What connections do I need for 2 monitors ?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by vim147, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. vim147 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #1
    I have a 2012 mac mini. Am buying a 24" and 19" Monitor. 24 for main stuff and 19 for displaying iTunes or playing a movie. I have limited desk space.

    What connections (cables/software /ports) would I need to have both monitors connected and using as extended ?
     
  2. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #2
    I've got a 2012 Server. I use HDMI for one display and DisplayPort for the second display. Get a decent DP cable from Belkin/Accell/StarTech…
     
  3. Kaida macrumors regular

    Kaida

    Joined:
    May 28, 2016
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    Basically, you will use the HDMI and miniDP port on the mini, as for the monitor, HDMI DP or DVI (older) is ok. Cables required can be HDMI/miniDP to HDMI/DP/DVI. No additional software or hardware needed for 2 monitors.
     
  4. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #4
    I'll second what the other folks have already said, with one caveat: do check the available ports on your monitors first! Almost all monitors today have both DisplayPort and HDMI inputs; almost all, but not all. ;) If one of your monitors has an odd selection of ports, it'll constrain how you can use it (or require you to get an adapter).
     
  5. vim147 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #5
    Is there any difference in quality if the monitor has dvi or vga port instead of hdmi ?
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    Yes.

    Which displays will you be using? (manufacturer, and model number?)
     
  7. vim147 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #7

    There old used models am looking for on eBay
     
  8. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #8
    DVI is, in fact, the same mechanism as HDMI, although with a different connector standard. So the quality should be identical, but you'll need an adapter to use such a monitor. Both the HDMI port and Thunderbolt / Mini-DisplayPort port can drive DVI monitors (using appropriate adapters).

    VGA is an older analog communications standard, where both DVI/HDMI and DisplayPort are digital. It isn't necessarily of lower quality than the digital ports (I'm still using some VGA LCD displays on some of my older machines, and they work just fine), but there can sometimes be issues. Also, you will need a special adapter; the Thunderbolt / Mini-DisplayPort port on the back of the Mini can drive a VGA monitor, but you have to get Apple's Mini-DisplayPort->VGA adapter to use it.

    It gets harder if you want to run two VGA monitors off the Mini at the same time. Both the HDMI and Thunderbolt/mDP ports can natively drive DVI monitors, but only the Thunderbolt/mDP port can drive a VGA monitor. If you want to run a VGA monitor off the HDMI port, you'll need a more expensive and less reliable HDMI->VGA "active adapter", a device which attempts to physically convert the digital picture to an analog one in real time. Best to avoid this situation if you can...
     
  9. vim147 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #9
    Think I'll just go for a monitor with either hdmi or dvi
     
  10. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #10
    Right, or DisplayPort or mini-DisplayPort. As folks have noted, the VGA ports on older monitors are harder to adapt to the modern digital standards. DP and mini-DP are both as compatible as HDMI. DVI would probably be a good compromise for you because it is also common on older monitors and as jpietrzak8 said, driving it from either DP or HDMI not difficult.
     

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