I agree with the sentiments here - I'm disappointed in Apple that they can't get simple Intel graphics to work with monitors that all other machines seem to get along with. I have a solution, not as pricey as the Thunderbolt monitor, but still up there, but I have no choice - I have a Mini for fun and a Windows 7 machine for work - two wireless keyboards/mice, one monitor - I just select a different input on the monitor.
I had all the problems we've all been crazy with across the 71 pages of this thread. Here is where I landed: an ASUS PB278Q WQHD monitor. $700 at Micro Center. 27", and it has VGA, DisplayPort, DVI, and HDMI. All cables are provided as well - nice touch by ASUS. The only con I read anywhere on the web was by c|net in that it does not have USB ports - who cares? Buy a crummy $30 hub.
All connections from the Mini work well, but the kicker is with DisplayPort (and DVI, I think)- it takes the resolution up to 2560x1440 and that's when you get the same clarity as Thunderbolt that they always have a Mini attached to when on display in the retail stores. HDMI works very nicely, but you can only drive 1080p or 1600x900 and it looks odd unless you sit back a bit. The PC with Display Port also is an amazing thing to see.
Unfortunately, after $800 for the base Mini, $80 to max out memory, $200 for a 256GB SSD to make it a speedster, and $700 for a monitor, I guess I should have just got a tricked-out iMac. Oh crap, that thing won't support another machine as a display, they take forever to ship them, and I've heard graphics complaints there too.
You're not reading the main point here, the ONLY connection Apple says works without issues are THUNDERBOLT TO THUNDERBOLT. Display Port does not work. HDMI does not work. No adapters via HDMI or Thunderbolt work.
I bought a $700 Dell U2713HM to replace my Gateway 24" 1080p monitor and the Vizio HDTV before that, specifically to get a proper image from my 2012 mini. The Vizio HDTV was hooked up via HDMI and looked awful, the whites were overblown. I tried the Gateway next, via HDMI, same exact problem. Then I bought the Dell and used a MDP to DP cable (no adapter). The image quality was much better but still not right. However, the mini died just a few days after getting the monitor. DisplayPort does not fix the issue, this is a 2012 Mac mini issue, the monitor is not the problem. Apple's Genius Bar employees admitted to me and read the Apple bulletin that said this is a known problem that the only video out that works properly on the 2012 mini is Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt. Not MDP to DP through the Thunderbolt/MDP jack, or any other variation. There is no fix. Apple does not know if they will fix this in the future, but they do know that they are instructing their employees not to replace the hardware once your mini fails. Meaning, you will have a very expensive paperweight, and it doesn't matter if you have AppleCare (I do), Apple will still do nothing for you.
I still do not know why this happened. Apple does not seem to know why it happens to some mini's while others seem to work fine (or why mine worked for 3 weeks before dying), but the Apple Genius' said, once this happens you cannot get any video output except through Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt, meaning "we sold you a faulty computer, but now you should spend another $1000 to be able to use it". There are still massive issues with color profiles, washed out whites, black screens, on screen static, etc. that the last OS X mini-specific update did not solve completly. Even if I spent another $1000 with Apple for a Thunderbolt display, I would have a mini that doesn't have full functionality as advertised, with no fix available.
If DVI is a workaround for you, I'd suggest trying it... that solution worked for me as previously reported.
You can purchase an HP 2207 with a DVI interface from Amazon used for under $200. It's a great piece of equipment and makes a terrific 2nd monitor for a Mac Mini. I don't know if it would work well as the Mini's only monitor. Personally I'm very happy with Apple's 24-inch monitor in that regard.
I was only agreeing that the whole Mini situation is a mess. Apple's party line is wrong - I have finally got a great screen display without their **** $1000 monitor. They have really screwed up here and they are trying to push people off one by one instead of admitting a problem and fixing it or by cheerfully refunding your money. Also, I thought I read that Thunderbolt/Mini Display Port/Display Port are really all the same - not important.
After enourmous frustration and multiple trips to the store, I found a solution that does work on the ASUS after I tried HDMI as well all the output combos and dongles out of the Mini DP on three other HDMI/DisplayPort/DVI capable monitors and I was just sharing it. If you can afford to do it, great, if you can't, return your Mini. If they refuse, take your paperweight and sledgehammer and destroy it on a Saturday morning in front of their store. If you don't get arrested, that will be a bonus for at least getting your message across to someone at Apple.
I got my late 2012 Mini in November.
I have experinenced some blackouts but they were rare, maybe two or three times a day.
I only had one major colored noise burst that requred turning the monitor on and off.
When it became available, I have applied the EFI firmware update.
Now everything is fine.
Even before the update, aside the occasional flicker,
I didn't have any other image quality issues like fuzzy text, washed out colors or burnt out whites.
I tried HDMI to DVI, Thunderbolt to DisplayPort and Thunderbolt to DVI connections on three monitors:
Eizo ColorEdge CG243W,
Dell Ultrasharp U2412M,
and Samsung Syncmaster XL20 (actually Samsung does not have DP, so I only tried HDMI to DVI and Thunderbolt to DVI).
All combinations work prefectly for me!
Image quality is perfect and the output looks IDENTICAL on both TB and HDMI ports,
connected to DP and DVI inputs on my monitors.
Colors are good, text is sharp and I can see subtle shades of dark and light grayscale patches.
I have added 16GB of RAM and I have just finished a huge Photoshop compositing and retouching job and I enjoyed doing it.
After reading all this horror stories, I guess I'm really lucky!
Had the same problem. I am using the standard HDMI to DVI cable and an ASUS 22" (DVI, VGA) with 1650x1080 max resolution monitor. When turned on it worked ok but after 5 to 10 minutes the problems started. Blinking and red snow. I was furious. This was not a premium class product.
I installed snapshot and tried to use my ipad as a secondary monitor. And then i noticed that while i was using my ipad with snapshot my aSUS monitor was working great, in a low resolution of course (1024x768).
So i started checking different display resolutions (without snapshot and my ipad) and some worked for me perfectly.
It is a compromise since i do not get my max resolutions (1360x768 the best i could get) but until my DP to VGA cable arrives i am good.
I hope this was helpful to others.
*PS Perhaps it is important, perhaps not. In my conf i also have an external usb3 backup TOSHIBA disk sitting on top of my mac mini. When i installed Jettison to auto unmount it before sleep the blinking stopped and the snow changeg to green. Perhaps an interference problem from usb3 or the disk?....
I returned my 2012 mini after having the same problems. However, I can't afford an iMac or a 15" Macbook Pro.
I read 10.8.3 will fix the washed out colours so that's not a concern (although I agree it should work out the box). My worry is the snowy/blinking screens.
I am possibly going to try again with the Mac Mini and will be using MDP > DVI on a 2.6GHz i7 2012 model so if anyone is using this exact setup, it would be really helpful to know if you've had any problems.
My 2011 i5 2.5GHz mini (with radeon) worked perfectly with this setup.
I see that "washed out colours" are mentioned a lot.
What does it really mean? Can you describe this phenomenon more precisely?
Colors are not saturated enough, or they are too light?
For all of you that have this problem, what are your ColorSync settings?
Are proper ICC profiles assigned to your monitors?
When I switch color modes on my Eizo monitor between Adobe RGB and sRGB,
sometimes I can get desturated colors in programs that are ICC aware,
if I forget to switch ICC profiles in display settings.
Oh come on!! Apple might as well deliver the mini in little pieces in a carrier bag with a set of instructions on how to put it together.
Thanks for the info
I don't use any USB 3.0 devices right now but what if I did in the future? It's not a dealbreaker for me but another notch in my list of things fanboys seem to 'miss' when describing how awesome Apple products are...
I can't help but think, if Apple didn't have OSX, they wouldn't have all that much to offer. And to make it worse, I thought this closed system of theirs would make their products better, after all, they hardly make very many, and still get it wrong!
I have a MM and two USB3 hard drives, initially I had one of the drives actually sat on top of the MM this proved to be problematic as regards my BT trackpad at times. Taking the drive off the top of the MM my problem was solved, I can have both drives in use and my BT trackpad works perfectly. They just sit alongside my MM now.
Mac OSX Montain Lion 10.8.3 will address completely these issues. The 10.8.3 is just few days away from the final release. I know a lot of people are disappointed, it seems to me it was a complex situation with more parties involved (hardware, drivers, firmware, Intel, Apple, etc).
I'm pretty confident (I'm quite sure) 10.8.3 will address any HDMI problem since Apple is perfectly aware of these issues and they are working very seriously on it since early December. They didn't come out with a temporary fix because the fix itself is buried under OSX graphics driver and have to be carefully tested and packaged with the 10.8.3.
Stay tuned for the upcoming OSX release.