Right now, Apple sells the Thunderbolt Display with a MagSafe 2 adapter for use with newer portables. Should this always be the case? When can Apple reasonable sell a cinema display with only a non backward compatible MagSafe 2 connector?
My bet is on the 27″ Retina Cinema Display but NOT on the 24″ Retina Cinema Display. Let me explain.
Current incarnations of thunderbolt don’t actually have enough bandwidth to drive 2560×1440@2X but have enough for 1920×1200@2X. This means that many existing MacBooks with MagSafe one could be potential drivers of a 24″ Retina Cinema Display but only MacBooks that haven’t even been made yet could drive the 27″
This also leads me to believe that a 24″ Cinema Display with 1920×1200@2X resolution is what to expect first. Since the 27″ would be pushing so many pixels, having a “More Space” option on it might be something the GPU isn’t up to. However, existing cards can drive a 2560×1600@2X resolution, downsample to 1920×1200@2X while still onboard, and send the final 1920×1200@2X image over the existing limited thunderbolt.
There is one lingering question though: What would the transition look like? Leave the existing 27″ in the lineup? Update it too at a very price and make the hardware restrictions (unreleased Mac Pro replacement) obvious? Both?
As someone with 20/10 vision, Retina Cinema Displays can’t come fast enough. I would love to have a 24″ with a More Space option on it, even if my original retina MacBook Pro can only drive one or with the onboard display off or something.