New to Mac minis, which is best? MDP or HDMI?

davidg4781

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Original poster
Oct 28, 2006
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Alice, TX
I'm going to be getting a mini soon and was wondering which adaptor would be best to get? The HDMI>DVI or MDP>DVI? Are there any benefits to both?

I think the one I'm buying comes with the HDMI but I was wondering if I'm maybe missing anything. I currently have an older ACD, 20", but may upgrade later, depending on if Apple comes out with anything new soon.
 

Dark Void

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Jun 1, 2011
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It comes with the HDMI/DVI-female adapter. I'd just use that, no specific benefits to using something else.
 

myrtlebee

macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2011
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Maryland
It comes with the HDMI/DVI-female adapter. I'd just use that, no specific benefits to using something else.
But...
Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think that 2014 minis still ship with that adapter. Wasn't the 2012 the last mini that came with an adapter in the package?
Yes, I can attest that there are no adapters included with the 2014 models as I have purchased two in the past two months.
 
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Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
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But...
Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think that 2014 minis still ship with that adapter. Wasn't the 2012 the last mini that came with an adapter in the package?
Yes, I can attest that there are no adapters included with the 2014 models as I have purchased two in the past two months.
I was not aware that it didn't come with it, thanks for the information!
 

SpacemanSpiffed

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Mar 27, 2013
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Pacific NW
Really this is a non-issue. Electrically converting video signals between Displayport, DVI (Single link), and HDMI is not a big deal. For any of those combinations, you can skip a separate adapter and just buy a cable with the correct ends for about $10 from Amazon, Monoprice, etc.

If you are using a HDMI monitor that has built in speakers and want audio out over the mini Displayport, you will need to get an adapter that supports (mini) DP->HDMI + Audio, which may be a pain to find and probably about $40. HOWEVER, the unibody mac minis have an HDMI port built in, so you can just use a $5 HDMI cable.

There are only 2 gotchas I am aware of.

One is using a 30" monitor ( 2560 x 1600, or anything over 1920x1200 really ) that has DVI input. Regular DVI tops out bandwidth-wise at 1920x1200, so they made DVI-D (Dual Link), which uses an additional 9 lines. To go from (Mini) Displayport to DVI-D, you need an active adapter, which costs $70-$100, and usually needs a USB port to plug into as well.

The Other is plugging into a 4K (or 5K) monitor. I've not tried this yet, so my knowledge is lacking, but we're still in the early stages of 4K+ support and pre-2014 minis may be limited to 30fps or 24fps (or not at work at all) depending on the combination of connection, monitor/TV set and Mini used. Pretty soon, everything will be caught up and have displayport 1.4a/HDMI 2.0/etc and just work for 4K @ 60fps. etc.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
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I'm going to be getting a mini soon and was wondering which adaptor would be best to get? The HDMI>DVI or MDP>DVI? Are there any benefits to both?

I think the one I'm buying comes with the HDMI but I was wondering if I'm maybe missing anything. I currently have an older ACD, 20", but may upgrade later, depending on if Apple comes out with anything new soon.
I would recommend the mDP to DVI, if DVI is what you have on your ACD. Moonrise sells these for under $10, and I've used them for years with no problem. When you buy your next monitor, you may need to evaluate the ports you have and what your platform (OS and hardware) can support. What you have today will support HD. Depending on the monitor you may need to buy another adaptor.
 

ApolloBoy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2015
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San Jose, CA
If you are using a HDMI monitor that has built in speakers and want audio out over the mini Displayport, you will need to get an adapter that supports (mini) DP->HDMI + Audio, which may be a pain to find and probably about $40.
Isn't that only for older Macs with a Mini DisplayPort? Both my 2010 white MacBook and cMBP support audio over MDP just fine.
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
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If it is a more recent mini you're going to get, it'll have the MiniDP embedded into the Thunderbolt connector(s). That connector is more versatile than HDMI, which is solely meant to connect to a TV/monitor.

So by using the HDMI-to-DVI converter, you keep the available TB port(s) available for other tasks.

Also, my understanding is that HDMI and DVI are pretty similar (electrically), so any adapter is of low complexity (= potentially more robust). Thunderbolt-to-DVI adapters need more electronic, which subsequently offers more chance for failure.
 

davidg4781

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 28, 2006
2,303
217
Alice, TX
I may be purchasing an LED Cinema Display, 24" locally, for a pretty good price. If that's the case I'll probably go straight with mDP. I have no use for Thunderbolt, right now at least, so I'll be ok missing out on that port.

BTW, it's ridiculous what TBD are selling for. CL has them mostly for $800. I'd rather spend a tad more and get straight from Apple.
 
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