Apple Cinema Display (30-inch DVI) might show 1280 x 800 as maximum resolution

When you connect an Apple Cinema Display (30-inch DVI) to your computer, you may find that the highest available resolution is 1280 x 800 even though the optimum resolution for the display is 2560 x 1600. This can happen if the display has a single-link DVI connection instead of a dual-link DVI connection.

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Connect the display to a dual-link DVI port to access the higher resolutions available to the display. The following product combinations should give you the best resolution.

Computer Video card Best port or adapter for optimum resolution
Mac Pro (Late 2013)

Dual AMD FirePro D300
Dual AMD FirePro D500
Dual AMD FirePro D700

Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter
Mac Pro (Mid 2012 and older)
Power Mac G5 (all models)

NVIDIA GeForce GT 120
ATI Radeon HD 4870
ATI Radeon HD 5770
ATI Radeon HD 5870

DVI port or Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter
  ATI Radeon X1900 XT
NVIDIA Quadro FX4500
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
NVIDIA Quadro FX5600
Either of the two DVI ports
  ATI Radeon 9650  DVI port 2 only
  NVIDIA GeForce 6600 LE
NVIDIA GeForce 6600
NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
DVI port 1 only
  ATI Radeon X850 XT
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT DDL
DVI port
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009) and later
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008) and later
MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2009) and later
MacBook Air (Late 2008) and later
MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008)
MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) and later
Equipped with a Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt port Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter
iMac (Early 2009) and later
Mac mini (Early 2009) and later
Equipped with a Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt port Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter


  • Make sure that you are using a compatible video card or built-in port that provides dual-link support. Compatible video cards must include a dual-link DVI port.
  • When you use a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter  you must use a dual-link compatible adapter.

Learn more


Older products not listed in this article may not provide a dual-link DVI connection and may not be able to support the Apple Cinema Display (30-inch DVI) at its native resolution (2560 x 1600).  Such products will be limited to the maximum resolution available with a single-link DVI connection for this product, which is 1280 x 800 (half of the 2560 x 1600 native resolution).  Displays that are not manufactured by Apple that require a dual-link DVI connection will similarly be limited to half the maximum resolution when used with a single-link DVI connection.

For more information on the Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter, see About the Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter.

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