I have MacBook Pro with Retina, and Iiyama Monitor that has HDMI input. Is there a difference (in performance or anything) between connecting MDP-HDMI cable into Mac's Thunderbolt and between using HDMI cable into Mac's HDMI output? I have both cables, but so far I am unable to tell what's the difference. I think that both options are actually HDMI's in the end, but I am not sure yet.

1 Answer 1


Using your Thunderbolt/MDP connector just to convert HDMI will work, but will consume your Thunderbolt port. As DisplayPort is not compatible with HDMI, the cable will actually contain electronics to convert the DP signal to HDMI. While this does not downgrade the quality, it is another thing that can break, consumes power and costs more than a HDMI cable.

You should use the HDMI port to connect your display.

  • I think that's good point. I've never considered power consumption and ability to break. I think we can assume that it's always better to use designated port, and avoid any adapters. For example - if we have HDMI input in display, one should use HDMI cable with HDMI output or if we have DP input, DP/MDP cable with Thunderbolt output should be used. Is that right?
    – Drwalcore
    Apr 22, 2017 at 16:56
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    @Drwalcore If you don't have special constellations and needs, that's true. If, for example, you need a different HDMI version than your HDMI port provides you might better use an appropriate converter, but I don't know if there's ever such a situation.
    – bot47
    Apr 22, 2017 at 17:05
  • after using HDMI for one day I think I will switch back to MDP-HDMI cable. After waking up my MacBook, Retina display turns off and on in 10 seconds intervals, and after 3 or 4 "blinks", my additional displays is waking up. With MDP-HDMI cable both screen turned on immediately.
    – Drwalcore
    Apr 23, 2017 at 19:12

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