Good high-res LCD monitor compatible with 2010 mini server?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by paulbart, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. paulbart macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2008
    Hello -

    (sorry for the somewhat long explanation...)

    I recently upgraded from an original Intel Mac Mini to the new 2010 Mac Mini Server.

    The old Mini worked fine with my Westinghouse 24" LCD monitor (HDMI input - connected to Mini via DVI->HDMI cable).

    The new Mini Server 2010 has HDMI out, so I used a straight-through HDMI cable. The display looks terrible! All of the fonts appear to have a 'shadow' next to them - almost like an old analog VGA with 'interference'.

    Thinking it could be the cable, I went back to my old Mini's DVI->HDMI cable (and used the new Mini's HDMI->DVI adapter to connect to it). Same results.

    The Westinghouse monitor's native resolution is 1920x1200. The Mac says that it's configured for 1920x1200.

    Today, I brought the Mini Server to work and tried with a "HANNspree" 24" LCD monitor (native resolution 1920x1080). The Mac says it's configured for "1080p". The display looks somewhat 'better' (no 'shadows' next to text), but there's an overall 'softness' to everything - like the entire image is a bit blurry.

    The same monitor connected to my Windows PC at work has a great/sharp display.

    With my *old* Mini, there was an upgrade to Snow Leopard at one point that 'broke' support for 1920x1200 - it only supported 1920x1080. It took months for Apple to release a new version that fixed the problem.

    I'm worried that I'll have to wait months for a fix to this problem.

    So, I'm considering buying a new monitor. Of course, I suppose I could just buy "Apple" and it'll work great - except I don't want to pay for an over-priced monitor.

    Can anyone recommend a monitor that's (roughly) 24" diagonal with 1920x1200 resolution - which is *known* to work with the 2010 Mac Mini Server?

    I'm also thinking about upgrading to a (roughly) 30" monitor. The Apple Cinema display (with *2560x1600*) looks nice - but (again) I think it's overpriced. Can anyone recommend a 30" (or so) monitor with a nice high resolution like this? (known to work with 2010 Mini Server)?

    If I go for a high-res (2560x1600) monitor, I think I need to use the 'mini display port' output of the Mini (HDMI output only supports 1920x1200).

    Some monitors (like one from Dell) have a "displayport" input. I assume I can get a "mini-displayport to displayport" adapter?

    Others have dual-link? DVI. I think I've read that there's a (mini-)displayport to dual-link DVI adapter. Does anyone have experience using either of these?

    One last question: what are the chances that my current monitor would work if I used the mini-displayport ouput instead (with a mini-displayport->HDMI adapter)?

    Thank you very much for any help/suggestions you can offer!
  2. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Have you tried going from Mini Displayport on the Mac Mini to DVI on the Westinghouse monitor?
  3. paulbart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2008
    Not yet. I don't have an adapter for that.

    I just tried a Dell 2405FPW (1920x1200 native resolution), and it looks great (no blurriness).

    So, I know it's nothing wrong with the HDMI port itself. It's more likely (IMO) the 'id' info that comes across HDMI telling the Mac about the display, and something isn't correct (or is being misinterpreted).
  4. paulbart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2008
    In case anyone else is reading this thread/having similar problems:

    As I said, I used the HDMI->DVI adapter that came with the 2010 Mac Mini, but got 'blurry' display.

    Today, I purchased a 'mini displayport -> DVI' adapter from Apple. I used it instead of the HDMI->DVI adapter - and the display looks GREAT!

    It sucks that I had to purchase a $29 adapter from Apple. My 'old' (original Intel) Mac Mini recognized my monitor and did NOT have blurry output - I don't see why I need to use 'mini displayport' in order to get similar output from my brand-new Mac Mini 2010.

    Oh well...

    Separately: I tried the HDMI->DVI output to a "Samsung 245BW" display. It also looked great! (so, I would consider it a 'Mac Mini 2010 compatible display').

    As I also had the new 'minidisplay port -> DVI' adapter, I *also* connected a second "Samsung 245BW" using that - both displays worked, both looked great!
  5. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2006
    Glad you got it working, and sorry you have to an adapter. Its good to see that the mini display port worked though.

    Random question, how did you setup your hard drives? Did you strip them to make a 1TB drive or make them redundant so you don't have to worry about a drive failing?

  6. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Per this Apple doc, Mac mini (Mid 2010): Frequently asked questions about HDMI:

    Which resolutions are supported on the Mac mini (Mid 2010)?

    The HDMI port supports up to 1080p on HDMI connections. With the HDMI to DVI adapter, the HDMI port will work with resolutions up to 1920 x 1200.
  7. paulbart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2008
    I used the HDMI to DVI adapter, with my 1920x1200 monitor, and got a fuzzy/blurry display (with my Westinghouse monitor - I had better results with other monitors). My OLD Mac Mini (original Intel) was able to talk to the same Westinghouse monitor just fine (over DVI).

    The mini displayport to DVI adapter (on my 2010 Mac Mini) worked with the same monitor - just NO blurriness.
  8. paulbart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2008
    Actually, I haven't done anything with the second drive yet.

    I have a 'readyNAS' external drive (with Raid-5) that I use for all my backups. I used Time Machine on my OLD Mac Mini to backup to the readyNAS. I haven't configured TM on the NEW Mac Mini yet.

    (I've only had the NEW Mac Mini for a few days now, so haven't had much time to configure it - other than trying to get a decent display on my monitor)
  9. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    If I understand correctly from your OP you used the New mini's HDMI-to-DVI adapter to connect to your Old mini's DVI-to-HDMI adapter to connect to the monitor is that correct? If so, could it be because the max resolution for HDMI on the New mini is up to 1080p and your monitor is 1920x1200 ergo the fuzziness, etc. as the monitor's native resolution is higher than 1080p.

    Now if you mean that you connected directly from the New mini's HDMI-to-DVI adapter directly to the monitor and it was still fuzzy, etc. at 1920x1200 then I don't have any explanation as that should work.
  10. paulbart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2008
    I used the NEW Mini's HDMI->DVI adapter. That means it should support 1920x1200 output.

    From there, I used a cable with a DVI connector on one end (the Mac end) and HDMI on the monitor end. It's just a cable - not something that came with the OLD Mac.

    The OLD Mac had DVI output, so I connected my DVI->HDMI cable between the Mac and the monitor - and it worked fine. So, the cable itself didn't break anything - it was able to take a standard 1920x1200 DVI signal and send it to my monitor's HDMI port.

    On the NEW Mac, I used the HDMI->DVI adapter. That *should* result in the same 'standard 1920x1200 DVI signal' that I would have seen from my OLD Mac. The same exact cable (which did NOT 'break' the signal on the OLD Mac) was used with the NEW Mac.

    So, I really believe that the NEW Mac's HDMI port (and/or HDMI->DVI adapter) has a problem with certain monitors - monitors which worked fine with the OLD Mac. (and monitors which I've found work fine with the 'mini displayport->DVI' adapter).

    Actually, I really think it's a software/driver issue - just like how Apple 'broke' 1920x1200 output completely (only supported 1920x1080) in a previous version of Snow Leopard (I saw this on an SL 'update' on my OLD Mac - 1920x1200 worked fine, then an SL update broke it). It took months for Apple to come out with a new SL 'update' that fixed the problem. (I think Apple does QA with their own hardware/monitors, and 'off brand' monitors aren't really tested (until they get complaints)).

    Given time, I assume Apple will fix the HDMI(->DVI) output on the NEW Mac Mini.
  11. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    But is it really HDMI-to-DVI when you're going from HDMI-to-DVI adapter to DVI-to-HDMI cable to the monitor? Maybe the New mini is reading it as HDMI at two ends and giving you HDMI 1080p?
  12. paulbart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2008
    The same HDMI->DVI adapter, then thru DVI->HDMI cable works fine with two different monitors. It doesn't work when used with the Westinghouse monitor.

    In all cases (even with the 'blurry' Westinghouse display), the Mac says that it is using 1920x1200. If the Mac thought the monitor was 1920x1080, it would say that in Settings->Display.
  13. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    I'm sorry about being so dense earlier, the above makes perfect sense now. You're right it sounds like it's the Westinghouse monitor. Bummer, that certain monitors can be a problem for Macs, I thought that kind of thing was pretty much plug and play now-a-days and you didn't have to worry about Mac compatibility.
  14. Bitgod macrumors regular


    Oct 25, 2003
    The way I've got mine setup now is the HDMI is plugged into the HDMI of my TV, and then I bought a DVI KVM and the mini-displayport to DVI adapter, so I have the mini and my PC connected to the KVM connected to my Benq 24" display.

    That's working out pretty well so far, the only drawback is that it will only do 1920x1080 on my 1920x1200 display since I've got it set to mirror the display and it's still connected to my 1080p TV. Oh well. It just helps confirm that I NEVER want to be forced to using 1080 for my computer display, I miss that extra desktop space! And when I use mirroring, it disables the underscan option, which I need when using the TV, so I can't leave mirroring on full time.
  15. ATHmathieu macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Roger Williams Park - Rhode Island
    HP LP2475W - IPS - you can input with HDMI / Display Port
    NEC LCD2490UXI / LCD2190UXI

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