Mac Mini: Which type of monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Opi-Poi, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Opi-Poi, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017

    Opi-Poi macrumors newbie

    Opi-Poi

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Location:
    Guernsey, Channel Islands
    #1
    Hi. I’m looking for some advise.

    I have a Mac Mini late 2009 2.53ghz which I’m currently using and plan to upgrade with a 500gb SSD and 8gb Ram.

    After testing out El Capitan I’ve noticed the desktop font is a bit uncomfortable to read on my 20” Cinema Display compared to my Mavericks desktop. It seems recent versions are more geared to higher pixel displays. What resolution and size monitor would be best?

    The Mac Mini I have has a maximum resolution of 1680x1200 I believe. I mainly use it for Web, Photos, Writing, Media Entertainment plus the odd casual game.



    I’m also looking to upgrade to a Mac Pro type Hackintosh to handle video/audio editing, large media library and higher gaming . Would a 2k or 4k monitor be a better value option?



    Thanks.
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    I don't think that is right, that would be a very strange resolution. According to the Apple specs, it can drive a 1920x1200 monitor, which would make sense because that was the resolution of the 23" Apple HD Cinema Display from that era (still using mine with a 2012 quad mini!). Apparently it can also do 2560x1600 with a dual-link adapter.

    https://support.apple.com/kb/SP577?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
    _____________________________

    Graphics and video support
    • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory3
    • Extended desktop and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports up to 1920 by 1200 pixels on a DVI or VGA display; up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on a dual-link DVI display using Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (sold separately)
    • Mini-DVI port
    • DVI output using Mini-DVI to DVI Adapter (included)
    • VGA output using Mini-DVI to VGA Adapter (sold separately)
    • Mini DisplayPort output
     
  3. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #3
    I have the same model Mini (don't use it much). The max officially supported display resolution is 2560x1600 on a dual-link DVI display or 1920x1200 on a regular DVI. I have mine connected to a typical 1920x1080 monitor. It looks like the 20" Cinema max resolution is 1680x1050. I wouldn't be surprised if in the later OS's, optimal support for the 20" Cinema was neglected.

    Here in the US, 1920x1080 monitors are pretty inexpensive ($100) or so and I would guess that would be the case where you are as well. If you can live with that, that's the value option. Next up would be 2560x1440 (1440 is more prevalent and cheaper than 1600).

    A 4K (UHD) would be nice with a Hackintosh but possibly won't work well (or at all) with the Mini so maybe get a 1920x1080 for the Mini and a 4K for the Hackintosh? If you want one monitor for both or if you're ditching the Mini after you get the Hackintosh then maybe a 2560x1440 monitor. Even after a quick Internet search, I'm not sure if 2560x1440 is only supported via a dual-link DVI on the monitor or if simply using the Mini DisplayPort to a DisplayPort monitor will work. If you're thinking about getting 2560x1440 and want to know if it works without the dual-link DVI, respond back - I can test it out but it's some work so I'd rather not do it unless the information will be of some use.
     
  4. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #4
    The Apple 27" Cinema display is 2560x1440. I'm quite sure the 2009 Mini will drive this Mini DisplayPort display.
     
  5. Opi-Poi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Opi-Poi

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Location:
    Guernsey, Channel Islands
    #5
    Ooops, my bad!
    I got mixed up between the 20" display and the graphics capability of the Mini.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 13, 2017 ---
    Thanks for that! I think that the 2560x1440 is the best bet for me. I'll let you know if the Display port option works.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 13, 2017 ---
    Oooh, I forgot about that one! I'll see if there is one going for a bargain online or near me. Cheers!
     
  6. munakib macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    #6
    I run my mini 2012 scaled to HiDPI 720p on my Dell u2515h (native 2560x1440). A stunning monitor - you should give that a shot too. It is also pretty cheap for a 2k monitor, $300-$350.
     
  7. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #7
    I tried my 2009 Mini with my 2560x1440 DisplayPort monitor and it works. I guess the emphasis that Apple placed on dual-link DVI (in 2009) was because DisplayPort monitors were not that common? However, I did notice that I don't get audio on the monitor and it isn't listed as an option in System Preferences whereas it is on my 2012 Mini. This is confirmed by Apple.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202079
     
  8. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #8
    A couple of things to note: 1) The Apple 27" Cinema Display should work with the late-2009 Mini, the Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display does not. 2) The 2009 Mini has a Mini-Displayport connector, monitors most commonly have a Displayport connector, so be mindful of getting the correct cable.
     
  9. realitydroid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    #9
    I'm using a mini DP to VGA adapter on my 2014 mini to drive an older 19" HP L1906. If you're not worried about having a widescreen display, I have found macOS to look really good on this small monitor. Works for me since I have a small apartment, so I am able to fit everything onto a very small minimalistic table.
     

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