I have a 2018 mac mini. 2.6GHz dual core Intel Core i5 (up to 3.1GHz when using Turbo Boost) 8GB 1,600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM 1TB Serial ATA drive (5,400rpm) Intel Iris Graphics

I haven't used mac in 20 years but hoping to migrate.

I would like to setup 3 monitors (extend them not mirror them). I saw a post Mac Mini 2018 - 3 monitors

but I can't really follow it, but I do understand that I should use the 2 thunderbolt ports and the HDMI port. I would like to have 24 inch monitors and not spend a lot. Can anyone suggest what I should look for and what I should avoid?

  • 1
    3 monitors is a lot of pixels to push around, so depending on what you do this might not be a good idea. Also the macmini from 2018 has very different specs: support.apple.com/kb/SP782?locale=de_DE. Either you listed the wrong specs or it is an older machine. According to Apple this machine matching your specs is from 2014: support.apple.com/kb/SP710?locale=de_DE and can only support up to two displays. And even further, this site is not for recommendations on hardware, but hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions is.
    – X_841
    Aug 9 at 8:48
  • Thanks. I bought it in May of 2018 from Apple and it was new so I assumed it is a 2018. I purchased it in Japan at the Japan Apple store.
    – Paul Edam
    Aug 9 at 8:55

The 2018 Mini was released in October of that year, so I'm afraid you've got the 2014 model.

With a mechanical hard drive, 7-year old CPU, and under-powered graphics, you are likely to find the experience somewhat underwhelming, which may unfairly put you off returning to Mac.

There can be very long gaps between hardware revisions -- Apple continued to sell the 2012 MacBook Pro until late 2016. So it's always better to check exactly what 'vintage' it is, and keep an eye out on the Apple news websites about the likely date of new releases.

Your Mini can handle 2 external displays, either 1 HDMI and 1 via Thunderbolt, or both via Thunderbolt. Each display can be up to 2560 x 1600. https://everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac-mini-core-i5-2.6-late-2014-specs.html

You need to consider not just the physical size of the monitor, but how many pixels it has, and thus the pixel density. Hi-density monitors work well on macOS; low-density monitors can look a bit blurry. If you can find a 24 or 27" 2560 x 1600 display, that would be good. Then have a smaller secondary display, both physically and in pixels.

To maximize your existing investment, you might consider replacing the internal hard drive with an SSD - though the ifixit tear-down guide shows it as 'Moderately difficult'. Alternatively, you could run the OS off a fast new external SSD drive. Replacing the RAM with 16GB should be cheap and is much easier.

The 2014 model was a cheap entry model, and will still be good for a few years of light work - email, web, Word/Pages, etc. But don't expect to render 4K video or model 3D protein structures. ;-)

  • Thanks so much for the information. Maybe I will see if they will take a trade in :)
    – Paul Edam
    Aug 10 at 7:16

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