Oct 26

Back in December I wrote this article about how Apple no longer sell any displays. Since then Apple have started selling a nice LG display that works with MacBooks. This has been designed in conjunction with Apple so that you can control the display’s volume and brightness from the Apple computer. It essentially functions as an Apple display but with an LG badge. On their website Apple describe it as: “A perfect complement to your MacBook or MacBook Pro.” The monitor plugs into the USB-C port on the new MacBooks. But the new LG monitors that Apple are selling don’t plug directly into to older Macs. What Apple’s website doesn’t say is that they sell an adapter that will allow this monitor to work with some non USB-C Macs.

The new MacBooks are equipped with Thunderbolt 3 which uses a USB-C connector.  The older Thunderbolt 2 used the same connector as the old Apple Display Connectors. This can get a little confusing. The bottom line is that the new LG monitors that Apple are selling don’t plug directly into to older Thunderbolt 2 Macs.

Thunderbolt 3 (left) which uses a USB-C port and Thunderbolt 2 (right) which is the same as the old ADC port (Apple Display Connector).

 

 

But Apple do sell a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter to plug older Thunderbolt 2 devices into the new Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks. Apple’s new adapter is so clever that it works both ways! It will also allow you to connect a Thunderbolt 3 device such as the LG display into an older Thunderbolt 2 Mac such as a Mac Mini or older MacBook. This is genius! Most adapters only work one way.

 

Apple’s new adapter is so clever that it works both ways! It will also allow you to connect a Thunderbolt 3 device such as the LG display into an older Thunderbolt 2 Mac.

Even if you can get it plugged in physically, not all Macs with Thunderbolt 2 have the graphic capability to drive the higher resolution Thunderbolt 3 display.

This page from Apple describes which computers can drive the LG 4K display. This article is older and I think it was written before the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter was released by Apple.

This page from Apple describes which computers can drive the LG 5K display and was written after the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter was released.

 

 

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