Mac Mini with Dual Monitors

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by JWalker1995, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #1
    Hi, im buying a Mac Mini in the summer and understand that you can run to monitors off it using one on the DVI and other off HDMI. Would running both monitors use up to much RAM or would a basic 2gb be enough.
    If upgrade is needed how much would you recommend to upgrade to.
    Thanks
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    neko girl

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    #2
    Since a memory upgrade can be performed pretty easily, and doing so won't affect your data or your day-to-day use, why not buy the base machine itself, use it for a few days, then upgrade to 4 GB if your experience is sub-optimal?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #3
    Would the processor have any effect or would you say to just go with the base model?
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    neko girl

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    #4
    Can you tell us what kind of work you'd be doing on it?
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #5
    Im jsut going into collage and not doing art/ graphics so just basic internet, typing, keynote presentations, emails, films/music. Just basic stuff like that:)
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    neko girl

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    #6
    Keep the base processor and 2 GB. Upgrade to 4 GB only if you feel like your system could be faster.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #7
    Ahh ok :) Thanks very much with your help :)
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #8
    mac mini mid 2010 with 8 GB Ram.

    dual monitor:
    1920 x 1080p HDMI
    1920 x 1200 through minidisplayport to VGA adapter

    The minidisplayport to DVI adapter will work ONLY with pure DIGITAL DVI-D,
    not DVI-I (analog 4 pin passthrough), so your second monitor needs a true DVI port, not just a dsub 15, or you need the minidisplayport to VGA $30 adapter.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Visual_Interface
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #9
    Considering 8Gb costs around $70 now, it's not a difficult argument to just max out the memory in the Mini.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    Romania
    #10
    I have a Mac mini late 2009, 2.53Ghz, 4GB RAM, 9400m.
    It's hooked up to a Dell 2407 WFP-HC, 24" 1920x1200 (mini-DVI -> DVI adapter) and a BenQ G2220HDA 21.5" 1920x1080p (miniDisplayPort -> VGA adapter).

    I often use a video tutorial on one and work in Maya on the other.

    They work great, no problems.
     
  11. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #11
    Yes, I ran my '09 Mini with 2 monitors with 4Gb of RAM for over a year. Worked fine.

    I now run it with three monitors (3rd via USB-Video device) and 8Gb RAM which is leaps and bounds better than before :)
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #12
    Proof that a 2009 Mini will run dual monitors:

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #13
    Here's my Mac Mini with 3 monitors - Wonder if anyone out there has 4 or more.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #14
    Ya, I'd agree. Those systems have some performance bottlenecks already and this is a good way to reduce the number. Its cheap enough!
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    #15
    I was using the page file a lot on MacBook and that's for everyday tasks so definitely upgrade ram to 4 if not 8 for dual monitor setup. The gpu will be up to the task though.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #16
    I just hooked my 2010 Mac Mini up to dual monitors. I have 8gb of ram and have noticed that the Mac does slow down a bit when I run a video. I think the bigger issue isn't how much ram you have but the fact that the GPU has only 256mb of shared ram. It isn't an issue for me to stop using it, and I do not do any photo or video editing, the most intensive thing I do is just play videos. I have Sophos running, which might be helping cause the slowdown.

    My setup is running:

    1920 x 1080p HDMI (37")
    1920 x 1200 through mini displayport to HDMI (24")

    Btw, Monoprice sells mini displayport adapters for about six dollars.
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #17
    A quick aside on RAM: it's probably as cheap as it's going to get, as manufacturers are shifting dram production to the kind used in mobile devices over the course of the year. 8GB for under $100 really is a steal, and a very good investment, especially if you'll be using the standard hard drive.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #18
    The Mini will reserve 256MB of system RAM for the graphics regardless of whether you use one or two displays. The Mini can run two displays just fine.
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #19
    My Mac Mini is a similar configuration - When I play a movie via VLC it eats up 30-40% of one core, but the Mini does not 'feel' slow. I would suspect you would have the same experience with one monitor instead of two.
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #20
    Both the 2009 and 2010 Mac Mini have two video ports on the back.

    2009:
    1x Mini-DVI
    1x Mini-DisplayPort

    2010:
    1x HDMI
    1x Mini-DisplayPort

    You can use adapters from Apple or Monoprice to get the correct configuration of HDMI, DVI or VGA ports to support your monitors. If you require additional video ports, you can use a USB-Video adapter which works well, but does not perform well for video and other types of activities - Works well for web browsing and general office apps though.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #21
    Hi dcoulson!

    Whats your setup configuration? I want to buy a MacMini but I have 3 Monitors. The 2009 MacMini just has 1DVI Output right?

    So what adapters are you using? Do you have QE/CI Enabled with 3 Monitors??

    Greetings,
    Unisex
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #22
    2009:
    1x Mini-DVI
    1x Mini-DisplayPort

    I convert both to HDMI with the appropriate adapter and connect two of the displays directly to the internal video.

    I use a USB->DVI adapter from NewerTech to support the third display. QE is not supported on this third display.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #23
    Sound's good thanks a lot!

    So if QE/CI is not supported on the 3rd screen I can handle with. Main issue is to support QE/CI on the MacMini. So no QE/CI on a 3rd Monitor is okay - I can life with it!
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    #24
    Definitely go up to at least 4 gigs of RAM.
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #25
    8Gb RAM is $75 now. Hardly worth opening the Mini up just to put 4Gb into it.
     

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