I noticed in this thread the OP successfully managed to connect a 30" cinema display to the new Macbook Pro USB-C, with full resolution:

Connect New MacBook (USB-C) to Apple Cinema Display 30" (Dual-Link DVI)

I have the official Apple dual DVI adapter, going to a displayport > USB-C adapter like yours, however the screen does not fire up.

I then tried a multi adapter instead of the single displayport > USB-C, which worked but only at 1280 resolution:


Would the official Apple Dual DVI adapter not work?


7 Answers 7


The Apple Cinema Display uses a DVI-Dual Link interface which is becoming very long in the tooth so adapters are going to be few and far between. It wasn't a widely accepted standard so even when it was current, adapters were already difficult and expensive to source.

What you need to get connected is to go from USB-C DisplayPort to Dual Link DVI. This will require two adapters:

You have to do this multi-step connection because USB-C to DL-DVI adapters are impossible to find. The good news is that the USB-C port on MacBooks have the native DisplayPort signal so you aren't really converting anything - just the physical interface.

The active DisplayPort to DL-DVI is required because DP and DL-DVI are two completely different signals; a passive rearrangement of signal wires don't work here. The active adapter "recreates" the signal being sent to the Cinema Display.

(IMO) I wouldn't spend the money on this solution to get a Cinema Display working on a new MacBook. The tech, while still good is obsolete and the active adapter isn't cheap. I would sell the monitor to someone with an older Mac that can support this type of display and use the money you would've spent on the adapter with the proceeds from the sale of the Cinema Display on a shiny, brand new monitor (like a 4K or 5K).


Same here - MacPro 6 Core 2013 and Cinema Display 30"

Worked well in low resolution while installing OSX, after switching to 2560x1600 all OK until restart. Shows three states coincidentally: a grey glowing screen moving colored blocks a normal screen

Solution: The D500 graphics in my MacPro 6 Core 2013 has this three states to talk to the monitor. It choses what it likes after reboot. Use the shortcut to get the screen in sleep mode to switch modes until a normal screen displays CTRL + SHIFT + EJECT


I found one of these displays locally in good condition for only 200 bucks, so I had to solve exactly this problem.

First, specs - it's this exact model: https://everymac.com/monitors/apple/studio_cinema/specs/apple_cinema_display_30.html

My laptop is a 13" 2017 MacBook Pro w/out touch bar, so only the 2 USB-C ports on one side.

This combination of dongles works, and provides full (2560 x 1600) resolution:

$60: Monoprice Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt Plus USB To Dual-Link DVI Adaptor (106904) https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B004C4SEH6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


$20: USB Type C Adapter, AllSmartLife USB C Type to Mini DisplayPort/Mini DP Adapter Cable With Aluminium Case Support 4K resolution for Apple New Macbook, ChromeBook Pixel - Grey https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B017TZTMBG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I hope this helps!


I have the exact same problem and after much search, came to this solution:

  1. Dual-Link DIV to DisplayPort using Apple's connector
  2. DisplayPort to USB-C using this connector Which is a USB-C to Mini-DisplayPort and Charging Port Adapter {Amazon.com}

Keep in mind that the Cinema display also needs a USB-A connection (I'm guessing to provide power to some internal circuit for link negotiation?), so you'll need a separate adapter from USB-C to USB-A.

I'm also an amateur photographer and shoots with a Canon 5DsR, editing my photos using an AdobeRGB LG 4K display (10-bit color to support AdobeRGB). I've also tested the DisplayPort adapter on this display and it works flawlessly.

On a side note - reason why you'll need a separate adapter for USB-A instead of having the USB-A built-in to the DisplayPort adapter is that only way for USB-C to support DisplayPort data-rate is using Display Protocol, which turns a bi-directional USB connection (10Gbit/direction) to a uni-directional output port (20Gbit total). If you work out the math: 3840 * 2160 * 10-bit color per channel * 3 color channels (RGB) * 60 Hz = 15Gbit/s.

  • From your note, are you saying that it's impossible to have a single USB-C cable carry both the Display Port signal and some extra USB-A data? What about Power?
    – pkamb
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 23:34

Apple does not make an official adapter for your hardware combination.

This active adapter worked for me: 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

  • Computer: Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • Monitor: Apple 30" Cinema HD
  • Resolution: 2560x1920

Also read https://support.apple.com/en-ca/guide/mac-help/mchl86d72b76/mac for instructions to change the resolution once the dongle is connected.

Connecting 2017 MacBook Pro to 30" Cinema Wide

  • is there any cheaper option?. I mean, I bought the cinema 23 inches for 80€ on eBay. 😔
    – ValRob
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 18:03
  • I have the A1082 23 inches. Do I need a Dual Link DVI-D adapter or is enough with a simple DVI-D adapter. cheaper option
    – ValRob
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 18:15
  • The max resolution of the A1082 (23 inch) is only 1920 × 1200, so you can get away with single link. It's only the A1083 (30 inch) that requires dual link. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 19:07
  • I did, but the image gets duplicated..
    – ValRob
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 11:21
  • Do you mean you see the same desktop mirrored on both monitors? Then you need to learn about mirroring and extended desktops: support.apple.com/en-ca/guide/mac-help/mchl7c7ebe08/mac Commented Jan 9, 2020 at 19:37

I have confirmed that the following setup works for native 2560x1600 resolution:

  1. Apple Cinema Display 30" (Dual-Link DVI)
  2. Apple Dual-Link DVI to Mini DisplayPort Adapter
  3. $15 Amazon unbranded USB-C to Mini DP Adapter
  4. USB-C MacBook or MacBook Pro

The key seems to be to continue to use the OEM Apple Dual-Link DVI to Mini DisplayPort adapter that you formerly used to connect Macs with ThunderBolt 2. If you're using that component, any cheap DisplayPort to USB-C adapter should enable full resolution.

I will continue to do some testing and improve this answer. End goal will be to have a single USB-C cable connected to the laptop that delivers:

  • Cinema Display 30" @ 2560x1600
  • Cinema Display USB ports
  • Cinema Display FireWire ports (stretch goal)
  • Laptop wall power via USB-C

I just had to create an account to share my success. I am posting this from a 2016 MacBook Pro 13" connected perfectly at 2560x1600 to my CinemaDisplay 30. I used these two adapters from Amazon (totaling $13 and change):

USB C to Mini DisplayPort

XVZ USB C to USB Adapter

And then an "Apple Mini Display Port to Dual-Link DVI Adapter" that I've actually had laying around for like 10 years in a box. The part number is A1306. A quick eBay search shows them selling relatively cheap, so it might be a more economical solution than the $100-150 active dual-link DVI adapters posted earlier in this thread.

Apple A1306 on eBay

Best of luck getting your USB-C devices connected to your CinemaDisplay 30! I share the same feeling as the rest of you. This display is simply too nice, especially for its age, to retire over some silly connector mismatch.

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