Worth upgrading to the Thunderbolt Display?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by iMas70, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. iMas70 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I read through a bunch of the Thunderbolt display threads before posting this. I'm currently using a 24" Dell S2440L monitor (http://www.dell.com/ed/business/p/dell-s2440l/pd). No complaints, it works ok and gets the job done. The 27" Thunderbolt display is sooo sexy! Looks aren't everything so beyond that and some extra screen real estate, what other benefits will I see from it? I know that it has built in speakers, a Facetime camera and I plug other things into it. Is the actual display that much better?

    I'm on my computer (late 2012 Mac Mini) daily. I don't do anything to special but I like a top quality picture. And I guess part of me would like to go with it because my monitor/speakers are the only non-Apple products that I have so I guess I want to complete the package. Wondering if there will be noticeable benefits besides that though.

    Thanks!
     
  2. SVT Amateur macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Based upon the specs the Thunderbolt display isn't any better except that it is 3" bigger and has a higher resolution. The contrast ratio and response time on your Dell monitor are better than those on Apple's display.

    But, I do have the Thunderbolt display and I love it. I wanted something that complimented the products I already have (two MBP's, Apple USB keyboard, Apple Trackpad) and also wanted something where I could just plug in a single cable (two if you count the cable that charges the computer) and act like a docking station - since I'm daily taking my MBP with me to work.

    I'm able now to keep my keyboard, gamepad, and lightning cable plugged into the back of the monitor so that when I come home and want to use my computer I just plug in a single cable and everything is good to go. But this doesn't apply to you since you have a Mac mini - and I'm assuming you don't move it around very often.

    One thing to consider is that the display is over 2 years old but is still selling for full retail. If you are going to pick one up at least save some money and get a refurbished - which is just as good as new, comes with same warranty - so that you save $200. But honestly if I were you I would keep what I had and maybe just pickup an additional Dell display to match what you have - or sell what you have and just upgrade to a bigger Dell monitor with higher resolution.
     
  3. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Thanks for the info. I haven't been keeping up with the TB/iMac info. Just did a quick search after reading your reply. It looks like the 27" iMac display was recently updated but the TBD wasn't. That's still the old design?
     
  4. SVT Amateur macrumors 6502

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    #4
    The iMac was updated but not the iMac display. It still uses the same display as the TBD - at least the 27" iMac does. The drawback of the TBD is that it doesn't have USB 3.0 and doesn't have Thunderbolt 2 - which most people thought Apple would have rolled out already on a new Thunderbolt display.
     
  5. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Well, that's not good! I always liked the old design until the new one came out. Now the old one is like a hot model from 25 years ago while the new iMac. Maybe at a lower price but I may pass for $999.
     
  6. thedeske, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014

    thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    The new imacs (2012 or 13) have a much improved panel from the TB Display - bonded glass mounting, calibrated & reduced glare (speaking from personal experience - 2 TBs here not long ago - late 2012 iMac here now)

    Trading up to an iMac would be compelling IF you had the funds for a new TB display and a recent Mini to sell, but I'd guess you'd still need to add a little in the swap unless you buy used. The used Dell might add a small amount, but there's always so many on auction. I have the same problem with a barely used Dell 20 I purchased for a short project. It's only worth 30-40% of what I paid.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I just priced a 27" iMac. It would be at least $2100. with tax. If I sold my current set up which is a 2.3 GHz i7 Mac Mini with 16GB of RAM, the Dell 24" monitor, Magic Mouse and Wireless Keyboard, I'd probably have to put out at least $1200. which would be $200. more than buying a TB display. Hum...
     
  8. SVT Amateur macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Good to know, sorry for the incorrect info.
     
  9. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    The college I work for gave me a little technology budget this year. I've narrowed my options down:


    -11" Air (base) + 21" iMac
    -11" Air (w/ a few upgrades) + Thunderbolt display.


    Despite the old design I'm leaning towards the Thunderbolt display. As an English professor the screen real estate is more useful than the extra computing power of the iMac. Plus, the SSD in the Air will be snappier for everyday tasks anyway. Like many, I'm slightly disappointed that we haven't seen an updated ATD but I have one at home and it is the best monitor I've ever owned.
     
  10. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Which month were the new iMacs released in 2012? I believe it was Nov/Dec?

    Still thinking about the TB display. If i do get something, it will probably be refurbished. A refurb TB display is $799. and iMacs start at $1399. I'd want the newest version of the iMac if I go that route.

    Other option is a slightly bigger Dell monitor. I don't think I'd want to spend as much for one of them though.
     
  11. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    iMacs came out in the new design in Nov. '12 and the specs were bumped in Sept. '13.
     
  12. davidg4781 macrumors 68000

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    #12
    I think I'd wait, especially if your Mac has TB2. I know everyone's waiting for the new ones to come out and they're probably well over due.

    When they do launch, if it's soon, they'll probably be the same price as current. These will go down in price so you can get them on the cheap.

    If you do need one, go with refurbished. Save $200. But if you can wait I'd do it.
     
  13. MCAsan, Feb 14, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014

    MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #13
    The key is....wait until when? IF there will be a ATDII, will be out by mid 2014, end of 2014, sometime in 2015?????????

    Without knowing the when, it is very difficult to judge if the wait is worth it. I got the wife and me ATDs over a year ago and get to use it every day.

    Waiting, like pain, is its own reward.
     
  14. ABCDEF-Hex macrumors 6502

    ABCDEF-Hex

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    #14
    Check out this Mac Pro thread:

    New LG monitor - although I certainly wouldn't mind it if Apple releases something equivalent.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1706833
     
  15. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #15
    It has a TB dock built in? If not, it is not really an ATD equivalent...even if it has a better screen. ATD is about having a nice IPS 27" screen and a TB dock.
     
  16. Commy1 macrumors 6502a

    Commy1

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    #16
    I would wait for the updated TBD, it seems to be the general consensus for the past year at least since I joined this forum.
    As mentioned above, the newer iMacs are thinner and the screen is overall better, the newest TBD will undoubtedly follow a similar style.
    I'm running an rMBP and would love love love love love to have a TBD for my desk, so I could come home and plug in and edit my photos on a nice 27" screen. But I could never justify paying 1000$ for a screen that is this old.

    Something I'm hoping for in the newest TBD iteration is an updated type of nVidia G-Sync technology. Basically a GPU built into the screen that helps the computers own GPU achieve a a smooth picture without lag or stuttering. Something that I think would help Apple in the long run. Iris graphics is great but powering a 27" screen at high resolution as well as computing seems like it would be a little stressful.
    We can hope, but won't know until it pops up.

    http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/g-sync
     
  17. ABCDEF-Hex macrumors 6502

    ABCDEF-Hex

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    #17
    If you follow the link -


    it does say Thunderbolt 2 - not sure about a "dock" or what other ports it has.
     
  18. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Just looked up a review of the Dell and it sounds like a decent monitor given the price. However, the TBD is bigger and higher resolution (2560x1440 vs 1920x1080) so it is going to give you significantly more 'screen real estate'.

    ...however, the same can be said of several third-party 27" 1440p display, such as the Dell Ultrasharps, that are half the price of the TBD.

    The Unique Selling Point of the TBD is that it can act as a 'docking station' for a MacBook, and has a built in MacBook power supply. 2 cables to the MacBook can hook up your sound, USB, Firewire, Ethernet and webcam. The fact that the USB ports are still only USB2 a year or two after most Macs moved to USB3 is becoming less and less acceptable.

    The internal speakers are very good for speakers built in to a display esp. in terms of bass response, but won't compete with a decent pair of external speakers.

    As you have a have a desktop system rather than a laptop, the only real USP for you would be the camera.

    The other potential dealbreaker for the TBD is that it will only work with Thunderbolt-equipped Macs. You can't plug in your PC/Xbox/PS3/BluRay player/Raspberry Pi.

    A year or two ago, I'd have said that the TBD was a viable option as a MacBook companion if you never wanted to use it with other equipment. When launched, the price was competitive with other 27" 1440p displays, when you factored in the Thunderbolt functionality. Now, with the increasing importance of USB3 and several far cheaper 27"/1440p displays on the market I don't think its a contender unless you really don't care about value for money.

    OTOH: I wouldn't bet my shirt on Apple releasing a direct equivalent in the near future. They're in a bit of a bind since selling non-retina displays for retina MacBooks seems a bit odd, but 4k (esp. 4k on OS X) doesn't seem to be ready for prime time yet and UHD is a dumb resolution for anything other than UHD video producers.
     
  19. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    How many threads or posts from the last year on the "New TB Display" ?

    I'm one of many who just knew it had to happen months ago, and NOPE.

    Dell's current top 27 is a fine panel. Apple's will be better? Perhaps, but...
     
  20. mneblett macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Apparently it is -- reports have surfaced of 4K drivers in the 10.9.2 betas, with no problems. I suspect 4K in OSX will be here sooner rather than later, at least for newer machines.

    Whether it will be restricted to the new Mac Pros or also available on the new rMB's, I don't know. However, because the late '13 rMBP's have TB2 (and thus the bandwidth to comfortably support 4K), I suspect 4K will be available to them as well.

    That is certainly my *hope* anyway, as I've been waiting for a new TB display with 4K and TB2 to use with my late '13 rMBP. But without driver support 4K in OSX, even with a new TB display that would remain a dream. :(
     
  21. mgipe macrumors demi-god

    mgipe

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    #21
    Sounds like a plan!
     
  22. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    #22
    4k already "works".

    ..but what about 60Hz support (on non-Pros)? 30Hz is probably too slow for a smooth UI experience.

    What about the 'native mode too tiny, retina mode too big' problem? Implementing a new Goldilocks mode for UHD doesn't just need OS X to change, it needs applications to support it.

    What about bandwidth? Will a 4k TB display have enough bandwidth to run a 60Hz 4k display *and* still act as a docking station for Ethernet & USB3, let alone daisychained TB devices?
     
  23. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    How does this compare?

    [​IMG]

    Cinema-like clarity shines on the expansive 27" DellTM UltraSharp U2713HM monitor. Comfort settings and connectivity options help keep you productive.
    WQHD resolution and accurate colors out of the box: Superb clarity with 2560 x 1440 resolution and over 3.6 million pixels. Features a color gamut of more than 99-percent sRGB.

    Excellent comfort and usability: Full adjustability including swivel, tilt, height adjustability and pivot which lets you easily switch to portrait mode.
    Eco-friendly design: Compliant with the latest environmental standards and made using environmentally conscious materials.

    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&sku=225-4015&redirect=1

    Lists for $799. I've found it for $598. at Best Buy. For the $799. price, it seems that a refurbished TB display would be a better way to go. This seems decent for the price.
     
  24. thomasfalke macrumors member

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    #24
    I know it is not important, but Apple displays look way cooler then Dell :)
     
  25. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Your 200% correct! :)
     

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