How to drive both Ultrafine 4K and 5K on 2018 i7 Mac Mini?

mrvo

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2018
75
16


My concern is since both monitors have MacOS control, does it mean I can adjust Brightness/Volume and have the Ambient Light Sensor working together or independently? Connection over TB3 (5K) USB-C (4K) certainly allows control but how about driving the 4K via HDMI?

Also I just realised on the 2018 Mac Mini it only supports One display with 5120-by-2880 (TB3) and one display with 4096-by-2160 (HDMI 2.0), not the 4096-by-2304 resolution over HDMI 2.0. Well not sure if it's the Intel 630 limitation. Now if I want the best performance, obviously the only eGPU that'd support the 5K via TB3 connection seems to be the Blackmagic eGPU, but can I drive both 4K and 5K through the Blackmagic's?
 

thirdsun

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
92
93
Since the Ultrafine only has 1 Thunderbolt input there’s no way drive it via HDMI.

And yes, the Mac Mini itself according to Apple’s specs can’t drive both. As I understand it a 5k display uses both Thunderbolt lanes.

Honestly, I think you’d be better off with an iMac. The iMac already has the outstanding 5k display and allows you to add a second one, or multiple 4Ks, even true 4Ks like the Ultrafine.
 

mrvo

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2018
75
16
Technically I can do: Mac Mini > Ultrafine 4K via USB-C together with Mac Mini TB3 > Blackmagic TB3 > Ultrafine 5K

I don't like the idea of prying open the screen on the iMac when it comes to do dust cleaning and thermal repaste plus occasionally I can bring the Mac Mini for on location tethered shoots.
 

lifeisepic

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2013
467
712
UK
Technically I can do: Mac Mini > Ultrafine 4K via USB-C together with Mac Mini TB3 > Blackmagic TB3 > Ultrafine 5K

I don't like the idea of prying open the screen on the iMac when it comes to do dust cleaning and thermal repaste plus occasionally I can bring the Mac Mini for on location tethered shoots.
I think that may be the only route. The IGPU on the Mac Mini just isn’t strong enough to power a 4K and 5k. Not sure how the TB3 bandwidth will be effected by driving a 4K and eGPU together, I imagine it will be fine.
 

thirdsun

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
92
93
Technically I can do: Mac Mini > Ultrafine 4K via USB-C together with Mac Mini TB3 > Blackmagic TB3 > Ultrafine 5K

I don't like the idea of prying open the screen on the iMac when it comes to do dust cleaning and thermal repaste plus occasionally I can bring the Mac Mini for on location tethered shoots.
There’s really no need to open the iMac. It isn’t intended to opened for dust cleaning. Portability is of course an issue, but other than that an iMac would serve you much better.

If you prefer the Mac Mini option you could also just use a standard UHD / 4K monitor instead of the Ultrafine 4k as your second display. 5k + UHD should be doable according to Apple’s specs.
 

mrvo

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2018
75
16
I think that may be the only route. The IGPU on the Mac Mini just isn’t strong enough to power a 4K and 5k. Not sure how the TB3 bandwidth will be effected by driving a 4K and eGPU together, I imagine it will be fine.
There are two TB3 controllers just like the recent MBP so it should be fine.