3 Monitors, One mac mini
September 26, 2013 4:47 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to have 3 monitors on my mac mini. How do I do this?

I currently have two monitors, a DELL ST231L and an Acer H233H. These monitors are working perfectly right now in a two monitor setup. My mac is a Mid 2011 Mac Mini Server. I'm guessing I need at least one thunderbolt display, but do I need two thunderbolt displays to get my 3 monitors going at once?
posted by Brent Parker to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
You could do Mac Thunderbolt -> Thunderbolt Display (Monitor 1) -> Mini Displayport to DVI adapter -> DVI (Monitor 2), then Mac HDMI -> HDMI (monitor 3). The crux would be if the Mini Displayport to DVI adapter can handle being on the tail end of a Thunderbolt daisy chain.
posted by zsazsa at 4:56 PM on September 26, 2013

That will work if the Mini can handle the total number of pixels you're trying to drive. Unfortunately, it means trying it requires a Apple Display, if you weren't already planning on getting one. Apple display in the MDP, one in the HDMI, and another daisy-chained off of the Apple Display.

If not, there's always a USB-to-DVI adapter, which is like an external video card.
posted by supercres at 5:05 PM on September 26, 2013

The thunderbolt displays are so expensive that I'd rather just get a cheap thunderbolt to pcie box like this, the cheapest Mac compatible pcie card I could find on eBay, and then some cheap monitors.

I bet you could spend under $500 that way if you were really thrifty. Because seriously, any solution to this that involves a Thunderbolt Display is kinda madness.
posted by emptythought at 5:19 PM on September 26, 2013

I have had really good luck with this.
posted by 4ster at 6:22 PM on September 26, 2013

You can't use the built-in graphics adapter to drive more than two displays. To drive the third display, you'll need either a USB-to-DVI adapter or a Thunderbolt-to-PCIe adapter box with PCIe video adapter, as emptythought suggests. The Thunderbolt option will work best.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:47 PM on September 26, 2013

Another vote for a DisplayLink-based USB-to-VGA adapter as 4ster suggests. I've been using one for years with a Macbook Pro (in addition to a 2nd DVI external monitor).
posted by snarfois at 6:46 AM on September 27, 2013

« Older Passport Woes   |   Boundaries: I need them. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.