Picture quality MBP vs. Mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Sverkel, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. Sverkel, Jul 28, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019

    Sverkel macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2007

    I got the new Mac mini some weeks ago and is very happy with it. There is only one thing that bugs me. I think the picture quality is worse than it was with my MacBook Pro 2016 (now sold). The MacBook Pro was connected with displayport 1.2 over a Thunderbolt 3 dock but the Mac mini is connected directly to my Samsung monitor I also used with the MacBook Pro but the Mac mini is using HDMI 2.0.

    By "worse" I mean that text, pictures and the Mac interface genereal looks fuzzy and not sharp. I have tried changing the settings on both the Mac and my monitor but the only way I can get it to "focus" is by scaling the UI to 1080p and not 4K (my monitor is 32" so the native 32" is great for 4K without scaling but it just seems out of focus)

    Is it just me thinking there is a difference or dose this DisplayPort Vs. HDMI play a role?
  2. Stephen.R macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2018
    Assuming you were using the display with the same resolution, it probably is a HDMI issue. Do you still have the TB3 dock you used with the MBP to test the theory (by plugging it into the Mac mini)?

    What model display is it? Also, do you know the manufacturer/specification of the HDMI cable?
  3. Sverkel thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2007
    I sold the dock with the MacBook Pro so I can't test it that way :(

    The display is a Samsung U32H850UMU. As I can see on Samsungs website the display should work fine and it is HDMI 2.0 so the display runs at UHD 4K in 60Hz. The HDMI cable specs is:

    High Speedwith Ethernet (2.0) HDMI cable.

    * 4K - 4096 × 2160p res. in 50/60 Hz video.
    * Deep Color, x.v.Color.
    * Auto Lip Sync.
    * Dolby TrueHD, 5.1/7.1, SA-CD, DVD-Audio and DTS-HD Master.
    * 3D Support.
    * Audio Return Channel.
    * HDMI Ethernet Channel (Ethernet channel).
    * HDCP, HEC, ARC and CEC Compliant.
    * 32 audio channels.
    * 1536 kHz sound support.
    * 4 soundstreams.
    * Dual Screen support.
    * 21:9 format support.
    * Dynamic sound sync.

    I was thinking if it would help to buy a DisplayPort -> USB-C cable and connect the display to one of the four Thunderbolt ports on the Mac mini?
  4. macdos macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2017
    That's the preferred way to go, although HDMI should work just as well. I agree it is probably a cable issue.

    The symptoms indicate that your screen is in 4k lowres mode. The computer does that when it can't establish a proper signal, and it looks crappy compared to the real deal.

  5. Stephen.R macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2018
    Can you go to  > About this Mac > System Report > Graphics/Displays and look what it says under Resolution and "UI Looks like", e.g. mine shows (don't get confused by mine showing twice, I have two monitors of the same model):

    Screen Shot 2019-07-29 at 15.39.28.png
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Are you using an older HDMI cable?
    That could be the problem -- doesn't deliver enough bandwith to run the display at full resolution.

    You want to use either:
    - a USBc (Mini end) to displayport (display end) cable
    - a HIGH SPEED HDMI 2.0 cable (one that is specifically sold as being able to support 4k).
  7. Sverkel thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2007
    I get this:
    --- Post Merged, Jul 29, 2019 ---
    The cable is rated for 4K as written above but it might still be bad I really don't know :(

    I don't know if it's got anything to do with the cable but when I'm watching YouTube on the Mac mini via Safari and goes full screen the display goes black (I can still see the cursor) if I got any other color profile than the ones that "fit" til display? That also was never a problem on the MacBook Pro?

    I added some screenshots where the difference can be seen. What I got now and what it was like barefore with the MacBook Pro.

    Bad.jpg Good.jpg

    Attached Files:

  8. idktbh macrumors member


    Oct 3, 2018
    try a usb-c to DisplayPort cable. don't use any adapters or hdmi cables

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7 July 28, 2019