Q&A: Connecting an old LCD display

Q I have an Apple Studio Display LCD 15” that I would like to use with a new Mac mini. Is there an adaptor that will connect that new model to the display?

A Yours is one of the first LCD displays that Apple made, and it shipped in three slightly different versions, with a DB-15, VGA, or DVI connection, giving a maximum resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels.

The current Mac mini has built-in support for display resolutions up to 2560 by 1600 via its Thunderbolt port, or 4096 by 2160 over HDMI. So your lovely old display, whilst it should work fine with a new mini, will be under-using the potential of your new Mac, and when you can stretch to a newer, higher resolution display you should see good return on your investment.

If your display has the later VGA or DVI output, then Apple and others offer Mini DisplayPort to VGA or DVI adaptors for less than £30; these should be readily available from Apple stockists and online stores. If it has the original DB-15 adaptor, then you will also need a DB-15 to VGA adaptor, which is widely available from the likes of Maplin or Amazon for even less. You will though need to ensure that the gender of each end of that adaptor is correct for both the display and the Mini DisplayPort to VGA adaptor.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 27 issue 5, 2011.