New MacBook Pros Fail With Mini DisplayPort

So the new MacBook Pros have lots of upgrades: faster processor, better video chips, more standard memory and hard drive space, a snazzy new aluminum shell. But they have one downgrade: the video port.
The new MacBook Pros, like all the MacBooks, now use a Mini DisplayPort for external video. While this is supposed to be a industry-standard can-do-anything port, it is a poor substitute for the DVI port on the older MacBook Pros.
For one, there are almost no monitors in existence that support Mini DisplayPort. The new 24 inch Apple monitor does, but the old ones do not. So you need an adapter. No problem, right? Just use the adapter that comes with the MacBook Pro. But wait, no adapters come with it at all.
So Apple decides to move forward to use a very new type of video port, and then doesn’t even give us the adapters that they used to include.
So you can get a VGA or a DVI adapter, purchased separately. But large monitors, such as the 30 inch Apple Cinema display, and any 30 inch monitor, require a Dual-Link DVI adapter. The plain DVI one won’t do.
So Apple has a third adapter: Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter. Check it out. It is $100! Worse, it isn’t even available yet. And it will use both the Mini DisplayPort and a whole USB port for power.
So there is currently no way to hook up a new MacBook Pro to a 30 inch monitor. This sort of configuration is common among media professionals like myself who like the portability of a MacBook Pro, but need to have a huge desktop when working in programs like Flash, PhotoShop or Final Cut.
It makes me appreciate the Dual-Link DVI built into the side of my current MacBook Pro. And it made me forget about ordering a new MacBook Pro, at least for the time being.

Comments: 6 Responses to “New MacBook Pros Fail With Mini DisplayPort”

    11 years ago

    Hi Gary,
    Thanks for getting this information out right away. These very important issues certainly aren’t something I would have considered if relying only on information available in the A store.

    10 years ago

    I just got a new MacBookPro and then after two weeks of trying to get video out of it I sent it back to Apple for a full refund. I can’t even get video out of a $3000 Apple laptop? What were they thinking? This wasted my time and cost Apple money and a customer for now. MiniDsplayPort is for the future, maybe. I still have to work now.

    10 years ago

    My 3 yr-old 17-inch MacBookPro died so I bought a new 15inch one and have been trying to figure out this video out thing. People at the store were unable to help me. When I read this post I became even more frustrated.

      10 years ago

      This is an old post. It should be fine now. Just get the adapter you need and you should be set.

    10 years ago


    I am looking for the Macbook Pro “mini display port to video” (RGA + S-Video)

    Apple sells an adapter for the old Mac Book Pros, but as we all know, the MiniDP has changed size and shape.

    I have been searching for 6 months…..So I can view Netflix and iTunes movies on my TV at home.

    Please help !


      10 years ago

      You probably won’t find a single adapter. You’ll most likely need to go from MiniDP to VGA or DVI, and then from that to video with a different adapter.

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