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