Thunderbolt Display Replacement?

7 years ago from , UI/UX Product Designer

So now that Apple has officially discontinued the Thunderbolt, wouldn't you guess it? My display is on the fritz.

Anyone have any recommendations for a good professional graphics monitor to replace it? I'm running a mid 2015 MacBook Pro.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!


  • Nathan GathrightNathan Gathright, 7 years ago

    If you can hold out, I'd wait and see what the September 9th Apple event has in store.

    There may be nothing, but there's a possibility that Apple discontinued this monitor in preparation for a new external Retina display more like the 5k iMac.

    17 points
    • Pierre de MillyPierre de Milly, 7 years ago

      The professional Apple products line-up is so outdated right now, I really hope they announce a whole new range of products soon... So many people I know are in need of an upgrade and waiting for September.

      7 points
      • Sam SolomonSam Solomon, 7 years ago

        Yeah. I'm in this camp.

        Admittedly, I'll be incredibly worried if Magsafe goes away. That feature has saved my laptop a dozen times.

        1 point
    • dave fdave f, 7 years ago

      Apple aren't making any more displays

      0 points
      • Nathan GathrightNathan Gathright, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

        Apple is investing a lot of time into pushing color management in displays beyond sRGB. They brought that technology to the 2015 iMac and I expect it'll eventually make it's way to the phones. If you want to hear a deep dive in this, Craig Hockenberry, creator of Twitterrific talked all about it.

        Also, if and when they ever update the Mac Pro, I really can't picture them saying, "Just go buy a Dell display."

        2 points
  • Raul Rincon, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    Well, this is a complicated subject.

    I, for myself, still use a TB Cinema Display I got February '14, but I'm definitely in the market to upgrade to a better and possibly wider displays. Some "known" designers are using these:

    Mark Jardine (designer Tapbots) has been seen using a LG 34UC97-S.

    Source / Amazon

    Sebastian de With (Nylas, ex Apple, DoubleTwist, etc) Is using a Acer Predator.

    Source / Amazon

    Mike Rundle (Designer + Developer for Interesting and Filters Apps) He likes the Dell UltraSharp U3415W.

    Source / Amazon

    So I guess it all comes down to matter of personal preference. If you want something "retina-like", you might want to check out some 4k displays, but I'm unsure if the your current machine would be able to run those monitors at their full glory.


    13 points
    • Leury Hidalgo, 7 years ago

      Wow, those monitors look great, thanks for sharing

      1 point
    • Joel Cook, 7 years ago

      man and I'm over here designing on an outdated acer monitor with a VGA to thunderbolt adaptor designing like a peasant.

      15 points
    • Matt CoadyMatt Coady, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

      I want to throw my hat into the ring on this one. Like all them, I also use a 21:9 3440x1440 monitor Acer XR341CK. Trust me, when you go 21:9 there's no going back. You can have 3 1100-1200px wide windows open side by side and not being 4k (lower physical height) it doesn't feel like it's completely taken over your space.

      2 points
    • Paul @StammyPaul @Stammy, 7 years ago

      I was looking for a long time.. ended up getting a dell 5K monitor, but it's a messy solution requiring 2 cables and the most updated Macbook Pro otherwise it drops frames and feels laggy. It's also a pretty big monitor (thickness/base etc). I ended up returning it (it also arrived with slightly cracked glass) and ended up buying a 5k 27" iMac. Much much happier. Though I know this isn't a good option for folks that only have one computer and need it to be a laptop.

      1 point
    • Duncan GrahamDuncan Graham, 7 years ago

      can confirm: the LG 34UC97-S has been wonderful.

      0 points
    • Todd SielingTodd Sieling, 7 years ago

      Thanks very much for posting these. We usually go for cinema displays but now that they're discontinued, I need to set up a new employee with something quickly.

      0 points
  • Fabio SirnaFabio Sirna, 7 years ago


    4 points
  • Atilla TaskiranAtilla Taskiran, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    I have a Dell P2715Q together with a Dell mount for my desk for almost a year now and I love it, especially with the mount. This display is 4k and you can use it as a retina display alltogether with a MacBook. I can't use non retina displays anymore. The colors and brightness are wonderful.

    Here are two pics of my setup:



    3 points
    • Xavier BertelsXavier Bertels, 7 years ago


      0 points
    • Devin FountainDevin Fountain, 7 years ago

      We use these monitors at Yeti.co as well and I can't recommend them enough. The color reproduction and the sharpness is something you can't come back from after having one.

      0 points
  • Bruce AckermanBruce Ackerman, 7 years ago

    I just went all through this research. Get this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZL3D1E8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (without Thunderbolt) with this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ESM3CGA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Works with my Retina MBP

    1 point
  • Pedro BrandãoPedro Brandão, 7 years ago

    Dell apparently has some great monitors. I use the Dell P2715Q and it's amazing. Good design with really thin bezel and the matte display is really comfortable. Works great with macbook pro retina. The only thing is that the color could be slightly better (it's great, but not Apple great). We also have Dell U2715H and they're also good.

    1 point
  • Rob Carreno, 7 years ago

    I'd check what year your display is and find who made them that year, I have never used them but many say HP color dream is superior to Thunderbolt. As for me I worked on a 27 Dell Ultrasharp and I loved it, the matte display was much more comfortable to my eyes than the glossy Apple display, but that's personal preference. Asus also makes good displays and the new 4k monitors are sure to be beautiful, only problem is pushing that many pixels with a laptop.

    1 point
  • Cory MicekCory Micek, 7 years ago

    I gave up on holding out for Apple. I also imagine I saved a bit of coin too. I have the LG 34" widescreen (34UM94-P) at work. quite a few folks here at my company have this monitor too! I loved it so much I purchased one for my home office as well! so far, it's running like a champ. really accurate with color, no complaints here!


    1 point
    • Spencer JSpencer J, 7 years ago

      Anyone reading this should also consider the 34UM95—the only difference is the warranty.

      0 points
  • samuel lord, 6 months ago

    Finding a replacement for a Thunderbolt display can be challenging, but with the right support, it's possible to get a satisfactory solution. First Premier Home Warranty customer service can provide helpful guidance and assistance in this situation. It's important to communicate clearly and document all interactions with the company to ensure a smooth resolution process.

    0 points
  • Rob CornishRob Cornish, 7 years ago

    I can echo the Dell's, great monitor. I'm currently running the Dell Ultrasharp U2515H with a new macbook pro and mainly work on web designs, wireframes and animations.

    Crisp, clear, no glare, colours are vivid and can't beat the cost. Includes extra usb slots behind the monitor too for ease of use. The screen slides up and down with ease so I can position my laptop under the screen due to lack of space on the desk.

    I jump between the Dell at home and 27" apple screen at work, really can't fault the dell.

    All comes down to your preference and budget, good luck choosing :D

    0 points
  • Mike AbbotMike Abbot, 7 years ago

    Dell U3415W. Love it.

    0 points
  • Frad Lee, 7 years ago

    Maybe DELL U2715K is the best choice.

    0 points
  • Alex ChanAlex Chan, 7 years ago

    I've always been a fan of Dell's IPS offerings. Their new 4k lines look quite nice and don't break the bank. I also personally prefer working on a matte screen.

    0 points
  • Connor NorvellConnor Norvell, 7 years ago


    0 points
  • Peter DeltondoPeter Deltondo, 7 years ago

    I switched to the LG Curved 4k Display and couldn't be happier. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B9IDL4I/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_m8xDxbPSMEQAW

    0 points
    • Raul Rincon, 7 years ago

      It doesn't specify on the page if it's really 4K :(?

      0 points
      • Peter DeltondoPeter Deltondo, 7 years ago

        I was told the 3440 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution is 4k equivalent. If it's not "4k", its DAMN good. Color accuracy is actually better than my Thunderbolt monitor.

        1 point
        • Raul Rincon, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

          I've been seriously drooling on that display since you posted it. And the price isn't bad at all either. so sexy. Thanks for posting the link! :).

          Also, some pointers: UWQHD is 3440x1440 4K is 3840x2160

          Between UWQHD and 4K is QHD+ which is 3200x1800

          2 points
          • Peter DeltondoPeter Deltondo, 7 years ago

            My biggest recommendation is to go to the store and plug in and see what you like. I found the LG's to be the best calibrated out of the box (still haven't touched the settings), whereas the Dell's couldn't differentiate well with shadows and white/light grays. There's a lot of great options out there, but once you go with an ultra-wide you won't go back.

            I thought the curve was gimmicky at first, but after testing the flat, it's needed. The flat is so wide that is blurs in your peripheral vision and the color accuracy dips at the edges of the screens. The curve is just subtle enough to fix all those issues and your brain adjusts after 15 mins. It's weird at first, but you'll love it in the end.

            Best of luck on whatever you choose!

            0 points
            • John Jacob, 7 years ago

              Does the curve bother you when working? I've read that some people don't like that horizontal lines get distorted by it.

              0 points
              • Peter DeltondoPeter Deltondo, 7 years ago

                It's odd for about 15 mins and then your brain adjusts, I honestly don't even notice it anymore it feels totally natural. It was a huge concern for me too before purchasing, and initially got the flat one. But for the reasons I posted earlier, I returned it for the curved. You've always got your laptop screen to drag the artboard over to if you REALLY felt the need to check it.

                1 point
  • Mike MangigianMike Mangigian, 7 years ago

    The dell ultrasharp 2k and up monitors have always been fantastic, much cheaper, and on par with the thunderbolt displays. I highly recommend them.

    0 points
  • Alex HoffmanAlex Hoffman, 7 years ago

    I personally still think the thunderbolt displays are pretty awesome. You can still find older ones (not much has changed from the 2011 retina displays) for really cheap. I found one in perfect condition on criagslist for $500. Although, that LG WQHD IPS Raul Rincon mentioned is pretty friggin' sexy!

    0 points