I'm currently using the MacBook Pro (13'', early 2011) which contains a Thunderbolt port. Unfortunately, the LG UltraFine 5K display uses a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port. That's why I'm currently thinking about connecting them via a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.

I'm aware that there were quite a few questions concerning this topic on the Apple homepage. But the answers there weren't really confidable and accurate.

  • There are a few things wrong with this question. 1) with the exception of USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 there is no "Thunderbolt (USB) port". 2) The LG displays are Thunderbolt 3 displays so connecting them via USB would never work.
    – NoahL
    Dec 6, 2016 at 16:21
  • There is a Thunderbolt port (look at the link in the answer below) and after seeing that Apple uses Thunderbolt 3 as a "synonym" to USB-C, I came to the conclusion that it's the same with Thunderbolt and USB. Thus, the brackets after "Thunderbolt". To your second issue. As I've already mentioned in the question, I'm well aware that a direct connection between these two ports is impossible. That's why I'm asking if it would work via an adapter (USB-C to USB).
    – Eti2d1
    Dec 6, 2016 at 18:34
  • Ok, I've just realized that I've misunderstood Thunderbolt and USB. Now I know that they're two different things. I've just corrected that and the adapter on my question.
    – Eti2d1
    Dec 6, 2016 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


No, your 2011 MacBook Pro supports a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1600 on an external display. So even if you get the cable situation sorted you will not be able to use the display on full 5K resolution.

Source: MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) - Technical Specifications

  • Does that mean, the display will only show a max. resolution of 2560 x 1600 i.e. everything else will work fine? My main reason why I'd like to buy this display isn't actually because of the resolution (it will get important when I buy a new MacBook). For now, I only need it to work fine simply as a display with a bigger screen.
    – Eti2d1
    Dec 5, 2016 at 14:10

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