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  • Apple Shipping Thunderbolt Displays, Confirms They Will Not Daisy Chain Older Displays



    Apple's new Thunderbolt Cinema Displays have finally started shipping to customers and despite all the hoopla over Thunderbolts amazing transfer speeds one giant caveats is irritating customers.

    A support document describing compatibility between recently released Macs describes just how many external displays Apple's computing devices are able to push. The MacBook Air can support one external Thunderbolt display, and the MacBook Pros, iMacs, and Mac Mini can all support two Thunderbolt displays. The highest end Mac Mini with an AMD discrete graphics card can push three displays, two Thunderbolt displays and another display through the devices HDMI port.

    That's great an all, but for those of you who have invested in older Cinema Displays and wanted to daisy chain with a non-Thunderbolt LED Cinema Display you're out of luck. Despite having ports that are physically compatible older "Mini DisplayPort displays will not light up if connected to the Thunderbolt port on an Apple Thunderbolt Display." What the Dutch? So if someone dropped a grand on an older LED Cinema Display—by all accounts still a very nice display—the only way they can daisy chain two monitors together is to have two Thunderbolt displays. The non-thunderbolt displays will still work at the end of the chain, as long as there are no other displays in the chain.

    Apple never advertised this as a feature, but many were looking forward to the prospect of being able to daisy chain older displays with the new Thunderbolt Displays. However, the saving grace from this whole compatibility document is the fact the highest end Mac Mini can drive three displays at once. Holy little work-horse.

    Source: Apple Insider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Shipping Thunderbolt Displays, Confirms They Will Not Daisy Chain Older Displays started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. clikzip's Avatar
      clikzip -
      the word daisy chain was overused in this article. Overall I would never spend that kind of money on a display to begin with. So to me its irrelevant. But would be nice if they released a thunderbolt to display port adapter to allow backwards compatibility.
    1. sejoki's Avatar
      sejoki -
      "That's great an all, but for those of you who have invested in older Cinema Displays and wanted to daisy chain with a non-Thunderbolt LED Cinema Display you're out of luck.""The non-thunderbolt displays will still work at the end of the chain, as long as there are no other displays in the chain. "How does that last sentence make sense? If the old display only works if it's the last one in the chain then there isn't a chain because it's only one display. "At the end of the chain" implies there is another display before, which I think isn't the case (or this article wouldn't exist)
    1. Phillip Swanson's Avatar
      Phillip Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by sejoki View Post
      "That's great an all, but for those of you who have invested in older Cinema Displays and wanted to daisy chain with a non-Thunderbolt LED Cinema Display you're out of luck.""The non-thunderbolt displays will still work at the end of the chain, as long as there are no other displays in the chain. "How does that last sentence make sense? If the old display only works if it's the last one in the chain then there isn't a chain because it's only one display. "At the end of the chain" implies there is another display before, which I think isn't the case (or this article wouldn't exist)
      No, at the end of the chain implies other Thunderbolt devices are being used like hard drives, or capture devices, not necessarily displays. If a display happens to be on of the devices in that chain though, the older Cinema Display will not work. Hope that clears everything up.
    1. cpotoso's Avatar
      cpotoso -
      So typical of apple... f*ck all customers that bought their earlier products. (like my old but still very functional eight-core xeon mac pro that does not work with any of the new monitors).
    1. baRRy boRRis's Avatar
      baRRy boRRis -
      For £900 I can get a seriously shithot monitor that isn't the glosiest thing on earth, sorry Apple.
    1. Xenthis's Avatar
      Xenthis -
      It is Apple, I doubt that they will ever release an adapter - they want your $$$$
    1. Josetoth's Avatar
      Josetoth -
      No doubt the new desktop is good and monitor is quite attractive rather than previous one but cost is touch the highest range. Affordable Kitchen Cabinets
    1. dennder's Avatar
      dennder -
      Apple haters are so apple haters :face palm:I think of it as one of those "let the old be" decisions. Thunderbolt is by any means not a display port. It is only the same physical layout cabling that is used.We all know that TB cables are in fact active cables and i suspect, that daisy chain of two TB displays is simply an interconnect of TB link, which tells the onboard controller that there are two-TB-compliant output devices in the chain.Having non-TB display however, tells the onboard that there is non-TB-compliant piece of HW, that requires digital video/audio signal (instead of data stream being sent to TB-compliant display).Why however non-TB display can't be chained after TB display is a question. But i'd expect it to be the controller logic problem/feature, like display-port signaling uses other pairs of cabling, than those used for displaying video via TB... - you tell me if you know more.
    1. cpotoso's Avatar
      cpotoso -
      What i want to know is why the hell they can't produce a monitor with multiple inputs like everyone else, then I could connect either my macpro or my (to be bought... now I am feeling less compelled to) mba.