Can HD 4000 drive dual thunderbolt display

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by haoqfu, May 15, 2012.

  1. haoqfu macrumors regular

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    #1
    I'm debating on whether to buy a mac mini now or wait for the ivy bridge update. My main concern is the new graphic card, i.e HD4000, will it be able to drive dual thunderbolt display? If yes, I will probably wait for the update instead of paying $200 more for mid level of current mini.
     
  2. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Since graphics are the main performance-gain from ivy-bridge, I would hope so. Still won't touch the current models 6630 overall, but should hopefully shorten the gap:)
     
  3. Whargoul macrumors member

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    #3
    It can drive a 4k display, a pair of TB displays will be no challenge.
     
  4. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    How do you know?
     
  5. Whargoul macrumors member

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    #5
  6. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Thanks.

    I don't believe it though. HD3000 chugs with 1 x 2560 x 1440 in my view. I cannot remotely imagine that HD4000 - reckoned to be around 60% faster - can drive 4x that with anything other that stutterers and pauses. At 24fps for movies maybe, but smooth desktop animation at 60Hz? I doubt it.
     
  7. haoqfu thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    what do you do with your mini? Do you gaming which causes the chugs?
     
  8. Whargoul macrumors member

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    #8
    3000 and 4000 are completely different.
     
  9. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

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    #9
    The question is.... will it drive dual retina displays once they're released. Probably not.
     
  10. Whargoul macrumors member

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    #10
    Its not possible for a mini to have a retina display, and a "retina" thunderbolt display would be extremely expensive. Think 30" cinema display price, thats why the iMac won't get one any time soon either.
     
  11. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

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    #11
    There will be no issue whatsoever with driving two TB displays, although it depends whether or not what you are doing that is graphically demanding. The HD3000 and 4000 are stronger than a lot of people give them credit for.

    ----------

    So I take it you've used a HD3000 with a 2560x1440 display? What were you doing on it causing it to chug?
     
  12. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #12
    "capable"? Yes.

    "Run recent 3D games at full native resolution across both displays?" Not a chance.

    But everyday desktop use will be just fine.
     
  13. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Yes of course. 4000 is faster. It's not 4 times faster though is it.
     
  14. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #14
    Depending on what you're using it for... Many reviews have it actually usable in modern gaming (at reasonable resolutions,) and more than up to snuff compared to the low-end mobile discrete GPUs. (AKA: The next Mac Mini will either need a major boost in discrete GPU, or won't have a discrete GPU option at all.)

    Compared to the 3000, it averages about twice as fast.
     
  15. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I would dispute that. I think it's more like 1.6x to 1.8x, but heck lets not split hairs. I'll accept 2x.

    2x is not enough to drive a 4x resolution retina display - should one appear anytime soon. Which incidentally, it won't be. Rendering this entire discussion completely pointless. Fun, but pointless.
     
  16. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

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    #16
    I think you over estimate how much power it actually takes to drive a high resolution display. Its very possible to drive a 4x "retina" display with said hardware. Now it depends entirely on what you are doing with your machine to determine if it's wise or not to do so.
     
  17. leman macrumors 604

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    #17
    Its probably lots of RAM being moved around when you perform certain operations (like expose etc.). The HD3000 itself has enough fill rate to project a 4K texture at more then 100fps. Memory bandwith/sync with CPU are an additional factor here.
     
  18. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

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    #18
    For merely "running" the display, it wouldn't be a problem. For 3D rendering at full native resolution, it absolutely would. But nobody is going to do that. Nobody would game on it at the current 27" display's native resolution.

    You'll run a game at 1280x800 scaled up. And it can handle that just fine.

    But Photoshop, Word, Keynote, and iMovie will all run just fine.
     
  19. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I beg to differ. Desktop animations in OSX (maximise a window for example) are far from perfect imho with a single TB display attached to a Mini. And playing with a 1080p movie window whilst its running is fairly horrible. The HD3000 can *barely* drive 1 TB display to an acceptable standard in my view. In fact to my eyes its not pleasant enough for me to buy a TB display for my mini.
     
  20. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Based on what I've seen so far, IB should be able to handle it. There is no guarantee though that we'll see a Mini IB update anytime soon. It would make some sense, but Apple kept the C2D in the Mini for quite a while after going to Core i series and Sandy Bridge in other machines.

    Being a "Low end" desktop machine, it won't benefit from the power consumption benefits of IB like notebooks will. Apple may not feel a lot of pressure to update it in a hurry.

    I suppose we'll have to wait and see what comes out.
     

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