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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, the October event came and went without an upgrade to the MacMini, so it looks like I'll have to go with the current M1 model.

But what do I hook up to it?

I'm presently on a 5K 27" iMac. It's pretty....pretty ;) I may / not pass the iMac on to my son to replace his 2011 iMac 21.5" which is exhibiting symptoms of impending doom, and let's face it, is now quite long in the tooth. If the M1 delivers the oomph! everyone claims it does, I may adopt it and build a nice new desk experience.

For the MacMini, I'm thinking of a 4K 27" or 32". I'd like to go 75Hz or 120Hz refresh. The 144Hz refresh rate monitors are a bit beyond what I want to spend.

Here's the problem - some of the monitors I'm looking at offer "FreeSync", "V-Sync", and "G-Sync". But some of those refresh rates are only obtainable with an NVidia or AMD graphics card. Info on Mac-specific monitor implications is scant.

Who out there can shed some light on this / offer recommended models? Keeping it around $500 would be nice....
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hmmm... or maybe this is all moot.

Apple's Mac Mini M1 specs say 60Hz is the max output regardless of what you plug into it....

Video Support
Simultaneously supports up to two displays:
  • One display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt and one display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0
Thunderbolt 3 digital video output supports
  • Native DisplayPort output over USB‑C
  • Thunderbolt 2, DVI and VGA output supported using adapters (sold separately)
HDMI 2.0 display video output
  • Support for one display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz
  • DVI output using HDMI to DVI Adapter (sold separately)
 

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Premium Member
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31,013 Posts
Mark what iMac do you have and why ever would you move off that 5k screen.
An i9 Intel iMac is far more powerful than the M1s which are amazing but not high end power.

4k iMacs for your son are very inexpensive now.
 

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Premium Member
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17,998 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey man, long time no chat :)

Pretty sure I'm going to hang on to my iMac. Purchased new in 2019, it's the 2017 i7 (4.2ghz) custom config with the mid-level Radeon 575. I upgraded it earlier this year to 24gb RAM. I do feel like I'm a little bottlenecked by the 1TB hybrid drive, though, and I loathe the idea of doing the HD swap (at least while it's still under warranty). Next time I get paid for a side gig, I'll have to invest in thunderbolt external storage...

I'm also holding on at Mojave. Once we have the new Mini and I have time to play with Monterey, I may bite the bullet and upgrade the OS. We'll see. The only thing I have to deal with is converting a handful of old iWeb sites to something newer... probably Hype-based HTML5 sites. When I can find a minute.... ;)

So after much investigation and comparison, I finally settled on and ordered a monitor for my son's new gear:

ASUS ProArt Display 27" 1440P Monitor (PA278QV) - QHD (2560 x 1440) ($449 from NewEgg; careful to select the "ship and sold by" NewEgg rather than a reseller with questionable reputation - this is something everyone should be careful of when buying online, particularly at BestBuy and other big-box online stores that link to "Marketplace sellers").




I wanted a monitor that pivots and matches my iMac's 27" screen in case I end up "inheriting" it at some point as a second monitor (once you go dual, your desk will forever feel incomplete with a single screen, LOL). Since moving to a work-from-home scenario three years ago, I left behind my office's dual monitor setup (though those duals were very, very old and mismatched - just a screen I "rescued" from the department storage closet). I also wanted a VESA-compatible unit so we can wall-mount it and free up space in his rather small room. And finding a decently reviewed monitor that hits all the points... fast response, good colour reproduction, resolution and refresh, etc. was a nightmare. The current crop of LG monitors all seem to suffer build quality issues and backlight bleed... and the last time I shopped for a monitor, the only real question was "TN or IPS", with IPS being more expensive, but better quality. Now there's "VA" panels, which give amazing contrast, but a smaller colour gamut, and are generally "slower" on refresh. My head was spinning after three solid days of looking at specs, comparing reviews, etc. ASUS wasn't even on my radar, but this one looks like it should do the trick.... (also, nobody jumped up and offered suggestions, and I wanted to get an order in ASAP to ensure we didn't get caught in the holiday shipping delay period). If it turns out to be less than stellar, I can send it back up until the third week of January. Anybody have thoughts on the model I chose?

The Mac Mini config is the M1 / 512ssd / 16gb RAM.
 

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peek-a-boo
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17,352 Posts
I haven’t bought monitors in a while either. Last ones were a pair of 32” Samsungs that were on sale at Best Buy but that was 2016/7 or so I think. They’re great.

I have that same 27 iMac though with just an ssd drive also on Mojave and it’s great. I wobbled a bit when I saw the new MBPs out but I need to see a greater gap in performance yet not to mention the audio world is a couple OSs behind still as it always is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I need to break my own habit of keeping things on my main drive... investing in a fast, large external will help. But that also implies a second purchase for backup purposes.

And then there's the issue of a NAS for the house... I'm the "keeper of files" for everyone - tens of thousands of photos, videos, documents, etc., that I can't easily share with others.

Man, organizing one's digital life is a major pain....

As for the monitor - I was looking hard at some 34' ultra-widescreens and curved screens (thinking of immersive gaming), but in the end I went the safe route, in case I repurpose the monitor as my iMac's 2nd screen. That, and a 32" or 34" screen would probably just be too large for the space available. Here's hoping I made the right call...

The other consideration I forgot to mention above was the lack of USB-C on many of the monitor options out there. The ASUS ProArt Display 27" is loaded for ports, with Mini DisplayPort, DisplayPort, HDMI, dual-link DVI-D, audio in and earphone jack, plus four USB 3.0 ports (but no USB-C). These will come in handy with all of the legacy peripherals we have. It also has a stand that allow for tilt / pivot / swivel / height adjustments... which might be enough to allow me to forego the VESA plan I have in mind. Looking more closely at the stand, it's a pretty amazing bit of engineering, and certainly more than you usually see included - it's "almost" Apple-like.
 
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