Mac Mini Late 2012 - 144Hz

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by TheReckoning, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. TheReckoning, Apr 9, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018

    TheReckoning macrumors newbie


    Apr 9, 2018
    Hi everyone. I just picked up a Late 2012 Mac Mini and put 16GB of RAM and an SSD in it. I already had a 144Hz MSI G27C monitor that I use with my Alienware laptop, which runs great over HDMI 2.1 at 144Hz. Using that same cable, and a 4K/3D mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, I was hoping to run 144Hz on my Mac Mini. I am still seeing only options for 60Hz. I have previously used 144Hz on a Windows-based laptop with Intel HD4000 graphics over HDMI. I was reading that the HDMI port on the Mac Mini won't be able to run 144Hz, so I went with the adapter.

    I've tried everything, including unlocking the pixel clock and using SwitchResX to make a custom resolution. While this made a 144Hz and 120Hz option available under System Preferences > Displays, the mouse movement is clearly sluggish as if it is still running in 60Hz. I've went to the website to test the refresh rate, and it did report 144Hz, but it definitely does not feel like 144Hz. I was hoping to have that seamless mouse movement with no "stuttering", just that beautiful 144Hz effect. I do not intend to do any gaming, I just wanted to take advantage of the "smoothness" as it's going to be my development machine.

    Has anyone successfully been able to do this? Is Apple mouse input just that jittery on HD4000? On my Macbook Air 2015 with HD6000, the mouse movement was very fluid.

    Any help is appreciated.

    UPDATE: I've tried the Patch EDID script to force RGB mode, wasn't sure if it was being read as a television or not, but figured it was worth a try. No luck. I noticed in SwitchResX it offers me 75Hz in 720p mode. I'm curious, do I need a "Thunderbolt 2 Compatible" Mini DisplayPort cable? There is one on Amazon from Cable Matters that claims it's TB2 compatible, and figured it might be worth a shot. Any thoughts?
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I don't think you can get 144hz from a 2012 Mini.
    No way. No how.
  3. TheReckoning thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 9, 2018
    Do you know of a specific reason why? An i7 w/ HD4000 is capable, a TB2/MDP port is capable, my monitor is capable. :(
  4. RyanXM macrumors regular


    Jul 7, 2012
    DFW, TX
    The Late 2012 Mac mini is a ThunderBolt 1 port.....
  5. TheReckoning thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 9, 2018
    Ugh, I thought it was a TB2 port this whole time.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 10, 2018 ---
    No chance of even getting 120Hz? Or anything higher than 60Hz? 120Hz would only require 7.49Gbps of bandwidth, and can't TB1 do 10Gbps?
  6. JohnnieBBadde, Apr 10, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018

    JohnnieBBadde macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2014
    Unfortunately the Thunderbolt 1/Mini-DP port of the Mac Mini Late 2012 only supports DisplayPort 1.1(a).

    Therefore, 144 Hz with the desired display resolution is technologically not possible, cp. the table "Resolution and refresh frequency limits for DisplayPort":

    Overkill solution: You could unlock the blocked Thunderbolt 1/2 eGPU freature in 10.13.4, add a modern GPU in an eGPU enclosure and connect the display to that GPU then.

    *Edit*: Sorry, I thought the display was 2560x1440, 1920x1080p at 144 Hz should actually work with DisplayPort 1.1.

    I think that there are two reasons left:

    1) Apple's GPU drivers that are part of macOS are ****** (this has been a given for many years)

    2) Apple has done something to the EFI/firmware that prevents the full capability of DisplayPort 1.1a to function

    I'd try installing the latest Windows version (no need to purchase a licence, can be used as trial software without a key) on an external USB 3 HDD/SSD with "WinToUSB" and check if you can use 144 Hz under Windows - then you know that macOS is at fault, if not then it's likely something firmware-related.
  7. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Is the MDP to HDMI adapter capable?
  8. RyanXM macrumors regular


    Jul 7, 2012
    DFW, TX
    ThunderBolt 2 was introduced shortly after the Late 2012 Mac mini. It was formally announced by Intel in June 2013. It was formally introduced by Apple during WWDC 2013 and was put into the Late 2013 and after products.
  9. giggles macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2012
    Have you tried with a simple mini-DP to DP cable?
    No conversions to HDMI.

    I remember a 2010 mini getting 100Hz 1080p under Windows with a mini-DP to DP cable. Not sure under macOS but it was really ages ago.

    Your monitor has a DP input.
    HDMI 2.1 and more than 60Hz over HDMI are fairly new things, almost exotic, why would you expect a random Dp-to-HDMI converter to support them. (honestly I doubt it even works in your alienware setup and I think you’re actually using DP)
    You have far, far better chances with a direct mini-DP to DP connection from your thunderbolt/miniDP port.

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