A unibody aluminum generation of the Mac mini identifiable by the model number A1347, spanning the Mid 2010 to the currently sold Late 2014 model.

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How do I make the Mac Mini compatible with the Thunderbolt Display.

Is there an adapter or a download that will make the Thunderbolt display compatable with the Mac mini A1347 model?

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Apple has not provided anything to make an older display port a Thunderbolt port.

What are you looking for?


Not so fast!

Just because they re-use a connector it does not mean the signals (voltages) are pin compatible.

Looking at what has been disclosed on Thunderbolt connections I don't think a Thunderbolt display will work when connected into a mini-display port on his system.

The question still is, what is bjurkuta looking for. What does he want to connect to his system.


The TB monitor did not respond when connected to the Mac mini. The TB monitor worked w/my laptop that I know it is not the TB monitor. I made an appt. at the Genius bar and took my Mac Mini w/me. The tech told me that the TB is not compatible and suggested an LG or Samsung. There is not a current Apple monitor that is available to work with the A1347 (mid-2011) version of the mac mini. Apple refunded my money.


bjurkuta - Just to be clear here your laptop has a Thunderbolt port correct?

So a Thunderbolt connected device is not compatible with a Display Port on your older system.

I think Its' still possible to buy Display Port monitors and that would be downwardly compatible with your Thunderbolt ported laptop.


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1 Answer

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I've been wondering about this ever since Thunderbolt was released. Apple's party line is that Thunderbolt displays require Thunderbolt computers - but they also say that Thunderbolt is pin-compatible with mini-DisplayPort, so you can use the Thunderbolt port on 2011/2012 computers with the mini-DisplayPort connector on pre-2011 monitors.

Thunderbolt carries video, FireWire and USB. If it were like the old ADC connector, it would carry power as well; but the Thunderbolt monitor has an AC power connector. It seems logical to me that a mini-DisplayPort cable (or a Thunderbolt cable) would connect a mini-DisplayPort computer directly to a Thunderbolt monitor, but it would only carry a single video signal; no FireWire, no USB, no Thunderbolt video daisychaining.

I can't see what the harm would be in trying - the DisplayPort can't supply any data that Thunderbolt can't handle. At the very worst, the monitor won't sync.

Here's an idea: Since your 2010 mini-DisplayPort Mac mini is small enough to unplug and carry around, you might try taking it to your nearest Apple Store and asking if you can plug it in. Depending on the staff at the store, you might not find anyone who'll go for it. If you judge that the staff is resistant, you might try beng a little more tricky, and ask if you can plug your unidentified computer in, to see how it works with the monitor. This is easier with a laptop, since the Thunderbolt models look the same as the Unibodies. The 2010 mini has an optical drive; the Thunderbolt mini doesn't.

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