Does Mini handle 2560x1440 27 inch well?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Florida Gator, May 30, 2011.

  1. Florida Gator macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2004
    Anybody with experience with the current Mini and a 27" Cinema Display or Dell U2711 running at 2560x1440. I know that the Mini CAN output to this, but how well?

    I've read reports that moving and resizing windows is often choppy. Obviously, gaming is out of the question for the most part. But can it handle Expose at full framerate, smoothly move windows and play 1080p video without stuttering?
  2. blacka4 macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2009
    I have my mini connected to my 60in LCD TV 1080i and do not notice any choppyness in the video
  3. WiiDSmoker macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
    1920x1080 is considerably less than 2560x1440.

    That said, the Macbook Air handles it; so I would imagine that Mini as well.
  4. SB27 macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2008
    Dell U2711 and current Mac Mini

    The current Mac Mini drives the Dell U2711 at 2560x1440 perfectly. Just make sure you get a DisplayPort connector. Best source is -- excellent price for a cable. About $5.00 or so per unit in white. Works great.

    The Dell 27 inch has a Displayport in connector -- perfect for the Mini. I have two machines driving this monitor -- the other is a Dell XPS 9100 Core i5 desktop. I think the card is a 5770 -- which works fine also. Nice speed -- and quiet.

    I could be wrong, but believe the MacMini is using 320 or 320m graphics card. Correct?

    In any event, it all works great and drives the monitor perfectly. Enjoy.

    Good luck.
  5. Florida Gator thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2004
    Outside of gaming, does it ever stutter or lag when you have a bunch of windows open and try to move things around?
  6. asdf542 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2010
    No, and neither does the 13" MBP from the other thread you posted.
  7. Repo macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    A friend of mine runs a 27" ACD (2560x1440) off his Mac Mini (current gen) with no problems. He plays WOW on it just fine.
  8. Gordy macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2005
    Bristol, UK
    I have no worries running the 27in acd on my 2010 mac mini. Never had any stuttering at all. I've not tried gaming on it though. I suspect it would have issues doing that.

    The Old gen mini fits nicely on the stand of the ACD looks nice there.


    *That pic is of my older 24in acd, but you get the idea.
  9. omvs macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    I use a previous-generation mini to drive a ACD 30" (2560x1600) and a Dell 22" (1920x1080) in dual-head mode. Its not choppy moving and resizing windows at all, and I push a fair number of 2D pixels doing chip design. Haven't done any 1080p video, but I'm pretty sure its fine on 720p, even when blown up to full screen

    3D its not very impressive - I ran Starcraft 2 once just as a test, and had to crank details WAY down. So for home I use an iMac :)
  10. josephebacon macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2011
    My experience is the same as Gordy's

    I have my 2009 Mac Mini hooked up to the new 27 inch ACD. Have had no problems running HD video with it. The ACD is set at 2560 X 1440.
  11. Dizzler macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2009
    Adapter needed?

    Glad to hear the 2009 Mini can drive this display. Which port does the 27-inch ACD use: the Mini display port or the mini AVI port? Does it need an adapter?
  12. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    mDP, so no adaptor required :)
  13. volodymyrqa macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
  14. ashiyajoe macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010
    My mac mini server 2010 (8 GB RAM) runs 2 displays (ACD 27-in, 2560x1440 and Benq 24-in, 1920x1200) without any problem.
  15. Spectrum macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2005
    I have the new mac mini server (i7 quad + SSD + 8GB RAM + Intel HD3000).

    It drives the Dell U2711 at 2560x1440, but in my opinion expose and mission control are sluggish and slightly jerky. Even scrolling a full screen web page in Safari is slightly jerky, particularly as the page slows down at the end of a scroll.

    Increasing RAM from 4GB to 8GB (Kingston HyperX 1877MHz), to get 512MB graphics allocation hasn't made any noticeable difference.

    Very disappointed.

    Interestingly, I have managed to install SL 10.6.8 on this machine, and when you update the drivers/kext files for the HD3000 and i7 CPU, Expose and Safari performance is noticeably smoother.
  16. elliotn macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2011
    I had the same problems with the same mini driving a 27" Eizo CG275w.

    I swapped it for the mini with AMD graphics, and things are somewhat improved. However there's still a little jerkiness in OS animations.
  17. Spectrum macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2005
    Hi elliotn. That's interesting. I read a comment in the Apple Discussion forums where someone had compared both the quad with HD3000 and the i7 with AMD graphics and concluded that the discrete graphics chip is actually worse than the Intel HD3000 for Expose animations.

    I haven't been able to test it myself. At an Apple Store all I coudl do was confirm that the base i5 2.3 mini +27" TB display was jerky, whereas a 27" iMac was butter smooth. They didn't have the i5/i7 version with AMD graphics.

    I'm quite disappointed in Apple's design decision here. I assume they thought that not many mini owners will buy the 27" - even though that's the only dispaly hey now sell!

    It also means that the MBAirs and the 13" MBPros will also not drive a 27" smoothly as they all use HD3000 graphics.

    Really hoping for some TB external graphics cards in the near future!
  18. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I find the AMD 6630M better for Lion animations in general, but the HD 3000 is plenty to drive 2560x1440. I have even played Duke Nukem Forever in windowed mode without issue. 2560x1440 is too high for any Mac graphics card in a modern FPS with all the graphical enhancements turned on. I have to say Windows 7 has absolutely no problem with all aero enhancements turned on.
  19. dh2005 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Also, 1080i is less than 1,920x1,080: that's 1080p.

    I have a 13" MBP with an Intel HD 3000: which is basically an entry-level Mini portable. Connected to a TV at 1080p, the OS X desktop performance is fine. But 2,560x1,440 has twice the pixels of 1080p and would be, in my view, a stretch: I expect it will stutter and choke.

    I agree with the comment (I forget whose) about Apple not speccing the basic Mini to work appropriately with it's Thunderbolt display. But still, Mini owners will buy them, so...
  20. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    I use a 2011 Mac mini (2.3 GHz model) with a 27" Apple Cinema Display (2560x1440) without any problem.
  21. dh2005 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Is there an Apple Store near to you that might be able to give you demo? That's your best bet, I'd say. Always a tricky business, asking other people whether they find the performance of [x/y/z] to be good enough: what's good enough for them may not be good enough for you.
  22. Spectrum macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2005
    Well that is now two votes for the 6630 > HD3000. I really need to get to a store to see if it is true. (Unfortunately the only store near me only has the base i5 2.3, which performs just like my server with 8GB of faster RAM.) Note, that I took your suggestion from another thread that 1867MHz RAM might increase OpenGL performance on the HD3000 - but if it does, I am unable to notice the difference in Lion.

    It did increase my Geekbench score by approx 400 points though! (5%)

    In fairness, I would indeed have expected the 6630M to be better than the I do need to test the 6630M out somewhere.

    Please note, I am NOT talking about 3D. Purely about desktop animations and Safari scrolling. At 2560x1440 with a lot of things open, and wide 1440 tall Safari window, Lion animations are NOT smooth on my i7 server machine. They are smoother on the same hardware under SL. And 10.5 Expose is even smoother still.

    There isn't much option! The cheapest model with a decent graphics card is the 21 inch iMac. And I find glossy displays counterproductive for work (this is for my shared office environment), so I would have to put the iMac under the desk and plug in an external monitor.

    A MacPro case is a huge waste of power, space and resources for what I need (low CPU power with smooth expose). In any case, installing Leopard Expose in SL on the 2011 mac mini has almost completely solved my animation glitches with the 27" display.

    Which in my mind points to lazy software writing (and/or Lion driver writing) being the cause.

    Yes. I know it works, but is Expose SMOOOOOOTH ?

    I know this wasn't directed to me, but the AppleStore near me only has demo unit of the 2.3, not the 2.5/2.7 with AMD graphics. Expose on the 27" imac was beautiful.
  23. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    Yes, it does. Even my 11" 320m equipped Air does. Just fine.
  24. spda242 macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2010
    I have the U2711 with an AMD Mac mini and I wouldn't say that the animations are smooth, I would rather describe them as sluggish and jerky. It works but nothing more...

    Add to the above, that the AMD Mac mini runs insanely hot (there are several threads about this), when writing this my CPU are at 71-72 (C) and it can go higher when just surfing' so the fan are working all the time and that is annoying. Watching a video on Youtube will cause the CPU to go to ~80 (C) and the fan will wind up to almost 3k rpm and sound like a small turbo engine :(
    If you are like me allergic to fan noise, this is not the mini for you.

    So I would stay with your current Mac mini and when the Ivy Bridge Mac mini are released I would evaluate that one. That is at least my plan.

    This is my 4th Mac and 3rd Mac mini and this is my first disappointment :(
  25. Spectrum macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2005
    I just booted into Lion for the first time for a while (I've been using the SL boot created with Leopard Expose) and comapred to the Leopard animations, Lion absolutely stinks on the neww mac mini hardware. It really is very very jerky once you get 2-3 large windows open. I would say Espose/MC is relatively useless becasue of the jerkiness.

    It is not perfect with Leopard version, but much much smoother.

    Question to spda: did your previous MM run OK on a 27" monitor? i.e. is this specific problem with the new MM with HD3000? Perhaps the NVIDIA card was better for 2D? Pretty frustrating if that is the case. ai could't give a crap about 3D performance, but a smooth desktop is pretty much essential in my opinion.

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