Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2012 8:40 AM by steve359
Rob_from_KY Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I would like to do some app development for my iphone.  Some simple stuff really, actually to make my job a bit easier.  Anyway, The Mac mini looks like a good way for me to get started.  I am new to Mac, but not new to Apple.  We have almost every generation of iPod made.  The quality is second to none on each device and they are just wonderful.  Other than app development, it will be pretty much just used for web surfing or a little photo editing.  Nothing really fancy.  I do have a dual monitor setup right now that I would like to use with the mini.  Can I connect two vga lcd monitors to the mini, and if so, is there any additional hardware that I would need to purchase?


So basically I have just two questions that I am having difficulties finding the answers to....


1.  Will I be able to do fairly simple iPhone app development on the mini?


2.  What do I have to do to connect two vga monitors to the mini to have the wider desktop?


I appreciate any help that anyone can give.  I am not familiar with Macs at all & need a little help getting started!



Mac mini
  • Gerry Brown Level 3 Level 3 (795 points)

    1.  Will I be able to do fairly simple iPhone app development on the mini?

    Definite YES.  Get a Developer account at


    2.  What do I have to do to connect two vga monitors to the mini to have the wider desktop?

    Search the forum and the Internet.  There are several ways to do this.

  • woodmeister50 Level 5 Level 5 (4,175 points)

    1.  If you want to download apps to the iPhone you will

    need to pay the $99 to become an iOS developer.  Even though

    you can download Xcode free from the app store, and develop

    and simulate code for iOS devices, you have to pay the money

    to be able to get the tools to download to the devices.


    2.  The Mini, which ever one you purchase, will come with

    an HDMI (one of the Mini native ports) to DVI-D adapter.

    This HDMI port is only digital.  The Mini also comes with a

    Thunderbolt port which will support VGA with a Display Port

    to VGA adapter.  If one of the monitors has DVI-D capability

    you are set.  Otherwise, some HDMI (or DVI-D) to VGA

    adapter box will be needed to convert the strictly digital

    signal to analog that comes out the Mini's HDMI port.

  • Rob_from_KY Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks.  I looked at the info on the mac mini.  In the accessories there is a mini display port to vga adapter.  If I am following the information right, that plugs into the thunderbolt port, correct?   For the hdmi to vga, I did not see an available connector through apple.  Can I just get a regular ole hdmi to vga connector and that work just fine, or will there be issues?



  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,275 points)

    Thunderboltport = minidisplayport, yes.


    Most monitors sold now (and back in late 2009, when I set up my parents' macmini) have DVI ports.  So using the included HDMI-to-DVI and buying a minidisplayport-to-VGA will work.  Or buy a monitor with two DVI ports and a minidisplayport-to-DVI.


    As to graphics: If you plan to run two minitors you may want to be sure yo buy beyond the basic unit ($599) and step up to the $799 model with a discrete graphics card for the heavier load.

  • Rob_from_KY Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Like I said in my first post, I am not familiar with Apple hardware, so please bear with me.  There wont be any games played on the machine at all.  Will just adding another monitor consume too many resources of the machine bogging it down?  I just like to have the other display to flip flop from surfing the web on one display & checking email or work in the other.



  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,275 points)

    Larger displays (like a 24 in monitor) require more graphics processing power to keep all of the pixels updated at a high refresh rate.  You could live with 19 in low-res monitors for both, but you will eventually tire of that (I believe) an upgrade eventually to 24+ in moitors at 1980x1020 and higher.


    If the only graphics card (the $599 model) you have is the one integrated into the CPU with less or even shared-with-the-system VRAM (video RAM), you may see slowdowns, jumpy playback, slower refresh rates.


    If you have the discrete graphics card (the $799 model) the video can be handled for all needs (simple gaming eventually maybe, mutiple images for websurfing and email and quite possibly NetFlix).


    But that does not mean the $599 model will be useless.  Just will have more jumpy playback or slower response occasionally when switching images/tasks.


    Spend only what you can afford.  But be aware that many images on two screens can get jumpy or switching-slow with less graphics processing power.


    Choose what fits your needs and budget is the bottom line.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,315 points)
  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,275 points)

    Indeed ... too many words, not enough pictures of the product.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,315 points)

    Yeah, shame you can't get a Real Video card AND a Quad Core i7 in a mini... maybe Apple can't afford to put a decent cooling fan in it!

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,275 points)

    Or maybe there is no such thing.


    I have two (pre-MBP, for me at least) AMD dual-core tower systems (self built) with many large fans and much breathing room.  And expensive gaming systems use liquid cooling systems because even with all of the spare room, CPUs cn burn out.


    But I am just speculating.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,315 points)

    Actually, it should be easier to cool a small enclosre than a bigger one methinks, in fact I've designed a cooler for Minis & more importantly iMacs, but can't afford to even patent it.

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,275 points)

    We have been busy, have we not?


    There is a TV show called "Shark Tank" to beg for their money, but then are recorded for all posterity as a beggar. 


    You need to decide if you share your secret recipes, I guess.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,315 points)



    I'll share it with Anon & a couple others on my site tomorrow by PM!

  • Rob_from_KY Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


    Thanks for your info.  I think I will stick with the mac mini 599 model and just be happy with one monitor.  I am mainly interested in doing some app developement for my phone, so its actually a big expense for just that.  I think I will try the 599 model with a new hdmi monitor to get started.....



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