Which adapter to use from my Mac Mini to my monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Jaze, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2001
    #1
    Very quick and specific question. My new 2012 Mini arrived today, as did the 27" NEC PA271W monitor I want to use with it (colour critical Photoshop and Lightroom is my intended use).

    Here's my question: which cable should I use to drive this monitor with my Mini? I suspected I needed to get the MiniDisplay Port to Dual Link DVI adaptor; I went to my local Mac store, and they didn't know the answer, and they live-chatted with Apple, and their representative didn't know the answer (actually recommended a different, wrong, adapter). I'd rather not use the HDMI out port.

    This is a pretty common monitor, I think, so I'm surprised they didn't know. But I'd bet someone HERE does...

    If you could help, I'd be very grateful.

    Thanks!

    J.

    PS 2.6GHz QuadCore i7, Fusion drive, waiting for the RAM to arrive. Ordered *Monday*, here today (despite them saying it'd arrive around the 15th).
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #2
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2001
    #3
    Thanks. I didn't understand that the two DVI Dual-link ports were for one connection; I wasn't sure if I could get away with just using the one port.

    Damn - that bloody Apple cable costs $99! It's like Lightning robbery, all over again!
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #4
    A dual-link DVI cable allows for more pixels to be sent (totally non-technical speak). It's not two outputs. It's required for higher resolutions.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2001
    #5
    Thanks - I'm sure you're right. I'm back from the bloody Nor'Easter, expensive dual-link DVI adapter in my hand.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2001
    #6
    Well, I'm up and running, using the dual-link DVI adapter. This thing is GORGEOUS! Thanks so much for the assist.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    #7
    If the adapter/cable cost you that much, you should give it a shot via the HDMI output. I didn't see any difference running HDMI-DVI versus MDP-DVI.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    HenryAZ

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    South Congress AZ
    #8
    The Thunderbolt/mini-display port option works as well, with full resolution and color depth. That is how I am running my PA-271 with a 2011 Mini.

    NEC does have an advisory linked from the above-referenced page, basically stating not to use a mini-display port to display-port adapter cable, as some brands are out-of-spec.

    Instead, use the display port cable supplied with the monitor, and a mini-dp male -> dp female dongle ($15). This option works great.
     
  9. DitteVilladsen, Nov 8, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    #9
    A mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable is what you want. It cost me about $20 in Japan from Amazon.co.jp. It supports 2560x1440, like the dual VGA, but the cable is cheaper and it's more advanced technology (it can send the sound channel, for instance). It's an open standard from VESA and monitor and cable makers do not have to pay licensing fees and pass them on to the end user. And it's a nice, slim, single-strand cable.

    I have a Dell U2513HM, but reading the specs on your NEC, you also have DisplayPort support on your monitor.

    Update re "out-of-spec" cables: DisplayPort is a VESA open standard. If something calls itself "DisplayPort" it should work. If it doesn't work, return it for a refund. You have the right to do this under the Uniform Commercial Code's warranty of merchantibility (a product has to do what products of that type are normally expected to do). Don't mess up your cabling with adapters if you don't need to.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    HenryAZ

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    South Congress AZ
    #10
    Yes, the cable should work. The adapter does work, with no degradation. The adapter gets it right the first time, without having to return out-of-spec cables. Either option is much cheaper than the DVI conversion.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    #11
    I just bought the NEC 27" PA271W monitor last month and it actually came with a displayport to mini-displayport cable in the box. I didn't realize it came with it so I bought that special cable from NEC for $30 beforehand. Whoops.

    Check your box for that cable. I'd try to return that dual link DVI cable as soon as possible.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2001
    #12
    Gah! Was that cable enough? I can't believe I paid another $100 for something I didn't need.

    I've already thrown out the box, and the receipt.
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    #13
    You have to remember that DisplayPort is a newer and technologically superior technology to DVI. There have been many messages too from people having trouble with dual link DVI cables.

    The NEC Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable is special because the wiring is correct, apparently when you buy one of these cables from Monoprice they have some wire switched that gives people problems. I just felt that after spending $1,100 on a pro monitor, I might as well use the proper connection.

    This is what was in my box: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/763126-REG/NEC_PA_MDP_CABL_6_6_Mini_DisplayPort_Male.html

    It also came with a regular DisplayPort cable and a USB cord. Did your monitor come with the cable? If it did, you should still try to return the dual link DVI cable. Might be possible.
     

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