TL;DR: How do I get the 2560x1600 @60fps resolution from my Apple 30" Cinema Display?

Edited: Startech.com confirms the HDMI-to-DVI-D adaptor is dual channel. I don't have enough reputation to give more than 2 links in this, but the product number is HDDVIMF8IN and can be found on amazon.com.

I recently completed my first build, designed around my Apple 30" Cinema Display. This uses a DVI-D dual-channel cable, and has an optimal resolution of 2560x1600. Specs here. PartPicker Build Part list here.

I am using "trusty":

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS
Release:        14.04
Codename:       trusty

My intention was that the build be able to drive the screen at its optimal resolution of 2560x1600. I was disappointed that I misread the Motherboard specs, and the DVI-I port only drives 1920x1200 @ 60fps. Indeed, using the computer with the DVI-I port only gives 1280x800 resolution.

However, the HDMI ports do drive 2560x1600 @ 60fps. Subseqently, I purchased a Startech.com HDMI to DVI-D video adaptor, with the intention of plugging this into an HDMI port,so that I can get 2560x1600 resolution.

My problem: I can't get the screen, connected now with the HDMI-to-DVI cable, to give me any better (or, even different) than 1280x800 @60fps resolution. In this hardware configuration, the hardware doesn't recognize any but the 1280x800 default screen resolution. I've used cvt and xrandr to define 1920x1600 @45 fps resolution (to be safe) and 2560x1600 @ 60fps resolution, and all I get is the screen goes black.

Example of what I'm inputting:

rutledge@sekhmet:~$ cvt 1920 1200

\# 1920x1200 44.91 Hz (CVT) hsync: 55.42 kHz; pclk: 141.00 MHz
>Modeline "1920x1200_45.00"  141.00  1920 2032 2232 2544  1200 1203 1209 >1234 -hsync +vsync

xrandr --newmode "1920x1200" 141.00 1920 2032 2232 2544 1200 1203 1209 >1234 -Hsync +Vsync

>xrandr --addmode HDMI3  “1920x1200”

Output of xrandr is:

Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 1280 x 800, maximum 32767 x 32767

HDMI1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

HDMI2 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

HDMI3 connected primary 1280x800+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y >axis) 641mm x 401mm

   1280x800       59.9* 

   1920x1200      44.9  

VGA1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

VIRTUAL1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

I can then set display resolution using "System Settings...Screen Display",and the screen goes black. Same thing if I do 1920x1200 @ 60fps or 2560x1600 @ 60 fps.

Finally, I should mention that I placed a .conf file into /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d which contains:

Section "Device"
        Identifier "Configured Video Device"
        Option "AllowDualLinkModes"

So, does anyone have any insight as to how I can drive this screen at the desired resolution?

Possible sources of the problem which I can still identify:

  1. xrandr isn't working properly on my computer

  2. There are some default settings which should have been set, but aren't, and I have no idea what they are.

Thank you for your help!

  • Your motherboard seems to have a dual link DVI port. I'm not sure the startech.com adapter you bought supports dual link (you didn't provide a link to it). Also, are you certain that you have a cable which is dual link? – dobey Sep 28 '15 at 21:49
  • Since my posting, the cable tech support confirms that the cable is indeed dual link. So that cannot be the problem. Text above has been edited to reflect this. – Bob R. Sep 28 '15 at 21:58
  • And a link to the specific startech.com adapter you purchased? – dobey Sep 29 '15 at 13:06
  • Here is a link to the specific startech.com adapter I purchased - amazon.ca/gp/product/… – Bob R. Sep 29 '15 at 13:40
  • Are you certain the HDMI version of the adapter is 1.3 or newer? 1.0 only allows up to 1920x1200. – dobey Sep 29 '15 at 15:17

I don't believe it is your Trusty system, I believe it is the cable.

I bought this same adapter that you specified from startech.com, but for my Windows 10 PC to the 30" Apple cinema display. I am not able to get over 1280 resolution on this, either. I do suspect the cable, because I am able to use the 30" cinema display at full resolution when I use a dual DVI to Displayport cable. That cable has the extra USB cable attached needed for power. The Startech adaptor does not have that, so I tried just plugging in the monitor's USB cable, but it doesn't seem to work that way.

UPDATE 2019: I am now using Ubuntu 19.04 happily with the same setup; 1 connection uses the traditional DVI to miniDP cord from Apple, and the other monitor uses the same Bizlink/Dell dual DVI (plus a DP-to-Thunderbolt C adaptor since my Linux laptop does not have a DisplayPort). Note that I did have to tweak the Bios to get my System76/Clevo laptop to recognize the monitor on the Thunderbolt C though.

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I've had a similar problem. I wasn't able to get 2560x1600 from HP ZDisplay while connected with VGA, Mini DisplayPort/HDMI or Mini DisplayPort/HDMI + HDMI/HDMI cables. I've solved it by buying a Mini DisplayPort/DisplayPort cable with a declared support for 2560x1600 and using it.

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