DisplayPort On MacBook Pro -- How Does It Work?


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2008
Hearst Castle
This is my first experience with "DisplayPort." I'm used to DVI and HDMI, but not this puny port on the side of my new Macbook Pro.

So, what is it? Is this a standard DisplayPort, or a "Mini" DisplayPort, on the unibody Macbook Pro?

I need to hook up a projector to the Macbook Pro. I don't think the projector has DisplayPort, in fact I don't know any peripherals that do.

So, do I need to buy an adapter to go from my DisplayPort to DVI? Do I lose anything when going from DisplayPort -> DVI, i.e. a signal or quality downgrade?

Finally, if an adapter is necessary to use external displays, why didn't it come with my laptop? Annoying if every lappy purchaser needs to by a damn adapter to use the external display port. I appreciate Apple moving the envelope (e.g. Firewire, DisplayPort, new buttonless trackpad, unibody construction), but the purpose is defeated if I need to make another visit to the Apple Store to buy yet another piece to use something as basic as the external display function.

Any other information or advice you have is appreciated.


macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
dallas, texas
MiniDisplayport is just another connection type. Apple's move I assume was largely influenced because of its size. My understanding is that the signal quality is better then standard DVI and I can tell you after doing two presentations today, I have no complaints with the quality. MacWorld did an article on it that can be found here.

As to why you have to buy another adaptor, capitalism. Apple I'm sure figured out that not all their users used an external monitor and then realized that there was a division as to what other connection people needed: DVI, HDMI, etc.


macrumors 603
Jul 26, 2004
Montreal, QC
The Mini DisplayPort carries a DVI signal. There is no conversion and thus no signal degradation in the adapter.

The PR reason for the change is because the older port can't do this.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.