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27" Thunderbolt to DVI-D Monitor?

30580 Views 25 Replies Latest reply: Nov 8, 2013 4:57 AM by realgeekgoddess RSS
  • spinStateUnit Calculating status...
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    Jun 22, 2012 2:44 PM (in response to X423424X)

    "I would like to hook up a Dell monitor that has a DVI-D input. "


    Dell monitor <> computer

  • klaatu42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 2, 2012 4:47 PM (in response to actionpics)

    DVI monitors cannot be chained directly from the back of a Thunderbolt display. However, I have found a solution that works for me with an Acer DVI monitor:


    MB Pro TB port -> Apple TB Display -> Promise Raid -> Mini DP to DVI adaptor -> DVI monitor


    Works like a charm. If the Raid is not stuck in the middle, the monitor is black and unrecognized. It is a well documented limitation of the TB display that you can't directly chain a non-TB display from it. Frustrates the **** out of me, but that's how it goes.


    Note though, I have just tried to modify my setup by replacing the Acer with a Samsung TV (for video editing), and although it works great with just the DVI adaptor in the MB Pro's TB port, it does not function properly chained from my Promise raid. Everything is green and purple.


    So, your mileage may vary, but an Acer at the end of a chain with a Promise raid in the middle works very well for me. So far, TB interconnectivity reminds me of SCSI. Soon we'll need terminators and special black terminators for certain Macs, lol.


    X423424X, you seem to be confused about what the original poster was asking. actionpics wants to connect a DVI Dell brand monitor to a TB port on an Apple TB display, not a TB device to a Dell computer.

  • makutu Calculating status...
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    Sep 12, 2012 4:07 PM (in response to klaatu42)

    I just followed a similar solution to that posed by klaatu42, invoving, in place of the Promise Raid, a Seagate GoFlex Desk Thunderbolt Adapter.


    This is documented here: -on-your-macbook-pro/


    It was an absurdly expensive solution ($240 after $190 Seagate adapter and $50 Thunderbolt cable) to problem that shouldn't exist, but it did work.


    So, in summary, I now have:

    MB Pro TB Port -> Apple TB Display -> Seagate GoFlex Desk Thunderbolt Adapater -> Mini DP to DP -> Dell Ultrasharp 27"

  • Plazmyd Calculating status...
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    Nov 13, 2012 1:20 PM (in response to actionpics)

    For what it is worth, I recently picked up a Seagate - GoFlex Desk 3TB External Thunderbolt Hard Drive and it works flawlessly going from Apple LED Cinema Display <--> GoFlex <--> MBA Thunderbolt port.  I also tried it with an older 23" Apple Cinema Display and it works perfect as well.  I was a little hesitant in buying it as all I had heard was that only TB devices will talk to TB devices but this solutions works great!  Also, my local BB had the drive for $279... which I honestly think is a pricing error as it was on the "Clearance" table but I belive the drive just came out.  Oh well, no complaints! 

  • kvisman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 6:34 AM (in response to actionpics)

    Maybe you guys should also have a look at this little precious:


    Matrox DualHead2Go Digital ME


    Could solve your problems at a fraction of the costs...

  • klaatu42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 7:22 AM (in response to kvisman)

    I didn't incur any cost for my solution, but I did have to run my cables through my studio wall and back in again (My MBPro and raid are in another room to keep noise down).


    The Matrox product might be just the ticket for setups w/out the 17" Thunderbolt display, but it has DVI-D ports, not Thunderbolt, so the only option for single TB port Macs using the 27" TB display would be to plug the Matrox unit into the back of the TB monitor and connect only one display to it. Not sure if that would work. Can't see why not, but I also couldn't see why I couldn't just plug a display directly in, so I guess it would have to be tried in order to  know for sure.


    Hopefully this issue has been or will be addressed in the next gen of the TB display. If nothing else, they're going to have to put out a new version w/ USB3 ports on the back (I'm getting tired of going into another room to plug in hard drives). Hopefully they'll allow chaining of displays and add another TB port in for good measure!



  • kvisman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 7:39 AM (in response to klaatu42)

    Hi Klaat42,


    I did not try it myself but stumbled upon this ons whilst searching a solution.


    The matrox product IS specifically intended to also connect a thunderbolt display.


    Please see attached image:

    Schermafbeelding 2013-01-07 om 16.34.09.png


    For more information:


  • klaatu42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 7:49 AM (in response to kvisman)

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see anything here that says you can plug a Thunderbolt display into the Matrox.

  • zoltar2012 Calculating status...
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    Feb 18, 2013 11:46 AM (in response to X423424X)


    A big part of the problem with your posts to actionpics is that it appears that you did not accurately read his original post.  He said that he was trying to hook up a dell monitor (with a DVI input) to his TB monitor that was connected to/driven by a TB MBP.

  • Leonard Levy Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2013 8:44 PM (in response to zoltar2012)

    I am just experimenting with hooking up a 2012  MBPro 2.7GHz with dual graphics cards > through an Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display > to a Lacie Thunderbolt raid with 2 Thunderbolt connectors> to minidisplayport to DVI > into Dell 2405.

    Bingo! -  works beautifully.


    I will actually return the LaCie raid and replace it with a Lacie eSATA Hub since its cheaper ($200) and I already have a few eSATA drives. Should work the same though.


    What's the cheapest device with 2 thunderbolt ports? That may be all you need.


    I also tried pulling off the Dell and instead  from the Lacie ran T bolt to a Black Magic Mini Monitor SDI out I> into a 17" Flanders professional video monitor for accurate color correction. That also worked fine. (No problem with other USB ports as reported elsewhere.)


    I have ordered a Plugable USB 3.0 to DVI/HDMI adapter to see if I can use that to run the Dell while also running the Balckmagic to Flander. Boy that would be fantastic - 2 big monitors for computer work while having the Flanders for color correction.

  • realgeekgoddess Calculating status...
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    Nov 8, 2013 4:57 AM (in response to actionpics)

    To confirm with the original poster who wanted to know about a Dell display, here is picture-proof of my daisy-chaining my 27" Thunderbolt display with my 30" Dell 3007WFPHC Dual-Link DVI-D display.  I have it going from my MBP to the TB display to a 3TB Seagate Thunderbolt Backup Plus to a Mini Display Port to Dual-Link DVI Adaptor to the Dell.  Both my keyboard and the USB connector from the DVI adaptor are going through the Dell monitor, so USB passes flawlessly (to answer someone else's question).  I haven't seen any degradation in performance. Everything is running smoothly.



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