Thunderbolt of Cinema Display? Much difference other than connection?


macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 8, 2008
Hi all,

Having just taken delivery of my rMBP, I'm now looking at a secondary monitor. Is there a huge difference between a Thunderbolt and Cinema Display other than the connection? I realise the TB connector is easy on my machine, but if I can save a few hundred £££ at this stage it would be useful! Or is there another screen that is a suitable replacement?


macrumors 68040
Jun 16, 2007
I would get it. It also acts as a dock. With a single cable you get ethernet, USB2.0 (ouch, not 3.0, maybe next year) FW800, etc.

If you need it NOW, get it. If you can wait, get a used 23" Apple Cinema Display off Craigslist (if in U.S.) or eBay (make sure it's a good one) and then sell it and get the next gen Cinema Display, which will possibly be updated mid next year.


macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
Portland, OR
I have an ATD and recommend it. As the previous poster said... it is nice to have all of the docking station capabilities within. I keep a 1Gb ethernet connection attached... and also like having the audio and conferencing camera built in.

You will want to be a bit careful if you keep HDDs, SSDs attached. Disconnecting your rMBP without first ejecting the drives will give you surprise removal warnings.

If you think you will ever get an iMac... then it can also be a 2nd monitor as well.

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