mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?

Started May 19, 2012 | Discussions
7enderbender
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mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
May 19, 2012

I'd be new to Mac and before I go and buy an expensive MacBook I'm thinking I might just get a mid-range Mac Mini, stuff it with as much memory as it can hold and connect it to my current Dell monitor.

If I like that and I can get it to work to my liking with CS5, LR3 and Cubase 5 for recording then I would add a better monitor and build the Mac route from there.

We don't know yet what the next generations will bring in that respect (and if the FireWire ports will go away again which would make this a deal breaker) but based on current experience with the Mac Mini how does it handle a high resolution monitor? And I don't mean the Apple Thunderbolt thingy which I wouldn't want in it's current state. If I understand it right I could hook up a 1920 x 1200 screen to the HDMI port. And if I read it right I could hook up a second one with that resolution. That may be ok. But what I really want is something in the 24 to 27 inch size with even higher resolution than that - like one of the higher end NEC monitors or so. Would that work via any adapter?

Tom_N
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to 7enderbender, May 19, 2012

7enderbender wrote:

how does it handle a high resolution monitor?

Through the Thunderbolt port. That port can drive a Thunderbolt or DisplayPort monitor at resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels (the resolution of a 30" monitor).

And I don't mean the Apple Thunderbolt thingy which I wouldn't want in it's current state.

If you don't want to use the Thunderbolt port and its ability to support high-resolution monitors, you can attach a single low-resolution monitor to the HDMI port.

But what I really want is something in the 24 to 27 inch size with even higher resolution than that - like one of the higher end NEC monitors or so. Would that work via any adapter?

(Mini)DisplayPort-to-Thunderbolt is the obvious configuration. If you're not willing to use the Thunderbolt port, and the Mini's HDMI port is rated at 1920x1200 pixels maximum, then there aren't any adapters that are going to help.

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Peter Rongsted
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to 7enderbender, May 19, 2012

According to everymac.com:

This model simultaneously supports 1920x1200 on an HDMI or a DVI display (using the included HDMI-to-DVI adapter) and 2560x1600 on a Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort display or even a VGA display (with an optional Mini DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter, which is compatible with the Thunderbolt port).

Peter

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7enderbender
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to Tom_N, May 19, 2012

Tom_N wrote:

7enderbender wrote:

how does it handle a high resolution monitor?

Through the Thunderbolt port. That port can drive a Thunderbolt or DisplayPort monitor at resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels (the resolution of a 30" monitor).

And I don't mean the Apple Thunderbolt thingy which I wouldn't want in it's current state.

If you don't want to use the Thunderbolt port and its ability to support high-resolution monitors, you can attach a single low-resolution monitor to the HDMI port.

But what I really want is something in the 24 to 27 inch size with even higher resolution than that - like one of the higher end NEC monitors or so. Would that work via any adapter?

(Mini)DisplayPort-to-Thunderbolt is the obvious configuration. If you're not willing to use the Thunderbolt port, and the Mini's HDMI port is rated at 1920x1200 pixels maximum, then there aren't any adapters that are going to help.

Thanks a lot. Let me clarify: I'm not concerned which ports to use. I'll be happy to use the Thunderbolt port if I can connect a high res NEC or similar to it. I just don't want to buy the Apple screen to get to that resolution. As long as there is an adapter that works on that port I'm ok.

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Tom_N
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to 7enderbender, May 19, 2012

You can plug pretty much any (Mini)DisplayPort monitor or adapter into a Thunderbolt port. (Mini)DisplayPort monitors are the obvious choice (all you need is a simple cable, which third-party vendors sell for dirt cheap), but if you have a high-resolution monitor that requires dual-link DVI, there are adapters ($$$) for going to that.

Restrictions: The monitor has to be the only monitor plugged into the port. If there is a chain of Thunderbolt accessories (drives, USB3 adapters, etc.), the monitor has to be plugged in at the end of the chain.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5219

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unknown member
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to Peter Rongsted, May 21, 2012

What's wrong with Apple's display?

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Edvinas
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to Basalite, May 21, 2012

Basalite wrote:

What's wrong with Apple's display?

They are glossy.

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Edvinas

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7enderbender
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to Edvinas, May 21, 2012

Edvinas wrote:

Basalite wrote:

What's wrong with Apple's display?

They are glossy.

-- hide signature --

Edvinas

And I want something that is more that 120ppi. More screen real estate in a smaller form factor would be great. And the Apple display is too expensive for what it is.

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Chris B.
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to 7enderbender, May 21, 2012

Prior to switching back to a Mac, after over a decade in Windows-dom, I purchased a great NEC 290wuxi2 from B&H in December. It's a 24" display with a native resolution of 1900x1200, and I use it with a 13.3 MacBook Pro. Images are remarkably sharp, and it's a nice matte display...

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Tom_N
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to 7enderbender, May 22, 2012

7enderbender wrote:

And I want something that is more that 120ppi. More screen real estate in a smaller form factor would be great.

I don't know whether you're going to find 2560 x 1440 (or greater) resolution in a smaller monitor.

And the Apple display is too expensive for what it is.

Not really. The 27-inch Cinema Display and 27-inch Thunderbolt Display are priced about the same as the Dell Ultrasharp U2711, another 27-inch LCD monitor with an IPS panel and 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. If you go for the high-end NECs and Eizos, you can find more color calibration features, but then, you're also talking about spending more money.

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graybalanced
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to Edvinas, May 22, 2012

Edvinas wrote:

Basalite wrote:

What's wrong with Apple's display?

They are glossy.

And mediocre if used as a photography monitor, especially for that price. The NECs would be a better choice.

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PJ711
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to graybalanced, May 25, 2012

No problem using MacMini with a 26 inch NEC through adapter. In fact, not only no problem, but am very happy with whole setup, managing a 20K library easily.

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Bill Heiser
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to graybalanced, May 25, 2012

graybalanced wrote:

Edvinas wrote:

Basalite wrote:

What's wrong with Apple's display?

They are glossy.

And mediocre if used as a photography monitor, especially for that price. The NECs would be a better choice.

@graybalanced - Could you elaborate, please, on why you feel they are mediocre for photography?

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7enderbender
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to PJ711, May 27, 2012

Thanks. I think this is exactly what I'm going to try out - pending the next generation of the mini.

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Edvinas
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to 7enderbender, May 27, 2012

7enderbender wrote:

And I want something that is more that 120ppi. More screen real estate in a smaller form factor would be great. And the Apple display is too expensive for what it is.

Be careful here. OSX is the most advanced OS in the world only in marketing It does not support resolution independence. And there are no reports that this year upgrade (Mountain Lion) will support it. All that means that on high DPI monitor you will have to struggle with very small fonts and controls in OSX.

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Edvinas

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graybalanced
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to Bill Heiser, May 29, 2012

Bill Heiser wrote:

@graybalanced - Could you elaborate, please, on why you feel they are mediocre for photography?

If you buy an NEC, you get a high-bit interface, direct integrated hardware calibration, non-glare screen, wide Adobe RGB color gamut (larger than the Apple display) combined with sRGB preview option.

If you buy the Apple display, you don't get any of that. What you spent the money on was a Thunderbolt port, a camera, docking ports, and a beautiful case. Which is fine...if that was your priority. And you do get a lot of pixels. (Note that I am all Mac, so this is not anti-Apple.)

If your priority is photography, you want the features in the first paragraph. The Apple display is really optimized for busy laptop users who want to plug in one Thunderbolt cable and have access to a complete desktop system, it is very good at that.

Also, I keep seeing posts like this one around the web:

http://www.dgrin.com/showpost.php?s=aea41474e32342e625a361598e0655af&p=1672338&postcount=18

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pluton
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to graybalanced, May 29, 2012

graybalanced wrote:

Bill Heiser wrote:

If you buy the Apple display, you don't get any of that. What you spent the money on was a Thunderbolt port, a camera, docking ports, and a beautiful case. Which is fine...if that was your priority. And you do get a lot of pixels. (Note that I am all Mac, so this is not anti-Apple.)

Don't forget what Lloyd Chambers referred to as "brain-dead ergonomics" of the Apple display.

I got an NEC that has DisplayPort and correct color(ARGB)and a really nice multi-orientable stand, and I'm glad I did. Eizos apparently have an even more versatile stand.
--
-KB-(An enthusiastic Apple and Mac user, btw)

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7enderbender
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to Edvinas, May 30, 2012

Edvinas wrote:

7enderbender wrote:

And I want something that is more that 120ppi. More screen real estate in a smaller form factor would be great. And the Apple display is too expensive for what it is.

Be careful here. OSX is the most advanced OS in the world only in marketing It does not support resolution independence. And there are no reports that this year upgrade (Mountain Lion) will support it. All that means that on high DPI monitor you will have to struggle with very small fonts and controls in OSX.

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Edvinas

That I wouldn't mind actually - it actually appears that Apple is moving in a different direction with their "retina" screens if they come and if rumors are true. In those they would double the basic current resolution and then make everything twice as big. That wouldn't help me. I actually want smaller fonts and elements for more real estate. That's still hard to accomplish these days since there are few screens that are really high ppi. I find for example that screen elements and fonts on the 27" iMac look way to big. Given it's size there is no real gain. That's why I'm leaning towards a dual disk Mac Mini with two regular screens instead. Still a compromise but if that is a positive experience I would later opt for a Mac Pro. If not the resell value seems to be decent.

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iFaceproblems
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to Tom_N, 7 months ago

This is not what I am experiencing. Thunderbolt to NEC 30" does not produce the desired result as you describe it. Do you know what might be the cause of this? (My Mac Mini is the latest, i7, 2.3Ghz).

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iFaceproblems
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Re: mac mini with hi res screen (more than 1900 x1200)?
In reply to 7enderbender, 7 months ago

Do please let me know if you have found a solution. I don't seem to be able to achieve Mac Mini to work with NEC 3090 on a high resolution. Most annoying, low quality picture.

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