iandk

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 10, 2019
158
64
Hi,

I was hoping, that the new Mac Mini would feature a new CPU/ GPU but unfortunately that's not the case.

Nevertheless I'm about to buy one, but I have no idea if a Mini (i5/ 16GB RAM) would be capable of running my two 27" 4K screens without stutter.
I'm not really doing intensive stuff, mostly web developement/ coding and some productive work.

I bet it depends on the scaling factor, therefore I'd appreciate any input on configurations you are running (with 2K screens) without a eGPU.


Thank you!
 

joevt

macrumors 68040
Jun 21, 2012
3,179
1,452
The Mac mini can connect three 4K displays. Connect two to one or two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Connect a third to the HDMI 2.0 port. An HDMI display running at 4K60 might use an inferior YCbCr 4:2:2 mode. You can make an override to force RGB 8 bpc color if that is a problem.
 
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djc6

macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2007
716
249
Cleveland, OH
Yes you can run dual 4K without GPU - here is a post on my setup:


NOTE: I don't do ANY gaming on mac mini - what my nintendo switch is for :)
 
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iandk

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 10, 2019
158
64
Yes you can run dual 4K without GPU - here is a post on my setup:


NOTE: I don't do ANY gaming on mac mini - what my nintendo switch is for :)

Awesome! Which scaling mode are you running?
 
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gdbleb

macrumors member
Jul 16, 2008
43
23
NJ
I run 2 Dell U2718Q 27" displays both at 3840 x 2160 on my 2018 mini (3.2 GHz 6-core i7). Both connected via Thunderbolt->DisplayPort cables. I recall this was preferable to HDMI-HDMI in initial setup testing.
 
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iandk

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 10, 2019
158
64
I run 2 Dell U2718Q 27" displays both at 3840 x 2160 on my 2018 mini (3.2 GHz 6-core i7). Both connected via Thunderbolt->DisplayPort cables. I recall this was preferable to HDMI-HDMI in initial setup testing.

Is it running fine, without lags?
 
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Nütztjanix

Contributor
Jul 31, 2019
1,323
893
Germany
I'm using two LG 31MU97Z-B on my 2018 Mini without eGPU.

Both displays configured to 4096x2160 at 60Hz and 10bit colour (macOS calls this 30bit).
Connected via USB-C to DisplayPort cables.
 
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AE_stc

Suspended
Feb 25, 2020
161
223
I run a 4k tv via hdmi
And a 1440p monitor via usb-c

Both work perfect. Fast and lag free. Even before I put the 32gb of ram in I used just the tv alone and it worked good
 
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suisse

macrumors member
Apr 23, 2010
51
14
funny.... on my MBP 13" 2018 with a 32" 4k it's lagging and it's almost unusable with scaling (3008 x 1692)
 
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iandk

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 10, 2019
158
64
Just got the mini.
Seems to run pretty fine with my 4K screens.
Some occasional stutter when switching desktops or moving safari, but overall pretty good.

Will report back once I used it a bit more.
 
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iandk

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 10, 2019
158
64
Runs pretty good overall. Except some lag/ stutter animations when playing a video fullscreen on one screen.

@suisse
Two screens with this configuration:

1585254934045.png
 
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gusping

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2012
1,194
1,051
London, UK
Currently running two 4k monitors, one with scaling (looks like 1440p), the other without scaling. i7/16GB ram. Runs like a champ. Not doing any crazy hard stuff though...
 
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ek9max

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2011
203
24
I just picked up a 2018 i5/8gb ram today and running a single 32" 4k monitor at "looks like"
3008 x 1692.

It's not great. I tried it with my base model 2018 Macbook air and it was worse. And with my LAte 2014 Imac retina and it was awesome.

I was planning on adding another 32" 4k monitor tomorrow and upgrading the mac mini to 32GB ram......

I'm really hoping that it will be as smoother as my 2014 imac retina.
 
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joevt

macrumors 68040
Jun 21, 2012
3,179
1,452
I just picked up a 2018 i5/8gb ram today and running a single 32" 4k monitor at "looks like"
3008 x 1692.

It's not great. I tried it with my base model 2018 Macbook air and it was worse. And with my LAte 2014 Imac retina and it was awesome.

I was planning on adding another 32" 4k monitor tomorrow and upgrading the mac mini to 32GB ram......

I'm really hoping that it will be as smoother as my 2014 imac retina.
What was not great or worse or awesome or smoother? Really, if the 2018 Mac mini 8GB, 2018 MacBook Air, and 2014 iMac are all outputting 4K 60Hz for your 6016x3384 (3008x1692 HiDPI) resolution then the image should be the same for each (Use SwitchResX or AGDCDiagnose to find out the output timing and resolution - AGDCDiagnose will also show the output pixel format depending on the GPU). The only difference might be the speed at which animations occur (moving windows, etc.). I don't think adding more RAM to the Mac mini will change that (but maybe?).
 
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Nütztjanix

Contributor
Jul 31, 2019
1,323
893
Germany
I don't think more RAM helps with that, as even with my 32 GB the amount of RAM dedicated to graphics is 1,5 GB.
It's just that the UHD Graphics 630 isn't exactly a screamer. I run my dual DCI 4K monitors just fine with 10bit colour and 60Hz, but I don't use scaling.
Would I like to have a beefier GPU? You bet - but Intel doesn't think it's necessary. You get either low-powered CPUs with adequate iGPUs oder desktop class CPU with minimal graphics …
 
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salamanderjuice

macrumors member
Feb 28, 2020
76
64
I found upgrading the RAM to 32GB did make my 4K monitor feel less sluggish on my Mac Mini at certain scaled resolutions. Not perfect but better. I could be imagining it though I suppose. Without scaling or scaling at resolutions such that the total number of pixels is less than 5K work pretty well. When you move beyond 5K is where I find it has trouble.
 
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shenfrey

macrumors 68020
May 23, 2010
2,196
413
How are you guys using scaled mode? Under display settings, and on scaled for me I just get to change the resoultion, I don't get to click anything that says "looks like.."
 
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salamanderjuice

macrumors member
Feb 28, 2020
76
64
What resolution monitor are you running? I'm pretty sure that only appears on HiDPI monitors like 4K displays.
 
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progx

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2003
277
207
Pennsylvania
According to Apple support documentation, it's capable of outputting 4K via HDMI and Thunderbolt 3. If you need the best, you could research an eGPU, but those come with their own drawbacks and costs as well.

My set up is pretty low-res, two HP monitors at 24" each: V244a and EliteDisplay E231. They're capable of 1080p at best. So, next year I'll be looking into a higher resolution range for both my Mac mini and my Ryzen 3600 build.

I'd say follow Apple's support document below, along with the work from @djc6 too.

Connect multiple displays to your Mac mini (2018)
[automerge]1590629025[/automerge]
I found upgrading the RAM to 32GB did make my 4K monitor feel less sluggish on my Mac Mini at certain scaled resolutions. Not perfect but better. I could be imagining it though I suppose. Without scaling or scaling at resolutions such that the total number of pixels is less than 5K work pretty well. When you move beyond 5K is where I find it has trouble.

Just upgraded my Mac mini to 32GB today. It was a fun challenge to get it done, but worth it. It has more zip than I thought it could have originally. My i7 mini had just 8GB, which it ran fine with zero issue, but the performance gain is noticeable.

How was your performance prior to the upgrade?
 
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jdb20

macrumors newbie
May 29, 2020
2
1
I have the 2018 i7 with 64Gb RAM, running two LG 4k screens attached via USB C to DisplayPort cables, both running at "looks like 3008 x 1692". Works great, although the mini is quite warm. It seems important to run each monitor off a separate thunderbolt 3 bus.
 
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