Apple Cinema Display with Mac Studio

I have a late 2013 Mac Pro with a 27” Apple Cinema Display. I just purchased an M2 Mac Studio. I attached the Cinema Display to the Mac Studio with an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. However, the display does not power on. What am I doing wrong?

IIRC that adapter does not support video. What you need is a HDMI-mDP or USBC-mDP adapter. And IIRC you’ll also need to connect the monitor’s USB-A plug to one of your USB-C (via $5 dongle) to be able to control brightness etc.


This topic came up once before when I was looking for adaptors. I contacted StarTech and this was their response:

Note: I have not purchased a Studio so have not had a chance to test this product.

Edit: see response by @Simon below.

The 2013 Cinema Display has a mDP plug, not DVI so that StarTech dingle won’t work. That’s for older models.

Thanks for the correction.

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It’s important to distinguish between the two 27" displays Apple sold at the time. The Cinema Display (2010-2013) and the Thunderbolt Display (2011-2016). Although they look very similar, they use different interfaces.

The Cinema Display has a mini DisplayPort interface. This is a DisplayPort interface with a small-size connector. It is backward compatible with single-link DVI, but that will limit you to 1920x1200 resolution, so it’s best to connect it to a DisplayPort capable computer.

The Thunderbolt Display, on the other hand, has a Thunderbolt interface. Although it uses the same connector as mini DisplayPort, it is not compatible (the display doesn’t have DisplayPort support). It requires Thunderbolt data.

The TB3-TB2 adapter you bought will work with a Thunderbolt display, but it will not work with a Cinema display, because it can only provide Thunderbolt data. It can not provide DisplayPort data (except as multiplexed with Thunderbolt data), even if the host computer’s Thunderbolt interface can produce DisplayPort video.

You require one of the following:

NOTE: I have not used any of the above-linked adapters and I am not recommending them. They just the result of an Amazon search to prove that they exist and to show what you may expect them to look like and cost.


Thank you.

Bit late spotting this thread: there was some similar discussion a while back and here was my contribution: USB-C ... to old pro monitor - #13 by jrg