Old Cinema and Thunderbolt displays handle new gear and gaming [Setups] | Cult of Mac

Old Cinema and Thunderbolt displays handle new gear and gaming [Setups]

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With the right adapter you can use a new Xbox with an old Cinema Display (on the right).
With the right adapter you can use a new Xbox with an old Cinema Display (on the right).
Photo: thatvirtualboy@Reddit.com

So many people love Apple gear because the Cupertino tech giant gets a lot right with its hardware. That certainly includes monitors, and not just the phenomenal Pro Display XDR and new Studio Display. We see a fair number of new computer setups relying on classic Apple screens like Cinema Display and Thunderbolt Display.

Today’s featured MacBook Pro and Xbox setup is a good example. Even with a modern gaming console — and given the right adapter — a display from a dozen years ago is still keeping it real.

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MacBook Pro pairs with Cinema Display and Xbox plays with Thunderbolt Display in semi-retro setup

Redditor thatvirtualboy (“Boy”) showcased the Apple-centric setup in a post entitled, “My corner of the world.” He runs a recent MacBook Pro and an Xbox gaming console.

He could have added “circa 2010” to his title, given the particular vintage of the setup’s displays.

“Are those Apple displays?” asked one incredulous commenter. “How do you connect the Xbox to the screen?”

The setup includes a 27-inch Cinema Display and a similar-vintage Thunderbolt Display, still bringing quality visuals after a decade or more. Both offer 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution (2K quad high def, or QHD).

“The one connected to the Xbox is the 27-inch Cinema Display, which uses mini DisplayPort,” Boy explained. “This little guy lets me hook it up no problem,” he added, pointing to an Answin HDMI to Mini DisplayPort Adapter (see it and the other gear in the links list below).

The commenter noted the displays’ thick bezels — by today’s standards.

Displays ‘built like a tank’ and ‘still look great’

In this shot you can see the MacBook Pro slipped behind the Thunderbolt Display with a key light mounted above. The Cinema Display is at left.
In this shot you can see the MacBook Pro slipped behind the Thunderbolt Display with a key light mounted above. The Cinema Display is at left.
Photo: thatvirtualboy@Reddit.com

“I guess the 27-inch Cinema Display was introduced in 2010, so they’re certainly dated … but they’re built like a tank and still look great today!” Boy said. “I think the colors are great and the sound is amazing for a monitor.”

That year is right on the money for the 27-inch model with LED backlighting, which came out in July, 2010, at a $999 price point. Cinema Displays as a line came out in 1999 and were replaced in 2011 with the Thunderbolt Display.

And that brings us to his other old monitor. He said he connects his Thunderbolt Display to his late-model MacBook Pro.

“[The Thunderbolt display] is nearly identical to the Cinema Display — I’d be happy with either of them,” he said. He added that either display would work with the gaming console given the correct adapter.

To the mix Boy also brings a new 11-inch iPad Pro, which features a gorgeous Liquid Retina display.

“My last iPad was the short-lived 9.7-inch iPad Pro and it just up and died on me last year,” he said.

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Here you get a closer look at the mini Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2, M1 iPad Pro and, on the left, AirPods Max.
Here you get a closer look at the Thunderbolt Display as well as the mini Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2, M1 iPad Pro and, on the left, AirPods Max — not to mention the Autonomous standing desk underneath it all.
Photo: thatvirtualboy@Reddit.com

Computing gear:

Displays:

Input devices:

Audio:

Furniture and lighting:

If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.