3 Mirrored Displays from current mac mini

abar20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 1, 2010
5
0
this post has been edited... the displays no longer vary as much in size..
two of the displays are identical and only the third display varies.


I have a mac mini. its the version that has 4gb ram and 2.53 ghz cpu.
The three displays: A
22 inch 720p tv
and two identical 22 inch 1080p lcd monitors.

This request might sound weird seeing as all the displays are mirrored but it's going to improve my workflow when I move around my room.

I am aware of the mini display port to dual link dvi and mini display to dvi.. and of course the mini dvi to dvi.. also I have heard of DVI splitters.. btw all these gadgets is it possible to mirror 3 displays? also how will it impact my ram/cpu/video card? thanks!
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
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bit of an odd request yes :p

you are after the Matrox range of products. a bit expensive but they get the job done!

would you want the tripple product (can connect 3 monitors off one port), or the dual product (use one monitor independently, then another port has 2 monitors)?

i am not sure as to how well the resolutions would go though, especially when mirroing!
 

Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
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bit of an odd request yes :p

you are after the Matrox range of products. a bit expensive but they get the job done!

would you want the tripple product (can connect 3 monitors off one port), or the dual product (use one monitor independently, then another port has 2 monitors)?

i am not sure as to how well the resolutions would go though, especially when mirroing!
Won't work at all!

Matrox Dual/TripleHead2Go do not support mirroring, especially not with different resolutions.

What the Dual/TripleHead2Go do, is splitting the input signal over two, respectively three displays that have to have the same resolution. What you get is a single display, only stretched across the displays.
 

Transporteur

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Nov 30, 2008
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+1

Matrox are expensive and may not work so well. USB solution is pretty cheap and works well with Macs
As I said, the Matrox solution won't work at all in this special case.

I wouldn't recommend USB adapters either. They are fine for steady content like websites, fullscreen video is very, very choppy though.

The simplest and best solution is a cheap DVI splitter, that simply mirrors the input signal from a DVI port.
Something like this: -> http://www.cableuniverse.co.uk/catalog/cables/dvi-male-to-2-x-dvi-female-splitter.html
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
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I wouldn't recommend USB adapters either. They are fine for steady content like websites, fullscreen video is very, very choppy though.
Better than nothing though... Or do you have better suggestions? I doubt OP is going to play full screen video with all those screens
 

Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
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Better than nothing though... Or do you have better suggestions? I doubt OP is going to play full screen video with all those screens
Well, you doubt, but you don't know for sure, hence I wouldn't recommend anything that doesn't fit the purpose of such vague requirements.

A better suggestion? See my post above.
The DVI splitter does the job perfectly.
There is absolutely no reason to hook up an external graphics solution for mirroring purposes!
 

Rhalliwell1

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2008
588
1
I wouldn't recommend USB adapters either. They are fine for steady content like websites, fullscreen video is very, very choppy though.
Not from my experience. Its not as smooth as a video adapter but it is very usable. No problem with full screen video although 1080p content is choppy.
 

Transporteur

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Nov 30, 2008
2,729
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Not from my experience. Its not as smooth as a video adapter but it is very usable. No problem with full screen video although 1080p content is choppy.
Well, seems as if the USB adapters are very different. Might be that they improved over the last two years, but mine really was extremely slow.

Still, not the best solution for mirroring. ;)
 

Hellhammer

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Dec 10, 2008
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Well, you doubt, but you don't know for sure, hence I wouldn't recommend anything that doesn't fit the purpose of such vague requirements.

A better suggestion? See my post above.
The DVI splitter does the job perfectly.
There is absolutely no reason to hook up an external graphics solution for mirroring purposes!
Ahh, didn't see that :eek:

That works with mirroring I guess as it still sends one signal but it is shared to both displays, right? Not without mirroring though?

A lot better option as it's 7£
 

Transporteur

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Nov 30, 2008
2,729
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Ahh, didn't see that :eek:

That works with mirroring I guess as it still sends one signal but it is shared to both displays, right? Not without mirroring though?
It was a quick update of that post. ;)

Such splitters simply take the DVI signal and splits it so that it can be used for two displays. There is not graphics card included in these splitters as it is the case with the Matrox products or external USB solutions.

The only problem I see is that the different screen resolutions might be difficult.
I never tested such splitters with two different screen sizes, but with two equal resolutions it works just fine.

Well worth a shot though! If it doesn't work, simply send the splitter back and get a USB solution. More expensive, but as Rhalliwell1 said, they seem to have improved by now.

Rhalliwell1 said:
they rely on cpu power so depends on your cpu
I guess a 2.4GHz Core2Duo should be sufficient, don't you think? ;)
The cards are really different, especially in terms of the graphics RAM they have included. When I've bought my adapter, the DisplayLink technology was quite new.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
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It was a quick update of that post. ;)

Such splitters simply take the DVI signal and splits it so that it can be used for two displays. There is not graphics card included in these splitters as it is the case with the Matrox products or external USB solutions.

The only problem I see is that the different screen resolutions might be difficult.
I never tested such splitters with two different screen sizes, but with two equal resolutions it works just fine.

Well worth a shot though! If it doesn't work, simply send the splitter back and get a USB solution. More expensive, but as Rhalliwell1 said, they seem to have improved by now.
Yeah, different resolutions may cause problems as it can only send one signal which is then used in both displays I guess so it's only one res, not sure though.

Definitely worth trying :cool:
 

abar20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 1, 2010
5
0
Dvi splitter

Ive decided to go with 2 identical 22" 1080p monitors and one 720p tv.

I hope this changes something.. One thing I read was that DVI splitters only work with dual link DVI outputs.. Apple offers mini display to dual link dvi dont they?? would that allow me to connect a splitter? also, ive read pretty bad reviews on a a couple of dvi splitters.. Maybe a powered dvi spiltter would be better..
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
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Ive decided to go with 2 identical 22" 1080p monitors and one 720p tv.

I hope this changes something.. One thing I read was that DVI splitters only work with dual link DVI outputs.. Apple offers mini display to dual link dvi dont they?? would that allow me to connect a splitter? also, ive read pretty bad reviews on a a couple of dvi splitters.. Maybe a powered dvi spiltter would be better..
MDP to dual-link DVI is 99$ so it's not the cheapest option to "just try". It sounds reasonable as SL DVI can only carry 1920x1200 while DL can carry 2560x1600. USB solution might be the only way to go though
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
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Won't work at all!

Matrox Dual/TripleHead2Go do not support mirroring, especially not with different resolutions.

What the Dual/TripleHead2Go do, is splitting the input signal over two, respectively three displays that have to have the same resolution. What you get is a single display, only stretched across the displays.
my mistake. i was hoping that they might have a mirroed mode, obviously not :(
 

Transporteur

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Nov 30, 2008
2,729
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I hope this changes something.. One thing I read was that DVI splitters only work with dual link DVI outputs.. Apple offers mini display to dual link dvi dont they?? would that allow me to connect a splitter? also, ive read pretty bad reviews on a a couple of dvi splitters.. Maybe a powered dvi spiltter would be better..
Oh crap I totally forgot that the Mini doesn't have a DualLink DVI port (well id does, but only for $100 + :().
I'm sorry.

In this case, you indeed might be better with either an active DVI splitter or the previously mentioned DisplayLink USB adapters. Both solutions cost about the same.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
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Singapore
how do these USB display drivers work exactly? does the GPU still create the image and then send off to the USB? or does the USB make the images itself?

how good is it for watching videos etc?
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
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how do these USB display drivers work exactly? does the GPU still create the image and then send off to the USB? or does the USB make the images itself?

how good is it for watching videos etc?
Rhalliwell1 said it work okay, but 1080p is choppy (due USB I think). I think the USB has just a GPU inside just like Matrox ones and a special software that allows USB to be used to carry video.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
Rhalliwell1 said it work okay, but 1080p is choppy (due USB I think). I think the USB has just a GPU inside just like Matrox ones and a special software that allows USB to be used to carry video.
right, so the USB acts as some soft of basic GPU. great for textual based stuff but not for videos etc.

there is also wireless USB products like that, only good for text of course though.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
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581
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right, so the USB acts as some soft of basic GPU. great for textual based stuff but not for videos etc.

there is also wireless USB products like that, only good for text of course though.
I think it's mainly due USB and its limitations plus the GPUs inside ain't THAT good. It's good for lower quality video and some basic stuff.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
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Singapore
I think it's mainly due USB and its limitations plus the GPUs inside ain't THAT good. It's good for lower quality video and some basic stuff.
can it even be classed as a GPU :p it should be called a ID (Image Displayer). its more like a slideshow GPU :rolleyes:
 

Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
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UK
right, so the USB acts as some soft of basic GPU. great for textual based stuff but not for videos etc.
These USB adapters have their own GPU, not a very fast one though.

The reason why these solutions won't support flawless video playback or a non choppy desktop behaviour is due to the limitations of the USB interface.

USB 2.0 has a maximum throughput of 480Mbit/s. Single link DVI already makes 3.96Gbit/s.

USB 3.0 would be more than sufficient for this (4.8Gbit/s) so we might see very capable USB solutions for additional displays in the future (at least for displays <= 1920x1200).
 

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