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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 22, 2012
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    DisplayPort vs. Mini DisplayPort
    This may seem like a dumb question, but I canít seem to find the answer anywhere on the internet. Whatís the difference between the DisplayPort on some monitors and the Mini DisplayPort on MacBook Pros?

    Iím thinking of buying a MacBook Pro and an external monitor for it. Should I get a monitor with a DisplayPort rather than one with a DVI port?

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    The new model Macs all have a thunderbolt port which is backward compatible with the Mini Display Port. Any good monitor or TV that you purchase nowadays will come with an HDMI port which is what you should use. The only thing to consider is the proper adapter and cable to attach your new Mac to whatever TV or monitor you buy.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jul 22, 2012
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    4
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    The new model Macs all have a thunderbolt port which is backward compatible with the Mini Display Port. Any good monitor or TV that you purchase nowadays will come with an HDMI port which is what you should use. The only thing to consider is the proper adapter and cable to attach your new Mac to whatever TV or monitor you buy.
    I see that the MacBook Pro with Retina display has two Thunderbolt ports and one HDMI port; however, I'm interested in the one without the Retina display, which only has one Thunderbolt port and no HDMI port. I want this computer because it's cheaper, just as powerful, and, more importantly, has an optical drive and Ethernet port (I like to stay away from wireless technology). The Retina display doesn't matter to me because most of the time I will have it plugged into a monitor (it's just nice to have the option of portability).

    If the Thunderbolt port is backward compatible with the Mini DisplayPort, wouldn't it be better to use a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable rather than a Thunderbolt to HDMI adaptor? Wouldn't it be better to use a straight cable than an adaptor that does some sort of conversion of the signal?

    As well, it seems that Apple doesn't sell a Thunderbolt to HDMI adaptor, only a Mini DisplayPort (not Thunderbolt) to DVI adaptor; hence, you're not getting Thunderbolt performance, but only DisplayPort performance. As well, it's DVI and not HDMI. Why use an adaptor to DVI when you could use a straight cable to DisplayPort?

    If a Thunderbolt to HDMI adaptor is the way to go, why doesn't Apple sell one?

    The only adaptors I've found online are all "Mini DisplayPort Thunderbolt to HDMI." I assume that if they are backward compatible with DisplayPort, they do not take advantage of any added benefits that the Thunderbolt technology may afford. Hence, again, if the lowest common denominator is DisplayPort, why use an adaptor when you could use a straight cable?

    If I had a grand to blow, I could buy an Apple Thunderbolt Display. However, the MacBook Pro without Retina display already has a FaceTime HD camera and an Ethernet port, I don't need audio in my monitor because I use a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (my computer sounds better than my stereo), and I can get a very decent monitor with a DisplayPort (it also has DVI and HDMI ports) at less than a third of the price of an Apple Thunderbolt Display.

    If I understand the technology correctly, the way to go would be a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable; at least with the MacBook Pro without the Retina display. Do I understand this correctly? Will any Mini Display to DisplayPort cable work, as Apple doesn't sell one?

    I should have said in my original post that I'm not interested in the Retina display; hence, a straight HDMI cable is not an option for me. I'm sorry for not giving all the details to my question in the first place. So, in the proper context, I ask my question again: Whatís the difference between the DisplayPort on some monitors and the Mini DisplayPort on a MacBook Pro?

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