Because Apple Thunderbolt Display reflects the whole room, I still use the matte 30" Apple Cinema Display. (Two cables are required for 2560 resolution due to some obscure technical constraints!)

  1. MacBook Air (Mini DisplayPort + USB)
  2. Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter
  3. Apple Cinema Display 30" (DVI)

How do I connect the MacBook (USB-C) to the 30" screen with 2560 resolution?

  1. MacBook (USB-C)
  2. (What goes here?)
  3. Apple Cinema Display 30" (DVI)
  • Let me know how my answer is, if it helps or not! I'd be happy to help more/modify it with new information. – owlswipe Feb 6 '17 at 23:15
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    This is now one of the top google hits for "dual-link dvi"+"usb-c" and I solved a similar problem not involving any Apple device in the manner suggested in Andreas Schweiger's answer: I have an older Dell 3007WFP (only input is DVI, if signal is not dual-link the max resolution is 1280x800), a BizLink active DisplayPort-to-Dual-link-DVI adapter and a new HP laptop with no digitial video output other than USB-C. With a cheap USB-C-to-Displayport adapter and the existing active one I get full 2560x1600 resolution without issues :-). – arne.b Dec 12 '17 at 9:36
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    I'd love to see an answer confirming a single USB-C adapter that can be mated to the official Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter that many/most of us use. – pkamb Apr 12 '18 at 18:35

There IS a solution to this problem, I searched and purchased quite a few adapters but finally I got it to work:

1) Purchase this USB-C to Display Port adapter: https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00YBH6WDM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

2) Purchase this Display Port to "Active Dual Link DVI". It is important that it is an active converter and not a passive one: https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00856WJH8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Sorry for the German pages but I am sure you can find it also in other countries' stores.

Connect that combination and also don't forget to connect the active converters power through USB.

If it starts with a scaled resolution, don't worry, there is a key combination (option or command scaled resolution) and you get the highest one.

Works like a charm! I know it's pricey but I love my 30" Cinema Display. I also got my old MOTU Firewire audio interface with apples TB3 to T2 and then TB2 to FW and an additional FW cable from Belkin to run.

Now I use my exact same setup as with my old MacPro but it's the MacBook Pro 15" with Touch bar. Logic Pro with a Project of 40+ Audio Tracks does put a load of 50% to the system :-)

If you need more info just answer here, I can help :-)

UPDATE: The following item is USB-C to Dual Link DVI-I (which can take DVI-D). No need for multiple adapters. Alas, this does not support the 30" Cinema Display, according to the product page:

"The USB-C to DVI adapter will not work with Apple Cinema Displays or the Dell 3007WFP. These monitors require a true DVI-D signal. Please note this before purchasing"


  • I actually ended up with the same approach, just different brands of adapters using mini display port rather than full size display port. This is the best solution to date. Thanks! – picciano Feb 7 '17 at 19:50
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    Have you confirmed your "UPDATE" product actually works with the 30" Cinema Display? The single Amazon review says that it does not. – pkamb Aug 16 '18 at 20:18
  • Re the UPDATE product: Why does the product page say it only supports resolutions up to 2560 x 1400? Does it actually support 2560 x 1440 (notice the 40 at the end)? – Magne Jan 8 at 17:23

After weeks of trial and error, I have finally achieved 2560x1600 resolution on my Apple 30-inch Cinema Display connected to my MacBook Pro,15-inch, 2016 laptop.

The trick is to go from USB-C to Mini Display Port (MDP), then to dual-link DVI. Unfortunately, this does take two adapters, but at least the full monitor's resolution is supported.

I used the following adapters:

Also to note, the DVI adapter needs to be powered by the attached USB connector, and the monitor break out cable USB also needs to be attached to the MacBook.

A bit of a cabling challenge, but everything is now working 100%. Andreas came up with a substantially similar solution, but with different brands and gets the answer bonus!

  • The monoprice link is dead. Can you provide details for the adapters so we can search on other sites? – TJez Jun 17 '17 at 4:48
  • The link is still working for me. The complete product name is "Mini DisplayPort 1.1 + USB to Dual-Link DVI Adapter" – picciano Jun 20 '17 at 18:01
  • The ARKTEK USB-C to Mini DP Adapter USB Type C (Thunderbolt 3) to Mini DisplayPort Converter is working for me with a 30" 2560x1600 HP monitor. Thanks for posting this info! – andrew Sep 27 '18 at 14:20
  • This solution worked for me (finally after trying two other solutions)! Be careful: you can't just use any USB-C to Mini Display Port adapter. It needs to be one that accepts input from an active (externally powered) DVI adapter (this is the case for the one mentioned in this answer). Don't forget to connect the USB of the Dual-link DVI adapter to a powersource: I just connected it to my Macbook Pro using a USB-USB-C adapter. – Visionscaper Nov 2 '18 at 14:36

After trying at least 9 different adapters, I finally found one that worked! USB-C to MiniDisplayPort: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CJHHTR8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You'll also need a USB to USB-C if you want to use your Cinema as a USB hub as I did. As far as I can see, there are no USB+DVI to USB-C adapters except this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MD0XXMI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It works, but only up to 1280 x 800.

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    Thanks, but I wouldn't agree that getting 1280x800 on a 30" cinema display is "working". – picciano Feb 2 '17 at 22:53

You'll need a USB-C to DVI adapter to connect the 30" Apple Cinema Display to your USB-C Macbook. This $22 one, by Cable Matters, supports resolutions of up to 2560x1600 (the same as your monitor) and works with Thunderbolt 3 and the new 2016 MBP.

I'm sure a commenter will be quick to point out that it's not a dual-link DVI adapter, but it doesn't have to be: it allows all 2560x1600 resolution through its single link (well enough, in fact, to trick most reviewers into thinking it's dual-link). It will still push 2K resolution to your Cinema Display.

Image of the adapter

Edit: If you don't have a DVI-to-DVI cable (which you'll need to connect the monitor to the adapter), I recommend this gold-plated one.

  • 2
    Sorry, but the product page you linked has this warning from the manufacturer: USB-C to DVI uses DisplayPort Alternate mode to convert the signal to DVI. Older displays such as the Apple 30-inch Cinema Display may require a true DVI-Dual Link signal and not support the maximum video resolution. This answer does not allow the Apple 30" Cinema Display to display its full resolution. I wish it did. – picciano Feb 7 '17 at 16:11
  • @owlswipe can you confirm this works with Apple's 30 inch cinema display? – TJez Feb 24 '17 at 12:36
  • @TJez I can't, sorry :/. I don't have a cinema display. You can look at matching reviews though, which seem kind of positive. – owlswipe Feb 24 '17 at 21:37
  • I would not expect that to work. It says it supports up to 1920x1200 but you actually need 2560x1600. – Christopher Barber Jul 21 '17 at 19:04
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    @owlswipe I have tested this solution and, unfortunately, it does NOT work. Tested using Apple Cinema 30" display and 2017 Apple Macbook Pro. To be more precise, the monitor outputs erratic signals when connected. – Visionscaper Oct 26 '18 at 14:32

You need to find a USB-C to dual-link DVI adapter. The first hit on Google, for example, is this: StarTech USB-C to DVI Adapter CDP2DVI

Note: This is not dual link DVI and will not support the full resolution of an Apple 30” display.


Note that the small/cheap Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter will NOT work to convert a Mini DisplayPort signal to USB-C, despite using the same port design.

It is incompatible with the 30" Cinema Display and other non-Thunderbolt DisplayPort monitors.

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MMEL2AM/A/thunderbolt-3-usb-c-to-thunderbolt-2-adapter https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT207266

This adapter is not compatible with displays that use DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort, such as the Apple LED Cinema Display. Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 are not the same as Mini DisplayPort , though the ports have the same shape.

Note that although it uses a Mini DisplayPort connector, the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter doesn’t support connections to Mini DisplayPort displays.

The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter doesn’t support connections to these devices:

-Apple DisplayPort display

-DisplayPort devices or accessories, such as Mini DisplayPort to HDMI or Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapters


You can try buying a USB-C to DVI Adapter. Here is one that I found:


On the link it says that it should work with the new USB-C MacBook.

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    Note: this is NOT a dual link DVI adapter, it only supports up to 1080p resolution – Allan Nov 7 '16 at 22:39

I believe there's current no way of doing this :(

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • 1
    We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed. – Tetsujin Nov 19 '16 at 13:16

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