Crucial dock connects new MacBook Pro to classic Cinema Display [Setups]


One thing we love about Apple is the staying power of its beautiful displays. We see the Studio Display maker’s much older Cinema Displays and Thunderbolt Displays used in modern computer setups pretty regularly.

Today’s MacBook Pro setup recently added a docking station to charge the laptop while connecting it to a classic LED Cinema Display.

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Setups adds Dell docking station to connect new MacBook Pro to old Cinema Display

Redditor macindork — that’s a pretty funny handle — showcased the old-and-new setup in a post entitled, “Updated Home Setup with Docking Station.”

He runs an M1 Pro MacBook Pro in the setup much of the time, as his Mac mini has migrated to the living room for use with the TV. The setup’s new additions are a Dell WD15 Monitor Dock charging the laptop and connecting it without any fuss to a 13-year-old Cinema Display, plus a set of Bose desktop speakers.

Here’s how Mac described recent changes to the setup:

I’ve made a few changes to my setup (mostly the Mac mini is back connected to the TV in the living room) so now I have a Dell WD15 docking station charging my laptop (and the Apple LED Cinema Display connects directly to it, no adapters required). I also added some Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers speakers and now I’m back to having good audio at my desk.

And we’re not kidding about people loving old Cinema Displays. You can find lots of example featured in Setups posts, including the person who built a giant tower showcasing three working Cinema Displays under glass.

Cinema Display versus Thunderbolt Display

“What are your thoughts about the Cinema Display?” asked a commenter. “I’m willing to get an old Apple display, and I’m [not] sure how big is the improvement between Cinema Display and Thunderbolt Display.”

We’ll see if Mac replies, but in the meantime another commenter stepped in with useful information:

If you are referring to the 27-inch LED Cinema Display, then there is zero difference in display quality compared to the Thunderbolt Display. They both use the exact same panel IIRC. The only difference is that the Thunderbolt Display uses Thunderbolt, rather than Mini DisplayPort, meaning that it can only be used with computers that have Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt Display also has FireWire 800, Gigabit Ethernet and an extra TB port on the back, compared to the Cinema Display which just has 3 USB ports.

We’ve included both of the older displays in the gear list below, along with both kinds of Mac, the Dell dock, Mac’s old-style Magic Keyboard and newer Logitech mouse, and those Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers he also just recently added.

Shop these items now:

Computers and dock:


Input devices:


If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to 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, challenges and plans for new additions.

Dell WD15 Monitor Dock

This 4K dual-display docking station comes with a 180-watt adapter and USB-C connectivity.

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