4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 16, 2015 10:09 AM by David Luckhardt
frank.k Level 1 (0 points)

Hi everybody,

Can I use a Thunderbolt Display (27'', connected to my MBP) as first and a Cinema Display (27'', connected to the Thunderbolt Display) as second display with my MacBook Pro 13 inches, Early 2011?

Many thanks for your answers.

MacBook Pro (13-inch Early 2011), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Malcolm J. Rayfield Level 5 (6,965 points)

    No.  Only one external display for your version MacBook Pro based on section 14 of:


  • frank.k Level 1 (0 points)

    Many thanks for your answer and the link.


    But in the FAQ it says

    1 You can connect a second Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch) to a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) and (13-inch, Late 2011), but the built-in display on the MacBook Pro will go dark. This is expected behavior.


    That would be fine for me, since I always close the MBP when it is attached to the display.


    But the question is, would my Cinema Display works when it is connected to the Thunderbold Display. Or has the second display to be a Thunderbold Display?

  • Malcolm J. Rayfield Level 5 (6,965 points)

    If the second display is not Thunderbolt it can't be plugged directly into the Thunderbolt display.  (See section 16 in above link.  No footnote this time.)  It will work if a Thunderbolt disk drive (with two Thunderbolt ports) is connected between the displays.

  • David Luckhardt Level 1 (15 points)

    I can confirm that the Elgato Thunderbolt 2 Dock will work, and have read that the LaCie external hard drives with dual Thunderbolt ports also work. Apparently the Thunderbolt monitor only outputs Thunderbolt, not Displayport / video signals -- but some devices with dual Thunderbolt ports will output the video as well as pure Thunderbolt.  The only way to make it work is to put a Thunderbolt device with dual Thunderbolt ports in between the Thunderbolt monitor and the Cinema Display.   So the chain is Mac (Air or MBP) -> Thunderbolt cable built into Thunderbolt monitor -> Thunderbolt cable from port on back -> Elgato Thunderbolt Dock -> Apple Cinema Display's Mini Displayport cable plugged into the Elgato.