Mac Mini 2012 i7 quad core + 2 Dell U2415s or 2715Hs vs iMac 27inch

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by rnzde, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. rnzde macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2014
    Hi all. I'd be really grateful for your thoughts on a monitor choice please.

    I currently have a mid-2011 27 inch iMac. The left hand side of the screen has gone dark; commonly experienced design defect that Apple doesn't seem to want to recognise. It's going to cost about $800 to fix (I've tried the 'solder your own connection back into place' trick but my soldering skills (or lack of them) just aren't good enough).

    Instead of pouring $800 into a 3.5 year old machine, I've decided to go down a different path and buy a Mac Mini and equip it with two monitors (I frequently work with multiple complex documents that I need to be able to see simultaneously). Having spent way too much time reading reviews of the new 2014 Mac Minis versus the top end October 2012 Mac Minis, I've opted for a new October 2012 i7 quad core 2.3GHz 500SSD Mini which I hope is going to zip along very nicely.

    I've been pondering over what monitors to choose, given that I'm used to the high resolution of the 27inch iMac (2560 x 1440). I have a 24 inch 2009 iMac at home so am familiar with the different resolutions.

    What I'm not sure about, though, is whether the new Dell U2415 would look better than the 24inch iMac screen, despite their apparently having the same max resolution. That probably sounds odd, but I hear that different makes of monitors with the same resolution can actually look a bit different.

    So my questions, please, are these:

    (1) Does anyone here have a Mac Mini set-up running two Dell U2415 monitors and, if so, what are your views on their resolution/quality? How would you rate them against an old 24 inch iMac screen?

    (2) If I opt for two Dell U2415 monitors, do you think I'll really notice a step down in resolution from the 2011 27inch iMac?

    (3) Do you think opting for two Dell 2715H monitors (same resolution as 27inch iMac) would be a better way to go?

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this. Really appreciate any help.

  2. grandM macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2013
    IMHO you can't regret buying a 27''
  3. rnzde thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2014
    Thanks. I now fear I may not be able to hook up two 2715H monitors and have them both running at 2460x1440. I've just read a post in another forum where people have been agonising about not being able to do this. Any thoughts on that topic please?
  4. qcmacmini macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2014
    The Netherlands
    The specs state you can run two monitors only, one at 2560x1600 through Displayport and 1920x1200 through HDMI.

    I was also a bit worried about buying a Mac mini with all this fuss about retina.

    I'm really enjoying using it to be honest, I'm currently on a Dell U2414H at 1080p, and will be adding a U2415 or U2515H once it's out, depending on pricing.

    At 1080p I have the same screen real estate as a 21" iMac, and it's fine for normal use. I don't sit too close to the screen and I can hardly make out the pixels.

    Just be mindful the U2415 is 16:10, and not ideal for 16:9 content, which is why I've gone for the U2414H to play video/TV if I wish, and I'm going to combine it with a different monitor soon.
  5. rnzde thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2014

    Thanks to both of you for taking the time to comment. Really appreciate it. :)
  6. rnzde thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2014

    Heavens to murgatroid! I popped into a tech shop on the way back to work today and saw a 'particular brand' 27inch 1920x1200 monitor. Ghastly resolution. I don't know how anyone on a 27inch iMac could go to a 27inch monitor with that resolution. Massive step down. Using 24 inch screens at that resolution would be OK I'm thinking (I hear good things about some of the Dells) but no way at 27inch.

    As for running 2 x 27inch 2560x1440 monitors on a late 2012 Mac Mini (i7 quad core), everything I'm reading suggests that the only way to do this right now is to get two Apple Thunderbolt Displays (like this guy has done: Beautiful set-up but pretty damn expensive. Hmmm... What to do...
  7. broadbean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    So both need to be Thunderbolt Displays, can't have the second one a Dell?
  8. qcmacmini macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2014
    The Netherlands

    Yes if you connect a thunderbolt dock first to the TB Display, or you use the HDMI port and run a monitor at 1920x1200 max.
  9. broadbean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    Yeah, I thought you didn't need both to be Thunderbolt Displays. Wouldn't look as good as a set up, but the Dell should have no issues adjusted to the correct height to match.
  10. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    One can be a Thunderbolt Display but you will need to have another thunderbolt device after the TBD but before the Dell. It's a bit of a hack but it works. Either way you can't run two 1440P monitors off of a 2012 without at least 1 TBD display.

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