Can the 2011 Mac Mini support 2560x1440 through HDMI port?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by omvs, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #1
    I currently have one of the Late 2009 Mac mini's with MDP and MiniDVI connectors. While the miniDVI can't normally support a LCD >1920x1200, I'm able to drive a QH270 at 2560x1440 using miniDVI->VGA adapter, and still cano hook up another high res display to the MDP port.

    Unfortunately, I may have to replace the mini with a new model. It seems like the current version has Thunderbolt + HDMI. I assume I can hook up a MDP -> Dual-link converter on the Thunderbolt port, allowing me to use one display. But what I can't tell is if the HDMI port is limited to 1920x1200 - one search on the web suggests that it is compatible with HDMI 1.0 -> 1.4 devices, which should have enough bandwidth.

    Anyone know one way or another?
     
  2. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #2
    I am not sure . I do ask if you are running from the hdmi port how are you going to hook it up to the monitor? with a hdmi to vga adapter? now if you are usa located just buy a mini from apple and attach the 2 monitors to the mini. if it works fine if not you have 2 week return policy. apple will pay for the return
     
  3. omvs, Jul 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I don't think you can convert HDMI to VGA -- at least, without using some sort of expensive active adapter. I think the only affordable way to hook up VGA to the 2011mini is via MDP -> VGA adapter.

    However, the version of the QH270 I have is the IPSMS, which has VGA, HDMI, and dual-link DVI-D inputs. A user online reported that the EQ276W can do 2560x1440 on HDMI & VGA, which is a very similar model except it also as display port (http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1696676).

    I could buy & return a mini, though I'd feel kinda bad about returning it if it didn't work, since Apple explicitly says 1920x1200 through the HDMI port on their tech specs -- I'm just hoping that they're lowballing since very few monitors have HDMI input at 2560x1440.

    I suppose my other option would be to ask if they minded if i brought in a display and tried hooking it up to one of their machines, though the monitor is kinda heavy and I am lazy! :)

    Random aside: I did try hooking the monitor up to my macbook pro with a MDP->VGA adapter and a MDP->HDMI adapter. Neither worked above 1920x1080, even using switchresx to try and force a custom res. But the miniDVI -> VGA on the mac mini worked as soon as I hooked it up.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #4
    My guess is that it won't work.

    funny that a 2009 mini can do what you want. sometimes old tech can be better then new.

    if the 2012 mini comes with 2 t-bolt ports it may do what you want.
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
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    Pennsylvania
    #5
    The hardware probably supports 2560x1440 through HDMI, but OSX doesn't seem to.

    I have a retina MBP, and have a similar display (from Microcenter) connected via HDMI. If I boot into Windows, 2560x1440 works just fine. OSX refuses to show any options above 1920x1080. It seems to be treating the monitor as a TV, as most of the resolution options are things like 1080p, 1080i, 720p, etc..

    I'm going to try switchresx when I get home tonight.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

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    Dec 22, 2008
    #6
    you won't be able to drive above 1920 x 1200 via HDMI.
     
  7. macrumors regular

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    Jun 22, 2012
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    #7
    This is right. HDMI max is 1920 x 1200. You need DisplayPort or Thunderbolt to get anything higher than this.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

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    #8
    Wrong. HDMI 1.4 (which is what the mini has) can drive 4K resolutions. OSX doesn't allow this. However if you boot into Windows, 2560 (and presumably above) work fine. How do I know this? Because I'm typing this post on such a setup at this very second.

    OSX seems to limit the HDMI frequency to 165MHz. So if I force the refresh rate to 40Hz via SwitchResX, 2560 works fine even in OSX. But the hardware is capable of running at 340MHz - I don't know why Apple disabled this capability.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #9
    Excellent! So if I have to upgrade to the new mini, I can probably drive one display via HDMI and one via DP. Weird OSX is limiting it - but I can live with 40Hz at work.

    I had done some experiments with the DP->HDMI and DP->VGA converters, and couldn't get either to do 2560x1440, even at 40hz or less. Now you got me wondering if OSX is locking it out - I'll have to try again under windows just for the heck of it.

    On a side note, those EQ276W's are sweet for price (even with the crappy stand). My local microcenter sold out of their batch last week, but some new ones apparently just arrived and a few more of my coworkers are pondering purchases.

    Thanks a ton terraphantm!
     
  10. macrumors 68040

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    #10
    Hmm, the DP -> HDMI cable *should* work - strictly going by bandwidth. The VGA adapter should actually be able to do 60Hz since RAMDACs typically run at 400MHz. It does appear OS X is limiting it. What version are you using? I'm using Mountain Lion.

    Also FWIW - I suppose the 2560 working in Windows is a YMMV thing. Apple says the Mini is HDMI 1.4, so it *should* be able to do it. But who knows without trying I suppose. The VGA adapter at least should work under Windows. Even my mom's ancient Thinkpad is able to send 2560 over VGA.

    And yeah, this monitor is pretty awesome for the price. Mine does not appear to have any dead pixels either!. Yeah the stand sucks and the OSD is fairly clunky... but I can live with that. I'll probably buy a nicer stand one of these days.
     
  11. macrumors regular

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    Jun 22, 2012
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    USA
    #11
    Thanks. I learned something today. I thought that limitation was why DP appeared.
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

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    Dec 22, 2008
    #12
    wouldn't the monitor also has to support HDMI 1.4 in order for this to work?
     
  13. macrumors 68040

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    Pennsylvania
    #13
    Well, the monitor has to at least support receiving a 250MHz signal (I think that's what 2560x1440 @ 60Hz requires). The Korean displays (at least the one I have) do seem to support that frequency. OSX does not seem to allow the HDMI port to run at >165MHz.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #14
    Hi omvs,

    I'm trying to do the same thing as you. I'd like to hook up two 27" 2560x1440 Catleap monitors to a new Mac Mini.

    I am thinking one Catleap (Q270) would be connected via MDP > MDP to Dual Link DVI adapter > DVI…

    and the second Catleap (Q271) would be connected via HDMI 1.4 > HDMI 1.4

    Ebay item #110914205130 states that the Q271 monitor "Supports HDMI 1.4a Ver 2560x1440 high resolution!"

    It would be great if it's this easy, but as terraphantm said earlier, the hardware probably supports 2560x1440 through HDMI, but OSX doesn't seem to.

    I'm considering giving it a shot. The Q271 has a VGA port, so if HDMI 1.4 > HDMI 1.4 it doesn't work… I think I'll buy a 2009 Mac Mini (after reading that you have dual 27's running on yours.)

    I'm planning on stripping both of the shells from these displays, and hinging the two panels together with a piano hinge. This way I can fold them up, throw them into a large shoulder bag and carry them onto flights with me. (20 lbs. total)

    Have you purchased a new Mac Mini yet? I'd be interested in knowing if you've learned any more on this subject.

    Thanks!!
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #15
    I tried terraphantm's trick of setting the display to 2560x1440x40Hz w/ switchresx, and managed to get OSX to work via single-link DVI (and HDMI on my home iMac). I'd expect the mini w/ ATI 6630M to act like my iMac. the rMBP and my old mini are nvidia machines. What I'm not sure is what the HD3000 model of mini would do - its *possible* it might allow >165MHz HDMI being a different driver, but hard to say without trying it.

    NOTE: The 40Hz trick did NOT work with the QH270 - computer puts out a signal, but monitor won't lock on it. The EQ276W apparently is more tolerant, and didn't seem to have a problem until I messed with the timing a bit too much in an attempt to get >40Hz. I have no idea whether the Catleap will do <60Hz.... If you go that route, I'd suggest turning on screen sharing first and having another mac handy, because its a PITA otherwise - took me half hour friday to undo it on my machine, since the QH270 was set to my main screen, and I had trouble getting the SwitchResX panel on the functioning display.

    I haven't purchased a new mini yet -- but that is my plan now rather than trying to get an older one. I have until thanksgiving, so I'm going to wait and see if a new version comes out -- maybe with dual-thunderbolt? :) If not, I'll just grab the 2011 version when time runs out.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    Germany
    #16
    Makes sense that apple limits the VGA adapter and HDMI port. They sell the dual link DVI adapter for a reason, to make $100 extra. Real annoying especially because they don't work properly with displays from other manufacturers.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #17
    {rolling eyes}. Yeah, $100 price has nothing to do with the fact that it requires activity circuitry to demux the DVI links, and limited volume makes it hard to get chip prices down.

    The only reason apple made the DP->dual-link adapter is so people with a ACD 30" could use it with newer macs. And it worked great for me for exactly that purpose -- as well as the other 4 monitors I've tested it with.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
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    Pennsylvania
    #18
    I don't think he's questioning the value of the adapter. But what he's saying is that Apple seems to limit the VGA and HDMI outputs on these computers. Both should be capable of 2560 and beyond. And under Windows they are. So something about the OSX driver prevents it. Whether it's deliberate or not is questionable. But the end result is we have to either use DP or use a DP->DL DVI adapter to get 2560 in OS X, even if our monitors support it over HDMI.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #19
    ****omvs, thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it!!

    "I tried terraphantm's trick of setting the display to 2560x1440x40Hz w/ switchresx, and managed to get OSX to work via single-link DVI {On what computer and what monitor?} and HDMI on my home iMac. {Confused, iMac's don't have HDMI ports, do they?}

    You explained that you are able to use your QH270 on your 2009 Mac Mini using a miniDVI > VGA adapter. I don't understand… does your QH270 have a VGA input on it?

    So, are you saying that you have had two 2560x1440 monitors hooked up at the same time to your 2009 Mac Mini? Can you explain what models the monitors were, and what adaptors were necessary for this? Was any software necessary to achieve this?

    Does your 2009 Mac Mini have a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor? How much memory does it have? What is the processor speed? Is it a Core 2 Duo?

    It seems that I could run the monitor I currently have (Q270 Catleap) on a 2009 Mac Mini via MDP > MDP to Dual Link DVI adapter > DVI, and hook up a second monitor to the miniDVI port?

    I currently have a macbook air/HD3000, can you think of anything I could do to test out the graphics card? It doesn't have a miniDVI port, just USB and MDP.

    What about a USB > DVI, HDMI or VGA adapter?

    Thanks again,

    Max-
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #20
    NEVERMIND THIS QUESTION>>>"I tried terraphantm's trick of setting the display to 2560x1440x40Hz w/ switchresx, and managed to get OSX to work via single-link DVI {On what computer and what monitor?} and HDMI on my home iMac. {Confused, iMac's don't have HDMI ports, do they?}

    Sorry, I understand now that you tried both methods (DVI & HDMI) on your iMac.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #21
    omvs, terraphantm, do you think it would be possible to run two 2560x1440 catleaps on the 2011 mac mini by using this: http://www.atlona.com/ATLONA-HDMI-MINI-DISPLAYPORT-TO-MINI-DISPLAYPORT-SCALER-AND-SWITCHER.html

    One through the MDP, and the second through this HDMI to MDP scaler...?
     
  22. Chippy99, Aug 9, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    #22
    Interesting to find that HDMI 1.3 supports 2560x1600. I never knew that!

    I wonder why Apple limit output to 1920x1200? And I wonder if you could patch the driver to get around this?
     
  23. evo3rs, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012

    macrumors newbie

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    #23
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
  25. macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Thanks!. I'll probably get the monoprice version as it is much cheaper.:D
     

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