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connect thunderbolt display to pc with discrete graphics

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 9, 2013 7:14:00 AM

Hey all,

I have a thunderbolt display and im looking to buy a decent gaming computer, and I'm hoping i can use the display.

I don't know much about motherboards and screen adapters and the like, but i see that you get motherboard with thunderbolt these days. So question one: can i run the thunderbolt display on internal graphics using a thunderbolt enabled motherboard?

Question two: can i add a discrete display adapter to the motherboard and use that via the motherboard?

AFAIK there are no display adapters with thunderbolt output, only displayport?

Thanks for your help!

More about : connect thunderbolt display discrete graphics

April 9, 2013 7:31:58 AM

To my knowledge you can't use a discrete graphics card and output through thunderbolt.
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April 9, 2013 7:32:30 AM

DrTeit said:
Hey all,

I have a thunderbolt display and im looking to buy a decent gaming computer, and I'm hoping i can use the display.

I don't know much about motherboards and screen adapters and the like, but i see that you get motherboard with thunderbolt these days. So question one: can i run the thunderbolt display on internal graphics using a thunderbolt enabled motherboard?


No, unless your internal graphics card has DisplayPort output. Why? See the next part below.

DrTeit said:
Hey all,
Question two: can i add a discrete display adapter to the motherboard and use that via the motherboard?

AFAIK there are no display adapters with thunderbolt output, only displayport?

Thanks for your help!


No, you can't add a discrete VGA and use it via the the TB output on the motherboard.

What you can do, though, is to connect the DP output on the video card to the TB input on the monitor. This should work, because thunderbolt connector is THE SAME as DisplayPort connector and can accept DisplayPort signal.
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May 22, 2013 3:06:18 PM

yes. my motherboard has thunderbolt (MSI Z77-GD80). I have two discrete GFX cards in SLI. Virtu MVP software is the glue that lets this coexist. I had issues getting the onboard VGA driver, the NVIDIA driver and the virtu MVP software to play nice, but once you do its entirely possible to use a thunderbolt display on a pc as a gaming platform.
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May 22, 2013 3:22:05 PM

bsholdice said:
yes. my motherboard has thunderbolt (MSI Z77-GD80). I have two discrete GFX cards in SLI. Virtu MVP software is the glue that lets this coexist. I had issues getting the onboard VGA driver, the NVIDIA driver and the virtu MVP software to play nice, but once you do its entirely possible to use a thunderbolt display on a pc as a gaming platform.


Thank you bsholdice! It's been a while since i posted my question, and since then I have seen a similar description, but I was reluctant to commit as i couldn't find any good info on potential driver issues and performance. Your reply cleared that up, thank you very much :) 

P.S. if you have any other info, or "nice to knows", I would gladly hear them. Take care!
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May 22, 2013 3:27:21 PM

tenshin111 said:
DrTeit said:
Hey all,

I have a thunderbolt display and im looking to buy a decent gaming computer, and I'm hoping i can use the display.

I don't know much about motherboards and screen adapters and the like, but i see that you get motherboard with thunderbolt these days. So question one: can i run the thunderbolt display on internal graphics using a thunderbolt enabled motherboard?


No, unless your internal graphics card has DisplayPort output. Why? See the next part below.

DrTeit said:
Hey all,
Question two: can i add a discrete display adapter to the motherboard and use that via the motherboard?

AFAIK there are no display adapters with thunderbolt output, only displayport?

Thanks for your help!


No, you can't add a discrete VGA and use it via the the TB output on the motherboard.

What you can do, though, is to connect the DP output on the video card to the TB input on the monitor. This should work, because thunderbolt connector is THE SAME as DisplayPort connector and can accept DisplayPort signal.


Not correct, a display port source cannot set a thunderbolt display in target display mode.
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