Triple Monitors - Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by GoSooners, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. GoSooners macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2011
  2. GoSooners thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2011
    Sorry, stupid question. Looks like the dual-link adapter isn't a "splitter". Thus far, it looks I can only do dual monitors (at the same resolution). Once the new TB display comes out, perhaps that can be daisy chained but the resolution from the HDMI port is only 1920x1200.
  3. ConnorTurnbull macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Yep, you can daisy-chain Thunderbolt displays so, theoretically, you could have two of them from the Thunderbolt port, and a third-party one from HDMI. Otherwise, you can only have two (one from TB and one from HDMI).
  4. skoosht macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA, USA
  5. lsquare macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    If I don't use TB, is it still possible to have a triple LCD setup?
  6. lsquare macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    Can someone answer my question above?
  7. tekcor macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Your Mac mini can only run a single Apple Thunderbolt Display. Two 27" screens require a hefty video card, which the mini does not have.

    I think you'll have a very hard time running 3 displays with the mini.
  8. Vermifuge macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2009

    Video Support
    Works with almost any display or HDTV.

    • Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
    • HDMI port with support for up to 1920-by-1200 resolution
    • DVI output using HDMI to DVI Adapter (included)
    • Support for dual display and video mirroring
  9. tekcor macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2007

    "Connect two Thunderbolt Displays to a 15- or 17-inch MacBook Pro or to an iMac and put an extra 7 million pixels to work. To make a desktop workstation out of your MacBook Pro, just daisy-chain additional Thunderbolt devices, including high-performance storage and video and audio capture devices, through the display."

    As I said, two Thunderbolt displays will not work on the mini.

    However, you might be able to connect a Thunderbolt display, and an HDMI display. Then get a MDP-to-DVI adapter and connect a smaller DVI monitor daisy chained from the Thunderbolt display *may* work. But obviously, you'll have screens of different sizes. You might be able to get two HDMI displays, connect one to the mini, and one to the Thunderbolt display via a MDP-to-HDMI adapter.

    I don't have a definitive answer. The tech specs make it sound like a TB and HDMI combo will work, but two TB will not.
  10. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    Nothing that you've written or on Apple's site says that two displays will not work. The burden of proof is upon you to conclusively show that they won't. The Mini's Thunderbolt port is no different than the one found on the MBP or iMac – what technical issue(s) do you see that could possibly prevent dual displays other than that Apple didn't explicitly state that it could?
  11. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    For three displays, use a Matrox DP version. Mind you, it does carry limitations.
  12. macking104 macrumors 6502


    Jan 14, 2003
    California, USA
  13. japtor macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    I've heard the HD3000 only has two outputs, and if one is tied to the HDMI port (or just can't tunnel two through TB for whatever reason), that would be one reason. Not really sure about the Radeon model outside of a possible similar limited output situation. Considering the displays aren't even out yet no one can even test it out.
  14. japtor macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Well Anandtech's MBA review has an interesting detail (for context, Light Ridge is the Thunderbolt controller in the iMac, MBPs, and Mac mini):
    So the potential definitely seems to be there at least, it's just a question of how it's all connected. A little later it mentions that the HD3000 only supports two outputs, which is why the MBA (and I assume 13" MBP) is limited to a single external display (one output is linked to the internal screen). I still semi suspect this is the case with the HDMI output on the Mac mini, so the low end and server likely can't do daisy chained displays off the TB port.
  15. tekcor macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2007

    Apple lists that 2 Thunderbolt displays will only work on some computers, not all. That was enough for me. Since it wasn't enough for you, here's the tech behind it.

    The question is wether or not the TB port on the display can be used as a MDP on the "Eagle Ridge" TB ports. I don't have an answer for that, but if I had to guess, I'd say no.
  16. macgeenius macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    I'm thinking of buying a 2.5 GHz Mac Mini with the 6630M GPU (which theoretically supports up to 5 monitors via Eyefinity). I have 3 monitors I would like to use - 2 Dell U2410 (1920 x 1200) and a I-Inc iF281D (1920 x 1200). The 2 Dell monitors have displayport inputs.

    What I was thinking of doing is connecting the I-Inc monitor using HDMI, and then getting the Altona Displayport Splitter and using this to connect the 2 Dell monitors to the thunderbolt connection.

    Does anyone see why this would not work?
  17. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    FYI - It's been confirmed that the 2011 Mac mini with the AMD graphics option will run two Apple 27" Thunderbolt displays off the TB port plus one display up to 1920x1200 off the HDMI port.
  18. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    I don't think it will work- my impression from reading the product description is that it only mirrors video- so yes you can get a picture on all 3 screens, but the 2 monitors connected to the splitter will show the same image. In order to get three fully independent displays, I think the only way is 2x Apple TB displays and 1x display used via HDMI.

  19. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    This is correct.

    The only negative with this set up is that you have 2 identical displays with the same res. and then a 3rd smaller display with different res. won't look good together.
  20. derbladerunner macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    Did anyone with a 2011 Mac mini try this triple monitor setup already ? How is the performance ?

    I hope other vendors will sell monitors with TB ports soon. The 27'' from Apple is the only model with TB support at the moment (?) I looked around and couldn't find any other TB monitors. Otherwise please let me know :)

    A similar setup with three 24'' monitors would be ideal for my needs. Using a single monitor for basic work and spare time and switching on the two monitors on left and right as needed.
  21. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    As far as I'm aware there aren't any other displays with TB connectivity on the market yet. Hopefully there will be. I must admit the support for TB in general so far has been lacklustre. That said to my knowledge the only companies including the technology on their hardware at the moment is Apple and Sony.
  22. derbladerunner, Sep 26, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011

    derbladerunner macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    And Sony is apparently using USB ports for TB ( ). I hope that's just Sony and TB monitors from other vendors will use MiniDisplayPort-sized connectors.

    Same site also mentions TB is going to be in more PCs in 2012

    So hopefulyl more TB monitor choices for Mac mini multi-monitor setups by then. On the other hand, few monitor vendors support(ed) MiniDisplayPort so I may be too optimistic.

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