2010 Mac Mini w/ Dual 27 inch Apple Cinema Displays (2560x1440)

ClayCollinsTX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2015
3
0
Hello,

My apologies if this question has come up multiple times. I have searched all over without a solid answer and was hoping one of you folks could chime in.

I recently purchased a 2010 Mac Mini and want to use both 27-inch Apple Cinema Displays with 2560x1440 resolution. For this, do I need an Apple dual link dvi adapter?

Currently, I have one monitor plugged into the miniDisplay port; however, I don't know the best method to go about hooking up the other. I have the option of a DVI or HDMI port. From what I read, HDMI can only broadcast in 1920x1200.

Suggestions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
You'd have to use a USB to Displayport adapter. Something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Plugable-DisplayPort-Ultra-High-Definition-3840x2160-DisplayLink/dp/B00NI96S2O/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1425408841&sr=8-2&keywords=USB+to+displayport

However, since the 2010's only have USB 2.0 it'll run dog slow....

The reason no one has given you an answer until now, is that there really isn't a good way to do it and have a good experience. Frankly, you have the wrong computer for doing what you want to do.
 
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ClayCollinsTX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2015
3
0
You'd have to use a USB to Displayport adapter. Something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Plugable-DisplayPort-Ultra-High-Definition-3840x2160-DisplayLink/dp/B00NI96S2O/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1425408841&sr=8-2&keywords=USB+to+displayport

However, since the 2010's only have USB 2.0 it'll run dog slow....

The reason no one has given you an answer until now, is that there really isn't a good way to do it and have a good experience. Frankly, you have the wrong computer for doing what you want to do.

Edit: It's also poor forum ettiquette to bump a thread you started less than 24 hours ago and it is VERY poor ettiquette to bump it TWICE in less than 24 hours.
Thanks Paul! Separately, I also have a spare keyboard you can use to resolve that inadvertent caps lock issue.
 

dyt1983

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2014
1,358
143
USA USA USA
edit: To remove personally identifying information not relevant to the thread. Also original reply was a single word, which is against the rules, so I fixed it.
 
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paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
Thanks Paul! Separately, I also have a spare keyboard you can use to resolve that inadvertent caps lock issue.
Nope it's not an issue. It's a problem with people not understanding forum etiquette and having to make a point in order for said people to remember.

So apparently my use of Caps on TWICE got your attention. Be sure not to do it again. Thank you.
 
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campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,415
932
OP, you didn't offer which OS you're using. If you're still on 10.5-10.8 you can use a Matrox Graphics eXpansion Module with their PowerDesk software - there's a few variants for Macs, depending on which configuration you're seeking...

http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/

You're SOL, like most of us, if you're on 10.9 or 10.10. Matrox, Accell, and Plugable (and all of the other DisplayPort devices) boxes don't work on these two OSes thanks to Apple's newer "security" for extensions, et al.

I use two Dell monitors to share between my rMBP and 2012 Mini Server - each Mac gets a mini DP>DP cable and an HDMI cable to each monitor and I just manually switch sources on the monitors. It sure would be easier if Apple loosened the thumbscrews with serving monitors from their Macs...
 

ClayCollinsTX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2015
3
0
OP, you didn't offer which OS you're using. If you're still on 10.5-10.8 you can use a Matrox Graphics eXpansion Module with their PowerDesk software - there's a few variants for Macs, depending on which configuration you're seeking...

http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/

You're SOL, like most of us, if you're on 10.9 or 10.10. Matrox, Accell, and Plugable (and all of the other DisplayPort devices) boxes don't work on these two OSes thanks to Apple's newer "security" for extensions, et al.

I use two Dell monitors to share between my rMBP and 2012 Mini Server - each Mac gets a mini DP>DP cable and an HDMI cable to each monitor and I just manually switch sources on the monitors. It sure would be easier if Apple loosened the thumbscrews with serving monitors from their Macs...
I'm on 10.9 so this might be an option. Thanks for the information.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
OP, you didn't offer which OS you're using. If you're still on 10.5-10.8 you can use a Matrox Graphics eXpansion Module with their PowerDesk software - there's a few variants for Macs, depending on which configuration you're seeking...

http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/

You're SOL, like most of us, if you're on 10.9 or 10.10. Matrox, Accell, and Plugable (and all of the other DisplayPort devices) boxes don't work on these two OSes thanks to Apple's newer "security" for extensions, et al.

I use two Dell monitors to share between my rMBP and 2012 Mini Server - each Mac gets a mini DP>DP cable and an HDMI cable to each monitor and I just manually switch sources on the monitors. It sure would be easier if Apple loosened the thumbscrews with serving monitors from their Macs...
No he can't. He wants dual 2560x1440 monitors, the dual matrox's can only do dual 1080P.
 
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campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,415
932
No he can't. He wants dual 2560x1440 monitors, the dual matrox's can only do dual 1080P.
Add in the shareware application SwitchResX, and yes, he can. I'm not picking nits or being snarky, I failed to mention it in my earlier post - Matrox passes on that information to their buyers, and their Mac support team is surprisingly proactive.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
Add in the shareware application SwitchResX, and yes, he can. I'm not picking nits or being snarky, I failed to mention it in my earlier post - Matrox passes on that information to their buyers, and their Mac support team is surprisingly proactive.
It's not that I don't believe you, but I've been on these forums for years and no one else has ever mentioned that with switch resX you can get to 5120x1440 using any Mac Mini. Can you point me to some documentation or forums or anything that talks about this? Seeing as how that would be almost 4K resolution via a Displayport 1.1 would be pretty impressive (unless you were dropping the refresh rate down to something like 30hz...)
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,415
932
It's not that I don't believe you, but I've been on these forums for years and no one else has ever mentioned that with switch resX you can get to 5120x1440 using any Mac Mini. Can you point me to some documentation or forums or anything that talks about this? Seeing as how that would be almost 4K resolution via a Displayport 1.1 would be pretty impressive (unless you were dropping the refresh rate down to something like 30hz...)
I can't point you to posted documentation, however, you can do what I did - call Matrox support. Their solutions aren't simply signal "splitters", more like an external graphics card solution, and the unit price reflects it. I've moved my company on to 2012 Mini Servers and rMBPs with 27" monitors and have no more need for an extended desktop on a Mini, we sold the older units and passed on the documentation to the buyer. I ditched the older Minis when the warranty was running out and moved to the 2012 units mainly because of USB 3.

The bigger headache is sticking to Leopard>ML, which we've also moved on from. Matrox, like Accell and Plugable, aren't able to extend desktops in 10.9/10.10 over DP AFAIK, and each of them have cited Apple's restrictions for DP. Given the restrictions, if you're driven to explore the option, give them a call or shoot them an email - sorry, I don't have time to do that.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
I can't point you to posted documentation, however, you can do what I did - call Matrox support. Their solutions aren't simply signal "splitters", more like an external graphics card solution, and the unit price reflects it. I've moved my company on to 2012 Mini Servers and rMBPs with 27" monitors and have no more need for an extended desktop on a Mini, we sold the older units and passed on the documentation to the buyer. I ditched the older Minis when the warranty was running out and moved to the 2012 units mainly because of USB 3.

The bigger headache is sticking to Leopard>ML, which we've also moved on from. Matrox, like Accell and Plugable, aren't able to extend desktops in 10.9/10.10 over DP AFAIK, and each of them have cited Apple's restrictions for DP. Given the restrictions, if you're driven to explore the option, give them a call or shoot them an email - sorry, I don't have time to do that.

Dude dual 2560x1440 can't be done on DP 1.1 at least not at 60hz. There physically isn't enough bandwidth to do it. It's no different than those trying to drive 4k displays with DP 1.1. Best you can do is 52hz if I am not mistaken. No one on these forums have recommended this solution because it isn't truly feasible and I can find no one on matrix forums or otherwise that states it is possible. Using switch rest is only recommended for some older macs that can't technically do 3820x1080 (dual 1080p). And no it isn't an external GPU. It's simply tricking your GPU to think it's an odd resolution. There is no GPU involved...