Late 2012 Mac Mini with Poor Font Smoothness

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Adrenalife, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Adrenalife macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2013

    I got a late 2012 Mac Mini a month and a half ago, and I am using a 32" Sylvania 1080i HDTV as the display, connected thus: Mac Mini > Thunderbolt-DVI adapter > DVI-HDMI cable > Sylvania HDTV.

    My problem is that the font and curved objects display with very poor resolution on the screen. I haven't really been able to test other screens, but I have tried all of the Display settings in the System Preferences. The other settings don't get any smoother, and just make the fonts, text fields, and application windows too big for my personal tastes.

    I was wondering if there is a way to increase the resolution settings that can be selected in the Display settings (my current max res just says 1080i). I just came from the 2007 MacBook Pro, and it had crystal clear smoothness. While I realize that it may in part be due to the screen specs Apple used, I don't think that my current TV screen should look quite this bad.

    Any help would be great! Ask any questions you want, in case I have left important details out that need explaining.

    Much Thanks,
    Phil E.
  2. darkcoupon macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    Did you use the same TV as a screen with the 2007 MacBook Pro? TV's aren't generally recommended to be used as monitors as they're made to be viewed from a distance of around 5ft+, hence the text and images looking more pixelated up close.

    The TV can't physically display a resolution above 1080i, but I seem to remember reading something about settings for TV's built into OSX that makes text appear more clear. I just can't remember where, sorry.
  3. SoCalReviews, Nov 13, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2012
    I have a base model mid-2011 Mac Mini with a 16GB RAM upgrade and running OS X ML 10.8.5. I have never had any display issues but I haven't used any of the adapters/converters for the display cable. I simply use a high quality HDMI cable for the Mini HDMI out to a HDMI input on a 23" Samsung HDTV/Monitor (1080p capable resolution) and the images and text have always been sharp and clear. I would recommend you try a different HDTV/Monitor or a monitor only to see if it's related to your specific model of HDTV display. A display that supports 1080p over 1080i is preferred.

    I can't confirm this since I have been using a 2011 Mini model but there had been some reported issues with the 2012 Mac Mini models that seemed to be related to the Intel 4000 video driver that were corrected with later ML updates. If you haven't already done so then upgrade to the latest ML 10.8.5 . Some have reported Mini 2012 display issues returning after upgrading to Mavericks 10.9 . If those reports are true then it would be logical to guess that those issues will also be corrected with future Mavericks updates.
  4. hiutin macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2012
    got the same problem , thunderbolt to hdmi to my hp monitor

    But once i change it to thunderbolt to dvi, mini auto download the hp display profile and problem solve

    I believe normal tv don't have a dvi port, but thunderbolt to vga will do the same as dvi

    As far as i know, thunderbolt to hdmi always have problem to sense the display model and end up using a stock profile. I know it coz my macbook pro and iMac also have the same problem on thunderbolt to hdmi.
  5. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    TV's generally aren't recommended for use as monitors because of the lower resolution and dpi.
    That said I'd be interested to know if you're on OSX Mavericks?

    I upgraded last month and ever since my screen clarity has taken a knock, font's are not as smooth anymore. Considering going back to Mountain Lion
  6. Adrenalife thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2013
    I have used this TV for the '07 MBP, and it does seem a little better, but I'm not totally sure. I had heard that there was a way to get the Mac OS to give a more complete list of options to select from on the Display section of the System Preferences, but I don't know it and my source couldn't remember it.

    Thanks for your reply! Let me know if that rang a bell.

    Phil E.


    I think I am familiar with those monitors... I think the difference is my HDTV is just that, not also prescribed to be a computer monitor. Based on much of the feedback, it seems that is where people suspect the problem lies, unfortunately.

    I will go test it out on another TV we have, as well as a monitor if I can get my hands on one. As for the 1080i vs 1080p, I have read the difference is very difficult to notice at all on a screen that is less than ~32" on the diagonal, and I am hoping not to have to buy another monitor. That was much of my motivation for getting the Mini in the first place! :D

    I did switch over to Mavericks, but that occurred after a few weeks of having the computer, and the issue was no different.

    Thanks for your input. I will post on the results of testing other monitors.

    Phil E.
  7. Adrenalife thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2013

    Hmm, OK. I will try other cables again, but have not had luck with either HDMI-HDMI, Thunderbolt-HDMI, and I just tried Thunderbolt-VGA, but could not figure out how to get the monitor to display the computer screen.

    Thanks for your help!
    Phil E.


    I am starting to think that my monitor may be the problem, which is unfortunate.

    Yes, I am on Mavericks now, but the issue didn't change at all before or after switching to it. I was actually keeping my fingers crossed hoping that Mavericks had a patch or solution to the issue, which predated Mav.

    Phil E.
  8. Adrenalife thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2013
    Well, after testing it with a dedicated ViewSonic computer monitor, it looks incredible.

    It seems that the problem does lie in the HDTV I was using. Not sure why, but it looks that way. Unfortunate!

    Does anyone know of any inexpensive retailers for HDMI computer monitors?

    Thank you all for your help with this!
    Phil E.
  9. hiutin macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2012
    Every Mini come with a hdmi to dvi adapter, u dont need a hdmi monitor at all

    Hdmi is not beter than dvi, they display the same thing, only thing is hdmi carry audio , but even your computer monitor have build-in speaker, they normally sound bad
  10. Adrenalife thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2013

    Ahh, you are right! OK, that is great to know. I have settled on trying to find a 24" to 26" LED monitor for around a $150 budget.

    Thank you for your help.

    Phil E.

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