I currently have a PC with dual monitors. This PC is on it's way out and I want to replace it with a new Mac Mini, using my existing peripherals. The current monitors are a 27" Dell (2560x1440) running on dual link DVI and a smaller, much older, 19" (1280x1024) running on a VGA cable. I was thinking that I should be able to run the VGA monitor with adapters HDMI -> DVI -> VGA using the included HDMI -> DVI adapter and buy the mini DisplayPort -> dual-link DVI adapter to connect the Dell monitor to the Thunderbolt port.

I'm not sure that all these adapters will work together properly though, so I'm looking for some advice. Will this all work together properly, or will I have to get a new monitor(s) as well?

1 Answer 1


The mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter will work great, so your 27" monitor is in.

The VGA monitor is problematic. HDMI and DVI share almost identical digital video signals, so any HDMI to DVI adapter (like the included one) has few (if any) conversion chips in it and the output DVI port will be DVI-D (digital only). DVI to VGA adapters also don't have conversion chips because they use DVI-I or DVI-A ports (A is analog only and I id both analog and digital): they take the DVI analog signal and move it straight to the VGA port. Unfortunately, that means that you cannot go from HDMI to VGA via DVI. You'll need a more expensive converter like this or this.

tl;dr: You can't go from HDMI to VGA without a converter; see the links for examples. For the dual-link DVI you need, the adapter you mentioned that will use the Thunderbolt port will work excellently.

  • That's what I thinking, but wasn't sure. Thanks for the links to adapters, I wasn't sure if they even existed. Mar 13, 2012 at 5:54
  • 1
    Digital to analog and vice versa is fairly obscure can get very expensive for quality; I was surprised that I was able to find anything under $100 US as quickly as I did.
    – Cajunluke
    Mar 13, 2012 at 5:57

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