Thunderbolt vs Mini Display Port

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AFPoster, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. AFPoster macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Is there a difference between these two ports? I have the mid-2014 MacBook Pro and every cord is titled Mini Display Port (Thunderbolt Capable) when looking at thunderbolt to hdmi dongles & cords.
     
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #2
    The port is the same size and uses the same connector. They are interchangeable.

    The only difference would be that display port cables cannot transport data whereas a thunderbolt cable can.

    A bit of googling would've answered that question quickly.
     
  3. AFPoster thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Thanks for your answer. Google may provide answers, but with the lack of trust in the web I refer to MacRumors forms for answers.
     
  4. 0x100 macrumors regular

    0x100

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    #4
    Yes, yes it can. Not PCI-e data though.
     
  5. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #5
    Transporting data is the purpose of all cables. If your mini display cable doesn't transfer cable, then you were sold a string.
     
  6. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    #6
    - Just be aware of the fact that Thunderbolt to HDMI cables or dongles don't exist. It's just not possible to convert one into the other.
    All the cables and dongles are Mini DisplayPort to HDMI, and they can be used in a Thunderbolt port, since Thunderbolt carries a DisplayPort signal and the ports are identical.

    mDP is strictly for video and audio connectivity. Thunderbolt can be used for all sorts of different things, like connecting external hard drives and other peripherals - even an external graphics card.
     
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #7
    If you want to argue semantics, what you say isn't entirely true. Your power cable does not transport data, neither do the speaker cables in your home stereo (at least not in the sense of 1's and 0's). I believe you were not sold a string in either case.

    I simply meant that AFAIK, one cannot go out, buy a MDP cable and expect it to work with say, a thunderbolt hard drive enclosure. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall reading that actual thunderbolt cables have a chip in the connector itself to communicate with such devices, which MDP lacks.
     
  8. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    Dec 13, 2004
    #8
    Thunderbolt requires an active cable, while MDP is a passive cable. MDP and Thunderbolt have the same physical connector, but thunderbolt has a pcie mode and a MDP mode.
     
  9. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #9
    sure they can: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadband_over_power_lines

    ----------

    Data doesn't need to be binary.

    But in a meaning beyond semantics, you are of course right, that mini dp port doesn't transfer data in the same way, tb does.
     
  10. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #10
  11. AFPoster thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    So I could buy a mDP to HDMI cable and that would work instead of a dongle, is that the correct understanding?
     
  12. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #12
    Yes, it would.
     
  13. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    #13
    - Yes.
     

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