Apple - Connect Apple 30" Cinema Display to new MacBook USB-C

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:

  • USB-C Display Port to DisplayPort female adapter
  • DisplayPort to DL-DVI (powered)
  • A USB-A port to power the adapter (can be a wall charger)

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 The tech, while still good is obsolete and the active adapter isn't cheap.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:

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)


$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

I hope this helps!