Base Mac mini with new 23" UltraFine 4k?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Jacobi, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. Jacobi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #1
    Has anyone tried this setup? I'm contemplating buying a base Mac mini (i3, 8GB RAM, for office use) and I want a retina-level display so I can enjoy crisp text and UI. I'm wondering if the base level Mini will handle this without lag on a 4k display?
     
  2. doboy macrumors 68020

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    Jul 6, 2007
    #2
    No problems with my base Mini paired with 27" 4K monitor. All the 2018 Minis share the same GPU.
     
  3. Cheapassmac macrumors regular

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    Nov 5, 2018
    #3
    This will work without a hitch. I also run a mini with 4k without an egpu. Even light gaming is possible.
     
  4. redmeister macrumors 6502

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    Jan 26, 2007
    #4
    What about running 3 monitors with a '18 Mini? 3 of the new LG Ultrafine 23" monitors: https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HMUA2VC/A/lg-ultrafine-4k-display?fnode=8a

    Would you need an eGPU to do this I'd assume? And if so, are you limited to only using the blackmagic eGPU because of Thunderbolt 3 connections on the monitor?

    Or is there a way to use another type of eGPU to run 3 of these monitors with some sort of converters to connect the monitors? Many thanks to anyone who might know!
     
  5. Cheapassmac macrumors regular

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    Nov 5, 2018
    #5
    Can't vouch for it, but the intel 630 specification allows for up to 3 monitors. If no rendering or video is involved, then you should be fine. I wouldn't try to watch 3 4k movies at the same time.
     
  6. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

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    Earth
    #6
    It will be fine for everything except everything that heavily relies on GPU. UHD 630 is more than adequate for just rendering the UI. Even playing 4K videos @60FPS shall be no problem.
     
  7. Cheapassmac macrumors regular

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    Nov 5, 2018
    #7
    I watch 4k movies all the time on a single screen via 2018 iGPU, but I still can't vouch for running 3 4k streams on 3 monitors at the same time.
     
  8. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

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    #8
    Who’s talking about 3 displays? OP is certainly not.
     
  9. Cheapassmac macrumors regular

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    Nov 5, 2018
    #9
    Redmeister was, literally the post above you and me.
     
  10. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #10
    I think a 23" 4K display is a good move for a Mini without an eGPU. You will be able to run it in the default resolution, which will give you a scaled resolution of 1920x1080 which is perfect on that size monitor.

    I have a 24" and 27" 4K monitor and 1920x1080 is fine on the 24", but way too big on the 27" (which really seems like 2560x1440 is perfect).

    My setup has the 24" 4K plugged directly in the Mini and the 27" plugged into my eGPU and set as my primary display.
     
  11. Jacobi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #11
    So, I picked up a base Mini and an Ultrafine 4k from the Apple store. There is some lag in the UI, e.g. when using Launchpad. Normal?
     
  12. Cheapassmac macrumors regular

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    Nov 5, 2018
    #12
    I don't have a base model, but it's instant when I use launchpad. I have a i7 16gb ram 128gb ssd model. The graphics are the same, and I doubt the cpu is a factor in this case. If you have 8gb ram, that might be what is causing your lag. Also possible that your mini is defective, but as long as you can feel warm air coming out of the system vents, you're probably okay on that front.
     
  13. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

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    Mar 3, 2009
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    Dallas, TX
    #13
    I have 32GB Ram in my Mini, and it has no problems with 4K. The Intel UHD Graphics 630 dynamically allocated video ram based on available system ram. I don't know how much VRAM is allocated when using 8GB RAM, but my Mini shows 1.5GB VRAM.

    You can check in your system report and see how much VRAM you have allocated. If it is less than the 1.5GB max, that might explain the difference.
     
  14. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

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    Nov 2, 2018
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    Thailand
    #14
    I run 2x 4K displays on the iGPU, but, and this is the key thing: you need to use the default "looks like 1920x1080" setting to get usable performance with 2 or more. It could scale to the higher resolutions with just one, but not with two. Given the physical size of the display it may or may not be OK for you.
     
  15. Jacobi thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 8, 2012
    #15
    I have the "scaled" button checked and 1920 x 1080 selected in the list.
     
  16. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

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    Mar 3, 2009
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    Dallas, TX
    #16
    I wish I would have tested the Mini with 8GB RAM, but I immediately went to 32GB and have had good performance with a single 4K monitor attached directly to the Mini. There are many reports here of lag with 8GB RAM, and I assume it might have something to do with how the iGPU allocates VRAM based on available system memory.

    It is not really difficult to upgrade the memory (and memory is relatively cheap right now) which should cure any lag (based on my experience as well as others here on MR).
     
  17. kaibob macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona
    #17
    No lag at all on 2018 mini with I5, 16GB memory and 4K monitor. FWIW, from System Report:

    DELL P2415Q:

    Resolution: 3840 x 2160 (2160p 4K UHD - Ultra High Definition)

    UI Looks like: 1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz

    VRAM (Dynamic, Max): 1536 MB
     
  18. NaimNut macrumors member

    NaimNut

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    Oct 28, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto
  19. HeavyMantra macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2018
    #19
    Think LG will release a new larger Ultrafine soon?

    Any other monitors to look at before buying this?
     

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18 June 4, 2019