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Apple Thunderbolt Display

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Title: Apple Thunderbolt Display  
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Apple Thunderbolt Display

Apple Thunderbolt Display
The Apple Thunderbolt Display
Developer Apple Inc.
Type Computer monitor
Release date July 20, 2011
Predecessor Apple Cinema Display
Website /

The Apple Thunderbolt Display is a flat panel computer monitor sold by Apple Inc., introduced on July 20, 2011. It is the only display currently sold by Apple, replacing the former Apple LED Cinema Display. New to the Thunderbolt Display is the switch from Mini DisplayPort and USB to a single Thunderbolt connection for data transfer between computer and display. The increased throughput from switching to Thunderbolt enables inclusion of a Gigabit Ethernet port and a FireWire 800 port on the display. Older model Macs with Mini DisplayPort, including all Macs introduced in 2010, are incompatible with the Thunderbolt Display.[1]

27" model

Like its LED Cinema Display predecessor, the resolution of the 27-inch model is 2560 pixels × 1440 pixels, and follows a 16:9 aspect ratio. It is made with aluminium and glass, having a similar appearance to the current ranges of iMac and MacBook Pro unibody designs. The display features a built-in 720p[2] FaceTime HD camera (replacing the iSight in the previous model), microphone, and stereo speaker system with subwoofer (2.1 channel). An octopus cable combining Thunderbolt and MagSafe is permanently attached to the back of the display for data input and charging laptops, respectively. There is also a separate Thunderbolt port, a FireWire 800 port, three USB 2.0 ports, and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

The Thunderbolt port allows for the possibility of daisy chaining Thunderbolt Displays from a supported Mac, or connecting other devices that have Thunderbolt ports, such as external hard drives and video capture devices.

Apple has released Rev B of the Thunderbolt Display, model MC914LL/B, which includes a MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adaptor to the charging cable built into the display.

Backward compatibility

Apple Thunderbolt Displays, like the video input on Thunderbolt iMacs, drop compatibility with all previous standards, including VGA, DVI, and DisplayPort.[3] As such, they cannot be connected to computers lacking a Thunderbolt port, including pre-2011 Macs and the vast majority of PCs.

Using multiple displays

  • MacBook Air (Mid 2011): 1+1 Displays: Can use one Apple Thunderbolt display, in addition to the MacBook Air's own display.[4][5]
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012): 2+1 Displays: Can daisy chain two Apple Thunderbolt displays, in addition to the MacBook Air's own display.[6]
  • Macbook Pro (2011): 2 Displays: Can daisy chain two Apple Thunderbolt Displays together to get two displays, but the laptop's LCD may turn off.[5] [7]
  • Macbook Pro (2012): 2+2 Displays: Can daisy chain two Apple Thunderbolt Displays, in addition to one HDMI display and the Macbook Pro's own display, for four displays total[8] [9]
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013): 6 Displays: Can run six Apple Thunderbolt Displays using six Thunderbolt ports. [10]
  • Any Mac with Thunderbolt (except the mid-2011 MacBook Air) + Apple Thunderbolt Display 27 + arbitrary dual-port Thunderbolt device + DP v1.1a-native display or adapter (DVI/HDMI/VGA/etc…) should work.

Technical specifications

Table of models
Component LED-backlit LCD
Model Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-Inch)[1][11]
Release date(s) July 20, 2011
Discontinued N/A
Model number(s) MC914
Display 27 inches, TFT IPS active-matrix LCD, glossy glass covered screen, QHD (2560x1440 pixels) resolution, LED edge-lit
16:9 aspect ratio (widescreen)
Pixel density (in pixels per inch) 109
Response time 12 ms
Refresh rate 59.95 Hz
Colors 16.7 million (maximum) True Color
Contrast ratio 1000:1
Brightness 375 cd/m2
Viewing angle 178° horizontal; 178° vertical
Power input IEC 60320 C7 port, 100-240V AC @ 50–60 Hz (Up to 250W while charging a MacBook Pro via MagSafe cable, 2W or less in energy saver mode)
Material Aluminium frame and glass front
Video input 1× unpowered Thunderbolt cable
Audio output 2.1 channel speaker system (49 watts)
Other I/O 1× powered Thunderbolt port, 3× powered USB 2.0 ports, 1× powered FireWire 800 port, 1× Gigabit Ethernet port
Miscellaneous 1.3 meter[12] permanent octopus cable with Universal MagSafe (up to 85W) and Thunderbolt plugs, Kensington Security Slot, 720p FaceTime HD camera with microphone
Dimensions (h × w × d, with stand) 19.35 in × 25.7 in × 8.15 in (49.1 cm × 65.0 cm × 20.7 cm)
Weight 23.5 lb. (10.8 kg)
System Requirements OS X v10.6.8 or later, Thunderbolt port

See also


  1. ^ a b "Apple – Thunderbolt Display – Read the tech specs.".  
  2. ^ Miles, Stuart (November 1, 2011). "Apple Thunderbolt Display review". Pocket-lint. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ Apple Thunderbolt Display 27-inch User Manual
  4. ^ "Review of Apple Thunderbolt Display".  
  5. ^ a b Slivka, Eric. "Apple Thunderbolt Display with Multiple Monitors: No Daisy Chaining Mini DisplayPort Monitors". macrumors. 
  6. ^ "Thunderbolt ports and displays: Frequently asked questions (FAQ)". Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Dual 27" Apple Thunderbolt Displays Daisy Chained via Macbook Pro".  
  8. ^ "MacBook Pro 15″ with Retina Display Can Run 3 External Displays". Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "MacBook Pro Retina Display does not run 3 Thunderbolt Displays". Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Mac Pro (Late 2013): Using multiple displays". Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Thunderbolt Display cable length?". 

External links

  • Apple Thunderbolt Display – official site at Apple
  • Apple Thunderbolt Display – 27-inch user manual at Apple
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