I have a Mid 2015 15" Retina MBP and two external 4k monitors. Both monitors work when plugged into the HDMI port, but I can't get the second monitor to work via the display port, and need clarity.

I want to connect two 4k monitors to the laptop. I would like to connect one with the HDMI cable and the other with either mini display port or Thunderbolt.

I was under the impression that Thunderbolt could double as mini display port, so I have tried a few different Thunderbolt cables. At least one of these cables is known-good (it works for transferring data when the machine is in target disk mode).

So am I wrong in thinking I should be able to use a Thunderbolt cable as a mini display port cable? (A coworker suggested there might even be a firmware update needed, but I can't corroborate that via Google.) What am I missing?

  • You are trying to connect each 4K monitor to a separate Thunderbolt port? How many monitors are you connecting simultaneously? Your description is a little vague as to the connection modalities you've tried.
    – IconDaemon
    Jan 19, 2016 at 14:12
  • @IconDaemon thanks, I've updated the question in paragraph two.
    – kojiro
    Jan 19, 2016 at 14:15
  • Have you tried using a minidisplayport cable?
    – Hefewe1zen
    Jan 19, 2016 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


Thunderbolt and DisplayPort are not compatible. They only share one port. Thunderbolt uses active transmission (there's a chip in the cable), DisplayPort uses a simple copper cable. You should be fine with using a DisplayPort cable.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .