Triple Display Help

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Rondofan9, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Rondofan9 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    #1
    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81SU0iduKJL._AA1500_.jpg

    I have 1 of these. It has VGA, HDMI, (and a audio output for hdmi, and power obviously)

    I'm going to buy 2 more, and a mac mini 2011 core i5 2GB 500GB hard drive. Going to buy 8GB of ram from grucial for $100. So overall, spend about $1450 (displays are 250 each, versus the price of the 27" apple ones at 1,000 these are 24" and same quality, resolution, and LED)

    Anyway, I'm not sure how this is going to work doing 3 hdmi monitors. The 2011 mac mini has a thunderbolt and hdmi port. Anyone have any ideas? I don't want 3 clones. I want to put them togethor to make a huge screen pretty much.

    If anyone could help it'd be AWESOME thanks!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Zotac released mDP to dual HDMI adapter last week but it's uncertain whether it will work with Thunderbolt. I think that is your best option if it works, otherwise you have to take a look at USB adapters and Matrox' products.
     
  3. Rondofan9 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 8, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for your help!

    From what I see, what zotac released... It goes from display port (thunderbolt) to 2 female HDMI ports. The first thing wrong with this, I don't want to buy 2 hdmi cables (but If I had to I would) and secondly. I have 3 monitors, not 2. If I'm misunderstanding something, call me out! That's just what I'm getting.

    I found matrox's triplehead2go it's a whopping $250!!! Still a good deal, means I could have 3 24" monitors for $1,000 or 1 27" apple monitor for $1,000. But wow this is adding up -_-
     
  4. japtor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #4
    Is this the one? ($209 there btw) It's lower resolution and has a lower quality panel. (No camera and hub stuff either but I'm guessing that doesn't matter for you.) Most displays with 2560x1440 (or x1600) are actually in the $900+ range so the price isn't outrageous compared to other similar displays.
    Assuming the Zotac one outputs as individual displays (I suggest waiting for reviews to hear about that first), you should go for that one. HDMI cables are cheap. The part you're missing is that the Mac mini already has an HDMI port on board, so you connect one display there, then the other two to the Zotac box.

    The thing with the Matrox adapters is that they basically trick the computer into thinking you have a single big ass display, rather than independent ones. Whatever circuitry to do that is probably why they cost so much. On Windows they have drivers to get around this but I don't know if they've made any for the Mac yet.

    The other option is to wait for a PCIe box and get a graphics card with multiple outputs, but I expect that route to be a few hundred bucks.
     
  5. Rondofan9 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    #5
    Oh I didn't know that would work!!! So I can plug one display into the HDMI, then use a Zotac or another branded box to plug the other 2 into thunderbolt?

    Then is there a program or something I need to tell the computer which display is left, which is center, and which is right? lol
     
  6. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #6
    Once you have multiple monitors attached, go to System Preferences -> Displays. There will be a tab for Arrangement that lets you move around the monitors (in addition to specifying which one gets the menu bar).
     
  7. japtor macrumors regular

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #7
    Just realized a problem...the $599 model probably can't do three displays. The HD3000 only has two outputs so you'd likely be limited to one display off each port.

    Even with the Radeon model we don't know for 100% whether it'd work. Apple doesn't list it as a feature, so all we have is that Macworld said it could.
     
  8. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #8
    Also, even if using three displays is possible on the Radeon model, spreading that 256MB of graphics memory across them all is probably going to bog down performance.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    You can with adapters. Two 1080p monitors need about as much bandwidth as one 1600p monitor and Mini can drive 1600p off of its Thunderbolt port. I think the Zotac box somehow just splits the signal so it is treated as a one big monitor.
     
  10. japtor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #10
    It's a passive adapter so it's most likely using whatever standard DisplayPort protocol for multiple displays, and if that's the case it'll be seen as two unique outputs.
     

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