I don't think any of the previous questions on this topic cover this particular nuance, but please edify me if I'm mistaken.

I have a Macbook Pro 15" (the model that was released around March 2011) with Thunderbolt port. My office has two Dell monitors joined with a DVI splitter (which were originally connected to a Dell desktop). I have a Thunderbolt to DVI adapter that I was hoping to connect to the DVI splitter. However, the connector on the end of the splitter is different from the connector for a single-monitor DVI cable, so I can't plug the output of the splitter into the DVI end of the Thunderbolt-to-DVI adapter.

Does this mean I need either (1) an adapter to connect a "standard" DVI connector to a "splitter" DVI connector, or (2) a thunderbolt adapter that will plug directly into a splitter DVI connector? If so, do either of these items exist or am I out of luck?

2 Answers 2


There are many types of DVI adapter, I could type a load of stuff or just point you at Wikipedia.

The key point is that there is no such thing as a DVI adapter. It's just a generic term that covers the overall outline of the cable end, but what you really have is either a DVI-I or DVI-D adapter, in either Single or Dual link capability. Or it may be a DVI-A. Or there are others...!

It's possible that your splitter cable must be of the dual link types, characterised by the longer horizontal bar pin, and your Thunderbolt adapter may or may not be. Shouldn't matter which type, either I (Integrated with analogue signal in the pins above/below the horizontal bar in addition to digital) or D (Digital only) as I imagine you are not subsequently adapting them down to DSUB further down the line, the only thing that matters is if they are both dual link.

So it looks like you need a Thunderbolt/MiniDisplayPort to DVI Dual link - the official apple one is the digital only one without the analogue pins (DVI-D Dual Link), and thus should work, if you are worrying that you do not have the same pinout (i.e. you have DVI-I Dual Link on your splitter, and it looks as though the analogue ones have nothing to connect to) then don't worry, it won't need them.

enter image description here

EDIT - Additional Info

After the comments, I have decided that you have a DMS-59 connector that looks like this:

enter image description here

So what you really need is a MiniDisplay > DMS-59 adapter, and my google-fu suggests that this is not looking like a possibility, I think you would be better served abandoning this cable, and looking for a total replacement, Mini Display Port > 2 x DVI (Single is fine, I or D if you have 2 ports). This may also be a pain to find, and you may end up needing a MDP/Thunderbolt to Dual Link DVI, followed by a Dual Link DVI > 2 X Single Link DVI splitter cable!

  • The output connector from my splitter does not look like any of the five pictures you've shown. My connector has four rows of 15 pins each. Take the 2nd-from-the-bottom connector in your picture, remove the "hyphen"-shaped pin and extend the "square" pins all the way across. That's what mine looks like (except that in the bottom row, there is no pin in the 3rd-from-left position). I have a picture of the connector. Is there any way to add it to my question (I tried, but pasting doesn't work).
    – eipi10
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 16:43
  • You could paste a link to it here and I will do it for you. However, it doesn't sound like it's DVI at all, more some proprietary connector.
    – stuffe
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 16:44
  • I found it, will expand my answer in a mo.
    – stuffe
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 17:00
  • Yes! That's the connector, except my splitter has the male end. Just to be sure I understand, are you saying I should find a splitter that has one of the "standard" (male) DVI connectors in your picture, and that I would then be able to plug that directly into the standard apple mini display port-to-DVI adapter?
    – eipi10
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 17:17
  • Yes, I think you will need MDP > Female Dual Link DVI, and then also a Male Dual Link DVI > 2 x Male Single Link DVI. If you can find MDP > 2x Male Single Link Dvi it would be ideal, but I am not sure they exist
    – stuffe
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 17:52

Zotac announced a displayport to dual-hdmi adapter (I think a dual DVI version was also announcted) that you could possibly use with a HDMI-DVI adpater. However, I'm not clear if this is actually available for sale yet.

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