Mac mini 2018/Two LG 32UL950-W's - My experiences

Ryan0751

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 4, 2013
144
113
I recently purchased a nicely loaded up Mac mini 2018.

I also went with two of the 32" LG 32UL950-W 4K monitors. I decided on these over the 5K LG's, as they look (in my opinion) much nicer with tiny bezels, and I prefer the screen real estate of the 32" display running at "looks like 3008x1692) over a 27" at "looks like 2560x1440" but with higher DPI.

These display are Thunderbolt 3, which means you can also daisy chain two of them together off of a single connection. I can confirm this works great connected directly to the mini.

I also purchased the Blackmagic eGPU Pro, which I know is overpriced, but it also has Thunderbolt 3. This setup works nicely with the Mini. I did not perform much testing (other than seeing it works) using the internal GPU.

Now, there are a few downsides. Occasionally, when I restore my mini from sleep (this happens maybe 1 in 20 times), one of the displays comes up at the wrong resolution. Going into display settings doesn't fix it, as it doesn't show the full array of display resolutions supported by the monitor. What does work is to just switch off both monitors, and switch them back on. A tad annoying, but not end of the world. Hopefully software fixes will eventually correct this.

Then, there's the well-known (and published by Apple) FileVault limitation. If you have an eGPU, you cannot see the login display to enter your FileVault password to unlock the machine. You therefore have to plug in your monitor to another port directly on the mini, log in, then plug it back into the eGPU after. Ugh!

I thought a solution might be to use the extra HDMI port on the back of one of the monitors directly to the Mac mini. Then, on boot, I can switch the mini over to HDMI, enter my password, boot up, and switch back to Thunderbolt.

This kind of works... however, the HDMI input of the monitor continues to be an active display within OS X (even though you can't see it, because you've switched to the other input).

There are utilities out there that would let me "disable" that HDMI display.

BUT, in the end I found that whole solution with input switching to just be annoying and have since disabled FileVault. It would be really nice if Apple can figure out how to make the minis firmware support the eGPU in some capacity to allow boot screens.
 
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Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
3,364
698
BUT, in the end I found that whole solution with input switching to just be annoying and have since disabled FileVault. It would be really nice if Apple can figure out how to make the minis firmware support the eGPU in some capacity to allow boot screens.
Catalina does address this, mostly. At least it worked for DisplayPort and HDMI. It wasn't working for DisplayPort over USB-C with a BlackMagic when I briefly tried one during Beta 6. Didn't check DP over TB3, because I don't have a true TB3 display. It's possible it will work at launch since it wasn't even supported until Beta 5. It's possible the issue I saw was a bug to be ironed out.

I recommend giving it a try when it goes public.

This kind of works... however, the HDMI input of the monitor continues to be an active display within OS X (even though you can't see it, because you've switched to the other input).
Yeah, I noticed this with the LG 4K monitors. The TB/USB-C port and the DisplayPort share a single DisplayPort connection. So one is cut when you switch between them. Same if you use both HDMI ports (on models that have two). But one DisplayPort and one HDMI is always kept live.
 

macdos

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2017
250
309
Had this happen once, or at least noticed it once. Resolution on one screen (Samsung) appeared to be right but was kinda crappy, and I couldn't get the true 4K via control panel. Sleep and wakeup corrected it. It is as if Windowserver can't reestablish the correct resolution.

Occasionally, when I restore my mini from sleep (this happens maybe 1 in 20 times), one of the displays comes up at the wrong resolution. Going into display settings doesn't fix it, as it doesn't show the full array of display resolutions supported by the monitor. What does work is to just switch off both monitors, and switch them back on.
 

macpro2000

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2005
869
413
I was thinking of buying 3 of these for my Mac Pro. Still recommend? Currently I'm using 5x30" Apple Cinema Displays but thought that these would give me a much sharper view. Thoughts?