Studio Display questions

I realize these may be stupid questions but needed to ask anyways! I am considering getting a Studio Display (due to long wait periods for delivery) now. In 2-12 months I would then get, most likely, an M2 Mac Mini. But for the present I would run the Studio Display using my M1 Macbook Air (if this is evey possible to do). I also have a 2017 iMac that I’m waiting to replace with a M2 Mac Mini or better.

My questions are:

  1. can I combine a M1 MBA Air with a Studio Display?
  2. If so how do I connect them? i.e. what’s the hardware needed?
  3. for the short term can I also connect the Studio Display with my 2017 iMac?

I’m okay with waiting for the M2 Mac Minis but I rather not have to wait a long time to purchase the Studio Display at that future time. Seems I might as well purchase now and get some decent use out of it.

You can connect the M1 Air to the Studio Display with the display’s included Thunderbolt cable. You can also connect it to your 2017 iMac with the same cable, but I think you will want this adapter if you don’t already have one.

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Thanks for this info! I didn’t know whether the display came with a cable or not. Great to know. I’ll try to find out for sure what my iMac needs in terms of a cable … but most likely I’ll just use with MBA.

My naive impression is the Display will slow down speed of my MBA … though most of the time I’m doing simple things in terms of CPU demand. Once in awhile I’m shooting screencasts (via Screenflow) or doing audio recording. If MBA is not slowed down at all, or by much, this will be a great short term approach.

I do not think your MBA will be slowed down by the display. My MBP is not discernibly slower when connected to the display, in my experience. That MBA is probably more powerful than your 2017 iMac regardless, so you’d notice more of a speed detriment when plugging in the iMac.

You also should not need any additional cables to connect it to the iMac.


@snelly Thanks for this info. Great to know! Yes, I’m still impressed with the M1 MBA … love this little machine.

Have you considered the rather mediocre feedbacks for the StudioDisplay e.g regarding the build in camera?

@Ulli Nope, haven’t considered that. Mainly because I always use my iPhone as a camera combined with Camo (I have a lifetime license).

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I received mine a few days ago: It works just fine with the M1 Air; the display quality is absolutely astounding (by far the best display that I’ve ever used); the camera is not wonderful, but when I ask people I’m in Zoom meetings with, they say it looks just fine. Centre Stage is pretty cool.

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Ah … this is great to know re: performance. Thanks so much.

I just wanted to make sure, that you are not going to buy a Display now, that you don’t need immediately, just to get around the current waiting times for the delivery, just to figure out, that the display available next year, with the M2, has some features you wanted to have, and don’t get now, because of the early buy.

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Thanks, I appreciate that. Beyond the camera though … any realistic possible updates to the Display that you can think of that might really have an impact? Seems to be a gorgeous display as is.

No, I have followed the discussions only from the side of the field.
What I took, was that it did not get the “Ahh´s” and “Ohh`s” I would expect from an Apple Display within that price range.
I also took a note in my system, that there are a couple of other displays on the market, with comparable specs, that might be cheaper, without a disadvantage. So when I switch from my current 27’’ towards a new generation, I will have a look around for example with LG and others, if I could get a similar display at a lower price tag, or a better one, at the price tag of the Studio Display.

I keep up with display technology. There is nothing Apple would to do “upgrade” the Studio Display right now that would not substantially increase the price. This is their new base monitor. Think of it as the 2012-era Thunderbolt Display with Retina, and you’re caught up.


If you google for „Studio Display“ and „alternatives“, you will find a couple of websites with reports about different comparable Displays.

Is he going to have his resolution or frame rate capped if he directly plugs into the 2017 without a TB3/2 adapter, though? I’m unable to test it and not entirely sure what’s all going on with the connection…

I googled the 2017 iMac specs and I think it offers Thunderbolt 3, so I don’t think so. When I had my iMac Pro, the Studio Display had no issues running on it in full resolution (but I did need to be running the latest version of the OS at the time).

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It’s funny, but I find the camera on my studio display does a great job. I’m very happy with it.

That is great!
And I have no own experience with it.
I just read and hear a lot op people who has tested it, who where pretty disappointed about it.
Maybe it also depends on what you expect, and what you can compare with it.
I do not want to keep anybody away, from buying a Studio Display…

Yeah, I know what you mean … I read all that stuff too, and it nearly stopped me buying the new display.

But then I bought one anyway figuring that Apple would fix it very quickly, and they did.

I value the stuff they write, there seems to be a lot of mole-hills-into-mountains from tech media and commentators.

They fixed the Webcam?