MacMini 2012 Concept: PENTA-Displays

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by nightmars, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. nightmars macrumors member


    Sep 21, 2010
    Hey everyone,

    just wanted to share my Proof-of-Life concept for those who are (constantly) complaining about the Mini's performance.

    Just finished a Test-Setup with a total of 5 (Penta) Displays.

    3 x Samsung 223BW (1680x1050)
    1 x LG L1715S (1280x1024)
    1 x iPad Air2 connected via Air Display

    All five display work normally. I can watch Full HD videos on all the four regular displays (not the AirDisplay though).

    System: Mac Mini 2012, 2,5Ghz i5, 16GB RAM, 120 GB Samsung 840 SSD+ 500GB HDD


    directly connected to Mini:

    Samsung 223BW via MiniDP to DVI cable
    Samsung 223BW via HDMI to DVI cable

    connected via itec USB 3.0 Dual Display Adapter:

    Samsung 223BW via HDMI to DVI
    LG L1715S (1280x1024) via DVI to VGA cable

    connected wirelessly:

    iPad Air2 via Air Display

    Here's a link to the USB 3.0 video adapter (which actually works without a power supply while running two connected displays):

    pics for those interested :) :

    Attached Files:

  2. macaron95 macrumors regular

    May 5, 2014
    nice work :)

    proof that intel HD 4000 isn't that bad ;)
  3. mattspace macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2013
    Can the displays hooked to the USB adapter do rotation?
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Well considering the hd4000 is only running two of those displays then I would say yes it is still that bad... The rest are run off of USB and the iPad which uses CPU.
  5. nightmars thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 21, 2010
    Didn#t have a clue. Just tried it -- worked !

    Attached Files:

  6. nightmars thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 21, 2010
    I actually thought so too. But I am not quite sure anymore which computer part actually does the work (CPU, iGPU, USB-GPU,...). The "About my Mac" info box reports 4 displays being controlled via Intel HD4000 while system report "only" reports two displays hooked up to HD4000 and two hooked up via USB...
  7. nycboyz macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2015
    Hey nightmars,

    First off thank you for this post. I'm preparing to set up a new Mac Mini (MD389LL/A with 16GB RAM) for my wife to replace her for old Mac Pro (MA356LL/A) that is running dual monitors (M9178LL/A She hated the glossy-only Apple monitors and loved the trim that matches her Mac Pro) and I've been trying to convince her she needs three...or more :)...monitors. But I have to show her before she will believe me, and I couldn't figure out how to easily do it - until now. Again, thanks. In an ideal world there would (should!) be a splitter for the Thunderbolt port for multiple monitors (without having to buy $$$$$$ TB monitors and daisy chain).

    Second, your recommended adapter ( isn't in a USA-friendly format to buy, but this one ( looks like it will get the job done for me (yes, it is OSX compatible:

    Now I just have to find some suitable - yet cost effective - extra monitors for her discriminating graphic designer tastes :p No, I can't get just any monitors because after I set up the demo she will want to keep them.

    On another note, I'll be modifying her old Mac Pro to run Mavericks ( or Yosemite (, I'm undecided as to which yet, it's a "garage" project with no timetable (which means I might never get around to doing it. I've got the missus old G4 sitting at the bottom of a cabinet :eek:).
  8. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    You never said what version of OS X you are running.
  9. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    You could try duet instead of air display. I never got air display to work well even with an AC wireless airport extreme and my computer wired. I was using iPad air 1st gen though. Maybe 2nd gen works better.
  10. itsOver9000 macrumors 6502


    Mar 29, 2013
    B.F., KS
    That is pretty cool! Almost makes me wish I had a need for more than 1 screen on my mini. :)

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