Should I still get a Mac Mini despite the Black Blinking Screen Of Death!?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by strongs, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. strongs, Nov 15, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012

    strongs macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2012
    United Kingdom
    N00b "soon to be" Mac user in need of advice.

    I was VERY excited last week and counting down the days to the weekend as I would be picking up my very first Mac computer a Mac Mini from my local apple store :D

    However I then discovered the "Random Black Screens" thread on this forum which scared me off buying one :(

    The issue appears to be something to do with the Intel graphics card and it's HDMI port, which doesn't really affect me as I don't NEED to use the HDMI port I can always use the MDP but the questions I keep argueing with myself are...

    1) Should I really knowingly buy something that is technically "faulty" out of the box.
    2) What if Intel / apple never come up with a software fix!?
    3) What if there is a massive recall!? - Don't need that hassle :mad:
    4) Even though this issue exists it's still much cheaper than the iMac I was originally planning to buy in November... so should I just get one anyway and save myself about £500GBP!?
    5) Maybe they will come up with a software fix!?
    6) Should I just wait and order an iMac instead?
    7) If I do just say "sod it" and get a Mini will my OCD eventually kick in about the dodgy graphics card!?
    8) I don't NEED either right now, I just WANT one.
    9) Wait a little bit longer to see if they fix the problem with the black screens?if not see (7)
    10) What if I wait for the iMac only to find that people have found other hardware / software issues with those!
    11) Should I really have to "make do" with having to use the MDP to get around black screen issue!?

    Argh! what to do!!? :confused:
  2. ka-spot macrumors 6502a

    May 23, 2012
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Of course!

    Wait for iMac :) 29th of February 2013 is really close :)
  3. alexdd macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2012
    Yes, wait for the new issues with iMac
  4. Snowcake, Nov 15, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012

    Snowcake macrumors regular

    May 18, 2010
    Well is is not just blinking black screens.
    It can also be snow and keeps like snow or black, won't go to normal screen.

    Washed out colors, very ugly bad image.

    You can't see light tints/shades anymore, for example in finder you can't see the light colors in finder anymore on the lines.

    Sorry, but there is more...

    1 The Intel HD3000 and HD4000 have a 23.976fps and a 23.976HZ bug.

    2 A issue with creating/saving/maintaining the correct brightness levels (0-255 vs. 16-235) and or EDID overrides.

    3 And of course the biggest new bug introduced in Ivy Bridge is the failure with certain 1080i50 streams (look in the graphics area). Especially the last one makes it currently unusable for users having the appropriate kind of premium content (mostly live-TV).

    Just google it...

    Or you can put a external Graphics-card via Thunderbolt on your Mac Mini:
  5. strongs thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I would only use the mac for Internet browsing and light apps would I really notice any of the issues you mention above?
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    I have had issues streaming tv hulu you tube. the bug sometimes pulsates the image from clear to blurred. It can be very annoying. to be fair this is an intel issue using the 3000 or 4000 graphics on pcs can do the same thing.

    I have a house full of mac minis and pcs.

    I was all windows then I was all mac now I am a mix of both gear.

    Both setups have good and bad. The 2012 the 2011 minis have some short comings. For your needs you could use a 2011 base model like this

    I am not sure these have a 1 year warranty but if they do they are pretty good.
  7. pollaxe macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2010
    West of England
    I've just started getting the black screens (as well as snow/static and weird colour tints too) but I didn't have them until the tenth or eleventh day of use. It had been fine up until then (or I hadn't noticed them.)

    I'm going to return mine as I'm still within the fourteen day period because HDMI was going to be my connection of choice for the role I'd had the Mini flagged up for. It doesn't appear to be affecting the Thunderbolt/MDP route though so if you'd use it that way, you could be okay. If you're going to use the HDMI port then I would hold back and see what happens. My instincts are that a fix of some sort will probably be forthcoming but I don't know when or if, of course. Some though, are convinced it's an Intel hardware issue and may never be rectified. Others, it seems, have not been affected by the issue at all.

    After calibrating my display, the HDTV I was using the Mini on looked gorgeous and it was handling media playback absolutely fine. I was quite happy with it until the black screens began and they do seem to strike completely at random.

    Although the Mini is a cheaper flavour of Mac, I think it's still a lot to spend when it's not guaranteed that a fix will be released so, I'm going to try to return mine and I will wait to see what happens and if they do sort this out then I will probably buy another one.

    TLDR: if you're going to use the onboard HDMI port, I'd hold off buying for the time being.
  8. strongs thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Like I said in my original post I won't be affected by the HDMI issue as I can make do with just using the MDP but why should I have to make do is the question I keep asking myself.

    The other questions I need help answering to justify a purchase are in my original post.
  9. Snowcake macrumors regular

    May 18, 2010
    The problems i numbered in my quote above your quote, also affects thunderbold. It is just a issue with the Intel HD3000 & HD4000.
  10. pollaxe macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2010
    West of England
    Snowcake's given a more technical response than me (I'm at work so I don't have the opportunity to read everything fully) but I think you've probably answered it by saying; why should I have to make do? You shouldn't have to.

    If in doubt, I'd hold off. I spent the last several days on tenterhooks waiting for problems to show themselves. Although it's a pita, I'm glad it showed up when it did, I was half expecting them to appear on day 15!
  11. strongs thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Maybe I should just wait afterall I don't NEED one I guess I can wait until the new year and review again :confused:

    I was SOOoo looking forward to having a new toy to play with :(
  12. thestickman macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2010
    Jacksonville, FL
    Using TB output for video = zero video issues for me. I use my Mini for several hours each day without a problem. I do pro-sound DAW work on mine. Pro Tools 9, Logic and Studio One all perform wonderfully for me. YMMV :)
  13. endophilin macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2010
    Build a Hackintosh. Follow the directions on the web-site
    I have one running for the last 6 months. It has a dedicated GPU (Radeon 6870) and almost everything worked out of the box. Couldn't be happier. I have been buying/using Macs since 1991 but the recent dearth of decent computers forced me to build a hack.

    Good luck
  14. abbstrack macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2008
    had mine for over a week

    haven't noticed any black screen, snow, or flickering issues. I did have an issue deleting a partition i created, but I fixed that.

    i'm using with a Thunderbolt display, and am completely happy with it.
  15. Alekto macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2012
    Base model owner here. No problems to report thus far. Thoroughly impressed with it, really.
  16. RiderX macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2012
    I7, 8GB, HDMI-DVI.

    Now 8 days in use, no problems at all.
  17. cmeisenzahl macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2005
    I would say yes, I'm confident they'll get this resolved.
  18. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    OP, if you ever want to use the 2012 Mini as an HTPC, don't buy it, unless Intel comes up with a fix. (Appears Intel is trying to fix with release of MRC code, which implies a memory alloc issue, but since June, when reported by the Win/Linux world, Intel has not been able to fix it.)

    I bought a 2.6 Mini and RMA'd after getting both black screens and snow in HDMI use. Also, besides the blinking issue, 1080p movies seemed to skip frames. My 2010 Air with Nvidia 320M video card plays 1080p video flawlessly.
  19. Rob.G macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    NW Oregon
    Oh dear. I wish I had found this thread last week.

    My new 2012 Mac Mini is due here Monday. It's a Quad Core 2.6 model that I was going to put a Samsung 840 SSD and 16 gig of RAM in (ordered from NewEgg). The whole point behind replacing my 17" MacBook Pro was to be able to run two fullsize monitors with it -- one is a 27" Thunderbolt display, the other is a Samsung that I was going to run off of the HDMI port. Now this sounds like it isn't going to be an option. Heck, I was also going to turn it into a Home Theatre machine when I upgraded the next time. Grrrrr.

    I guess at this point I'll fire it up before cracking it open and see how things work... any issues and I'll just take it back up to the local Apple Store for a refund. I have no idea what I'd get to replace it, since the new iMacs won't be out for a while. I have a refurb'd 11" Air coming after Thanksgiving, so I'll have to keep the Mini at least that long, as long as it works on at least one display.

    I have a 2011 Mini here at work that works perfectly, and it's what gave me the idea to get one at home. It drives a pair of "CTL" brand 20" monitors -- one off of the TB port, the other off of HDMI. But it's just a Core i5 2.5.

  20. geta macrumors 6502a

    May 18, 2010
    The Moon
    Sorry for the ignorance, but these problems happened with the 'HDMI to DVI adapter' or only with 'HDMI to HDMI' ?

    Im thinking to get one next month, and planing to use it with the 'HDMI to DVI adapter' and dont want to waste the TB port with 'MDP to DVI' for my non TB display...
  21. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Just remember that you're reading all these complaints on a message board that's basically for complaints. You don't have a good handle on how many people are experiencing these problems vs. how many Minis work as expected. If you let complaint message boards affect your purchasing decisions you would never buy another car/computer/TV/appliance/etc. ever again.

    My advice is just buy the Mini and if you have problems with it, return it. Apple has the highest customer satisfaction rate in the industry and there's no reason to think you won't be one of those satisfied customers.
  22. dasx macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2012
    He was trolling/kidding. February 29th 2013 won't ever exist.


    As for the OP's question… If the black screen problem doesn't affect you at all then why care? I bought it and plugged it to an ACD (MDP) and first time I heard about the issue was reading these forums.

    The machine's been working perfectly and the HDMI output being faulty doesn't affect my work at all.
  23. pollaxe macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2010
    West of England
    Have a look at this poll, which should give you a pretty clear picture of what seems to be going on.

    It looks like anything involving the onboard HDMI port seems to be at the root of the trouble, whether it's HDMI to HDMI or HDMI to DVI via the adapter, unfortunately.

    Some people don't seem to be having any issues, however, I didn't notice any until I was at ten to eleven days' worth of use and then I had several incidents, very close together. I'm returning mine tomorrow; I hope that whatever is affecting so many people can (and more importantly will) be fixed in the future but until then, I'm not buying again.
  24. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    I RMA'd my 2012 2.6 Mini because of the HDMI issue, and bought a used 2011 2.5 with Radeon GPU, with the intent of it being an HTPC in a year or two.

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