Re: monitor for macmini mb139ll/a
- From: dempson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx (David Empson)
- Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 12:08:44 +1300
M. John Matlaw <mjlaw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 2/14/11 6:54 PM, David Empson wrote:
M. John Matlaw<mjlaw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Apple store guy says the latest 27" led won't work too well even with
$150 worth of cables. I'd still get a fuzzy image. I notice the
1920x1200 res isn't listed in its specs. Plus it needs a
MinidisplayPort. I'm guessing the 24" led model would have the same
problem. Is it the MinidiplayPort that makes it not so good for my
I thought it'd be nice to have a larger monitor which is why I wasWould the 30" lcd (m9179ll/a) work? It needs a dual-link dvi.
It would plug in, since that monitor uses DVI, but you would get the
blurring problem again because your Mac Mini can't generate the
2560x1600 native resolution of the display.
I'm guessing some sort of special adapter/cable here too?
No. You cannot get that resolution out of your Mac Mini. There is no way
to use Apple's 30" or 27" monitor at its full resolution with your
looking at the Apple 30". The Apple support page (
http://support.apple.com/kb/SP79 ) says
30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display M9179LL/A
? 2560 x 1600 pixels (optimum resolution)
? 2048 x 1280
? 1920 x 1200
? 1280 x 800
? 1024 x 640
Is optimum the same as native?
Yes. LED displays have a specific number of square pixels. The 30"
display has 2560 pixels horizontally and 1600 pixels vertically. This is
its native resolution, and also the optimum resolution for a sharp
If it'll support 1920 x 1200 does that mean it'd still be blurry?
The display is able to support lower resolutions, but it achieves this
by determining the relative position of the larger pixels generated by
the computer, and averaging them to fit with the actual pixels on the
display. This results in blurring of colours and a softer image.
In the case of a 30" display from your Mac Mini, the highest resolution
the Mac Mini can generate is 1920 x 1200. On average, each pixel
generated by the computer will cover (2560 / 1920) = 1.33 pixels
horizontally and vertically on the display. In other words, a 3x3 square
of computer pixels will occupy a 4x4 square of display pixels. None of
those pixels will be sharp (with the possible exception of the outermost
edge of the display), because the display averages all pixels against
adjacent ones to avoid a blocky appearance.
The only situation where a lower resolution will generate a sharp image
is if the display resolution is an exact integer multiple of the
resolution being generated by the computer. With a 2560 x 1920 display,
this means that 1280 x 800 (exactly half in each dimension) will be
sharp, because the display can use a 2x2 square of pixels to represent
each pixel from the computer.
For your Mac Mini, if you want the maximum resolution (1920 x 1200), a
sharp image, but would like the display to be larger than 24", you need
a physically larger LCD display which has bigger pixels but the same
For example, there may be some older third party 27" displays which have
a native resolution of 1920 x 1200.
If you can't find any, your next best option is an HDTV which supports
"Full HD" (1920 x 1080), as they all have the same resolution no matter
how large the TV is. The catch is that you need to find one that
produces good enough image when used by a computer. A computer monitor
is likely to be better quality.
In truth it's probably over (by quite a bit) what I'd want to spend (I
think they're going for about $800 plus shipping [ebay/craigslist/amazon])
but I'm curious about the differnce between native/optimum and supported
resolutions and how that would affect clarity.
I'd also considered an HDTV. I was looking at various models and specs
Also looking at other brands. What should I look for in the specs to make
sure I don't have a problem?
The monitor must have a DVI input (probably described as "DVI-D"), and
not require dual-link DVI. You could also use a monitor with HDMI input
via a DVI-to-HDMI adapter or cable. (You could also use a monitor with
VGA input, but that is generally lower quality and DVI is preferable.)
The maximum native resolution of the monitor you can use with
single-link DVI is 1920x1200, which is the typical resolution of 24"
computer monitors. 1920x1080 will work (I had my Mac Mini hooked up to
an HDTV at that resolution).
and saw several with dvi connectors (in some cases the dvi connector was
labled HDMI - is HDMI the same hardware specs as dvi?)
HDMI is a modification of DVI-D. It uses the same signals in a different
connector, and adds features like audio and copy protection. You can
connect a single-link DVI-D (or DVI-I) signal to HDMI with a simple
wired adapter or a cable with the appropriate connectors on each end.
I think there is a recent revision of HDMI which supports higher
resoulution with the same connector, but if so, it is not directly
compatible with dual-link DVI. A more expensive adapter would be
required to convert the signal (not an issue with your Mac Mini, anyway,
since it doesn't support higher resolutions).
and some are dvertised with pc ports. Turns out the pc ports are all vga.
Yep. Windows PCs have been using VGA as their standard output for a long
time, despite DVI being widely available for many years. Direct HDMI
output from computers is now starting to become quite common.
aAssuming all HDTVs have an HDMI connector is that all I need to know
(outside of resolution specs)?
As far as resolution goes, so-called "HD Ready" TVs are about 1366 x 768
native resolution, while "Full HD" are 1920 x 1080.
The computer will be generating a "1080p" signal when in 1920 x 1080
Presumably switching between tv and monitor would be either software on
the set or just disconnecting the dvi to HDMI cable (assuming over the air
for tv viewing - or some sort of a hardware switch for cable tv).
The TV will have a remote control and possibly a front panel button to
select the input source, typically with an on-screen menu. Most LCD TVs
can select between multiple HDMI, composite, S-Video and component
inputs, one VGA input (if it has one), and the TV tuner.
I have a Dell UltraSharp 24" computer monitor which has DVI, VGA,
component, composite and S-Video inputs (later models also do HDMI). It
uses a front panel button and on-screen menu to select the input.
About this model. I was looking into because I found the pivot featureThe Samsung Syncmaster 245t specs
p=specs), for example, says it supports 1920x1200 native, and has a dvi
connection but includes a DVI-D cable and a D-sub cable.
That display will work fine, using the DVI-D cable.
intriguing. First of all does pivot always mean will rotate to display
in either portrait or landscape mode?
Yes. My Dell UltraSharp does this. It is a feature of the mounting
bracket on the stand which came with the monitor. The display itself
probably has no idea which way around it is oriented.
Also do you know if I could or should assume that it will work without
additional software or that I'd be able to get the software to use the
Generally speaking, cheaper pivoting displays don't tell the computer
they have been rotated, so you need to manually adjust settings in the
computer to output a rotated image.
Mac OS X has a setting in the Displays section of System Preferences to
rotate the output image in 90 degree increments, as long as your
graphics controller supports this. (I'm pretty sure I've seen it on my
Mac Mini which is the same model as yours, but the computer is packed
away at the moment so I can't confirm.)
Some more expensive displays can detect their orientation and tell the
computer by reporting a different resolution via the VGA/DVI/HDMI
connector. In this case, the computer should adjust automatically to the
[Snip details of DVI and other connector types]
Thanks for all the info.
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