Mac Mini 2012 with Apple 27" LED Cinema Display and Drobo 5D

I am very close to buying a late-2012 Mac Mini and a new Drobo 5D, but my problem is that I have 27" Apple LED Cinema Display which has a Mini Displayport only. No Thunderbolt. I want to be able to conect the Drobo 5D via Thunderbolt to the Mac Mini (the Mac Mini has one thunderbolt connection) but also connect the 27" LED Cinema Display.

The question is how can I connect my 27" LED Display to the Mac Mini if I already have a Thunderbolt Drobo 5D connected to it? I understand the only way to connect a Mini Displayport unit to the Mac Mini is via the Thunderbolt. I can’t daisychain it as it needs to be Thunderbolt.

This is a potential dealbreaker for me, if I can’t come up with a solution…

Any help would be appreciated.

Ok, I found this…I think I’ve answered my own question…

Drobo 5D is equipped with dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining. Connect up to six Thunderbolt devices and/or a non-Thunderbolt monitor at the end of the chain. With six Drobo 5D arrays in a chain, you can have up to 96 TB of usable capacity. And, the bi-directional 10 Gbps performance of Thunderbolt allows all devices in the chain to achieve maximum throughput.

I’m also pretty sure you can plug in a plain Mini Displayport monitor as the last device in a Thunderbolt chain, so Mac Mini > Drobo 5D > Cinema Display.

I agree with Diamond. I expect you’d be able to accomplish this as long as you put the display at the end of the chain.

Thanks to you both very much. I’ve gone ahead and bought a 5D. Waiting for delivery next week, so fingers crossed.

I have a 5D connected via TB to my 2012 Mini Server. I use my Late2009 iMac as a monitor for the Mini. The Mini is connected through the Drobo to a TB to MiniDP cable I bought from Works great.

Thanks very much for confirming this. Could you let me know which cable you got…I’ve had a look on there, and I guess the reason, I’m a bit confused is that I can’t seem to find a cable which allows TB to MiniDP. Do you mean this?

I hope I’m allowed to attach links to sites on here? If not, I apologise.

As a mini Displayport cable can also connect into the Thunderbolt port, then I am assuming that I can simply plug the MiniDP cable directly into my Drobo FS TB port number 2, with my Mac Mini 2012 connected TB to my Drobo 5D TB port number 1…i.e. daisy chaining, as Drobo terms it.


Is what I have between the Drobo and the iMac.

It’s a standard Apple TB cable between the 5D and the Mini.

One thing to note. The MiniDP passthru won’t deliver anything but data. No keyboard, mouse or sound.

Here is a note from the AppleKB
[i]19. How do I connect my Mini DisplayPort monitor or monitor using a Mini DisplayPort adapter to my Thunderbolt-equipped Mac when I have other Thunderbolt devices connected?

When connecting a Mini DisplayPort display or a display using a Mini DisplayPort adapter to a Thunderbolt peripheral (except as described in question 14), make sure the display is connected at the end of the Thunderbolt chain. You can use only one Mini DisplayPort device in the Thunderbolt chain.

Note: Systems with more than one Thunderbolt port, like an iMac, can have more than one Mini DisplayPort monitor or monitor connected with a Mini DisplayPort adapter connected as each Thunderbolt port can support one Mini DisplayPort display.[/i]

No worries. I use an old Dell Ultrasharp with the DVI-Mini Display Port adapter. It’s the last item in my Thunderbolr chain and there are no issues whatsoever.


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