Dell U2412M and 2012 Mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by kvncrw46, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. kvncrw46 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I've been hanging onto my old Mac mini G4 and the beautiful old studio display for many years. After much dithering I finally purchased a 2012 quad core 1.7 mac mini. To stay with a matt display I purchased secondhand my first non-Apple product in decades, the Dell u2412m. Any advice on how to connect my two new purchases would be helpful. I regret to admit that even after much research my old brain is flummoxed. It seems that the mini display port to display port adapter cable is the most recommended. Any advice in this regard and any advice for the use of this monitor in general would be appreciated.
     
  2. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    #2
    Ah, that's a beautiful monitor!

    Hmm. I'm pretty sure the mini display port was dropped from the Mac Mini back with the 2011 version. For video output, the 2012 should have an HDMI port and a Thunderbolt port. Since the Dell u2412m monitor features a DVI port, I think the most natural connection would be to use an HDMI->DVI adapter...

    Personally, I _love_ monitors that can be rotated into portrait mode. :) It's far easier to work with large amounts of text or code with a vertically-oriented screen. I would imagine you already know all about this since you chose this particular monitor, but if not, you can find screen rotation controls in System Preferences under the "Displays" panel...
     
  3. sonamo, Jul 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015

    sonamo macrumors newbie

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    #3
    You mac mini has connections for HDMI and Thunderbolt (minidisplayport) monitors on the back. HDMI makes more sense because it will leave you a thunderbolt port open for data. It includes an HDMI to DVI adapter when purchased new. If you have a DVI cable and that you are ready to go.

    Your monitor has no HDMI out on it, just displayport and DVI (and VGA but that's analog and irrelevant to the situation). If you don't have said adapter you want to get etiher a DVI or Displayport -- both will work the same -- to HDMI cable. If I were you I would just go with a Displayport to HDMI cable because displayport is just a newer connection standard overall.

    Great monitor, I have one at home. Great computer too -- you can install an SSD in it like the Samsung EVO 850, it's really easy to do!
     
  4. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    #4
    Wouldn't it make more sense to go with a Thunderbolt->Displayport adapter (or, really, just a mini-displayport cable) if you're going to use the monitor's Displayport port? I'm pretty sure an HDMI->Displayport adapter needs to do work to convert the signal between the two standards, whereas the Thunderbolt port can provide a native Displayport signal...
     
  5. sonamo, Jul 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015

    sonamo macrumors newbie

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    #5
    You can do Displayport to minidisplay port, but there is only one thunderbolt port on the 2012 mac mini. The HDMI port can only be used for video. It's an all digital signal, it will be fine on HDMI. It will free up that thunderbolt for data or a second monitor.

    DVI
    Minidisplay port (thunderbolt)
    Displayport
    HDMI

    All digital signals, there is no conversion and you can use any cable that goes from one to the other . I have at least 50 macs up and running here at work right next to me -- trust me there is no discernible difference.
     
  6. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    #6
    True! I agree that you'd like to keep it for other things (or connect it to a thunderbolt hub). But I've kinda got it stuck in my mind that HDMI is something of a superset of the DVI standard, and Displayport has something of a disjoint set of features from HDMI. Thus, it should be easier to interconnect HDMI and DVI ports...

    Er, what? I'm pretty sure the HDMI port on the Mac supports both video and audio. (Although the Dell monitor has no speakers...)

    Yeah, both HDMI and Displayport are all digital signals, but they are _different_ digital signals, right? Whereas (for video at least) HDMI and DVI signals are identical.

    Well, sure, there should be no visible difference with a successful conversion. But can I ask -- can you check how warm your HDMI->Displayport cables get? I'm pretty sure the adapter has to do some amount of work internally to facilitate the conversion. (Heck, all the HDMI->Displayport adapters I'm finding also require power input from somewhere...)
     
  7. sonamo macrumors newbie

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    #7
    The guy asked for a cable -- I think is this TMI. I will not be contributing anymore to this thread.
     
  8. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    #8
    Sorry! I didn't mean to offend. It's just that an HDMI->DVI cable seems a lot less of a hassle, since you can just plug it in and forget about it. An HDMI->Displayport cable is gonna be more expensive, require an external power source, and ultimately deliver the identical signal as the HDMI->DVI cable would...
     
  9. kvncrw46 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Thanks, jpietrazak8 and somamo. I didn't wish to cause any discord ( alas, pun intended) I will continue to ponder both options you suggested. Just one question, if I may. If I choose the HDHI to DVI route, I'm guessing the adapter Apple enclosed with Mac mini is too short, so I would need a DVI To DVI cable? Thanks for all the time you both gave. Much appreciated.
     
  10. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #10
    Yeah you would, the bundled one is just an adaptor so you can connect the Mac mini to a DVI monitor.

    I'm using the same monitor with my rMBP and Mac mini at the moment. Brilliant bit of kit.
     
  11. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    #11
    Yup; that's what I'm doing with my (somewhat older) Mini right now. In fact, that particular monitor should have originally come bundled with just such a cable... But new DVI cables should be available all over the place for less than $10, I think.
     
  12. kvncrw46 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Th
    Thanks again, jpietzak8. And you, too, MagicBoy(I was in your hometown three weeks ago) looking forward to hitting the power button. Kevin
     
  13. kvncrw46 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Power button was hit and the new mini connected by HDMI converter to DVI to the Dell with no issues. Thanks for holding my hand. Love the new mini and monitor.
     
  14. Schnort macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #14
    For what it's worth, I have a 2011 and it's hooked up to two U2412M without issue.

    One is HDMI->DVI, the other is thunderbolt->displayport. I think both cables are "Amazon basics" cables and were cheap enough. The HDMI->DVI cable has plastics around the HDMI plug that is a tiny bit too wide so that it impacts the mini-display plug. I think I had to shave one of them down a bit with sandpaper.
     
  15. kvncrw46 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Thanks, Schnort. Mine is happily running a long HDMI to DVI. Glad to hear you have one monitor for each eye.
     

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