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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:13 pm 
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Hi,

I am planning to buy a 27" Apple Cinema/Thunderbolt display to hook up to my T61. The laptop has an Nvidia Quadro NVS 140M discrete graphics card, and the monitor's native resolution is 2560x1440. I am also considering buy the advanced mini dock (http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkPad_Advanced_Mini_Dock) and a Dual-link DVI to mini-displayport converter (http://www.atlona.com/Atlona-Dual-Link-DVI-to-Mini-DisplayPort-Converter-USB-Powered.html) to be able to connect the monitor.

There's one guy claiming that he can drive a 2560×1600 dell display with a T61 and advanced mini dock DVI out (http://carltonbale.com/review-of-my-new-thinkpad-t61). On the other hand, the specs for the Nvidia Quadro NVS 140M chip say that the max supported (digital) external resolution is 1600x1200 (http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro_nvs_notebook_techspecs.html).

I was hoping that somebody researched/tried a similar setup. I'd be heartbroken if I buy the monitor & dock & converter and not be able to use it at its native resolution...

Any help is appreciated...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:30 pm 
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Nevermind the resolution--you won't be able to use it at all! That display REQUIRES a Thunderbolt connection--just because it looks like DisplayPort and smells like DisplayPort, doesn't mean it is DisplayPort... Thunderbolt is essentially PCIe over a small, nice, pretty cable. Yes... it can carry DisplayPort, but that doesn't apply with this display.

The only (totally insane) way you could hook a Thunderbolt display up to a T61 would be to use the 2503 advanced dock with a Thunderbolt PCIe card in the slot... and I'm only assuming that such a thing exists, or that Windows could possibly hope to play nice with it.

Any particular reason you're so set on this display?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:17 pm 
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It looks to me like Thunderbolt is mini DisplayPort + PCIE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_(interface)):
Quote:
Thunderbolt is interoperable with DisplayPort 1.2 compatible devices.


So, theoretically, I should be able to use the Dual Link DVI to mini-DisplayPort converter to hook up the display to the advanced mini dock. I know I won't be able use the usb/firewire ports and the camera on the display this way, but I am OK without them.

The reason I want the Apple display is that I am in the middle of switching to Mac. T61 is the only PC I've left running Windows, and it being a company laptop, I cannot have it replaced for another year. I was hoping to get the Thunderbolt display now, use it with the Thinkpad for a year (and the other Macs I currently have), and get a MacBook Pro for work (or whatever they come up with next) next year which can fully utilize the Thunderbolt display.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:20 pm 
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Quote:
Note that the display is only compatible with Thunderbolt-compatible Macs, so in effect, we're kind of right where we started with the 24-inch Cinema Display: a powerful monitor that only a small subset of the market will be able to take advantage of.

cnet: Apple Thunderbolt Display review: More features, less compatibility


Quote:
The biggest of course is the lack of support for all non-Thunderbolt systems. That's right, the only way to get video to the Thunderbolt Display is by using a Thunderbolt enabled Mac (or theoretically a Thunderbolt enabled PC).

AnandTech: The Apple Thunderbolt Display Review

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:28 pm 
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berktaftali wrote:
It looks to me like Thunderbolt is mini DisplayPort + PCIE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_(interface)):
Quote:
Thunderbolt is interoperable with DisplayPort 1.2 compatible devices.
berktaftali wrote:
So, theoretically, I should be able to use the Dual Link DVI to mini-DisplayPort converter to hook up the display to the advanced mini dock. I know I won't be able use the usb/firewire ports and the camera on the display this way, but I am OK without them.
I had a feeling you'd come back with that... it does work, but only the other way -- i.e. hooking a DisplayPort display up to a ThunderBolt port... but the ThunderBolt display has essentially its own graphics card inside of it, which is expecting PCIe output, not DisplayPort.
berktaftali wrote:
The reason I want the Apple display is that I am in the middle of switching to Mac. T61 is the only PC I've left running Windows, and it being a company laptop, I cannot have it replaced for another year. I was hoping to get the Thunderbolt display now, use it with the Thinkpad for a year (and the other Macs I currently have), and get a MacBook Pro for work (or whatever they come up with next) next year which can fully utilize the Thunderbolt display.
I seem to recall they did a 24" DisplayPort LCD a while back that you might consider looking for on the used market?

I'm still deliriously happy with my old 23" DVI Apple Cinema Displays...


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:40 pm 
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OK, so thunderbolt display is not going to work. Thanks to everyone who pointed it out.

Now, what about the older 27" cinema display? It has a mini-displayport and a native resolution of 2560x1440. Any chance a T61 with Quadro NVS 140M can drive it with the help of the advanced mini-dock?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:53 am 
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Hard to say... NVidia's specs claim it tops out at 1600x1200 on the digital ouput: http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro_nvs ... specs.html
Some googling find a few reports of other NVS 140M users outputting higher. I'd try to find someone with a 30" monitor to hook up to to make sure it works. I can tell you the Advanced Mini-Dock won't be the problem as it works fine into an old Apple 30" Cinema Display with my T61p, but that has the FX 570M...

Then the second challenge is the conversion from DVI to Mini DisplayPort. With a few minutes of googling, I can't find any reports of someone doing this from Windows... but in theory it should work. I'd be inclined to call or email Atlona's support to ask before buying their adapter... I wonder what that USB plug does? Probably power for the converter...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Atlona is marketing the converter as "Atlona (Dual Link) DVI to Mini DisplayPort Converter for Apple 27-inch LED and 27-inch iMac" and claims it to be Mac/PC (even Xbox and PS3) compatible. Their web site also states that the usb is for power only.

Assuming that the converter works, the question is can Nvida Quadro NVS 140M drive a 2560x1440 display (via the dual link DVI port of the advanced mini dock) or not...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Here's another Dual Link DVI to mini-displayport converter: http://www.kanexlive.com/c247dl

This one uses the USB not only for power but also for sound & webcam functionality. Still, it does not work with the thunderbolt display...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:52 pm 
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For the ones still interested in this thread, today I verified that a ThinkPad T61 with Nvidia Quadro NVS 140M can drive a 2560x1600 display (Dell) from the advanced mini dock's DVI port with a dual link DVI cable...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:59 am 
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I've just got a second hand LG W2000G 30" monitor - of 2560x1600.
And can confirm that the Nvidia card can drive it at full res over a dual-link DVI cable from the minidock.
The intel graphics T61 will only do half res - 1280x800.

For anyone lurking, with doubts.


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