Thunderbolt display or dual monitors?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JamesTheFish, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. JamesTheFish macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2012
    Hey All,

    I'm pretty settled on a Mac Mini (upgrade the processor, manually upgrade the RAM, maybe do a fusion drive) but I'm on the fence about an Apple Thunderbolt Display (refurbished) or running dual monitors. I'm looking at a refurb Thunderbolt display to keep the cost down, but I have a feeling that it might be around longer than the Mini as I can upgrade the Mini down the road. I'm tempted to run dual cheaper monitors to keep the costs down but still get a bunch of real estate to work with (I have dual ViewSonic 22" at work).

    I've read about the HDMI port monitor having to be calibrated to get to match the other port's monitor, is this really a concern?

    Any other thoughts?

  2. JimWPVB macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Mac Mini and Monitors

    I tried your approach with the Mac Mini with a TBD (2012 model) (great picture) and a HDMI monitor (actually, a series of monitors). The TBD worked great, the HDMI not so much and was an unacceptable picture. So poor, in fact, I returned the Mac Mini and ordered an iMac. This was true even after the firmware upgrade. And trying numerous cables, etc.

    Oddly, at least to me, a USB monitor (AOC, 22", $150 +/-) worked great and the display was excellent. Seemed to confirm to me that the problem is the HDMI port.
  3. CarlHeanerd macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2008
    Adams County, PA
    For me, a well calibrated and accurate display will trump two bad monitors. The satisfaction that comes from a well presented display will always beat the chronic frustration of poor picture quality. Additionally, OS X offers good multitasking management and spaces to get the effect of multiple monitors. I'd go with the Thunderbolt Display.
  4. JamesTheFish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2012
    Yeah, this is what I'm leaning towards... The TB display is such an elegant solution, like all Apple stuff, it just works and works well.

    Thanks for the input!
  5. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I like the TB display also but I'm waiting for the next refresh as we'll likely see the "reduced" glare treatment of the latest iMac plus USB3.
  6. jocamero macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    Over the years I've required lots of screen real estate... From dual 19" CRTs, each @ 1280x1024, to a 30" ACD, and finally to a 27" TBD.

    That being said, I would go with the 27" TBD. The built in iSight, speakers, mic, and auto backlight based on ambient lighting are nice features. Plus the USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt and GigE ports on the back all going over one (built in) Thunderbolt cable makes for a clean setup.

    tl;dr Get the 27" TBD.

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