Thunderbolt on older (2009) Macs

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Davo161, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. Davo161 macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2016
    I'm sorry it's been asked a lot on here about Thunderbolt and Mini-Displayports, but I can't find the EXACT information I'm after Re: the differences.

    I have an older MacBook Pro 15" with a Mini DP (NOT Thunderbolt), wanting to connect it to an older Mac (Also NOT Thunderbolt) for an Extended Desktop solution for audio production.

    I can only find Thunderbolt cables (listed as MDP) for sale, or it's not referenced, or the store clerk knows nothing about what I'm asking!
    I can't find anything listing the older Mini-DP Male-Male cables...

    Question is; Does it matter?
    If they are BOTH older Macs, does is matter if it's not an older MDP cable? Can it be a Thunderbolt cable instead?

    Help appreciated,
  2. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    It does matter. You can't use a Thunderbolt cable as a mini Displayport cable. Thunderbolt cables have chips in them, so even though they can fit in an mDP port, they can't work as mDP.
    You need something like this:
    Cables that are truly mDP cables are easily distinguished from Thunderbolt cables because they're significantly less expensive than Thunderbolt cables.
  3. Davo161 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2016
    Thanks for the reply and info!
    Now the problem of finding one on Australia! (Near impossible)
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Order from Monoprice.
    At least you will be sure of what you get

    Which iMac do you have?
    Target Display mode is only available on 27-inch iMacs, not 21-inch, for example.
  5. Davo161 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2016
    You're kidding!?!? Arrrh $&/@!!!

    It's a 21" 2010 model Mac, & late 2009 15" MBPro... Well there goes that idea!

    Was looking to use it as a second screen to keep plugins on away from my mixing screen space on the laptop (or vice/versa)...
    Will have to just put up with it then!
    Very glad I asked now!!!!
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Just to clarify about the Target Display mode:
    All 27-inch iMacs can do it.
    The 21.5-inch cannot do it until Thunderbolt appeared (the mid-2011 21.5-inch was the first of that size with thunderbolt.
    And, the confusion still exists, because thunderbolt and mini displayport use the same physical connector, even though the hardware capabilities are substantially different.
  7. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - I had actually never thought about that. Thanks for mentioning.

    For the OP, the documentation on it is here:

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