So, even as a long-time Apple user, overall there really wasn't too much exciting in the announcement last week.

That said, seeing the Mini get a spec bump caused the ears to prick up a bit. My 2014 is running fine, so it'd be a bit capricious to upgrade, but it does have one very annoying limitation:

It *will* *not* allow me to run 3 monitors at once.

Found this out for certain when I first got it and plugged one into each Thunderbolt port, and then another into HDMI, producing a courteous notice that I needed to remove one of them due to GPU limitations.

Anyone who knows more about hardware than me able to speculate if the new one might be able to support said extra monitor?

  • 2
    Wait it's running standard Intel HD graphics right?

    Doesn't the 2014 series Intel chips support up to 4 1080p monitors at 60hz?
  • 1
    @lxmcf My Mini, per "About This Mac":

    Mac Mini (Late 2014)

    2.6GHz Intel core i5

    8GB DDR3

    Intel Iris 1536MB

    As mentioned, when I plugged in three monitors it rejected the third, but if there's a way to tweak the graphics settings to allow it I'm all ears.
  • 1
    @Kaji according to Intel should support a cap of 3... What resolution are they running at?
  • 1
    @lxmcf Both are running at 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz and 24-bit color.
  • 1
    @Kaji that is really strange... The CPU supports it. Have you tried lowering the monitors resolution or refresh rate?
  • 2
    @lxmcf I took the notice at face value at the time, so I didn't think to adjust the settings. If I can find another one handy to test with, I'll give it another shot and report back, though.
  • 1
    @Kaji no worries, hopefully that will help!
  • 2
    OK, Googling the topic turned up the following useful bits:


    Seems that while the card itself may be technically capable, Apple is disabling the third display via firmware, though some USB workarounds exist.

    Also, when clicking a link to the official specs page of the old Mini I got redirected to the current specs page, which officially lists support for 3 monitors at 4K or one at 4K and a second at 5K:


    Guess Google had the answer the whole time.
  • 1
    @Kaji well that's kinda shit, give a thunderbolt 2 to dual HDMI or to USB C, that's if you want to try that else I'm out of ideas
  • 0
    I've always seen Mac Minis as read-only machines, i.e. the same way a phone or a tablet is more a device for consumption of media and not creating it. I used to use a Mac Mini at a previous job: the damn thing had a dual core i5, idled at mid 50 degrees C and throttled the moment it sees more than a light load. Has this changed with newer CPUs?
  • 1
    @kamen I was always hoping the cheese grater Mac Pro would get a refresh, but we got the trash can instead. Not a big fan of all-in-ones (especially since additional monitor options for iMacs have traditionally been mirroring only, if available at all), so the Mini is the only semi-viable unit left standing, unfortunately. Still have two old G5 towers that we got new back in the day.
  • 0
    @Kaji They seriously do that with the iMac? As much as I don't like Apple, I seriously doubt they'd cripple a computer like that.
  • 1
    @kamen Last iMac I dealt with regularly was a G5 owned by a family member that was limited in exactly that manner—mirroring only. I know someone at my office that has a current model with a Thunderbolt second display, so they’ve eased up a bit, but I suspect it’ll pitch a similar fit if you tried to add another display on top of it.
  • 0
    G5 is I think a little too old to base your conclusions on and as for the newer stuff, I know it usually goes with Thunderbolt daisy-chaining so that you can connect a third monitor to the second (and not to the computer itself), the limitation being that you have to go with a Thunderbolt display.
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