Dual 24" Monitors or 27" Thunderbolt....

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by gpspad, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. gpspad macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #1
    I have a chance to grab another 24" Cinema Monitor (Newer version model), but was also considering upgrading to a 27" Thunderbolt Monitior. I do not have room for 2x27" monitors.

    What do you think would work better; dual 24" monitors or a single 27" Thunderbolt Monitor?

    Not sure what I would gain or loose resolution and connection wise....any suggestions?

    BTW: Using a 2012 mac mini setup...
     
  2. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #2
    If I had to pick one, I would probably go 2x 24".

    I have a 24" and 27" cinema display connected to my 2014 mini. Hardware-wise, how are you planning to connect 2x 24" cinema displays to a 2012 mini if you go that route?
     
  3. gpspad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #3
    Thanks I hadn't considered that, I guess the hdmi output is an option. Maybe two 24" cinema displays aren't an option....

    Which would be too bad, 2x27" is too much, 2x24" would be perfect for the area I have.
     
  4. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    #4
    From a work flow standpoint, I always liked two smaller monitors than a single large monitor for compartmentalization. But I'm not very organized :)
     
  5. gpspad thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 4, 2014
    #5
    Thats the way I'd like to go, just have to figure out how to connect two 24" cinema display's to a 2012 mac mini. I am going through the posts, and just now seeing all the posts about various adapters. Its confusing and not as simple as I thought.

    I have to move on the 24" monitor before its gone...
     
  6. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #6
    Either of these adapters may work for you:

    http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-...78&sr=1-4&keywords=hdmi+to+displayport+active

    http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-...51168330&sr=1-23&keywords=hdmi+to+displayport


    It will get messy though because you'll need to get one of those adapters, plus a mini displayport to displayport cable like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-...=8-5&keywords=displayport+to+mini+displayport


    I've never tried this, maybe someone else can say if this works. With a combination of the converter and the lesser graphics abilities of the 2012, what would frame rates be like?

    Another option is to get one of those USB external video cards with displayport out, but I wouldn't recommend unless it's your only option and you have to have a 2nd monitor and the other solutions don't work.
     
  7. Algus macrumors regular

    Algus

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Arizona
    #7
    The Thunderbolt Display is very expensive for what it offers and I do not recommend it. It has not been updated in many years. It is about as beautiful as a 1440p monitor can be but for $1000 you can buy a display with a much higher resolution.
     
  8. Accord3 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    #8
    i have been looking at an additional 25" screen for my mac mini late 2012 also. I currently have the Dell U2515H (2560 x 1440)
    hooked up via MDP to DP with the HDMI out spare, however the HDMI is not capable of 2560 x 1440 so i think i will too have to buy the Startech adaptor if i go this route.
    For the price of the TBD you can get two Dell's for circa £500, they are an awesome screen with same res as the TBD (?)
     
  9. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #9
    I prefer 2x24" vs. a single 27", I actually tried both (the 27" was just a loaner). Even with "just" 1920x1080 displays that's a lot of pixels:D I prefer having more width, sometimes I have a VM running full screen on a display, also very handy.

    I'm on a '12 QC Mini, and before I replaced one of my 24s, I was connected like so:

    Mini >> TB/DP >> DP-to-HDMI Adapter >> HDMI-to-DVI cable >> Monitor
    Mini >> HDMI >> HDMI-to-DVI cable >> Monitor

    My current setup:

    Mini >> TB/DP >> DP-to-HDMI Adapter >> HDMI cable >> Monitor
    Mini >> HDMI >> HDMI cable >> Monitor


    HDMI-to-DVI cables, Monoprice (Direct)
    DP-to-HDMI Adapter, Kanex (Amazon), was the Rev 2 that supports audio
    HDMI cables, Blue Rigger, nice, inexpensive, ultra-thin variant so easy to manage
     
  10. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
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    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #10
    I got a 27" lying unused as the pixel density is too large for me. 24" is just right my my eyesight.
     
  11. Erdbeertorte macrumors demi-goddess

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #11
    Would a single 34" UltraWide (21:9) 3440:1440 Thunderbolt monitor maybe a better option for you? Then have a look at the ones from LG.
    Dell is using the same panel from LG in their monitors I think. But none of them has a Thunderbolt port and might not be able to run the full resolution at 60Hz over DisplayPort or HDMI.
     
  12. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
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    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #12
    The reason I prefer x2 monitors is that I like running apps full screen and only use the second monitor part of the time. For my experience the 34" would be a waste.
     
  13. davekro macrumors regular

    davekro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    No. Calif.
    #13
    On my new to me 2012 Mini, I also chose 2 x 24" as wider and two separate spaces was much preferred for my spread sheet work and also web browsing, which I do WAY too much of. LOL When I waste my time, I prefer to do it efficiently. :p. I also strongly prefer the extra height (≈ 1") of the 16:10 vs. 16:9. I went with two Dell U2415's. Their price fluctuates from $240 - $282 on Amazon. I paid $260 each 11/27.
     
  14. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    The Mini uses a notenbook-grade GPU. Two big monitors with big resolutions will drag it down and generate more heat.

    One 27" monitor (2560x1440 or whatever) uses less electricity and thus is better for the environment. 2x27" is massive and quickly wasted. Never mind the people who somehow think they need three at their desks.

    Two 24" (1920x1080, whatever) has a ton more horizontal space, less vertical, 2560x1440 can be too small and playing with DPI (PPI) isn't always the ideal answer (nor is using a resolution other than the native/optimal mode), but since windows can be minimized and we're not running storefronts where we need half a dozen monitors displaying synchronized sections of content...
     
  15. gpspad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #15
    One thing I never considered; if I go with one 27" thunderbolt display, and then connect the HDMI to a TV.

    I could mount a 32" TV to the wall, and then send streaming content to the TV as an extended screen. I wonder if the
    HDMI from the mac mini would also transmit the sound?
     
  16. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #16
    Yes! :)

    There is a bit to learn about controlling and configuring sound output on a mini but yes, the HDMI output from a mini can drive the sound on your TV or monitor.
     
  17. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
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    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #17
    40W power savings is absolutely irrelevant to the environment. It's a placebo.

    A 1920x1080 display can be swiveled 90 degrees to create a very nice vertical panel which is more use than 27" 1440 in the vertical. I also find the 27" pixel resolution too small.
     
  18. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #18
    The Thunderbolt display really isn't a wise purchase any more.
    It's old and outdated.

    Perhaps I'll be proven wrong, but it's my guess that Apple has quietly decided to exit the display market -- just as they did with printers quite a few years ago...
     
  19. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #19
    Maybe they're waiting to put out a 5K version that runs on Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C, and waiting to update their notebook line-up with chipsets that can drive multiples of these at 60 Hz. Right now that's not possible given the IO limitations and anything under 60 Hz is not really ideal. And we all know what Apple thinks about that.
     
  20. gpspad thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 4, 2014
    #20
    I know third party monitors offer a better value. But I had a tough time finding a decent webcam that works with OS X. All the logitech ones seemed to have mic issues. The apple displays were plug and play.

    The monitors cost more, but you get a FaceTime camera, speakers, and USB hub all in one. Plus they can all be controlled from the keyboard. I couldn't stand the old apple isight camera poking out from the aftermarket display.

    Maybe I should have looked for a better FaceTime webcam, but most seem to have problems with OS X. It was easier to stick with apple displays.
     
  21. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #21
    FWIW, I've been using a Logitech C270 for almost a year, works terrific and Plug-n-Play (UVC complaint). Use it with FT, FTA (even when I voice dial from the Mac through my iPhone), Skype, Google Hangouts - video quality (and low light performance) is very good and it's only a 3mp/720p camera. The C920 is supposed to be pretty awesome as well and a good bit higher rez (5MP/1080p).

    When I finally needed a hub, I also wanted USB 3.0 so that was a problem with the current Apple displays as well.
     
  22. gpspad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #22
    Thanks, Ill have to try that one if I ever decide on another monitor.
     
  23. davekro macrumors regular

    davekro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    No. Calif.
    #23
    Amazon price drop on Dell 24" U2415 monitors. I had set up a camelcamelcamel.com notification for when these monitors drop back down to $239. The Amazon price has fluctuated between $282, $259 & $239. I actually bought my two for $260 each on Black Friday because I was done waiting. ;)

    I just thought I'd post the info on this monitor hitting it's low point over the last 3 months in case anyone was interested in these. Prices seem to hold for anywhere from 1 to 3 days.
     

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