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)

11 Answers 11


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, 2017 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, 2017 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, 2018 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. Nov 2, 2018 at 14:36
  • 1
    Does anyone know if the Apple DP-to-dual-link-DVI adapter works with that USB-C adapter?
    – Oscar
    Jul 19, 2020 at 19:50

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"


  • This all works, but the instructions about resolution should be more clear. Go to System Preferences > Displays, hold down the Option key, and click "Scaled Resolution." You should see 2560 x 1600.
    – moveson
    Mar 16, 2020 at 5:20

Here's a single adapter solution (USB-C to dual-link DVI) that IS working on my 16" MacBook Pro and my 30" Apple Cinema Display:


Club 3D CAC-1510 USB Type C to DVI-D Dual Link Active Adapter, 3840 X 2160 @ 30Hz, 2560 X 1600P @ 60Hz, Deep Color 12 Bit

The adapter is plugged into one of the MBPs four USB-C ports, and of course the Cinema Display's DVI plug is plugged into the adapter. There's no need to connect the ACD's USB-A cable (unless you want to use its USB ports as a hub).

After normal timeout sleep of the Mac, it takes about 6 seconds for the ACD to show the screen, noticeably longer than when I had it connected through the Apple TB2 adapter to my old iMac.

System Preferences seems to think the ACD's native reso is 1280 x 800, but option-click on ()Scaled brings up the 2560 x 1600 option, which works fine. I'm definitely getting 2560 x 1600 (although everything seems huge now compared to the MBP 16 built-in display, even when I knock its reso down to "looks like 1536 x 960").

Aside: a small downside compared to my iMac is that plugging anything into the MBP's right-hand USB-C ports puts the cables in front of my ADC screen.

I previously tried the Accell Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter like the one Andreas used, into an Other World Computing Dock display port, which lit the ADCs backlight and it showed up in System Preferences, but no picture at all. I returned the Accell--I'm not sure if it really didn't work or I would have needed one of the other adapters above. The OWC USB-C Dock is otherwise working great, although I picked it knowing it didn't have full power to charge the 16" MPB. It was OWC support that suggested there would be a USB-C/DVI adapter now.

Update 9 Jan 2020: After a few weeks with no problems, the Mac frequently wakes up in a mode where the built-in display flashes on and off and the ACD shows nothing. Can't say whether the Club adapter is causing this but it doesn't happen when not connected. Rebooting allowed me to reconnect successfully.

  • Hi there, do you know if this would also work with the 20" Cinema Display? (everymac.com/monitors/apple/studio_cinema/specs/…) I've tried a number of different adapters and nothing is working.
    – iank
    Jan 27, 2020 at 17:32
  • The 20" is single-link DVI, and the 30" is dual-link. Single-link is lower resolution, and supported in all DVI adapters as far as I know, so you don't have to pick this one (which I can only weakly recommend now due to the troubles I've mentioned above). I'd find a vendor/brand you trust the most and go with that. Jan 27, 2020 at 21:08
  • 1
    @PaulCollins speaking of your update from the 9th of January: I'm using Apple's official Dual Link DVI to miniDisplayPort adapter and having exactly the same problem with the newest MacBook Pro 16" and Cinema Display 30". Waking up the laptop from sleep is such a PITA now. So, don't blame your adapters.
    – Dae
    Feb 5, 2020 at 20:58
  • Thanks, confirmed working with MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019) and the Club 3D CAC-1510 USB Type C to DVI-D Dual Link Active Adapter.
    – sprynter
    Mar 9, 2020 at 10:42

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.

  • 9
    Thanks, but I wouldn't agree that getting 1280x800 on a 30" cinema display is "working".
    – picciano
    Feb 2, 2017 at 22:53

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


I found a single adapter that worked.

The Club 3D CAC-1510-A drives my 30-inch Cinema Display from my 2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch.

Note that there is a very similar model, the CAC-1510 that does NOT work. The one that works has "-A" at the end of the model number.

The difference (according to Club 3D):

  • CAC-1510-A has HDCP turned off
  • CAC-1510 has HDCP turned on

They offer a firmware utility that can turn HDCP on or off, so in theory you can get either model. But the firmware utility only runs in Windows! Also, you have to contact their support to get the firmware utility. There's no link on their website to download it.

I've been moving it back and forth between my personal Mac and my work Mac, and after about 16 months, it has become flaky. It came with a 24-month warranty, and I've just sent a request to get it replaced under the warranty.

I note that Amazon sells several models that seem to be the exact same device as my Club3D, and they all explicitly claim to support the Cinema Display:

  • CableCreation CD0720
  • Yogi.dog UTC-DDL-AL
  • StarTech.com CDP2DVIDP

Also note: If you want to use the USB ports on the back of your Cinema display, you'll also need a USB-A to USB-C adapter.

  • It also appears that the USB Product ID was updated when the silent HDCP change happened. 2004-2007 models have Product ID 9232 (HDCP not supported). 2007-2010 models have Product ID 9221 (HDCP supported). The USB connection is just for control and for hub connection, but can still be used to identify which sub-model of A1083 / M9179LL/A you have. Jan 8, 2023 at 22:25
  • 1
    @RoyceWilliams, I just checked, and mine is Product ID: 0x9220. Since 9220 is so close to the 9221 you posted, I'm wondering if mine is the later model that supports HDCP? Jan 10, 2023 at 2:21

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. It may not work at full resolution for the 30" Cinema Display, but it's good enough for testing at lower resolutions and also works well for lower res displays than the full 30".

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.

  • 5
    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, 2017 at 16:11
  • @owlswipe can you confirm this works with Apple's 30 inch cinema display?
    – TJez
    Feb 24, 2017 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, 2017 at 21:37
  • I would not expect that to work. It says it supports up to 1920x1200 but you actually need 2560x1600. Jul 21, 2017 at 19:04
  • 2
    @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. Oct 26, 2018 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.


I will suggest this solution, the StarTech USB-D to DP-DVI adaptor. They can be found at lower price points on Amazon and other e-sellers.

Note: this is NOT the same model as the single-channel DVI model linked to in another answer. This is a dual-channel model.

They are more expensive than some of the other solutions, but:

  1. the image quality is excellent
  2. you only have a single dongle
  3. everything worked out of the box (no resolution issues)
  4. it's still cheaper than Apple's miniDP adaptor

Used it on my wife's M1 MBA, just plugged it into the USB-C, plugged the monitor cable into the other side, was up and running. There was evidence of "green banding" around high-contrast areas, an effect I also see on my MacPro using Apple's miniDP adapter, but it went away after a few minutes.

Highly recommended.


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.

  • 3
    Note: this is NOT a dual link DVI adapter, it only supports up to 1080p resolution
    – Allan
    Nov 7, 2016 at 22:39

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

New Solution! January 2020: I have the 30" Cinema Display connected to new a new MacBook Pro 16" at full resolution and all controls can be accessed. This requires the Apple DisplayPort to dual-link DVI adapter and this thunderbolt 3 to DisplayPort/Thunderbolt 2 adapter that has full support for video up to 4K @60hz. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017TZTMBG?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share This $20 adapter seems to recreate a fully functional Thunderbolt 2 port like the older MacBook Pro's had. The Apple Thunderbolt 2 to DVI adapter must have it's USB cable plugged in to power its conversion electronics. If it doesn't immediately sense the Cinema Display unplug the power cord from the small cord from the Cinema Display power supply, wait a few seconds then pug it back in. Mine worked perfectly after that. It is instant sleep and instant on.

  • 1
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    – Tetsujin
    Nov 19, 2016 at 13:16

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