I have a July 2009 MacBook Pro 15" laptop. It has a Display Port connector for external monitors, and Apple seem to offer 3 types of adapter cables. What is the difference and capabilities of each of these?

  • Display Port to VGA
  • Display Port to DVI
  • Display Port to Dual-DVI

I'm thinking about getting the VGA one for hooking up to VGA projectors but I don't know what the real difference is between the DVI ones.

1 Answer 1


Dual-link DVI (dual DVI) is used by many 30" displays that require large bandwidths (WQXGA (2560 × 1600) = lots of data to send!) Unless you have a large monitor, you don't need the dual-dvi cable. VGA is definitely the most flexible cable in terms of what you can drive (I always keep one in my bag, lots of monitors that have DVI also still have a VGA port), but DVI will get you better quality on those monitors that support it.

So in summary, VGA is essential, DVI is useful if you have a known monitor with a DVI port, and if you have a 30" monitor, you have enough money to buy all three cables without thinking :-)

Do note that you can save money (~50%) by buying non-apple adaptors ;-)

  • You should be able to get by with the apple Display Port to DVI adapter and a third party DVI to VGA adapter. This will give you bot DVI and VGA options for the lowest cost. DP => DIV : DVI => VGA
    – Chris Nava
    Aug 22, 2009 at 4:21

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