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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 12:15 PM   #1
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Mac Mini - Go with DVI

I purchased a Mac Mini 1.25 and a Benq FP931 19" LCD. I used the DVI-to-VGA adapter that Apple included and the image quality was fine ... sort of. It appeared perfect dead-on, but if I slightly moved to the side or looked at a particular solid color, the image had thousands of very tiny horitonal lines that were moving incredibly fast left to right. After 20 minutes, your eyes would naturally start to pickup the subtle movement on the screen. Considering I'm at a computer 9+ hours a day, this was very bad.

After ruling out the LCD by troubleshooting with BenQ on an HP tower and playing with the settings, I phoned Apple. The absolutely most rude and snarky woman refused to tell me which third-party monitors were support by the Mac Mini (wtf!!?) and said I had to connect the computer to an Apple display to determine if it was the Mini. I pointed out that no where on Mac Mini's hardware description, nor the FAQ's did it mention that not all "third party" VGA and DVI monitors would be supported by the computer. She referred me to page 32 of the owner's manual (apparently potential buyers are expected to search out, download and read the 105 page book.) It says, "For information about compatibillty with third party displays, see the documentationthat came with the display or contact the display's manufacturer." THANK GOD that's not a vague statement - it clearly says that despite the advertising on the site, having a DVI or VGA monitor does not mean it'll work with a Mac Mini.

The conversation with this woman was awful. At one point, I ended up saying, "Why are you being so short and rude to me? You've been short with me as soon as we starting talking. I'm at a 5/10 on this call and you're at an 11/10. You're raised your voice to me several times and you're trying to get me to respond - you're trying to get me mad. Have I somehow 'wronged' you today?"

After dropping the dead weight of that CSR and realizing that my LCD has both DVI and VGA, I decided to try a DVI connection. I picked up a $40 DVI cord and connected it - the image is stunning. There's not only a huge improvement in brightness, text, color. etc., but the lines are gone.

Hope this helps someone out there. I also hope that my call was recorded for "training and quality purposes."
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 12:51 PM   #2
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no probs using VGA adapter on my 17" WS. i also have a FP931, but i never tested with VGA, only DVI. i'll give it a try this week-end and see if i get the same results.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 01:11 PM   #3
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Don't know if you ever look at the apple discussion forum but there is a huge uproar over there regarding mini display issues, both with VGA and DVI.
Some monitors work, others don't. In several cases there are conflicting reports - one person states that a particular monitor works fine whereas someone else with the same monitor is having problems.
One guy started a web based spreadsheet listing which DVI monitors are reported to work and which ones don't - that's where part of the conflicting information comes out
This has been going on since late January - Apple I'm sure is getting tons of really irate callers which may explain the rude response you received.

I would suggest that everyone on ehMac who has a mini connected to a DVI LCD monitor post their results - working or not - on the apple discussion forum to get the information added to that spreadsheet.

I tried my mini with two different CRT's using the adapter - works just fine. Still shopping for a DVI LCD monitor.
One thing I didn't realize until fairly recently is that the mini DVI-VGA adapter has two fastening screws to connect it solidly to the mini. They are incorporated into the housing and not that obvious. Make sure both of these are retracted when you plug the adapter into the mini and then tighten the screws to get a solid connection.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 01:49 PM   #4
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I know that there were severe issues with some monitors, but I didn't know that the same model was hit and miss. I've posted to the Apple discussion board.

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