I am trying to hook up my Dell u3011 to my retina MacBook Pro using a mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort connector, and finding myself a bit perplexed as to why it doesn't work. Basically the top resolution that Mac OS X allows on the external display is either 1080p or 1280x1024(scaled!), while monitor's native resolution is 2560x1600. I Googled around and people recommend using SwitchResX tool, to fix the issue, but I am curious if there is a way to force the correct resolution with native tools(cli or some obscure settings?).

Note: I am using OS X Mountain Lion. The miniDisplayPort to DisplayPort connector is from Monoprice.


Try resetting the PRAM and see if it detects the proper screen resolutions. If that still doesn't work, you could try cscreen (a command line tool to set a resolution) or SwitchResX.

  • cscreen did it! ;) – Alex N. Oct 28 '12 at 1:51

I found this blogger's page that says your cable connection works for at least one person. I would be looking at your U3011's firmware version and seeing if it is the latest, also keeping an eye out for any Apple updates for your machine. A Genius Bar appointment might help but without the monitor next to you it may not be fruitful. Can you try another retina MacBook Pro to see if it is just an issue with your machine?

If all else fails an active adapter like the Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter would probably solve the problem - unfortunately this costs money but maybe less than it would cost you to change to a different monitor. These were absolute rubbish in the early days and caused me to return a Mac mini since it couldn't drive my Samsung 305T 30" monitor. But after seeing this knowledge base article about firmware 1.03 I got it swapped for the later version and it has been solid ever since.


Did you try holding down the option key while clicking "Scaled" in the resolution control panel?

Apple Knowledgebase article

  • 1
    yes that still gives only up to 1280x1024 resolution – Alex N. Sep 12 '12 at 21:07

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