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Old Dec 3, 2012, 02:12 PM   #1
JamesTheFish
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Dual Monitors with 2012 Mac Mini

Hey all,

I'm close to picking up a new Mac Mini and want to run dual monitors (non-Apple) and I was curious as to what setups people are currently running. I've got a dual setup at work (2x ViewSonic VG2236wm-LEDs) which I like. The home-use Mac Mini is for photos, music, web, nothing real processor-heavy (hence the Mac Mini as the base and not an iMac).

Any input / opinions on dual monitor setup would be appreciated.

Thanks...
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 04:33 PM   #2
Jig3n
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I've got a dual viewsonic VX2250 - LED monitor setup with the mac mini i7.

I picked up a mini display port(thunderbolt) to dvi adapter on ebay for around $5 and upgraded the ram to 8 gigs and I was good to go.

The system allocates 768 MB ram to the display with the 8 gig upgrade which is pretty sweet for a dual monitor rig.

Last edited by Jig3n; Dec 3, 2012 at 04:44 PM.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 04:51 PM   #3
evanavevan
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Just ordered a 2012 Mac mini with the 2.6 GHz i7 and Fusion Drive, have 16 GB of RAM and 2 Thunderbolt Displays on the way. I'm really hoping the HD 4000 graphics can drive both displays without any problems, but I think it should be fine.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 06:58 AM   #4
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HD4000 can drive two monitors with no problem...at work I have a Dell laptop (HD3000 graphics) docked and driving two 30" (2560 x 1600) monitors. I don't do any gaming on it (it's my work machine), but it does everday stuff just fine. Since HD4000 is supposed to be twice as fast as HD3000, you should have no issues.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 07:06 AM   #5
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I've got two 20" Apple Cinema Displays on my Mini. Not seen any HDMI issues.

According to Apple: this model simultaneously supports 1920x1200 on the HDMI port and 2560x1600 on the Thunderbolt port.

The Mini has a very capable CPU and can deal with "processor-heavy" work. Geekbench scores put it above 2010 Quad-core Mac Pros from 2010...!!!!

I'm using mine for Logic, Creative Suite, some OpenGL games (Oolite, highly recommended), and more besides, and it doesn't stop for breath.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 11:03 AM   #6
JamesTheFish
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Originally Posted by JamesTheFish View Post
Hey all,

I'm close to picking up a new Mac Mini and want to run dual monitors (non-Apple) and I was curious as to what setups people are currently running. I've got a dual setup at work (2x ViewSonic VG2236wm-LEDs) which I like. The home-use Mac Mini is for photos, music, web, nothing real processor-heavy (hence the Mac Mini as the base and not an iMac).

Any input / opinions on dual monitor setup would be appreciated.

Thanks...
Thanks for all the input - it seems that the Mini will drive most monitors that you throw at it.

I guess my followup question is about the connections on the monitors I'm looking at. I take it to run two of the same monitor, they've got to have both an HDMI connection (for Mini -> HDMI Cable -> Monitor) and a VGA port (for Mini -> TB to VGA adapter -> Monitor). Am I understanding this correctly?

Thanks again...
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 11:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesTheFish View Post
Thanks for all the input - it seems that the Mini will drive most monitors that you throw at it.

I guess my followup question is about the connections on the monitors I'm looking at. I take it to run two of the same monitor, they've got to have both an HDMI connection (for Mini -> HDMI Cable -> Monitor) and a VGA port (for Mini -> TB to VGA adapter -> Monitor). Am I understanding this correctly?

Thanks again...
No....the Mini comes with an HDMI to DVI adapter - or you can use your own purchased HDMI to DVI or HDMI to VGA adapter. You can get TB (actually mini displayport) to DVI, or VGA, or HDMI adapters. So as long as your two monitors have any of those - you can connect them.
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Last edited by fhall1; Sep 18, 2014 at 07:19 AM.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:04 PM   #8
JamesTheFish
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Originally Posted by fhall1 View Post
No....the Mini comes with an HDMI to DVI adapter - or you can use your own purchased HDMI to HDMI or HDMI to VGA adapter. You can get TB (actually mini displayport) to DVI, or VGA, or HDMI adapters. So as long as your two monitors have any of those - you can connect them.
Ahhhhh... _that's_ the answer I was looking for. So really there's no constraint on the monitors I choose (I'm looking for a pair of 22" or 24") as long as they have some combination of those connectors. IE the monitors don't HAVE to have an HDMI connector as I thought...

Thanks!
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JamesTheFish View Post
Ahhhhh... _that's_ the answer I was looking for. So really there's no constraint on the monitors I choose (I'm looking for a pair of 22" or 24") as long as they have some combination of those connectors. IE the monitors don't HAVE to have an HDMI connector as I thought...

Thanks!
Just remember there's an adapter for everything
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:20 PM   #10
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Just remember there's an adapter for everything
That's true!

But does it degrade de image quality when having multiple adapters?
(let's exclude VGA). The adapter that comes with the mini, is it best to just connect to the monitor via HDMI or it doesn't matter because the quality via the HDMI > DVI is the same?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 05:58 PM   #11
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That's true!

But does it degrade de image quality when having multiple adapters?
(let's exclude VGA). The adapter that comes with the mini, is it best to just connect to the monitor via HDMI or it doesn't matter because the quality via the HDMI > DVI is the same?
I can't comment on the hdmi to dvi but I've got this setup, one hp zr2440w, which is a top IPS panel monitor, on a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable as my 'main' monitor and the color and picture are flawless then a straight hdmi out to a benQ ew2420(much cheaper than the hp), the picture on the benQ with hdmi took a lot of calibrating to get right, and when I plugged the hdmi into my hp monitor I had the same flat grey issue, so it looks like the flat greys from hdmi is a problem BUT it can be rectified but some manual calibration.

That said it seems to just be the hdmi port itself as I tried the hdmi to Dvi adapter with a dvi cable and I get the same issue.
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Old Sep 17, 2014, 08:27 AM   #12
jamesboy123
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mac Mini connections dual setup

Im looking to buy a mac mini for christmas and im having troulble figuring which connectiins i need to hook up to dual moniter i have a asus VE228hr 21.5 inch it has vga and dvi connections on it im planning on buying another one the same moniter.So which cabels do i need to make this happen? anyhelp would be greatly appreciated
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Old Sep 17, 2014, 02:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesboy123 View Post
Im looking to buy a mac mini for christmas and im having troulble figuring which connectiins i need to hook up to dual moniter i have a asus VE228hr 21.5 inch it has vga and dvi connections on it im planning on buying another one the same moniter.So which cabels do i need to make this happen? anyhelp would be greatly appreciated
You need HDMI to DVI and a Thunderbolt (same as Mini display port aka mdp) to DVI
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Old Sep 17, 2014, 07:06 PM   #14
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Yeah, I'm running two Acer VE228 monitors on my late 2012 mini. Works fine.
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Old Sep 18, 2014, 05:36 AM   #15
jamesboy123
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Mac mini dual monitor setup

And can I get a hdmi to dvi cable from the Apple Store and same as mini display port to dvi?
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Old Sep 18, 2014, 07:21 AM   #16
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You can, but you can get one cheaper and just as good quality at Monoprice.com
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Old Sep 18, 2014, 10:12 AM   #17
jamesboy123
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macbook air 2013 hook up to external display

and how would i hook up my mba 2013 to the Asus ve22 what cables do i need then?
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Old Sep 19, 2014, 10:56 PM   #18
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and how would i hook up my mba 2013 to the Asus ve22 what cables do i need then?
It might be better to ask that question on the forum that is devoted to the MacBook Air.
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Old Sep 25, 2014, 09:23 PM   #19
elvisidal
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The system allocates 768 MB ram to the display with the 8 gig upgrade which is pretty sweet for a dual monitor rig.
does it increase further if I up to 16gb ram?
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Old Nov 12, 2014, 12:14 PM   #20
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2012 mac mini running 3 monitors and works flawless...using 27" iMac as main and 2 24" Samsung using HDMI to HDMI and USB to HDMI adapter
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Old Nov 12, 2014, 12:44 PM   #21
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2012 mac mini running 3 monitors and works flawless...using 27" iMac as main and 2 24" Samsung using HDMI to HDMI and USB to HDMI adapter
Do you notice any lag or difference on the USB-connected monitor than with the HDMI-connected monitor?
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Old Nov 13, 2014, 07:25 AM   #22
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2012 mac mini running 3 monitors and works flawless...using 27" iMac as main and 2 24" Samsung using HDMI to HDMI and USB to HDMI adapter
which USB to HDMI adapter? Those are really finicky - especially the Displaylink-based ones. What version of OS X are you running?
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Old Nov 13, 2014, 10:28 AM   #23
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which USB to HDMI adapter? Those are really finicky - especially the Displaylink-based ones. What version of OS X are you running?
i got the beta version of the latest Display link firmware for Yosemite and so far no issues..

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Do you notice any lag or difference on the USB-connected monitor than with the HDMI-connected monitor?
No lag or anything at all...im surprised
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Old Nov 13, 2014, 11:20 AM   #24
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The 2012 Mac Mini (HD 4000) is actually very capable of running multiple (>2) monitors without a sweat.

Here is a link to my test setup (5 monitors) - My daily use consists of 3 22" Samsung monitors though.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1816654

The only thing I would advice is checking your cabling very carefully. Here in Europe (Germany) it is extremely expensive to buy adapters for Apple and then the corresponding cables. There are numerous companies who offer complete cables like:
MiniDP -> DVI
MiniDP -> HDMI
HDMI -> DVI
...
I have been using such cables for years without any problems ever...

PS: Yes, your virtual GPU RAM will increase (to 1024MB) when upgrading your RAM to 16GB
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