be honest there are better cheaper monitor solutions around than the apple thunderbolt. I think you'll be better off with a 4K monitor and a thunderbolt dock at the moment unless you are buying one cheap second hand or refurbed...
     
  4. welling111 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #4
    Any recos on good 4k monitors? I've been looking around but haven't really seen one that I like.
     
  5. gman36 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #5
    Have you looked at the 34in Ultrawides from LG? Part number is 34UC97
     
  6. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #6
    The problems with the current Thunderbolt display are that its not 4k/5k, the USB ports are only USB2 and if you have a newer MacBook you have to use a Magsafe 2 adapter. If Apple had dropped the price as the technology became less cutting edge (when it was launched 2560x1440 was a big deal) then you might be able to forgive that, but not on a $1000 display.

    On the other hand, the screen may not be 4k but unless you're allergic to glossy screens its pretty nice and if you want features like ethernet and/or Firewire docking and a built-in MacBook power supply its still the only game in town (I think some of the LG models work with Thunderbolt and give you USB - but no ethernet or PSU). Its your money - just be aware that you're getting poor bangs-per-buck, even by Apple standards. I think I'd only consider it if I saw a good second hand/refurb deal.

    ...which will probably be Thunderbolt 3/USB-C only and would only work with future TB3 MacBooks.

    OTOH, I'm not convinced that a single-wire 5k connection, even with USB-C or TB3, is going to leave enough bandwidth for a docking system - according to this USB-C in DisplayPort mode can support 5k, but that uses all of the high-speed lanes and only leaves the legacy USB-2 channel (OK for a keyboard and mouse, but not for docking). Also, according to the announcements for Thunderbolt 3 it still only supports DisplayPort 1.2 (could be the death of TB as a display connection) so it will need both of its DisplayPort channels for 5k (i.e. one TB cable emulating two DP1.2 cables).
     
  7. gman36 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #7
    Correct, the Thunderbolt LGs have USB hubs that is ran over the thunderbolt connection. It is really nice for docking a laptop because you can plug all your peripherals into the monitor. Then when you get home, just plug in one port, and boom, audio/mouse/keyboard/storage/etc. all works flawlessly.
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    TB3 gives 40GB/sec bandwidth, which is more than enough....
     
  9. SpinalTap macrumors regular

    SpinalTap

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Location:
    Bournville, UK
    #9
    I've just bought a 'refurb' TB Display from the AppleStore (UK) for £649 - down from £899.

    As far as I can tell it's 'brand new' and has saved me £250.

    Compared to my outgoing 20" Cinema Display, it's a joy to use with my 2012 Mac Mini.

    In Eire, they're €799 (or £525) with free shipping to the UK mainland.
     
  10. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #10
    ...and a 5k display will use over half of that (my calculation is 5120x2880 x 60Hz x 24 bits = 21.2 Gbps and that's an underestimate because there will be overheads).

    Perhaps someone who understands TB's channel bonding better than I can elaborate on the implications of that.

    Also, Thunderbolt 3 still uses the DisplayPort 1.2 protocol (not 1.3*) to drive displays, so that is going to use both of TBs virtual DisplayPort connections, so no daisy chaining a second display either.

    So yes, TB3 won't have any trouble driving a 5k monitor, but any other USB3.1 or TB stuff hung off the monitor hub is going to see less-than-TB2 bandwidth. You'll probably want to run another TB3 cable to the computer (which diminishes the value of 'docking').

    (* Come to think of it, two full bandwidth DP 1.3 connections would be too much for TB3, so that may be why they've stuck with 1.2).
     

Share This Page