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Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter on a Dell SP2309W

by scottshells / June 21, 2010 3:40 AM PDT

I just bought a Dell SP2309W 2048 x 1152 resolution and I'm really confused in which Adapter I should buy this one or the Mini Displayport to DVI?
I'm really confused because I heard that the Mini Displayport to DVI adapter resolution only goes up to 1920 x 1200 max but my monitor's resolution is 2048 x 1152 so that won't work. And I was thinking to buy the Mini Displayport to dual-Link DVI Adapter but I herd it doesn't work with other monitors only the 30inch Apple Cinema Display and its way to much for an adapter. So what could I do im stuck is there anything I could do?
Thanks for any ones help in advance!

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As I see it,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / June 21, 2010 9:04 AM PDT

the Mini Displayport to dual-Link DVI Adapter is the only option here. It will work with other monitors, not just the 30" Cinema Display.


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You only need the single

You only need the single. I have the same monitor connected to my Dell system with a single DVI cable. Works just fine. DisplayPort and DVI both should have plenty of bandwidth to handle that resolution.

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Although it will work,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / June 21, 2010 9:59 PM PDT

the OP seems to be indicating that anything that does not reach the full resolution potential of his new Monitor is not a consideration.

I believe the OP is trying to reach a resolution of 2048 x 1152 while the single DVI adapter only goes to 920 x 1200 max, at least that is the impression I get when they say:

"the Mini Displayport to DVI adapter resolution only goes up to 1920 x 1200 max but my monitor's resolution is 2048 x 1152 so that won't work"


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Everything I can find
by Jimmy Greystone / June 21, 2010 11:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Although it will work,

Everything I can find says that it should be just fine. I have the exact same monitor, connected via a single DVI cable, running at it's full native resolution. And everything I can find (even though the OP neglected to give us a specific model) says that DisplayPort should have ample bandwidth to handle handle that resolution unless he's trying to use a cable over about 50ft long.

It's possible it's a video memory issue. The system doesn't have enough to drive both the internal display (this IS the laptops forum) and external at the full resolution, so falls back to the highest one it can.

I'm also assuming Mac OS X can handle two displays with different aspect ratios. Something I have never actually tried myself, but this really seems like it's more the domain of the video hardware.

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Comment at the Apple Store
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / June 22, 2010 3:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Everything I can find

would indicate that the max resolution supported is 1920x1200

if yours is working at 2048 x 1152 resolution then there is nothing more to say


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Thanks for the answers
by scottshells / June 22, 2010 4:32 AM PDT

I am waiting for both the new MacBook Pro 15" from Apple and the Dell SP2309W Monitor to arrive to my house. I will try the Mini Display-port to DVI cable and see if the 2048 x 1152 resolution is achieved. Jimmy, you have this monitor, do you have the new MacBook Pro and did it recognize the 2048 x 1152 resolution?
Thanks Jimmy and Mr Mac Fix It!!!

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by Jimmy Greystone / June 22, 2010 9:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks for the answers

No, I have a late 2009 MBP, but no adapter to test it with.

I did see the comment on the Apple Store that was referenced, but find that just a little hard to believe. As I said, I have the exact same monitor, running at it's full native resolution, using a single DVI cable (and another monitor running 1920x1200). It's on a Dell system running Windows 7, but if Windows can do it, odds are so can Mac OS X.

Of course you could always just call someone at Apple to see if they have some specs internally that may not settle this once and for all. Everything I can find says you should be fine.

* I have the same monitor running it's full native resolution via a single DVI cable

* According to Wikipedia (and since it's something that can be copied and pasted from somewhere else, it's probably pretty reliable) the DisplayPort spec should provide for ample bandwidth

* Also according to Wikipedia, around late 2008, the DisplayPort standards group mandated that all devices be at compliant with a minimum of the 1.1a spec

* Mini-DisplayPort ports should be every bit as capable as their normal sized counterparts

If I had a MDP adapter, I'd be willing to test it with my monitor, but alas I don't. Still, I would be quite surprised if it did have a max resolution of 1920x1200, because there's only one DVI port on this monitor, which would make it quite the trick to use a dual link adapter. My guess is that the person who made that comment on the Apple Store meant well, but didn't know what they were talking about.

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The Dell SP2309W displays 2048x1152 via single-link DVI...
by stevenk583 / June 25, 2010 8:14 PM PDT
In reply to: No

The Dell SP2309W User's Guide is available here:

The manual shows that the SP2309W has a single-link DVI connector, so you need a Mini DisplayPort to (single-link) DVI Adapter. That single-link adapter is _not_ limited to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz, that spec is simply given to avoid the confusion which would be caused by mentioning other less common resolutions which are also supported by single-link DVI, such as 2048x1152.

Single-link DVI can handle 2048x1152 and even a little more beyond that, as explained here:

On that Wikipedia page it says: "With a single DVI link, the largest resolution possible at 60 Hz is 2.75 megapixels (including blanking interval). For practical purposes, this allows a maximum screen resolution at 60 Hz of 1,915

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