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Latest FAQ’s

Is it possible to connect the LED Cinema Display (Mini Display Port) to the 2016 MacBook Pro (TouchBar) using this adapter?

Apple Thunderbolt 2 display will most likely work via this adapter with 2016 MacBook Pros equipped with Thunderbolt 3. Apple LED Cinema displays will most likely not work with 2016 MacBook Pros using this adapter because of the Apple’s disclaimer that this adapter only converts Thunderbolt signal, but not DisplayPort signals. However, you can get a male-to-male USB-C to DisplayPort cable and a female DisplayPort to male mini-Display Port adapter (make sure it mentions support of Displayport 1.2 in its discription) on Monoprice. That combination would most likely allow you to connect the Apple LED Cinema Display to the 2016 MacBook Pro (and to the 2015/2016 retina MacBook) via DisplayPort 1.2 over USB-C.

Does the Apple Thunderbolt Display charge the new MacBook Pro 2016 over this adapter or should I use an external power supply for the computer?

No. The thunderbolt display does not provide power back over it’s thunderbolt connection.

The thunderbolt display can only provide power via its Magsafe connector, but that can’t be used to provide power to the USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro’s. (unless some sort of MagSafe to USB-C adapter comes along, but I have not heard of such thing yet.)

How do I connect my printer to a Thunderbolt-3 port?

The Thunderbolt 3 port is also a USB 3.1 gen 2 USB Type-C port (well, it is a USB Type-C port supporting USB 3.1 gen 2, and has Thunderbolt 3 as one of the supported USB-C alternate modes). You need a USB-A female (receptacle) to USB-C male (plug) adapter, which can connect your printer’s existing USB cable to your computer. The adapter should support USB 3.1 so it can be used with all USB devices, not just USB 2.0.

Or you can replace the printer’s existing USB cable with a USB-B male to USB-C male cable. Check the printer’s end of the cable to see if it is USB 3.0 or USB 2.0. That will determine which kind of USB-B male connector you should get. I believe a USB 2.0 Type-B plug will connect to a USB 3.0 Type-B plug, but it will not support USB 3.0 speeds.

If your printer has an ethernet or wifi connection ability (to allow connecting it to a network), then you should use that instead, so that you don’t need to connect it directly to your computer. Your computer will be able to find the printer on your local area network (LAN). You should have a router in your house. Your cable modem or whatever device you use to connect to the internet (WAN or wide area network) might have a built in router or maybe built in wifi router. Otherwise, you can buy a router which connects to your internet device on the WAN side, then all your computers, tablets, printers, etc connect to the router on the LAN side. This way, all the devices can use the printer.

If the printer is connected to your computer instead of the network, then your computer can share the printer so other computers can use the printer, but your computer needs to be on to do that. That’s why a network connection for the printer is preferable.

Can I use the apple “USB-C adaptor to Thunderbolt” to daisy chain a “Thunderbolt to HDMI” (moshi), or even a “Thunderbolt to VGA” (apple) adaptor?

The Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter does not pass DisplayPort or HDMI signals.

You need to use USB-C alt mode adapters instead of Thunderbolt 3 adapters for HDMI, VGA, etc. You can use a USB-C to mini DisplayPort adapter, then connect your adapters (which are mini DisplayPort, not Thunderbolt) to that.

Can I connect a Belkin Thunderbolt 3 dock to a Thunderbolt 2 MacBook Pro 2013 with this adapter? The dock will have a 4K screen, keyboard etc.

This should be possible. Thunderbolt 2 allows 20 Gbps. A 4K 60 Hz display takes about 16 Gbps over Thunderbolt. This leaves 4 Gbps for everything else (for transmit, and up to 20 Gbps for receive).

That will reduce the write speed of a USB 3.0 device (normally 5 Gbps) or a USB 3.1 gen 2 device connected to one of the Thunderbolt 3 ports (normally 10 Gbps). The read speed should not be affected.

You may wish to connect the 4K display directly to your MacBook Pro 2013 instead of the dock so that the write speeds aren’t affected.

According to apple technical support document HT206587 “Using 4K displays, 5K displays, and Ultra HD TVs with your Mac”, the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) doesn’t support 4K at 60 Hz unless it is a MST display?

You did not specify if your MacBook Pro is 13 inch or 15 inch, or if it is early 2013 or late 2013. Your MacBook Pro may be limited to 4K at 30 Hz. In that case, the display will use about 8 Gbps over Thunderbolt, allowing 12 Gbps for transmitting.

Can the new (2016) macbook pro models be charged from an Apple thunderbolt monitor?

Yes, sort of. You need a USB-C to USB-A cable, and then you can provide a very low voltage to the laptop like it would to an iPhone or iPad. in my tests it only works when the laptop is asleep, but if you leave it overnight, it will be fully charged when you wake up

Can you connect a 2017 iMac (Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C) to a Thunderbolt 1 (2012 iMac) and use as a thunderbolt bridge

Yes, the Apple support document HT207266 “Connect devices and displays with the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter” says you can do that.

I don’t know how fast Thunderbolt networking is in that case. The networking packets might not be allowed to use the full 10 Gbps bandwidth. For example, Thunderbolt 3 can transmit 40 Gbps, but PCIe transmission is maxed out at around 22 Gbps. I don’t know if network traffic falls under the PCIe limitation. DisplayPort traffic is separate and can use up to 32 Gbps on Thunderbolt 3. You can read about that in Thunderbolt3_TechBrief_FINAL.pdf at

The macperformanceguide website has a very good review of Thunderbolt networking “Easy Thunderbolt Networking (10 Gigabit)”. Those tests used two Thunderbolt 2 Macs to achieve over 1000 MB/s but that occasionally dropped to under 100 MB/s. I guess Thunderbolt 1 would be half as fast. I don’t know if Thunderbolt networking has improved in the last two years.

Does the LG Ultrafine 4k Display work with a Mac Mini?

I was just in the Apple Store and they now use the LG displays with the Mini and MacPro. I didnt check the adapter and port used.

What kind of network performance should I be getting from this display’s usb-c ports?

The specs say that the additional ports are USB-C but configured as USB 2.0. You should still get decent speed as USB2 is rated at 480 Mb/s. Probably a Belkin compatibility issue.

Can the LG Ultrafine display charge a MacBook pro

Works fine with my 13-inch Macbook pro (new with touchbar). Even though the specs says the display gives 60 Watts, the Macbook charger 61 Watts…

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