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... As far as I know, there is no problem with DisplayPort, only with HDMI or Thunderbolt display connections.
I'm seeing intermittent issues on some reboots with USB-C-to-DisplayPort adapters: sometimes one of three connected displays gets no input - reboot fixes it. One HDMI-connected LG 65" seems to be reliable. Two 32" Samsungs are connected via USB-C to DisplayPort StarTech adapters. It seems consistent which display it is, might always be the "third screen" on these. I actually have two 2018 Mac Mini i7's set up with the same setup, and sometimes one or both has an issue with one of the 32" Samsungs.

A different 2018 Mac Mini i7 with a single HDMI-connected LG 65" sometimes gets no signal to the screen - reboot also fixes.

(It's possible that unplugging and plugging back in would also fix, but these are installed into exhibit structures, so only remote reboot is used for fast fixes for issues like this.)

Once the screen/screens are working, it runs all day without any issues.
 


With my Mac Mini 2018 and the Thunderbolt 3-connected LG UltraFine 4K 23.7" 24MD4KL-B, the black screen in Recovery and Safe Boot happens always. So, now I am prepared to reconnect the Thunderbolt display cable when that happens.

But I did waste one day and a lot of hair because of this. When I got the Mac Mini the first thing was to enable external boot by going into Recovery mode... At first I thought the preinstalled Recovery partition was missing or defective because all I got was a blank screen. ...then at one point I thought I had a bricked brand-new Mac Mini that always booted into a black screen... It took several hours and many reboots until by chance I discovered that Internet Recovery mode rebooted its macOS installer into a seemingly black screen that could be cured by reconnecting the display cable.

I contacted Apple and LG support, hoping they could verify this with another similar setup but all they have done is ask me to do it. I don't have other Thunderbolt equipment nearby!

That said, I do like LG UltraFine 4K 23.7" monitor. Thunderbolt 3 has drastically reduced cables under my desk. The display is great, and the speakers are OK.

I also like the Mac Mini 2018 (6-core i7). I got 16 GB RAM, because some reports suggested 8 GB might not be enough for smooth display. I got 1TB storage because, according to MacInTouch forum, that is faster than smaller drives, and I do video work that needs storage space. I also got the 10Gigabit Ethernet option, although I might never need that. I did HD and even some 4K FCP videos with my ancient Mac Mini 2009, and I couldn't believe how much faster the new Mac Mini 2018 is in those tasks. But I miss the startup sound that made timing Option-boot easier, and I also miss the pulsing sleep light.

By the way, there was another black screen issue that I suspect related to Thunderbolt adapters:

I had two old NewerTech drive docks I had used via FireWire 800 with my old Mac Mini 2009. I connected them to the new Mac Mini 2018's Thunderbolt via two Apple adapters (Thunderbolt 3-to-Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 2-to-FireWire). The FireWire drives worked perfectly, and I could also boot from them. But occasionally, and very randomly, the LG UltraFine 4K 23.7" Thunderbolt display went black for a few seconds, sometimes a few times during a few minutes, which was very annoying. Sometimes I or somebody else just moving nearby (without moving the desk or the cables) seemed to trigger the error, and I suspect automatical display brightness might have played a role there.

Those two adapters were clumsy, so I decided to move forward and bought an OWC Drive Dock USB-C Dual Drive Bay Solution, USB 3.1 Gen 2 (OWCTCDRVDCK), which works perfectly, although I slightly miss the hard drive eject button in the old NewerTech docks.

With the new OWC Thunderbolt drive dock, there are no more screen blackouts. Maybe the extra Thunderbolt adapters caused them?

The new OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock is slightly faster (110 MB/s for a 10 GB file read/write) compared to FireWire 800 & those two adapters (83 MB/s) with a spinning disk Seagate Barracuda 3TB ST3000DM001 as a bottleneck (average read: 156 MB/s, max read: 210 MB/s in its specs).
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I'm seeing intermittent issues on some reboots with USB-C-to-DisplayPort adapters: sometimes one of three connected displays gets no input - reboot fixes it. One HDMI-connected LG 65" seems to be reliable. Two 32" Samsungs are connected via USB-C to DisplayPort StarTech adapters. It seems consistent which display it is, might always be the "third screen" on these. I actually have two 2018 Mac Mini i7's set up with the same setup, and sometimes one or both has an issue with one of the 32" Samsungs.
I suspect one or more of the DisplayPort adapters might be defective. What adapters are you using, exactly? You could swap adapters and see if the problem follows.

(I'd also be wary of the potential for interference between adapters/cables, especially when they're very close together.)
 


My issue is the monitor (TV, in my case) losing the connection during startup. Turning the monitor off and back on solves the problem until the next startup. In my case, I think the problem is with the HDMI connection on the Mini introduced in macOS 10.14.5.

matsuda0707 describes the problem I have in 2018 Mac Mini - monitor problems then the analysis:

When I switch back to macOS 10.14.4, the described problem goes away. It is also not present when I use a DisplayPort (active) adapter from my OWC 4M2 to the HDMI port on my Samsung 27" TV and my LG 24" TV, which I use as monitors.
Just installed macOS 10.14.6 on my 2018 Mac Mini. My monitor now connects properly through the HDMI to HDMI connection. For me, it looks like the bug is fixed with 10.14.6.
 


When the 2018 Mac Mini boots into Command-R Recovery mode, or the macOS installer reboots in Option-Command-R Internet Recovery mode, the display suddenly goes black. Disconnecting and reconnecting the USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 or HDMI cable reveals what is on the display and what user input is needed to continue. Also (Shift) Safe Boot boots into a black screen.

Via Thunderbolt 3 to the LG UltraFine 4K 23.7" (24MD4KL-B) display, that error can be reproduced almost always.
macOS 10.14.6 update seems to have fixed this Mac Mini 2018 black screen at Recovery mode (Command-R) and Safe Mode (Shift) boot.

Also the black screen error in QuickTime and QuickLook Full screen are fixed (there is a slight change in colors, especially reds, when the playback controls disappear in QuickTime full -screen, however).
 


I suspect one or more of the DisplayPort adapters might be defective. What adapters are you using, exactly? You could swap adapters and see if the problem follows.
(I'd also be wary of the potential for interference between adapters/cables, especially when they're very close together.)
I swapped the connectors around - always seems to be the same two screens. The cables and adapters have distance between them. Also, the issue never happens on a second reboot. (I'm not sure the minimum time between reboots - normally these systems are running for 10 hours a day, then sleep in the evening until the next morning.)

Having read other reports of a possible Wifi/Thunderbolt 3 interference issue, we also always turn of WiFi, because we only use Ethernet for the exhibit computers, so that isn't a possible cause here.

It also doesn't explain the other one that is straight HDMI to the LG 65" sometimes having an issue - that is always fixed by a second reboot in the same way.

I'll be updating to macOS 10.14.6 Thursday or Friday evening, having read about some people's issues being fixed.
 



I am debating between a Mac Mini and an iMac. I would just get a 250GB SSD and possibly use a larger external SSD drive as the boot/primary drive.

I would get the Mac Mini with an i7 CPU and the iMac with an i9 CPU.

The difference in cost between the two is $1269, including AppleCare and sales tax. The Mac Mini has the T2 chip and the iMac does not. The T2 chip worries me. I will use screen sharing or other methods to access my old Mac Pro 3.1's hard drive and optical drive

So, with the iMac you get a faster processor, a real video card, and a 27" monitor. The price difference does not seem that unreasonable. The Mac Mini has the advantage in that it is easier to service.

I use LibreOffice, Photoshop Elements, and Rapidweaver. I use Parallels occasionally. I do not think they should tax either configuration.

I would stick with macOS 10.14, as a few programs are 32-bit. The most important one is the driver and software for my Canon 9000F Mark II scanner. Talking to Canon, they were unaware of this and consider it too old. I like the Canon software more than the others that would work with this scanner in 64-bit mode.

So I have to make a decision soon, as the Macs will be coming out with macOS 10.15.
 


macOS 10.14.6 update seems to have fixed this Mac Mini 2018 black screen at Recovery mode (Command-R) and Safe Mode (Shift) boot. Also the black screen error in QuickTime and QuickLook Full screen are fixed (there is a slight change in colors, especially reds, when the playback controls disappear in QuickTime full -screen, however).
I can confirm that the update to macOS 10.14.6 fixed my Mac Mini, as well.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I am debating between a Mac Mini and an iMac. I would just get a 250GB SSD and possibly use a larger external SSD drive as the boot/primary drive. I would get the Mac Mini with an i7 CPU and the iMac with an i9 CPU. The difference in cost between the two is $1269...
Having tested a 2018 Mac Mini fairly extensively and then recently been working to set up a nice 2017 iMac, as well as having experience with 2015 and 2018 MacBook Pros (and many older Macs), I have a few thoughts for what they're worth:
  • I think extra cores make a noticeable improvement in performance, especially going from 4 to 6 cores — I'd try to get a minimum of 6 cores, which you can get with the Mac Mini (or a high-end iMac).
  • You may not need a lot of RAM, but the 27-inch iMac is great if you do. It was trivial and fairly inexpensive to upgrade the 2017 iMac 27" to 40 GB of RAM (and it'll go up to 64 GB).
  • The iMac display is what it is, and you can't change anything about it, nor adjust many parameters that you can adjust on a third-party monitor. If you love the iMac 5K display, great; if you don't... maybe not so great. Great 4K monitors are available for about $400-500 (or less).
  • The iMac does have much more powerful graphics hardware than the Mac Mini... because it's required to drive the 5K display. Not much software seems to take advantage of the extra GPU power (though this is slowly changing), so it may not be a huge advantage. You also can add an external GPU to the Mac Mini for a bit over $400. I paid $439 for a Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box with a Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB card last year, and it worked just fine with a nice 4K LG 27-inch display that cost $478.
  • Mac Mini storage performance is faster with larger (more expensive) configurations, so you might consider bumping up the internal storage for that reason.
  • A refurb 2017 iMac will run macOS Sierra and everything after, with no T2 problems. A newer iMac is also free from T2 issues. A 2018 Mac Mini requires macOS Mojave and has a T2 chip with its associated issues (and benefits, such as faster FileVault encryption, although that's not a big factor, and higher security levels).
In the end, I'd probably personally prefer a Mac Mini and third-party monitor if it weren't for the T2 chip and Mojave requirement. But avoiding those and getting easy RAM upgrades is nice with the iMac, and it's a pretty good option if you love its 5K display.


#T2 #iMac #MacMini #computerchoice #eGPU
 


The iMac display is what it is, and you can't change anything about it, nor adjust many parameters that you can adjust on a third-party monitor. If you love the iMac 5K display, great; if you don't... maybe not so great. Great 4K monitors are available for about $400-500 (or less).
I use a Spyder Pro to calibrate monitors. I assume that would work on an iMac.
 



I am debating between a Mac Mini and an iMac. I would just get a 250GB SSD and possibly use a larger external SSD drive as the boot/primary drive.

I would get the Mac Mini with an i7 CPU and the iMac with an i9 CPU.

The difference in cost between the two is $1269, including AppleCare and sales tax. The Mac Mini has the T2 chip and the iMac does not. The T2 chip worries me. I will use screen sharing or other methods to access my old Mac Pro 3.1's hard drive and optical drive

So, with the iMac you get a faster processor, a real video card, and a 27" monitor. The price difference does not seem that unreasonable. The Mac Mini has the advantage in that it is easier to service.

I use LibreOffice, Photoshop Elements, and Rapidweaver. I use Parallels occasionally. I do not think they should tax either configuration.

I would stick with macOS 10.14, as a few programs are 32-bit. The most important one is the driver and software for my Canon 9000F Mark II scanner. Talking to Canon, they were unaware of this and consider it too old. I like the Canon software more than the others that would work with this scanner in 64-bit mode.

So I have to make a decision soon, as the Macs will be coming out with macOS 10.15.
iMac; no question in my mind. Stellar display, no T2 nonsense, easy to upgrade RAM. Be sure to get the SSD, not the Fusion abomination.
 



I admit to buying the original Bondi Blue iMac (which my wife loved), but I would never buy another one (she has used laptops exclusively since then). I prefer to have the monitor separate from the CPU, hard drive, etc.

I realize that modern monitors have long working lives (I am now on my second computer – a 2018 built-to-order Mac Mini – using my 2012 Thunderbolt Display), but I also don't want to throw out a perfectly good monitor because the CPU is irreparable (any more than I would enjoy having a second monitor hooked up to an iMac with a dead display). I also realize that people have had iMacs last a good long time. It's just a prejudice I carry around with myself.

And, truth to tell, even though there's very little to replace inside the Mini, I like being able to open it up and service what I can. Incidentally, the 2018 Mini can also take 64GB of RAM (I ordered mine with the minimum, and installed 32GB myself).
 


And, truth to tell, even though there's very little to replace inside the Mini, I like being able to open it up and service what I can. Incidentally, the 2018 Mini can also take 64GB of RAM (I ordered mine with the minimum, and installed 32GB myself).
Well, given the right tools (a pizza-cutter-like opening wheel to remove adhesive, and a plastic card to get rid of more adhesive) to remove the display, the 2015 and later iMacs are arguably easier to work on than the original (PowerPC) Mac Mini, which required a putty knife to open. Despite intervening models where access was much, or at least somewhat, easier, the current Mini requires a lot of effort even to get to the replaceable parts.
 



Well, given the right tools (a pizza-cutter-like opening wheel to remove adhesive, and a plastic card to get rid of more adhesive) to remove the display, the 2015 and later iMacs are arguably easier to work on than the original (PowerPC) Mac Mini, which required a putty knife to open. Despite intervening models where access was much, or at least somewhat, easier, the current Mini requires a lot of effort even to get to the replaceable parts.
The 2018 Mac Mini no longer needs the "Mac mini Logic Board Removal Tool" that the 2010 / 2012 / 2014 models required to get the logic board out. So it is slightly easier. (There is an extra metal plate on the bottom, but, in total, it's about the same number of screws).

Take out the fan, disconnect cables to the logic board. The board now just pushes out the back, then take off the EMF shield over the RAM.

The 27" iMacs (non-Pro) are easier to upgrade RAM on, of course, but the 21.5" iMacs require the screen removal, which is harder and more risky. iFixit rates the 21.5" iMac a 3/10, and the 2018 Mac Mini a 6/10, even though the iMac technically has more parts that can be upgraded (RAM, CPU and drive).
 


I swapped the connectors around - always seems to be the same two screens. The cables and adapters have distance between them. Also, the issue never happens on a second reboot. (I'm not sure the minimum time between reboots - normally these systems are running for 10 hours a day, then sleep in the evening until the next morning.)
Having read other reports of a possible Wifi/Thunderbolt 3 interference issue, we also always turn of WiFi, because we only use Ethernet for the exhibit computers, so that isn't a possible cause here. It also doesn't explain the other one that is straight HDMI to the LG 65" sometimes having an issue - that is always fixed by a second reboot in the same way. I'll be updating to macOS 10.14.6 Thursday or Friday evening, having read about some people's issues being fixed.
I failed to report back here after the macOS 10.14.6 updates were applied - The "black screen" issue seems to be mostly fixed (98% or more reliable now).
 


I recently installed two Kingston HyperX Impact 16GB DDR4 2666 SO-DIMMs (with part number: HX426S15IB2/16 or the matched pair HX426S15IB2K2/32) in the 2018 Mac Mini (i7), and it works perfectly, detects at proper speed, with all RAM available. (On another forum, there had been some people who had issues with different modules, including the HyperX Impact.)

Upgraded one of our home Macs - a failing 2010 i3 iMac — had many issues with that model: maximum 8 or 16 GB of RAM, original hard disk drive failed fairly quickly, then had the backlight issue many of that model year had, and USB 2.0. Picked up a refurb 2018 Mac Mini model, added RAM and a USB 3.1 NVMe enclosure with 1TB Intel 660p SSD for additional local high-speed storage (which hits over 900 MB/s in the enclosure). It's many times faster, as would be expected with that many years passing and architecture improvements (especially the PCIe-based SSDs).
 


Mac Mini 2019: upgrade proceeded fine until final reboot. I’ve got an HDMI 2.0 display, and the screen was blank after the reboot, despite repeated reboot attempts.
Plugged in a USB-C–DisplayPort cable instead, and all is well. Hopefully, I can get the HDMI running again, but just mentioning this in case anyone else thinks (like I did) that I’d nuked the Mac....
I've had the HDMI issues you describe on a 2018 Mini running Mojave 10.14.6. Sporadically the display won't wake after the system has been sleeping, or will display 'static' (like an old untuned CRT TV). Reconnecting the HDMI cable fixes it.
 


I've had the HDMI issues you describe on a 2018 Mini running Mojave 10.14.6. Sporadically the display won't wake after the system has been sleeping, or will display 'static' (like an old untuned CRT TV). Reconnecting the HDMI cable fixes it.
FWIW, I've had the same issues with my Media Center PC for years. I occasionally need to do a Control/Alt/Delete+Escape to fix the blank (black) screen problem.

The static problem requires a TV power cycle or HDMI cable reconnection.

I think these problems can be attributed to the Intel graphics drivers.
 


Mac Mini 2019: upgrade proceeded fine until final reboot. I’ve got an HDMI 2.0 display, and the screen was blank after the reboot, despite repeated reboot attempts.
Had something similar happen to me with my Mac Mini Late 2012, when I swapped out the spinning hard disk for an SSD. None of the monitor outputs worked, including Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort, HDMI, or VGA.

I thought it was a failure of the cloned system (macOS 10.13.6) on the SSD to boot, but the original hard drive did the same thing. Finally tried a PRAM reset, and the HDMI output came back, but there was a frightening moment when the monitor displayed snow for a second (thought I blew out the video controller).
 


Hopefully, I can get the HDMI running again...
So I did get HDMI 2 and the Samsung 4K display running (sort of) by jumping through the following hoops:

1) I turned off FileVault. I saw some other posts on the 'net where Apple Support had recommended this, and it works.

Other users were having this problem in Mojave, as well, so maybe it's a driver issue.

2) The system boots OK now, but the display is very distorted at the login prompt with some sort of odd resolution. At this point, turning the display off and on fixes the proble, and all is as it should be.

Looks like some work needs to be done on external monitor support.
 



While we're on the topic of SSD and OWC...

My mom's Late 2012 Mac Mini takes from 30-60 seconds to launch Mail or Safari due to the slow internal HD. I have a spare SSD so I used an external drive case to connect it to a USB port, installed Mojave on it then used Migration Assistant to move the internal hard disk drive info to it.

When it came time to install the SSD, I looked at OWC's internal drive installation kits on Amazon. Since the 2012 Mac Mini has two HD bays, there are two kits; lower bay and upper bay. According to iFixit, the upper bay (which would be the one closest to the top of the case) is a bear to put a drive into because you need to pull out the logic board, but putting a drive into the lower bay is a cinch because you hardly need to remove anything.

You need different tools and brackets depending on which bay you are installing into, and this is where the problem arises. OWC names their kits by the bay that is occupied, not the bay you want to use. That is, if you want to install your drive into the empty lower bay (the easy one), you need to buy their upper bay kit. I found this out the hard way -- when the parts arrived and they were for the wrong bay.

Go figure.
 


I agree it's confusing. Having just done two of these, I concluded that they mean 'upper' or 'lower' to mean from the inverted point of view... which is how you would look at the machine while working on it.

Did you go through their caveats, suggesting before ordering to check via System Info to see how the machine is built? That advice lines up with their scheme.
 


While we're on the topic of SSD and OWC...
My mom's Late 2012 Mac Mini takes from 30-60 seconds to launch Mail or Safari due to the slow internal HD. I have a spare SSD so I used an external drive case to connect it to a USB port, installed Mojave on it then used Migration Assistant to move the internal hard disk drive info to it.
When it came time to install the SSD, I looked at OWC's internal drive installation kits on Amazon. Since the 2012 Mac Mini has two HD bays, there are two kits; lower bay and upper bay. According to iFixit, the upper bay (which would be the one closest to the top of the case) is a bear to put a drive into because you need to pull out the logic board, but putting a drive into the lower bay is a cinch because you hardly need to remove anything.
You need different tools and brackets depending on which bay you are installing into, and this is where the problem arises. OWC names their kits by the bay that is occupied, not the bay you want to use. That is, if you want to install your drive into the empty lower bay (the easy one), you need to buy their upper bay kit. I found this out the hard way -- when the parts arrived and they were for the wrong bay.
Go figure.
These long past posts might be of interest to you:

Way back on Jan. 24, 2014, Avery McMahon posted his experience adding an SSD to a stock Late 2012 Mac Mini, a useful addendum to OWC's instructions. The goal was a Fusion drive with the stock hard drive. Fooling around with the two different drive bays was a challenge, but it went right.

Before that, on about Dec. 7, 2013, Arthur Kent, Avery McMahon, and others had a useful discussion about selecting the best SSD for this job.
 


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