Triple Display New Mac Mini 2012

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by tron2, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. tron2 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2012
    Hey everyone,

    I am debating on whether to get the New Mac Mini 2012 or not. I know from reading the forums the MacBook Pro Retina 15inch, can drive quite a number of monitors.

    Can the current new mini drive 3 monitors at 1920x1200. I have two monitors which have DVI/VGA/HDMI and one which has DVI/VGA/HDMI/Displayport.

    Since Mac Mini has 1 Thunderbolt, and 1 HDMI - is there anyway I can split the Thunderbolt to 2 DVI's and then use 1 HDMI or is there HDMI splitters to DVI?

    I have been searching monoprice for adapters etc, and I really have no idea if there is a splitter.

    Or is this is best solution Matrox Dual Head 2 Go - Connect 2 1920x1200 Monitors to it, and One monitor via HDMI for 1920x1200.

    I am trying to find the cheapest best alternative option for this. As I have an eye for the base model Mac Mini only (I am not a gamer, even if I play it would be some simple card games like solitaire, poker or chess).


  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
  3. tron2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2012
    Very Cool

    Thanks for the suggestions. I just wish the new Mac Mini had 2-3 Thunderbolt ports. Oh well
  4. colonelclick macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2013
  5. michael_aos macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2004
    Thanks for the tip on the USB 3.0 to HDMI/DVI Display Adapter.

    I replaced my 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 with a Late 2012 Mac Mini and was disappointed to find that the Intel HD Graphics 4000 768 MB graphics can only drive 2 displays (in any combination).
  6. gabicava83 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2010
    Thanks for that, it's got me sold on such a product. Thanks for writing the review on Amazon too. Helpful.
  7. trancinchino macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2012
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Discontinued? These appear to be out of stock everywhere, even direct from the manufacturer.
  9. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    hmm..Can't the Mac mini's Thunderbolt port daisy chain? So you could daisy chain three Thunderbold displays from that one port? Or am I mistaken?:confused:
  10. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Yes, but you can only do that with a TBD monitor. Many want to use cheaper alternatives. Further, I believe the HD4000 can only do two TBD and can't use the HDMI when 2 TBD monitors are being used (I could be wrong on that).


    Yeah, looking like so. Bummer. Mine worked really well.
  11. colonelclick, Jan 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013

    colonelclick macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2013
    The HDMI splitter is sold out but see below, as I quote myself.

  12. iPhil macrumors 68040



    1 ThunderBolt (TB) connection will daisy-chain 6 devices..

    ThunderBolt(TB) spec sheet
  13. marker227 macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004
    Hey all, I plan on buying the 2012 Mac Mini MD388LL/A.

    I wanted to know if this could drive (non-Apple) 1 30" and 2 22" monitors. If so, what is the most reliable way to do so? I've read some reviews stating that the signal isn't always the greatest when using a splitter, etc.
  14. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    You would need to use a USB to DVI/HDMI/VGA in order to drive the second 22" monitor. I'm also going to recommend you only try driving the 30" monitor with the Thunderbolt/MDP port IF your 30" display has MDP or DP port. Otherwise you have to use an MDP to Dual-DVI converter (about $60) and they seem to be pretty hit or miss whether they work or not.
  15. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
  16. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    First off that comment was made back at the beginning of 2013 and a lot changes in 1.5 years. however, the 2012 mac mini only has Thunderbolt 1 which only does displayport 1.1 and thus can not do daisy chaining. You can only daisy chain using a Thunderbolt display.
  17. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    Oops - sorry, I obviously fell for a zombie thread. Should've checked the date of your post I quoted :eek:

    Hmm, somehow I assumed that if Apple can daisy-chain their Thunderbolt displays with TB1 devices, they would not develop that feature completely proprietary, but rather take existing elements (like e.g. the MST feature of DP1.2) and use it in their Thunderbolt implementation in addition to the "normal" DP1.1(a) embedded there.

    Apple was a major driving (and thus defining) force in Thunderbolt and the Mini Displayport connector. DP1.2 was approved in Dec-2009, i.e. way before Apple released the first Thunderbolt mini in Jul-2011, so they might have "borrowed" what they needed. After all they don't claim strict compliance to a certain DP standard for their Thunderbolt products, do they?

    Unfortunately I don't have a monitor with DP-out, otherwise I'd be tempted to try it using a native Windows installation on the mini. :)
  18. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Technical limitation of Thunderbolt 1. Remember Thunderbolt 1 only had a max bandwidth of 10Gbit/s. Displayport 1.2 requires 17.28Gbit/s. It wasn't until Thunderbolt 2, with it's 20Gbit/s that there was enough bandwidth to carry Displayport 1.2.

    It was a technical limitation. I'm sure Apple/Intel would have preferred to support DP1.2 from the get go if they could have.
  19. marker227 macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004

    Isn't the USB connection going to
    be slower? I have an AOC 18" and it's only good for Skype or small programs.

    The 22" monitor I would be getting has DVI and VGA. It's a Dell 21.9" I believe.
  20. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Of course it is, but you can't connect 3 monitors any other way to a 2012. They only support 2 using the GPU.
  21. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    If it is a purely technical limitation, how does Apple achieve daisy-chaining with 2 Thunderbolt displays on a Thunderbolt 1 connection?
  22. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Because Thunderbolt 1 actually had two channels. Thus with the TBD display could pull the display off of one Thunderbolt Channel and then the second display pulled it off of the Second Thunderbolt Channel. Thunderbolt 2 combined the two channels into one. Thus Displayport now had the 20Gbit/s it needed to use DP1.2.

    Seriously, just google all of this. Anandtech did a heck of a write up about the advantages and limitations of Thunderbolt when it was first released.
  23. marker227 macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004
    Is there a way to use a Thunderbolt splitter to drive 1 30" and 1 22"? That would free up the HDMI port.
  24. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Nope. And even if you used two Thunderbolt Displays, you couldn't drive a monitor with the HDMI port.....

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