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I have a 15' MBP retina (which has HDMI and Thunderbolt interfaces for connecting to external displays).

I was planning to buy this 27' Crossover monitor (one of those Korean displays that have popular lately). I was planning to use it through a DVI-D to HDMI connector like the ones found here and here.

However, the monitor seller's listing on the page says:

  • Do not use with port convertor

  • No AD board internal GPU, APU, Laptop, Macbook are not compatible (sic).

I have read that HDMI and DVI video signals are identical and they only differ in the physical connectors.

If so, can I assume that my planned setup will indeed work with my MBP retina? If not, is there a workaround?

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It actually says in the product description that "Macbook not compatible." If they say it's not compatible, its not compatible. HDMI is similar to DVI in that they both provide digital signals, but they are not identical. HDMI adds audio, support for YCbCr and a few other things on top of the digital video signal. –  cksum Mar 6 '13 at 9:47
    
If you read my post completely, I already quote that line. Why question is why should that be?, and if there are any workarounds available. –  Himanshu Pokhariya Mar 6 '13 at 9:50
    
Per this link (superuser.com/questions/425768/…), the HDMI and DVI video signals are the same. That HDMI can additionally carry audio shouldn't be of much concern here, right? –  Himanshu Pokhariya Mar 6 '13 at 9:55
    
I did read your post. Fully. Was puzzled why you'd ask if you have your answer. You can grab an HDMI to DVI cable and give it a whirl, but other than that, there's nothing else you can do. If it works, it works. But as I said and as they say, MacBooks aren't supported. It's your money should you end up with a non-working monitor. And no, they are not the same. Both provide digital signals, that's about as close as they get. The specifications for each are quite different. –  cksum Mar 6 '13 at 9:55
    
Yeah, I know they say it doesn't work with Macbooks. But 1) I have read account on the internet of people who have made these Korean types displays work with their Macbooks (even when the seller listing said otherwise) 2) I wasn't sure if what the seller said applied specifically to 15' MBPs with Retina. Maybe it only applies to the earlier, more common, MBPs. 3) Since often these sellers aren't very technically savvy, there is no point asking them for confirmation and I thought Stack Exchange would help me get a definitive answer. –  Himanshu Pokhariya Mar 6 '13 at 9:58
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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The problem with the high resolution is that the monitor uses a dual-link DVI-cable as it is needed to provide such a high resolution. The Dual-link cable is not a normal DVI-cable and therefore will not work as expected with a normal adapter. The adapter you have linked should suffice thou. But beware that the ad says no adapters and no Macbook, this could be a warning towards people trying to hook up a "HDMI to single-link DVI"/similar or to owners of an old Macbook. We can't know that from the information given from the ad and you should consider contacting the seller.

It can work(you can even say it should work), but looking at this thread: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4036890?start=0&tstart=0 it's not guaranteed that it'll work.

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I too am skeptical that anything other than a true Dual Link adapter will drive full resolution and perhaps any signal at all. Many monitors will upscale a HDMI input - but this is awful for computer use unless you are purely interested in video playback and care nothing about normal sized fonts and UI controls. –  bmike Mar 6 '13 at 13:10
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Well, I am certain now that the adapters I had linked (even though they say HDMI to Dual link DVI) won't work because they are too cheap (each was less than $3!). Since the price was specified in Rupees, I believe this wasn't obvious to you. But other than that, yours is the most to-the-point and useful answer. +1 –  Himanshu Pokhariya Mar 6 '13 at 16:31
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If you are worried about compatibility, and ordering from eBay with international shipping, then why not cut out the fear and by the same monitor from your local Monoprice (or at least get one shipped from the US), who have recently begun rebranding these items, and shipping them with a decent dead pixel warranty for $390.60:

http://www.monoprice.com/home/news_detail.asp?news_id=238&s_keyword=

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=113&cp_id=11307&cs_id=1130703&p_id=9579&seq=1&format=2

enter image description here

If you're a serious gamer or professional graphic artist, you need a seriously good monitor and you won't find much better than this 27" IPS LED CrystalPro Monitor from Monoprice!

The heart of this monitor is the beautiful IPS (In-Plane Switching) LED panel made by LG in Korea. This is the same panel that is used in the 27" Apple Cinema Displays, which are famous for their stunning color reproduction and ultra-wide viewing angle. The IPS technology in this monitor helps produce this color and viewing angle, as well as increasing response time to 6 milliseconds, which is a critical factor for gaming.

This monitor is designed for the high end. It only supports Dual Link Digital DVI-D input, but it produces a tight 2560x1440 resolution. The IPS technology helps produce a 178° viewing angle in both the horizonal and vertical planes, which makes this an ideal monitor for an Eyefinity setup.

This monitor measures about 25.5" x 16" x 2.3" and weighs only about 14.3 lbs. It draws 65 watts of power during operation and only 1 watt in standby. The included stand raises the monitor off the desk and allows it to be tilted.

The monitor uses an external AC adapter, which keeps the internal electronics away from the heat of an AC power conversion process. The AC adapter can be used with any AC power source from 90 ~ 265 VAC at 50/60 Hz, making it appropriate for use in both US and non-US markets. It has a 100x100 VESA mounting pattern and can therefore be attached to almost any wall or desk mount.

As you've come to expect from Monoprice, we stand behind our products and offer a full 1 year warranty, which is at least 3-4 times what is offered by other monitor manufacturers. Additionally, we are so confident of the quality of these displays that we are guaranteeing these monitor will have less than 5 dead pixels. If you can count 5 dead pixels anywhere on the screen, we'll give you a new one. By comparison, the industry standard, even for industry leaders like Apple and LG, is 10 dead pixels or even more.

Check the customer reviews section to see people claiming to have hooked it up to MBPs etc, and even suggesting which adapter you need - you can get these from Monoprice at the same time, without paying $99 too.

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Would have loved to do that, but I am in India and have no local Monoprice here :) –  Himanshu Pokhariya Mar 6 '13 at 13:19
    
Ah...! You see, this is where (also non US user here...) I forget that there are more of us foreigners than you might think - I just assume sometimes everyone else is an American! Still, the monitor is the same, so you may find it a useful resource for specs, and customer reviews all the same, even if you cannot buy from there :) –  stuffe Mar 6 '13 at 13:29
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The critical specification in that linked listing is the "Dual Link" portion of the connector and not the DVI-D shape of the connector (although that of course is also needed on the Mac end of things).

You will need a special mini Displayport to Dual Link DVI adapter from Apple (or another vendor) to connect any new Thunderbolt or mini Displayport equipped Mac to that monitor.

So, if you consider a $99 adapter not part of the MacBook Pro, the answer would be no - you can't drive that monitor, but the ad does say MacBook isn't compatible and since Apple discontinued the MacBook you might not even care that some MacBook don't have mini DisplayPort (mini DP).

Apple has a good, no questions asked (14 day) return policy and this eBay auction includes buyer protection, so I would say you'd be covered in the outside chance there is actually some other problem using that display with a dual link compatible adapter and a MacBook or MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with mini DP. All the newer Thunderbolt Macs will also work with this Apple adapter (at least as of March 2013).

Those cheap adapters probably won't work due to the dual link nature of the signal needed for a display that's larger than a normal (a.k.a Single-Link) DVI as opposed to Dual-Link DVI. You could try them if you didn't mind wasting time on returning a cheap adapter or losing that money and eating the adapter purchase. I'd be quite confident Apple's adapter would provide full Dual-Link DVI and if it didn't I'd be prepared to ask for a refund from eBay and Apple on the adapters. Unless you can't test things within 14 days of receipt, you should be covered if it works and if it doesn't work.

It should work with the right adapter, though.

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I already have a 15' MacBook Pro Retina, which has an HDMI interface (HDMI 1.4 I believe). The two adapters I linked to both say they convert from HDMI to DVI-D Dual Link. So will this setup work? –  Himanshu Pokhariya Mar 6 '13 at 13:03
    
Possibly, I missed your Mac was the retina model. We can edit that into the answer if it helps you or you could let us know. If Apple sells their adapter to you in your country (or better you have retail stores) - I'd say get it only if you are OK spending the $99 for the larger adapter. It just might work, but you'd be stuck arguing that the vendor didn't describe the goods appropriately if you couldn't spend the $99 to make it work. Just because I've never personally seen a cheap adapter do full dual link DVI doesn't mean they don't exist. –  bmike Mar 6 '13 at 13:08
    
So, first thing I have to answer is whether or not to buy the external monitor (which as I say in my post I haven't bought yet). Also, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that two cheap adapters I linked to in my original post do have a chance of working, but the expensive Apple adapter has a better chance? Is that right? –  Himanshu Pokhariya Mar 6 '13 at 13:14
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I'd be surprised if the cheap linked adapters work, but you might gamble the $10 to get one and try. I'm nearly 95% certain the expensive adapter will work and plan on that cost before buying. If you read the wikipedia link on Dual Link DVI you'll realize why an expensive graphics card is needed to jam double the data rate on the DVI wires. –  bmike Mar 6 '13 at 13:23
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