2016 MacBook Pro & 27" Apple Cinema LED Display


Active member
Sep 22, 2013
Visit site
I recently run into an issue connecting my 27" Apple Cinema LED display to my new 2016 MacBook Pro with TouchBar. The display only provides a Mini-DVI connector, which I used to connect it to my old 2013 MacBook through a Thunderbolt 2 port. Unfortunately, Apple's USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter doesn't allow video signals to go through it (contrary to what I was told by an Apple sales person when they sold me this $#29 adapter for this purpose).

I called Apple support and spoke to a couple of people there, but they too didn't have any answers. I did some research online and finally ended up ordering the following two adapters that I daisy-chained and got the external display working.

I got it to work so that I can use the 27” Cinema LED monitor. Two daisy-chained cables did the trick (see attached photo & notations). IMG_1325.jpg

And this setup gave me one additional benefit! When I was connecting the Mini-DVI cable from the monitor to the 2013 MacBook’s Thunderbolt 2 port, all I got was the video output. To get sound to the monitor's internal speakers, I had to connect the USB cable from the monitor and the sound sounded distorted, so I stopped using it. With the two adapters I used to get the monitor working, I now also get the sound through this set up and it’s no longer distorted, so the speakers built-into the monitor are now usable. I guess the DisplayPort and the Mini-DVI cables carry sound just like HDMI cables and the USB-C ports on the 2016 MacBook now support sound as well. It’s a win win.

I’m surprised that all the support people I talked to at Apple were not familiar with these facts…

Best Regards, Phil
PS. In case someone else asks the same question, here’s the ordering information on the two adapters I got.
1. Cable Matters DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Male to Female Adapter - 6 Inches: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...ag=hawk-future-20&ascsubtag=UUimUvbUpU2885841
2, CableCreation CD0176 USB Type C to DisplayPort Ultra HD 4K Adapter, Black: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...ag=hawk-future-20&ascsubtag=UUimUvbUpU2885841