6 Replies Latest reply: Feb 24, 2013 1:47 PM by amc507
amc507 Level 1 (0 points)

What adapter(s) do I need to connect my macbook air (mid-2012) to an older 20" cinema display (A1081, M9177LL/A)? 


The cinema display connector has three parts: a USB, a DVI connector and a firewire plug.  Can this be made to work with the new Macbook Air?  What adapters would plug in to which ports on the Air?


thank you.

MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012), Mac OS X (10.7.5), connecting with 20" Cinema display
  • mende1 Level 10 (92,186 points)

    You can use a MiniDisplay Port to DVI adapter and a DVI cable to connect your Apple monitor to the MacBook Air. Although the Mid 2012 MacBook Air has got Thunderbolt ports, you can use a MiniDisplay Port cable without any problem > http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB570Z/B/mini-displayport-to-dvi-adapter?fnode =51

  • amc507 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you, but note that the 20" Cinema Display has 3 cords attached to it besides the power cord. 

    What about the firewire plug connected to the cinema display?  Do I also need a usb to firewire adapter? 


    Just to be clear, in this scenario:


    1.  The dvi plug of the cinema display connects to the mini-DisplayPort adapter and that adapter plugs into the thunderboltport on Macbook Air;

    2.  The firewire cord attaches to a firewire-to-USB adapter and plugs into one USB port;

    3.  The USB cord would connect to the other USB port, on the other side of the machine.



    If so ...

    Will this work?


    Although my cinema display is a model dating to mid-2000s, it is a good size for me, adequate for my needs and in great condition, so I don't want to junk it.  I wasn't aware that there would be any problems at all with connecting to the Air.


    Thanks for any further advice.

  • Malcolm J. Rayfield Level 5 (6,960 points)

    The display's FireWire cable is just for the display's FireWire ports.  Just leave it unplugged since your computer doesn't have FireWire, and there are no USB to FireWire adapters (that actually work).

  • amc507 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for the clarification.  Very helpful.

  • 17smedev Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello amc 507.


    Did you get your setup to work ?


    I have also got hold of a 30 inch display with DVI plug. Is it correct that the firewire is not needed ?


    Thank you


    Steen, Denmark

  • amc507 Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear Steen,

    Yes, it is working fine with a MiniDisplay Port to DVI adapter.  The firewire plug doesn't need to be connected to anything, as Malcolm Rayfield pointed out.

    Hope this helps.

    AMC, USA