mac mini and 3 monitors?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by onomatopoetik, May 30, 2014.

  1. onomatopoetik macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2014
    #1
    hi everyone!

    i was thinking about buying a mac mini, but after all it seems that the new one may never come, or it will come, but with other processor..

    so, the question is, is the mac mini which is out now, capable of driving 3 monitors? (of course, with something like a thunderbolt hub)

    one LCD with 1080p,
    and one TFT with 1680x1050 and
    one with 1280x1024.

    or is this intel HD graphic not powerfull enough..?

    thanks a lot!
    evs
     
  2. bax2003 macrumors 6502a

    bax2003

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #2
    Cannot be done. Integrated Intel HD4000 can give you these setups:

    Mini Display Port to (DL) DVI + HDMI (or converted to DVI)
    Mini Display Port + HDMI (or converted to DVI)
    Thunderbolt + HDMI (or converted to DVI)
    Thunderbolt + Thunderbolt (daisy chained)
     
  3. onomatopoetik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2014
    #3
    allright thanks for the answer!

    what do you guys thing, will the new mac mini have a better graphic card?
     
  4. bax2003 macrumors 6502a

    bax2003

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #4
    It could have Iris Pro or nVidia 650 / 750 option.

    For your original question. There is one thing you can do, and that is monitor driven from USB port. USB monitors have nothing to do with graphics card and becouse of that you will not get any hardware acceleration. Those are enough for spreadsheets, word and so on.
     
  5. mattspace macrumors 6502a

    mattspace

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    has anyone got experience with USB display adapters? I'm currently using twin 24" 1920x1200 but with more and more software like Aperture being designed as single window apps, without the ability to tear off palettes / timelines etc, I was thinking of getting a 27" for the centre and rotating the 24"s 90 degrees on each side for things like deep layers palettes etc.

    I don't really care about 3D on them, but i can't find definitive answers about adapters which can do 1920 high by 1200 wide, as opposed to 1200 high.
     
  6. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #6
    The Radeon 6630M 2011 Mini is the only mini today capable of driving 3 displays, with the requirement that at least one is a thunderbolt display.
     
  7. twalk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #7
    Practically all of the external monitors with a usb connection are using DisplayLink. At best, they work but are slow. The latest (beta) drivers work pretty well, but only if you are using the usb monitor as a 2nd monitor. If you are using it as the 3rd monitor with a mini, then it can at times really screw things up on the other 2 monitors, depending on your built-in video and driver.

    To be blunt, DisplayLink worked hard on Windows support. (I've seen 16 monitor setups with Windows.) They did enough for the Mac to barely get by. For Linux, they're practically MIA. They don't really seem to be the kind of company to depend on.

    As for usb connected video cards, they're probably slow, but amazon shows some that don't use DisplayLink. Those may be a good option.
     
  8. mattspace macrumors 6502a

    mattspace

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    i was actually thinking of using just the one big monitor, perhaps even a 30" via the built in video, and running the other two with usb boxes, since they'd only be palette space. would that get me more performance for the main screen?
     
  9. twalk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #9
    All of the processing still has to be done in the video buffer with the video hardware / driver accessing it. That's splitting the video buffer 3 ways then, which will affect performance with your main monitor. About the slow speed for usb monitors, that's because of the slow data transfer rate, since the great majority of them are still usb2. (usb3 monitors aren't a blaze of speed either.) Also, many usb monitors use lower quality panels, so while the speed of them isn't really an issue (if you're just showing a palette), the color space of them would be an issue.

    Unless you are dead set on 3 monitors, I would suggest instead that you get 2 larger ones. A 30" IPS screen is great. For the 2nd, I'd suggest something like a 22" 1080p IPS monitor that you can put into portrait mode, to take up less desk space. There's a few of them out there, like the Dell P2214H.
     
  10. mattspace macrumors 6502a

    mattspace

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #10
    I'm talking about those USB adapter dongles that you plug a normal monitor into, rather than usb specific monitors, but yes if they work by feeding off the existing video memory, then I can see how my current panels might not leave enough for the 3rd screen.

    Guess I'll have to wait until a thunderbolt graphics card becomes practical. :confused:

    yeah. specifically 3 monitors is the point of the exercise for me - having palettes to hand on both sides of my workspace.

    cheers
     

Share This Page