MBA 18 - connect display using USB-C to TB2 vs. HDMI vs. DisplayPort

xerenthar

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 27, 2008
455
11
the tech specs for the new MBA 18 say "Native DisplayPort output over USB‑C" and "VGA, HDMI, and Thunderbolt 2 output using adapters" -- i'm not sure what 'native' means here. if i have a monitor (3440x1440 on a 21:9 ultrawide if it matters) that has HDMI v2.0, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt 2, is there any difference to me of how i connect the MBA to the monitor?
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
5,879
3,140
the tech specs for the new MBA 18 say "Native DisplayPort output over USB‑C" and "VGA, HDMI, and Thunderbolt 2 output using adapters" -- i'm not sure what 'native' means here. if i have a monitor (3440x1440 on a 21:9 ultrawide if it matters) that has HDMI v2.0, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt 2, is there any difference to me of how i connect the MBA to the monitor?
It means you can connect the Air to the display with just a USB-C to mini-displayport cable. But if you want to use the display's VGA or HDMI ports, you'll need adapters.
 

xerenthar

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 27, 2008
455
11
It means you can connect the Air to the display with just a USB-C to mini-displayport cable. But if you want to use the display's VGA or HDMI ports, you'll need adapters.
is there any advantage to using one over the other? is Tb2 better for some reason? is "Native DisplayPort" better for some reason?
 

curmudgeonette

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2016
505
325
California
the tech specs for the new MBA 18 say "Native DisplayPort output over USB‑C" and "VGA, HDMI, and Thunderbolt 2 output using adapters" -- i'm not sure what 'native' means here. if i have a monitor (3440x1440 on a 21:9 ultrawide if it matters) that has HDMI v2.0, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt 2, is there any difference to me of how i connect the MBA to the monitor?
The Mac can output video in two ways: As DisplayPort over the USB-C connector, or encapsulated inside the Thunderbolt protocol. To get HDMI, you'd have to get an active converter.

The two choices that make sense are a USB-C to DisplayPort cable, or a TB3-TB2 adapter plus a TB2 cable. If your monitor provides port expansion for Thunderbolt (USB-C ports, Ethernet, SD card reader, etc.), then you'd want to go with a TB hookup.