Late to the party, but I think I have some great info (apologize if already posted earlier).
With so much "confusion" around the new 2011 Mac Minis, here is what I have discovered (also based on the doc that Apple released that states what can drive the new TB displays, etc.)
Going to buy a new 2011 Mac Mini server (Intel HD 3000 grpahics). For several reasons, way faster: quad core i7 (8 total cores), can put an SSD boot drive, this thing gets close to 10K Geekbenchmarks, screams.
Want to drive TWO 24" Apple LED Cinema Displays (MDP), can be done.
We know this:
- 2011 Mac Mini Server can drive only ONE, ThunderBolt (TB) display. The Intel HD 3000 is limted, and will NOT power / drive a second (daisy chained) TB display.
- The slower dual core Mac Mini with AMD graphics, can drive TWO TB displays, via diasy chaining.
- 2011 Mac Mini Server can still drive either a MDP/TB display via its TB port, AND an HDMI display via its HDMI port, but what about a Mini Display Port (MDP) display, like the 24" Apple LED Cinema Displays, via the HDMI port on the Mac Mini.
Atlona makes the DP300, a HDMI in, MDP out that, takes 1080p and can scale to full resolution that a Apple 24" Cinema Display puts out.
So One can drive TWO 24" Apple LED Cinema Displays (MDP), on a Mac Mini Server 2011 (Intel HD 3000) graphics.
That's a pretty good summary. One problem: Use the atlona AT-DP200 instead so that you can control brightness and are not doing scaling.
http://www.atlona.com/Atlona-DVI-to-Mini-DisplayPort-Converter-p-17859.html Only problem is that I have had to hit its reset button once in a while when the screen didn't come back after sleep/reboot.
Also the Gefen DVI to mdp converter works but you have to use their software to control brightness.
Got it. Thanks.
I talked to one of the Atlona Mac techs and he recommended the AT-DP300, as I was looking at the DP200 to do the job.
I am guessing there is actually no need for scaling since the Mini's HDMI port will output 1920 x 1200, is that the case?
Have never actually touched / used these Atlona products, so it will be first time for me.
With the AT-DP200, it looks like you have to go:
HDMI male to DVI female (which looks like Apple includes with the Mini server), then into the DP200 (DVI male to MDP female).
Yes, the DP200 just plugs in with the mini's included DVI adapter and then you see the LED Cinema display. With the Gefen (and I assume with most scalers) the Mac sees a generic monitor and I had only three resolutions to choose from. So I recommend the DP200 other than the reset issue. I guess that's why it has a reset button when the others don't.
To do it right you do loose a USB port on the mini itself. With dual 24" I have two cameras and two speakers. To adjust the brightness on the 2nd monitor I go into System Preferences - Displays and everything works.
I have a 2011 MacBookAir (MBA) 11' with Thunderbolt (TB) port, a 2010 27' iMac with mini Display port (MDP) and a 24' Apple LCD Cinema Display. Plugging the MBA TB port into the iMac's or 24' LCD Mini display ports gives a perfect stable picture, unlike some of the reports here. The MBAir and the iMac are both running clean installs of Lion 10.7.2
I have also purchased a Lacie Little Big Disk with 2 TB ports. Plugging the MBA into the Lacie using a TB cable and then daisy chaining to the iMac (or the 24' LED) with a display port cable, via the 2nd TB port on the Lacie, I get a very clear picture with instability of distortion/flickering on the screen. The 24' LCD in particular, goes blank every few minutes for about half a second. ( I previously had a 2010 MBA with MDP and connected it to the iMacs MDP and the picture was excellent).
When I disconnect the Little Big Disk from the chain the MBA pic on the iMac or the 27' LED is very stable
Tthe problem appears to be the Lacie Little Big Disk output. I contacted Lacie who suggested my cables might be suspect, and that I should use two Thunderbolt cables, not using the mini display port cable from the LBDisk to the iMac or 24' LCD mini display port connections. This is contrary to Apple's recommendation. I will be contacting Lacie again.
I am one of these users that needed the firmware update to its 24 inch LED Cinema Display (Late 2008) for it to work with the 2011 Thunderbolt Macs. It's worked flawlessly on my Mac ever since the update.
Now I have a question though…
Will this updated 24 inch LED Cinema Display still be able to work flawlessly with, for instance, pc graphics cards that have Mini-Displayport connectors on them (i.e. this one http://www.directron.com/r6950twinfrozr.html)?
Or has the firmware update somehow enabled it to work with Thunderbolt ports, but no longer with Mini-Displayport ports?
Any help on this matter would be deeply appreciated before I go invest in something that might not work anymore.