What possible updates expected for the 27" Thunderbolt Display?

JoeCanadian

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 1, 2002
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I want to buy the 27" Thunderbolt display (to be used with a new 13" MBP) but there is a "Don't Buy" recommendation in the Buyer's Guide on this site.

Is there any reason not to buy one now? What possible updates could be done to the existing thunderbolt displays?
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
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Seattle, WA
USB 3.0 and MagSafe 2.

However, as only the rMBP and new MBA use MagSafe2, I tend to think Apple might hold off on updating the ATD and continue to sell the current one until their entire portable line is on MagSafe 2 and the rest of the desktop Mac line (Mac Mini, iMac and Mac Pro) have all been updated to USB 3 (and in the case of the Mac Pro, Thunderbolt, as well).
 

nunes013

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2010
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Connecticut
USB 3.0 and MagSafe 2.

However, as only the rMBP and new MBA use MagSafe2, I tend to think Apple might hold off on updating the ATD and continue to sell the current one until their entire portable line is on MagSafe 2 and the rest of the desktop Mac line (Mac Mini, iMac and Mac Pro) have all been updated to USB 3 (and in the case of the Mac Pro, Thunderbolt, as well).
i think you are right. they already include the magsafe 2 adaptor for the people who need that. they will update it when the other computers get magsafe 2. as for everything else i think a retina display is out of the question for at least a year or two. 5120-by-2880 :eek: it would need some serious graphics horsepower to drive that. i think USB 3.0 for now maybe in a year
 

M0esmac

macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2012
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UK
I'm just curious.

Do you think USB 3.0 speeds would work on non-USB 3.0 Mac? I mean I have 2011 MBP and if it (ATD) comes out with USB 3.0, I connect drive to that ATD's port and I have those speeds?
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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Do you think USB 3.0 speeds would work on non-USB 3.0 Mac? I mean I have 2011 MBP and if it (ATD) comes out with USB 3.0, I connect drive to that ATD's port and I have those speeds?
Of course it would given the appropriate driver stack. It needs support for the chip there. Buying a display for usb3 is backward, but you could do it. Now do keep in mind that the real world speeds have yet to be seen in such an implementation. You don't automatically get the fastest speeds the usb3 standard is capable of generating.
 

IbisDoc

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2010
508
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It would be nice if they added an audio out port as well. Since they advertise it as "the ultimate docking station", the inability to connect external speakers doesn't seem very "ultimate".
 

dkersten

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2010
589
2
Probably just USB 3.0. Apple is really pushing to bring retina to all their products but I don't see any graphics cards right now that would drive that display well enough without too much lag.
 

JoeCanadian

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 1, 2002
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0
Agreed: No Retina, but likely USB 3

Thanks everyone. I'm glad to hear that no one is expecting anything earth shattering anytime soon. My 13" MBP wouldn't be able to use a retina display anyways, and I already have USB 3 on the laptop. So you all helped me to decide to spend money now instead of waiting! Thanks! :)
 

Astmathic

macrumors newbie
Aug 2, 2009
14
0
i hope the bring back the audio out port... i've been looking into buying the display to use as a docking station, but to have to connect my audio cable to the laptop instead of the display would be really annoying.
 

NMF

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2011
874
20
USB 3.0 and MagSafe 2 are pretty much a given.

Also:

i hope the bring back the audio out port... i've been looking into buying the display to use as a docking station, but to have to connect my audio cable to the laptop instead of the display would be really annoying.
This would make me extremely happy.

And if they add back the ability to use a non-Thunderbolt input via MDP... I would buy 14. :D
 

lulla01

macrumors 68020
Jul 13, 2007
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U.S
I would guess these will launch alongside of shortly thereafter the new imac and will have an increased resolution as well as usb3 magsafe 2 and a better camera
 

charpi

macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2006
203
10
Probably not likely, but I hope that when they finally throw out a Retina TB Display, they put a discrete graphics chip inside.

Perfect with the Air.

On the go: Air is light, portable, does basic stuff like surfing the net and word docs extremely well. Biggest complaint is that you can't do graphics intensive stuff with it - but who does graphics intensive stuff or gaming on a 11" screen?

Pair it with the Retina TB Display, which people can actually game on. With the added discrete graphics, I believe TB has enough bandwidth (correct me if I'm wrong here, but I've been hearing a lot about the external TB GFX cards). It doesn't have to be portable, so I don't see a problem with the GFX card and size or heating.
 

gowanis

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2007
413
7
Is the consensus that the new Thunderbolt monitor will be coming soon? At least a year away? I'm very close to leaving Windows and purchasing a MacBook w/retina and a 27" display. Its a lot of $$ and I'd hate to buy the display now if the new one is close.
 

jamswirl

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2011
114
0
The problem is, nobody knows when a new one will come out. It may not be until all computers that can connect with it use USB 3, such as the mac mini. The fact that MagSafe 2 isn't on the entire laptop line, may be a sign that it might not get updated until all notebooks run MagSafe 2... Mid 2013 perhaps.

So, I just bought a second hand thunderbolt display to hold me over until one with usb3 comes out. Turned out that the one I just bought is a few weeks old and looks brand new. Not sure the guy even used it. So, shouldn't make any loss reselling it down the track.
 

gowanis

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2007
413
7
The problem is, nobody knows when a new one will come out. It may not be until all computers that can connect with it use USB 3, such as the mac mini
MacBook with retina has a couple of USB 3 ports, right? Since the current Thunderbolt display has only USB2 ports, I could purchase a USB3 extender hub, right ? I suppose having a bunch of extra USB3 ports on the display would be great, but I'm not sure that should stop me from buying now. Am I missing something here? I can still add more USB3 connections to the Mac, right ?
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
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Seattle, WA
MacBook with retina has a couple of USB 3 ports...(so)...could purchase a USB3 extender hub, right?
Correct. You could also plug in USB2 devices to the Thunderbolt Display, saving the USB3 ports on your MacBook Pro for USB3 devices (like HDDs) that can make use of the bandwidth.
 

bkar89

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2012
130
0
Norway
My bet:

  • AH-IPS
  • USB3 ports
  • The same anti-glare treatment you get on the rMBP

I don't think were going to see a resolution bump, at the 27" size, you'll need a monster gfx card to run it. Air being (I'm guessing) the largest market for these displays, there is no way integrated graphics will be able to run it.

Since Dell stepped their game up with AH-IPS, it just makes sense, since they use the same manufacture.

The glare have been the biggest draw back for critics of the monitor. I've never been that bothered by it, but with my rMBP its really a non-issue.

USB 3 is a given...

Its enough to make me wait
 

tajmon

macrumors newbie
Aug 31, 2012
1
0
Kraków, PL
I think there are a few possible updates for ATD:
  • Simpliest: USB 3.0 update (new macs have USB 3.0, so next ATD should have also), newer AH-IPS panel (like in Dell's U2713HM)
  • New Retina panel with 3840 x 2160 resolution (QuadHD, 2160p, 4K UHDTV). In Retina MacBooks 1920x1200 mode is virually rendered to 3840 x 2400 and then scalled down, so it should be able to drive that resolution in external display. The question is if Intel HD4000 in MBA and MBP13 will handle it, so there could be another possibility:
  • Graphic chipset embedded in new ATD. As we know Thunderbolt exposes PCIe x 4, so it is possible to include a graphic card in monitor. Is that right? Of course it would be terrible expensive solution.
 
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stuworrall

macrumors newbie
Aug 31, 2011
10
0
North Wales, UK
heres a question that would help me decide whether to hold off.

Ive got an early 2011 mbp with USB2 ports.

If they release a new thunderbolt display with USB3. I connect a usb3 HDD to the display then connect over thunderbolt to the mbp. Would I get usb3 speeds onto the mbp?
 

e-coli

macrumors 68000
Jul 27, 2002
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I haven't heard anyone mention the possibility of the display having its own video card built-in. It's doable, and could alleviate some of the workload for portables.
 

Sylon

macrumors 68020
Feb 26, 2012
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Michigan/Ohio, USA
I'm glad I'm not the only person on the fence about buying Thunderbolt Display right now.

What bugs me are the complete lack of rumors, but I think that has more to do with the iPhone and iPad Mini hogging the rumormill and letting little things like a new display fly under the radar. Hopefully we'll know more when the supposed new iMacs are announced.

Another thing that bugs me, particularly with the current TD, didn't it replace the Cinema Display? Yet, that was still the same damn price as the TD, which made no sense.
 

CWallace

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Aug 17, 2007
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Another thing that bugs me, particularly with the current TD, didn't it replace the Cinema Display? Yet, that was still the same damn price as the TD, which made no sense.
Apple still makes the Cinema Display for Macs that do not have Thunderbolt.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
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I'm glad I'm not the only person on the fence about buying Thunderbolt Display right now.

What bugs me are the complete lack of rumors, but I think that has more to do with the iPhone and iPad Mini hogging the rumormill and letting little things like a new display fly under the radar. Hopefully we'll know more when the supposed new iMacs are announced.
I just bought a Thunderbolt display. I'm sure USB 3 is coming soon to the next TB display revision, but my current office machine (a 2.5GHz i5 Mac mini) doesn't have USB 3 anyway, and when the machine is upgraded, it'll still have USB 3 ports on it regardless of the TB display. And I'm not concerned about the MagSafe/MagSafe 2 connector anyway. And it came with an adapter in the box, regardless.

It's an absolutely gorgeous display. Fantastic. It could be a tad brighter at it's highest (my office is kind of well lit) but otherwise I have no complaints whatsoever. Should have bought it sooner.