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Old Nov 25, 2012, 06:13 AM   #1
Woyzeck
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Very disappointed from new Mac Mini 2012

I received my new Mini about a week ago (medium model, 2.7 GHz, 16GB RAM) and it disappoints me every day.

All of it relates to the display connection:

1. The HDMI port gives me black screens about every hour. So I changed to Thunderbolt/MDP (spending another EUR 50 on cables and plugs) and the problem went away, though I have a useless HDMI port now. Still the rest of the problems remain even on the TB port.

2. The picture quality is a disaster. I use the Mini on my Samsung 24" display which has a perfect screen quality on all other computers that I connect it to. It seems that the Mini underscans the picture. It physically generates a 1080p image but the logical resolution seems to be 20% smaller. Everything is pixelated. Fonts look awful and some are next to be unreadable. Graphics in Safari are pixelated as if I'd use a 720i resolution. I tried to tweak the settings and succeeded in improving the situation, but still, if I connect my Thinkpad to the same screen the image quality is far better.

3. The colors are unbelievably bad. The whites are far too bright and there's virtually no grey on my screen. If I open the Apple page I can't see any of the cables and connectors except for their shadows. Calibrating the monitor improved the situation but it's still very very bad. There's no way to do serious work with my Mini.

It's my first Mac and I'm really thinking of returning it.

Apple support - while being very polite - said that they didn't hear of this problem which I just can't believe given the hundreds of threads on the HDMI issues with the Mini. I feel as if I've been taken for a fool by them.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 06:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woyzeck View Post
I received my new Mini about a week ago (medium model, 2.7 GHz, 16GB RAM) and it disappoints me every day.

All of it relates to the display connection:

1. The HDMI port gives me black screens about every hour. So I changed to Thunderbolt/MDP (spending another EUR 50 on cables and plugs) and the problem went away, though I have a useless HDMI port now. Still the rest of the problems remain even on the TB port.

2. The picture quality is a disaster. I use the Mini on my Samsung 24" display which has a perfect screen quality on all other computers that I connect it to. It seems that the Mini underscans the picture. It physically generates a 1080p image but the logical resolution seems to be 20% smaller. Everything is pixelated. Fonts look awful and some are next to be unreadable. Graphics in Safari are pixelated as if I'd use a 720i resolution. I tried to tweak the settings and succeeded in improving the situation, but still, if I connect my Thinkpad to the same screen the image quality is far better.

3. The colors are unbelievably bad. The whites are far too bright and there's virtually no grey on my screen. If I open the Apple page I can't see any of the cables and connectors except for their shadows. Calibrating the monitor improved the situation but it's still very very bad. There's no way to do serious work with my Mini.

It's my first Mac and I'm really thinking of returning it.

Apple support - while being very polite - said that they didn't hear of this problem which I just can't believe given the hundreds of threads on the HDMI issues with the Mini. I feel as if I've been taken for a fool by them.
Add in the fact they become hairdryers under any load above 20%. The mini concept is great and worked well for a number of years but as the design got smaller and Apple leaned toward faster quad core chips it took a functional machine into something unusable at load. Add in the HDMI issues and it's a disaster. The HDMI issue seems to be a fault on Intels part, but still - disaster.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 06:39 AM   #3
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I haven't tried the HDMI output on my 2011 mini, so I wonder if this is new for the 2012 models.

I'll try the HDMI output on my new rmbp and see if it has any issues; if it's an Intel problem then I should have the same problems on my Samsung 1080p TV.

Do they really get that noisy? My 2.0GHz isn't that much slower than the 2.3 but it doesn't make much noise under full load. Is it just the 2.6GHz models that are so noisy?
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 06:50 AM   #4
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Not too many choices here, return it or try another display.

If you are set on the mini form factor maybe a 2011 refurb but it sounds like it still wont work in your application.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 06:59 AM   #5
Mr. McMac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CausticPuppy View Post
I haven't tried the HDMI output on my 2011 mini, so I wonder if this is new for the 2012 models.

I'll try the HDMI output on my new rmbp and see if it has any issues; if it's an Intel problem then I should have the same problems on my Samsung 1080p TV.

Do they really get that noisy? My 2.0GHz isn't that much slower than the 2.3 but it doesn't make much noise under full load. Is it just the 2.6GHz models that are so noisy?
My mid 2011 base mac mini has the same HDMI issues as the 2012 models. I'm now using a thunderbolt to VGA cable on my 40" 720p HDTV with excellent results. No issues at all.. I wish Apple/Intel would get their act together and fix these problems once and for all.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 07:32 AM   #6
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I'm now using a thunderbolt to VGA cable on my 40" 720p HDTV with excellent results. No issues at all.. I wish Apple/Intel would get their act together and fix these problems once and for all.
Falling back from HDMI to VGA seems to be ... the wrong way to go.

Do you face these HDMI issues under Mountain Lion only or did they occur on previous versions, too ?
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 07:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Woyzeck View Post
Falling back from HDMI to VGA seems to be ... the wrong way to go.

Do you face these HDMI issues under Mountain Lion only or did they occur on previous versions, too ?
Falling back to VGA was my only other choice with this TV. I had to unplug my DVD player in order to use an HDMI input for the mini. Now I can keep everything plugged in. I sit 10 feet away so it's not really a problem in clarity, at least to my eyes it isn't.
When I got my mini back in August, I immediately did a clean install of Mountain Lion, so I can't comment on that.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 08:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CausticPuppy View Post
I haven't tried the HDMI output on my 2011 mini, so I wonder if this is new for the 2012 models.
No issues at all on my HDMI output = 2011 mini mid
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 08:23 AM   #9
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No issues at all on my HDMI output = 2011 mini mid
Do you have the base model with the HD3000 GPU?
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 09:00 AM   #10
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Had HDMI issue with my Mini. Switched to DVI & not had a problem since. Just got a new 24" Samsung monitor yesterday and the color is incredible. I use my Mini as a DAW. I have yet to hear the fan run once. While YMMV if I did start hearing the fan running while I worked, I would certainly be taking it in for a trip to the genius bar.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 09:06 AM   #11
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Had HDMI issue with my Mini. Switched to DVI & not had a problem since. Just got a new 24" Samsung monitor yesterday and the color is incredible. I use my Mini as a DAW. I have yet to hear the fan run once. While YMMV if I did start hearing the fan running while I worked, I would certainly be taking it in for a trip to the genius bar.

What kind of DAW work you running? Track count...plug in instances? Plug in types.... Mine is mainly for DAW usage but awaiting my new copy of PT 10 as I'm in between projects at the moment....
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 09:10 AM   #12
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Did you try a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter? THat has been my set-up on my work Mini and I haven't seen a single issue
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 09:18 AM   #13
Dduval
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Do you have the base model with the HD3000 GPU?
Yes...indeed I do.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 09:25 AM   #14
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Yes...indeed I do.
Interesting. Maybe my problem is an HDMI incompatibility issue with my 2007 Samsung HDTV. I've had occasional kernel panics on reboot, snow, and momentary black screens. Ever since I stopped using the HDMI out, I've haven't had any issues for more than 6 weeks. Strange, isn't it?
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 09:35 AM   #15
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Interesting. Maybe my problem is an HDMI incompatibility issue with my 2007 Samsung HDTV. I've had occasional kernel panics on reboot, snow, and momentary black screens. Ever since I stopped using the HDMI out, I've haven't had any issues for more than 6 weeks. Strange, isn't it?
Very strange...I have to agree, likely an issue with the display. At least you don't have the issue anymore, but it would drive me crazy not knowing the root cause...
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 09:46 AM   #16
Woyzeck
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Did you try a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter? THat has been my set-up on my work Mini and I haven't seen a single issue
Yes, seems to have solved the black screen issues, but not the pixeled view and not the colors. the display however is definitely ok.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 09:47 AM   #17
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Very strange...I have to agree, likely an issue with the display. At least you don't have the issue anymore, but it would drive me crazy not knowing the root cause...
Trust me, it is driving crazy not knowing why. Apple tech support was no help at all. At least it's working now.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 10:32 AM   #18
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Trust me, it is driving crazy not knowing why. Apple tech support was no help at all. At least it's working now.
I hear you my friend, apple really needs to fix this HDMI issue, and soon. This is the thing that is keeping me from upgrading to the 2012...
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 12:21 PM   #19
propower
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I have a samsung 2443 and it looks fine with a 2012 mini. You must go into the monitors menu and make sure it is set right. I can't remember all the things I did but sharpness and some of the auto things it does had to be turned off.

I also use this machine as a pro tools daw. Runs great but CPU temps in the 80s and 90s is the norm for anything above 20% load.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 12:24 PM   #20
Woyzeck
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I have a samsung 2443 and it looks fine with a 2012 mini. You must go into the monitors menu and make sure it is set right. I can't remember all the things I did but sharpness and some of the auto things it does had to be turned off.
Well, I guess I've tried everything on OSX and on my display. Can't get it right. Furthermore the display is definitely producing fine quality images on all other computers that I throw at it.
We can only hope that this is a software issue (display driver) and not a hardware flaw.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 12:33 PM   #21
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Well, I guess I've tried everything on OSX and on my display. Can't get it right. Furthermore the display is definitely producing fine quality images on all other computers that I throw at it.
We can only hope that this is a software issue (display driver) and not a hardware flaw.
The samsung is really an ancillary monitor for me and I agree that it took WAY more work than it should have. There is something definitely up with the HDMI ports color calibration. Now my Apple 27" display looks perfect though. No adjusting at all. I wonder what they tested the mini with :-) LOL
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 01:55 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Woyzeck View Post
I received my new Mini about a week ago (medium model, 2.7 GHz, 16GB RAM) and it disappoints me every day.

All of it relates to the display connection:

1. The HDMI port gives me black screens about every hour. So I changed to Thunderbolt/MDP (spending another EUR 50 on cables and plugs) and the problem went away, though I have a useless HDMI port now. Still the rest of the problems remain even on the TB port.

2. The picture quality is a disaster. I use the Mini on my Samsung 24" display which has a perfect screen quality on all other computers that I connect it to. It seems that the Mini underscans the picture. It physically generates a 1080p image but the logical resolution seems to be 20% smaller. Everything is pixelated. Fonts look awful and some are next to be unreadable. Graphics in Safari are pixelated as if I'd use a 720i resolution. I tried to tweak the settings and succeeded in improving the situation, but still, if I connect my Thinkpad to the same screen the image quality is far better.

3. The colors are unbelievably bad. The whites are far too bright and there's virtually no grey on my screen. If I open the Apple page I can't see any of the cables and connectors except for their shadows. Calibrating the monitor improved the situation but it's still very very bad. There's no way to do serious work with my Mini.

It's my first Mac and I'm really thinking of returning it.

Apple support - while being very polite - said that they didn't hear of this problem which I just can't believe given the hundreds of threads on the HDMI issues with the Mini. I feel as if I've been taken for a fool by them.
I had the display issue on my first 2012 Mini. Swapped it and my new one runs great besides choking on Firefox at times. No display issues. I suggest you go and swap your mini for a new one.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 05:11 PM   #23
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I also had the hdmi-color issues. Thought it was my monitors, so I just switched to dvi. Works fine now, and at least my monitors goes into standby instead of solid blue when the screen goes to sleep
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 08:13 PM   #24
h0mi
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My intention was to use the mac mini as an HTPC. I had it plugged into my 37" vizio lcd and ... the screen looks bad. Its usable as a pc monitor but just doesn't look very good and it's tough to read things on it. I'm sure it's partially due to the LCD quality (a 2007 720p LCD from vizio). I used a different cable to connect via thunderbolt to a dell 2410m monitor and it looks great.

So I'm not so sure about using the mini as an HTPC, especially after snagging an apple tv for $80 at frys yesterday.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 12:07 PM   #25
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2011 Mini Server works great as HTPC via HDMI

2011 Mini Server works great as HTPC via HDMI connected directly to a 55" LED Samsung (2011). Picture is stunningly good. BTW, an excellent HTPC is the late 2009 Mini which can be found on CL for $200-250. I have 4, one hooked-up to a new 55" Panasonic LED/LCD, mini-port to HDMI adapter. Picture is excellent. In fact, this is the best cheap HTPC I have found. Bullet-proof HW, N wireless, low power, quiet, can play or stream anything!
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