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I've read on Tom's Hardware that Intel HD Graphics 4000 supports three displays. Is that information valid for 2012 Mac Minis too? Does anyone have any information on what the Mac Mini's capability is with regard to maximum number of displays, resolutions and port limitations?

With regard to display ports, what would a DisplayLink type of connection be categorised as?

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Three displays will not work in a supported, OS X only solution. You can use two thunderbolt attached displays or one HDMI and one thunderbolt.

Apple maintains a knowledge base article listing which Mac models support either one or two external thunderbolt displays.

In the section for OS X, the 2012 mini is listed in the category of two full monitors with a footnote explaining HDMI and thunderbolt.

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If your 2012 mini is anything like my previous generation one, three monitors would consist of displays on the following ports:

  1. HDMI (either straight out or using the HDMI-DVI converter
  2. Thunderbolt: you'll need an actual Thunderbolt Display to daisy chain from
  3. a second monitor running from #2. This could be either a second Thunderbolt display or via a mini DisplaPort connection

While the name DisplayLink sounds confusingly like DisplayPort, the two have nothing in common. Display Link routs video over a USB connection. Display Port (in either its mini or full-size incarnation) is a monitor connection standard like VGA or DVI.

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