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Cinema display VS Thunderbolt display

12144 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 5, 2012 3:47 PM by bgrant1063 RSS
PoorCadaver Calculating status...
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Sep 26, 2011 2:13 PM



I'm about to start a bidding on an Apple Cinema display 24" bought in july 2010. Now, besides general opinions about this display, are there any fundamental differences between the Cinema display (CD) and the newer Thunderbolt display (TD)?


What I already know is that the TD has 3xUSB, 1xFireWire, 1xThunderbolt and 1xEthernet on the back where the CD only have 3xUSB. Also, the TD only need the thunderbolt cable to the (i e) MacBook to function where the CD need to have the USB cable in addition to the cinema display cable connected to function.


Have I got that right?

I have the newest MacBook Pro with thunderbolt output, but do I still need the USB cable to get the 3xUSB hub on the display? Or is it enough with the cinema display cable from the display?


Hope I didn't make it to complicated to read =)


The price right now is almost 500$.


Oh, that's right - one more thing! I've read a little about compatiblity with different displays and computers. My MacBok Pro has thunderbolt output, but is it still possible to connect the Cinema display that does NOT support thunderbolt?



MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
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    Sep 26, 2011 5:22 PM (in response to PoorCadaver)

    I think you have it all correct.  And as I've been reading you cannot use the Cinema with TB.


    USB power through TB is 10W (according to this).  Don't know that is as high as what can be supplied by the USB ports on your computer.

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
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    Sep 26, 2011 11:21 PM (in response to PoorCadaver)

    Take a look at the subject title lines of the other Cinema Displays community threads.  There's lots of posts about this non-TB displays vs. TB problem.

  • nordic_expat Calculating status...
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    Sep 27, 2011 10:12 AM (in response to PoorCadaver)

    In theory, thunderbolt macs are compatible with the 24". In practice, lots of people have been having issues. I would be hesitant about buying a display without being able to test it beforehand or being able to return it. I did just recently buy a 24", and thus far haven't had any issues, but I knew I was taking a chance (and I was able to try it for about an hour before buying it). I have a feeling that there is no single cause of the problems people have been using, which might make a solution to the problem difficult or impossible to find.

  • nordic_expat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 27, 2011 2:06 PM (in response to PoorCadaver)

    My general hunch is that even though the problems that exist between thunderbolt macs and the 24" display may superficially look the same, the causes are quite different.  So I just doubt there is going to be a firmware update that will solve the problem for everyone who is having problems with the display (which is not to say that a future update won't resolve some people's issues). I could be very well wrong about this, however. But I think you would be taking a risk by buying the display, since the issue may never be resolved. And, as I said, I took am taking this risk myself, since a lot of people say the problem is intermittent.

  • bgrant1063 Calculating status...
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    Apr 5, 2012 3:47 PM (in response to nordic_expat)

    I don't know if things worked out for you, but I just got a TB display 27" and it *****. Can't hook anything up to it other than a TB apple product. Waiting for the new samsung 2012 displays to come out. It will be compatible with everything.


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