back to article HDMI hitch hounds Mac Mini holders

The latest generation of Mac Mini appears to be facing HDMI hiccups, with disgruntled owners complaining about poor colours, "snow-like interference" and momentary display blackouts. While the Mini's alternative video outputs - Thunderbolt and Mini Display Port - appear unaffected, those who extend their desktop to a secondary …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't choice grand

    'wait for the 2013 Mac Mini' - what a brilliant piece of advice. For us outside of Appleland who know a computer is just a tool, if our preferred manufacturer cocks up we can just get a refund and buy another brand straight away safe in the knowledge that everything will still work. Apple produce crap and the advice is wait a year til the next one and Apple don't care - they know you either can't or won't go to another brand.

    1. Joe Gurman

      Re: Isn't choice grand

      Apple produce crap? Know of anyone with a better track record for production quality? Given that all consumer kit is made in the same Chinese factories, I find it unlikely.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Isn't choice grand

        > better track record for production quality?

        Doesn't sound like this is a production issue, more a design issue or software bug, and Apple is no more immune to them than anyone else. The trouble with a single source, as was pointed out, is that there's nowhere else to go when it screws up.

      2. Davidoff

        Know of anyone with a better track record for production quality?

        Really? So which phone manufacturer other than Apple delivers their phones pre-scratched? Or their computers with broken glass screen? Apple isn't better in producing quality than most other manufacturers.

        But that doesn't really matter here as this issue is not about production quality, it's about design flaws. And Apple has a very long history of selling products which come broken by design straight from the factory, from defective chipsets, noisy power supplies to overheating logic boards.

        Oh, and as for the argument that all consumer kit is made in the same Chinese factories: This is certainly true, however what falls from the end of the production line is decided by no small part by the specifications of the factories' customer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't choice grand

      Think you will find Apples return and replacement policies are way better than any other manufacturers. I am putting money if you take one back today you will get your money back, a replacement, etc. Or you could if you prefer wait a short period for it to be fixed.

      I would like to see you walk into a shop with a similar desktop fault on a HP and get an immediate replacement/fix.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Isn't choice grand

        You're absolutely right, I would never walk into a shop and get an immediate replacement. The last HP machine I had a problem with was a laptop but it's the same principle, Apple fans prepare to be amazed.

        I managed to get it repaired less than 24hours after reporting the fault - without ever leaving my house!!!!!

        Imagine that, someone turns up at your door with a brand new machine, transfers the hard drive from the faulty one and then leaves, no going to the shop required. Why can't the company that supposedly has the best customer service in the world do that?

        1. Shades

          Re: Isn't choice grand

          I remember that kind of service many moons ago... from Commodore when my Amiga A600 decided to have a funny turn.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Isn't choice grand

            The amount of non-Apple kit I have had that has faults that were never fixed / refunded is staggering compared to the service Apple give - perhaps you pay a slight premium for the product but you can't really fault the service.

            Samsung = 3 weeks to fix a phone and actually just replace it with a refurb = not nice. Mate sent his iPhone back to Apple (by post) - last Wednesday - they got it Thursday - turned it around same day - he got it back Friday morning and they actually replaced it with a new or could-not-tell-the-difference-from-new one. Fancy being without your phone for 3 weeks - no - me neither.

        2. Ilsa Loving

          Re: Isn't choice grand

          You make it sound like this level of warranty service from HP is normal, and it's not. You would sound a lot less disingenuous if you provided ALL the relevant facts, not just the ones that fluff you up the most.

          HP DOES provides that kind of service, but it will cost you. You can go onto their website to examine the pricing details.

          And for the record, Apple will also provide that kind of service. There are restrictions of course, but you can look them up on Apple's website or ask an Apple rep if you really wanna know.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Isn't choice grand

            Fail yourself, that warranty was included because it was quite an expensive laptop. Had I gone for a cheaper model then yes I would have had to pay to upgrade the warranty. If you really think paying for Applecare gives you that level of service I suggest you look again - you still have to take it back to a shop or send it by courier, here's the details on the most expensive option at £279:


            The important bit: Carry-in repair: take your Mac to an Apple Retail Store or other Apple Authorised Service Provider

            You can only have express replacement on ipads and iphones. £279 and you still have to get it back to the nearest shop, they really know how to take the piss out of you. I did as you asked and compared HPs prices, here's an example:

            HP Consumer Presario and Pavilion notebooks - Accidental Damage, Pick-Up & Return, HW Support, 3 year - £180 inc VAT and the pick-up service also includes just swapping the hard disk into a new machine if that is the easiest option like they did for me, but even collecting it from you is better than Apple and this also includes accidental damage cover.

            And that also demonstrates quite nicely how Apple rip you off:

            HP cheap kit - Good warranty costs extra

            HP expensive kit - Good warranty included

            Apple cheap kit - ???????

            Apple expensive kit - Good Slightly better warranty costs extra

            Great customer service my arse

          2. Davidoff

            You make it sound like this level of warranty service from HP is normal,, and it's not.

            It is. Many HP computers, laptops and workstations come with 3 year onsite Next Business Day warranty cover included in the price. In fact, every laptop, desktop PC and workstation I bought in the last >10 years came with 3 years NBD.

            And for the few models that only come with 1 year warranty the upgrade to 3 years NBD is usually inexpensive (way less than AppleCare).

            Oh, and for the record: Apple can't provide this kind of service. Some products like the Mac Pro can be covered by some onsite service but that is day and night (in a negative sense) from what you get from HP.

            But then, Apple only makes consumer kit.

      2. Oninoshiko

        Apple's replacement policies

        Do they replace it if "you're holding it wrong?"

      3. JEDIDIAH

        Re: Isn't choice grand

        Your window of opportunity for getting a refund on a Mac is very small. Beyond that you will be forced to deal with their warranty replacement system and even that will only last as long as the warranty does.

        For a company that is often compared to BMW, they really don't stand behind their product.

        Whether or not they are on par with Dell here isn't the point. They aren't supposed to be "just another Dell".

        Furthermore, you won't get an "immediate fix". It will "stay in the shop" for awhile.

        Been there. Done that. That's why I recommend putting a Mac through it's paces as soon as you can. Make sure it's not a lemon as soon as you can. Otherwise the "refund" option may simply disappear.

    3. Frank Bough

      Re: Isn't choice grand

      Jesus wept. This machine has THREE different monitor outs, and a firmware bug is afflicting one of them. It's hardly the end of the fucking world, is it?

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Re: Isn't choice grand

        Some of us actually expect our overpriced luxury branded goods to actually work as advertised.

        Apple fanboys make excuses for nonsense that they would eviscerate Linux or Windows over.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Isn't choice grand

        Except of course that Minis are provided "headless" with the idea that you plug 'em into something you already have.

        Of the three options, the only one that's remotely likely to be on "something you already have" is HDMI.....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It just works.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple

      Much like calendars on Android.

      1. VinceH

        Re: Apple

        "Much like calendars on Android."

        Calendars on Android work just fine. You're referring to the calendar function in a single app, and then only in a specific version of Android which hasn't been rolled out to the majority of handsets yet. By the time more of us have it, the problem in the People app will be nothing more than a memory, and something Applytes will bring up on these forums - incorrectly - as if it proves some kind of point. A bit like you just did.

  3. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge

    No fault in the hardware

    People are just looking at it the wrong way

  4. Alan Denman

    Simpes, port to a different Display

    Obviously do as intended and buy the Display Port in your Apple store.

    Cheapskates use HDMI.

    1. Uncle Meat

      Re: Simpes, port to a different Display

      I use a $9 displayport cable and it works perfectly on my new 2012 Mini. Haven't tried the HDMI cable yet.

      1. Frank Bough

        Re: Simpes, port to a different Display

        Likewise, my Mac Mini is connected to my HP monitor via a cheap DisplayPort cable. If this is a know Intel bug, I'm sure it will be fixed soon. Who knew that computers had bugs?

  5. TRT Silver badge

    No. I have one here that won't start at all if the display port adaptor is connected at all. HDMI only!

    1. Frank Bough

      I recommend

      you return that one ASAP.

  6. Ivan Headache

    No video problems here so far.

    Set up a brand-new Mac Mini and a new AOC display on Tuesday using the HDMI cable provided with monitor.

    However - audio is giving us a bit of grief, but I think that is something to do with the monitor.

  7. Faceless Man

    So that's what it was

    Been having that problem, thought it might be the cheap HP monitor I had it hooked up to Still, just turn the monitor off for a second, and it works fine.

    If I cared enough, I'd spring for the Mini Display Port to DVI adaptor, but it's really hard to get worked up over. I am a little concerned that Apple let a known and fixed problem get out into the wild like that.

    As a point of interest, did it get this much attention when it was affecting Linux and Windows PCs?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: So that's what it was

      >As a point of interest, did it get this much attention when it was affecting Linux and Windows PCs?

      I didn't read about it at time, and am glad El Reg linked to it in this article since my mate has been complaining of weirdness on the HDMI-connected i7 machine I helped him build earlier in the summer.

  8. Uriel

    New Mac Mini 2012 I7

    Brand new mac mini 2012 core i7 , having bright/brilliant colors on a Samsung HDMI display, the weird thing is that It uses the same Colorsync profile of my MBA, same cable same monitor, The color are so so bright on HDMI-HDMI, hope a firmware update fix this, also I had issues upgrading to OSX 10.8.2 seems to be offline on the Mac App store , since this new mac mini comes with 10.8.1 . Apple care tells will be a solution to this , this week

  9. Steve Medway

    Loads of issues with my 2.3 Core i7

    Running hdmi to dvi monitor and colour and sharpness fine. Do get the 'tv noise/snow' issue and have to reboot my monitor or sleep my machine to fix it but that's just the tip of an annoying iceberg.

    Bought it, powered it on. It refused point blank to talk to my apple wireless keyboard (new style one), yes it had been paired with my old mini but nothing worked so had to resort to a 15 year old usb logitech wireless kbd + dongle just to get to the desktop. Then it required another reboot and several pairing attempts before it finally sync'ed with my apple keyboard. All bluetooth fine since but a major pita during install/first boot.

    Plug any storage into the firewire port and all of a sudden booting from external usb3 devices becomes a total nightmare. Seemingly almost random detection of bootable partitions, having to unplug and replug usb2/3 storage devices and a reboot (sometimes several) before it'll boot from the right drive. Thankfully it then sticks but this thing sometimes feels more unstable than a hackintosh. OS is now via a 64Gb sandforce sdd in a usb3 caddy, internal 1TB used for storage plus an additional 1TB raid0 firewire 800 hardware raid and a 2TB time capsule router/nas.

    On the plus side have stuck 16Gb in it even after the issues and it kicks arse at serving Win and Lin desktop seamlessly with decent 3D support in all OS's. It 'feels' like a hardware kvm combo activated by a swipe of two fingers on my magic mouse or like using wine without the constant compatibility headaches in windows mode. OS X pisses over the competition for seamless triple OS X / Win / Lin integration.

    My old machine:-

    Mac Mini early 2006 CoreDuo 1.66Mhz (upgraded with a 2.16Mhz C2D) & 3Gb Ram

    Running Mountain Lion 10.8.2

    Firmware = Hacked Late 2006 firmware (early 2006 firmware tops out at 2Gb)

    Bootloader = hacked boot.efi to allow booting a 64bit OSX from 32bit EFI (f. u. Apple)

    Gfx drivers (the only 64bit ones compiled for intel gma (f. u. Apple)) 10.6.2 intel gma950 drivers - (f.u. Apple a newer GMA driver for my old mini would allow it to run Mountain Lion perfectly).

    Wireless works fine once the drivers from 10.7.8 simply replace the 10.8.2 ones.

    Internal sandforce 64Gb ssd

    Performance when running Lion = Damn good, just gfx holding it back and not really enough memory for vm's. Compatibility with all usb2/3 and firewire devices I threw at it though even though heavily modified.

    New Machine:-

    2.3 Core i7, 16GB ram

    Running Mountain Lion 10.8.2

    CPU Performance is astounding but the GPU really lacking already, roll on Thunderbolt gfx cards asap.

    Compatibility with storage devices (and bluetooth annoyance) is truly horrid.

    OSX I suspect is not the culprit here, it's just the damn firmware of this wee beastie that needs to be fixed asap. the bugs are damn annoying (I don't expect hackintosh like boot nightmares from Apple) and it's the worse out of box experience I've had of any Apple product I've bought.

    Not a good sign, Apple get your S*** together.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Loads of issues with my 2.3 Core i7 (you have 10.8.2!?)

      My new Mac mini won't actually upgrade from 10.8.1 (out-of-the-box) to 10.8.2, Apple have pulled the mini & 13" rMBP specific build of 10.8.2 and the generic build will not install. It sounds like some engineering post-release is going-on. I was invited last week to beta-test 10.8.3 but was just told today that it won't be ready for testing for a little while longer...

      My mini luckily has zero probs - but that's 'cause I'm stuck on 10.8.1 and I'm using miniDisplayPort to DisplayPort Monitor, (As an avid MacRumors user I read the early posts about blackouts & snow and chose a DisplayPort enabled IPS monitor)

      (Some minis have allegedly been shipped with 10.8.2 but it's unknown which build - click on About This Mac then click on the Version x.xx.x to get the Build version - a search might reveal if this is or isn't a problem)

  10. Ilgaz

    Intel graphics?

    Old Mac mini had a good nvidia gpu after they got their lesson from first generation with Intel junk.

    Now they are back to Intel again? Well, poor customers...

  11. Nick De Plume

    How hard could it be? Doesn't Apple have QC?

    Apple, unlike its competitors, have very few (and tightly controlled) number of devices.

    And the issue has been around for some time it appears.

    So.. what gives?


    On another note, I remember being told by a tech savvy and Apple faithful friend "never to buy any Mk.I (or rev A) of any Apple kit".

  12. V 3

    i7 2.6ghz - minor issues

    I have encountered the screen blackout issue - it is a minor annoyance at the moment, nothing more. I have a 3rd monitor plugged in via USB and - driving 3 monitors, the machine hums along quietly and quickly. That said, I am not using any screen for anything that hits the video subsystem too hard.

    It happily talks to one bluetooth keyboard, but can be iffy with the other. But the keyboard with which it is iffy was also iffy with my 2008 Mac Pro, so not convinced it is the Mac Mini at fault.

    I don't expect new tech not to have minor issues - and as long as they are fixed quickly, don't think much the worse of the maker for it.

    I bought the Mac Mini to replace the Mac Pro after working out what the Mac Pro was costing me in electricity each month. Now THAT was a shock...

  13. TeeTee

    2012 Mini - FAIL

    I'm returning my 2012 Mini 2.6 i7 during the 2-wk period this weekend... It has 2-3 sec blank screen 5-10 minutes after boot up using both HDMI to Samsung TV, and HDMI->DVI Dell 2412m monitor. Also, has exhibited a "snow screen" that is persistent, requiring reboot.

    This issue surfaced way back in June on Win/Linux machines, and it HAS NOT been fixed with Intel Memory Resource Code releases v1.5 and v1.6 (ref. Intel forum). The process is-- the updated MRC is rolled into an EFI update by Apple, so if Intel doesn't manage to fix it, it ain't gonna happen!

    Caveat Emptor, hope there is a recall of this POS for those outside the return period. I'm typing this message on a 2011 Mini 2.5 refurb with Radeon GPU with absolutely no issues ref'd above.

    Note: read the Apple support forums on this-- there's already 27 pages of posts from unhappy boi's.

  14. confused and dazed

    Minor issue - but does need to be fixed

    It too have experienced ~hourly display blank-outs with my new i7 mac mini. I agree that it sounds like a MRC issue and that likely Apple are working it. I did call their help line and indeed they were very helpful. They offered to swap out - but I declined as I suspect that wouldn't fix it and would just entail a load more grief for me.

    So long as it is fixed in the next few weeks, I'll just put up with it. Has kind of taken the shine off an otherwise pleasant purchase though ....

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