Mac mini m1 monitor: The best monitors for Mac mini in July 2023

7 Best Monitors For Mac Mini 2023 (inc. M1, M2 & M2 Pro Mac Mini)

If you’re looking for the best Mac compatible monitor for a Mac Mini, here we look at the best external displays for the Mac Mini of 2023 including both the Intel Mac Minis and the latest M1 and M2 Pro Mac Mini.

The Mac Mini is a favorite with many graphic designers, video editors, gamers and music producers on a budget because it’s one of the cheapest Macs on the market.

In fact we think the M2 Mac Mini is the best budget Mac on the market in 2023.

Apple even dropped the price of the new 2023 M2 Mac Mini by $100 compared to the previous M1 Mac Mini making it even more attractive.

However, since the Mac Mini doesn’t come with a display included, you need to buy an external display separately.

Here we’ve looked at the best external monitors for the Mac Mini including best 4K and best 5K monitors for all budgets and best alternatives to the Apple Studio Display.

You May Also Like:

  • Best Apple Studio Display Alternatives
  • How To Connect A Monitor To The Mac Mini
  • Best 5K Monitors For Mac
  • What To Look For In The Best Monitors For Macs

With this in mind here are the best monitors for the Mac Mini of 2023:

Quick Navigation

  • 1. LG Monitor 27MD5KL-B Ultrafine 27″
  • 2. LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine 34”
  • 3. Apple Studio Display
  • 4. BenQ PD3220U 32 inch 4K Monitor IPS
  • 5. Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27 Inch 4K UHD
  • 6. Asus ProArt PA279CV Display 4K
  • 7. Samsung 34 inch CJ791 Curved
  • Best Monitors For Mac Mini Comparison Table
  • Can You Use Any Monitor With The Mac Mini?
  • How Many Displays Can I Connect To A Mac Mini?
  • Does The Mac Mini Support HDMI 2.1?
  • Can You Use An iMac As A Monitor For The Mac Mini?
  • Speakers & Webcams In External Monitors

1.

LG Monitor 27MD5KL-B Ultrafine 27″

If you want a cheaper alternative to the Apple Studio Display then look no further than the 27 inch 5K LG 27MD5KL-B UltraFine.

The LG 27MD5KL-B UltraFine 27 inch monitor is one of the few 5K 27 inch monitors on the market outside of the Apple Studio Display and is a great alternative to it.

The LG 27MD5KL-B Ultrafine 27 inch is a 5K Ultra High Definition (UHD) monitor with 5120 x 2880 Resolution and a 16:9 Aspect Ratio.

The 27 inch LG UltraFine 5K display supports up to 218 pixels per inch (PPI) which is the same as the Apple Studio display although only has 500 nits of brightness which is 100 less than the Apple Studio Display.

The LG Ultrafine is a flat-Panel IPS monitor with support for DCI-P3 99% color gamut.

The monitor also features both a built-in camera and a speaker

There are also three Thunderbolt 3 ports which can display 5K video, audio and data simultaneously from a Mac Mini and will also charge a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.

On the downside, the LG 27MD5KL-B Ultrafine 27 inch monitor only has a 60Hz refresh rate but it still performs very well fine for gaming and fast moving media such as when video editing.

You can read our full LG 27MD5KL-B 5K UltraFine 27″ monitor review for more.

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Pros:

  • 5K quality resolution
  • Wide P3 gamut
  • 218 PPI
  • Built-in web camera
  • Built-in speakers
  • Supports volume and brightness control from Mac
  • Excellent alternative to the Apple Studio Display

Cons:

  • Internal speaker quality is poor
  • Webcam quality isn’t great
  • Doesn’t support High Dynamic Range (HDR)

2. LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine 34”

The 5K LG UltraFine 34 inch monitor is the best ultrawide monitor for the Mac Mini and features stunning 5K resolution and 163 pixels per inch (ppi)

LG monitors are some of the best displays you can get for Macs and Apple even helped LG develop the UltraFine series as it contains a very similar panel to the 27 inch 5K iMac display.

You can get full 5K 5120 x 2160 resolution (also known as 5K2K) with the LG 34BK95-W including when connected to the M2 Mac Mini.

One advantage of the 5K LG UltraFine 34 inch monitor is that it supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) which, like Dolby Vision, makes bright and dark parts of an image incredibly intense and contrasted.

It can of course also easily handle 4K video and the wide viewing angles make it an excellent choice for those in desktop publishing or video editing.

You can change the tilt and height on the stand that comes with the LG34BK95U-W UltraFine but you can only add swivel with a VESA stand mount connection.

In terms of ports, apart from the standard HDMI port there’s a dedicated Thunderbolt 3 port with 85W of power which offers DisplayPort Alt Mode.

There are also an additional 3 USB-C ports so there’s no shortage of connection options for the Mac Mini.

The refresh rate of the LG34BK95U-W UltraFine is 60hz but that’s about as good as you’ll find in an external monitor that’s compatible with Macs and good enough for most gaming.

There are even speakers in the LG UltraFine 34 inch 5K but the sound is poor and it’s best to connect some external speakers to it.

There is no integrated webcam in the LG UltraFine 34 inch either although you can connect one via USB-C or even use a digital camera as a webcam.

You can read our full LG 34BK95U-W 34 inch 5K monitor review for more.

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Pros:

  • 5K resolution with 5K2K support
  • 163 ppi
  • 3 USB-C ports plus HDMI and Thunderbolt port
  • Huge screen estate
  • 3 year LG guarantee
  • Supports HDR

Cons:

  • Sound or brightness can’t be controlled from Mac keyboard
  • Swivel requires mounting a stand
  • No integrated webcam

3. Apple Studio Display

It’s hard to argue against the 27 inch 5K Apple Studio Display being the best Apple monitor for the Mac Mini.

It’s made by Apple, it works seamlessly with Macs and has the best color calibration of any monitor on the market.

The Apple Studio Display was released in March 2022 by Apple to go with the amazing new Mac Studio.

Although it’s not cheap at $1,499 it offers a much cheaper alternative to the Apple 32-inch Pro Display XDR which costs an eye watering $4,999.

The Apple Studio Display supports a stunningly high 218 PPI and offers 5K2K resolution with a maximum resolution of 5120 x 2880.

This makes it easily the best 27 inch 5K monitor for the Mac Mini outside of the 5K 27 inch LG UltraFine.

However unlike the 5K 27 inch LG UltraFine, the Apple Studio Display has features only Macs can use too such as an automatic sRGB mode which calibrates color perfectly for your applications which makes it a dream for graphic design.

The Apple Studio Display also has a 12 MegaPixel Ultra Wide camera with Center Stage thanks to a powerful internal A13 Bionic chip.

It also has a music studio quality three-mic array and a six speaker sound system with Spatial Audio which makes it definitely the best monitor for music production on a Mac.

Finally, the Apple Studio Display also comes with a tilt and height adjustable stand although you’ll have to add a VESA mount adapter if you want to add swivel to it.

If money is no object and you need a monitor with perfect color calibration and compatibility with a Mac, you can’t do better than the Apple Studio Display.

If the price is out of your budget, you can also check out our guide to the best Apple Studio Display alternatives for some cheaper options.

For more you can check out our full Apple Studio Display review.

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Pros:

  • The best Apple display for the Mac Mini
  • Supports 5K
  • 3 Thunderbolt ports
  • Automatic sRGB color calibration
  • 12MP ultra-wide camera
  • Three-way microphone
  • 6 internal speakers

Cons:

  • Price
  • Maximum size is 27 inch

4.

BenQ PD3220U 32 inch 4K Monitor IPS

The BenQ PD3220U is aimed at creative professionals and is easily one of the best 4K external monitors for the Mac Mini.

The BenQ is packed with ports and among them are a generous two Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB-C ports, HDMI and DisplayPort.

This means it’s easy to daisy chain other monitors to the BenQ PD3220U and one of the ports will also charge your MacBook.

The BenQ PD3220U also has a special Mac mode to automatically optimize it for use with Mac Minis.

The BenQ PD3220U is an IPS monitor which means In-Plane Switching and uses liquid crystals in parallel to produce richer colors than most displays.

It supports P3 wide color gamut and HDR with a 60Hz refresh rate so it’s suitable for digital work including Adobe’s RGB profile.

The wide P3 gamut of the BenQ PD3220U is ideal for working with Adobe RGB profiled images and RAW photos which covers Rec BT 709 (although not up to Rec BT2020).

Other highlights of the BenQ PD3220U include a convenient HotKey puck adjuster for controls, KVM switch, ability to hot-swap color profiles and even display two profiles at once.

The BenQ PD3220U has recently upgraded the firmware to support 60Hz refresh rates on M1/M2 Macs and updates to macOS Ventura and Monterey have also improved compatibility.

On the downside, the maximum brightness of 350 nits means it may not be bright enough for some in highly lit environments.

The BenQ PD3220U also has internal speakers but like most external displays, the quality is very poor and you’re much better off using external speakers or sound bar.

You can check out our full BenQ PD3220U review for more.

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Pros:

  • Mac mode for better compatibility with Macs
  • Fast user interface access via Hotkey Puck
  • Amazing color depth thanks to wide P3 color gamut
  • Thunderbolt 3 ports for daisy chaining other monitors
  • Lots of other port connections

Cons:

  • Lack of brightness
  • Internal speaker quality is poor
  • No integrated webcam

5.

Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27 Inch 4K UHD

The 27 inch Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is a great all round external display and the best budget monitor for the Mac Mini.

We think it’s certainly the best monitor for the Mac Mini under $500 although the price may fluctuate a touch above that at times.

The 4K display looks great connected to a Mac Mini and makes it ideal for editing photos, watching films, designing and more.

Unusually for a monitor in this price range, it supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) which not even Apple’s own Apple Studio Display supports.

HDR, like Dolby Vision, makes bright and dark parts of an image incredibly intense and contrasted with whiter whites and blacker blacks.

The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q has two USB-C ports and one HDMI port so you can connect it easily to any Mac Mini although there’s no Thunderbolt port.

The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q has a stand that can swivel, pivot and adjust vertically which is another bonus as many external monitor stands don’t offer such flexibility.

If you need an Ethernet connection for your monitor, you should also check out the newer Dell UltraSharp U2723QE which is an upgraded version of this model and allows you to connect the display directly via Ethernet to the Mac Mini.

You can read our full Dell UltraSharp U22720Q review for more.

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Pros:

  • Lots of ports for connectivity
  • Great crisp 4K quality images
  • Excellent color gamut
  • Excellent value for money
  • Supports HDR

Cons:

  • Brightness controls are poor
  • No internal speakers
  • No internal webcam
  • No Thunderbolt port

6. Asus ProArt PA279CV Display 4K

If you need the best in color accuracy outside of Apple’s displays but are on a budget then the Asus ProArt Display is designed with photographers, graphic designers and drawing tablets in mind.

The Asus ProArt Display is available in sizes ranging from 27-inch to 34-inch and the Asus ProArt PA279CV supports 4K HDR UHD (3840 x 2160 resolution).

It also has an LED backlight display with an IPS 178° wide viewing angle panel.

The color accuracy is one of the best things about the Asus ProArt Display with a wide color gamut of 709 and Delta E < 2 color accuracy.

There’s also 2 HDMI 2.0 and a USB 3.1 hub to connect the Asus ProArt Display to a Mac Mini.

For video editors or gamers, there’s also Adaptive-Sync technology that adjusts automatically between 40Hz to 60Hz for animated content or fast action footage.

Asus also include ProArt Presets and ProArt Palettes that allow you to configure and save color settings depending on what you’re working on.

For more check out our full Asus ProArt Display 4K review.

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Pros:

  • Excellent color accuracy for this price range
  • 4K HDR support
  • Good value for money
  • High brightness levels
  • Available between 27 to 34 inches
  • Lots of presets for artists and graphic designers

Cons:

  • No real Adobe RGB support
  • Not suitable for fast gaming

7.

Samsung 34 inch CJ791 Curved

The Samsung 34-Inch CJ791 Ultrawide Curved Monitor was the first curved monitor with Thunderbolt 3 ports and we think it’s the best curved monitor for the Mac Mini.

It’s mainly designed for gaming with an incredibly high 100Hz refresh rate.

There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports which means you can connect not only a Mac Mini but also other Thunderbolt peripherals such as external Thunderbolt storage drives.

The Samsung CJ791 also supports daisy chaining Thunderbolt devices meaning you can connect them all together meaning you only need one Thunderbolt cable connected to your monitor.

The Samsung 34-Inch CJ791 Ultrawide Curved Monitor also includes DP, HDMI and USB ports.

The speakers in the CJ791 are also better than most. It includes built-in 7-watt stereo speakers which are ideal for watching videos, films and gaming.

The curved 34 inch widescreen monitor is ultrawide which gives you the feel of two monitors in one in terms of screen estate.

It also has a contrast ratio of 3:1 compared to the 1:1 ratio of many monitors in this price range which gives crisp, clear contrast.

You can even enjoy Picture-in-Picture by displaying two sources of data on the display by resizing one of the sources up to 25% which you can place anywhere.

Initially you may find that text looks a little pixelated and jagged on the Samsung CJ791 Ultrawide Curved Monitor but if you switch Game Mode to “Always On”, it seems to fix the problem.

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Pros:

  • 2 Thunderbolt ports
  • Curved 34 inch display feels huge
  • Good quality internal speakers
  • Supports Picture-in-Picture
  • 100Hz refresh rate ideal for gaming
  • VESA mountable
  • Supports daisy-chaining Thunderbolt devices

Cons:

  • Picture in Picture tricky to configure
  • Large text can look pixelated without Game Mode on
  • No integrated webcam
  • QHD not as high quality as 5K

Best Monitors For Mac Mini Comparison Table

To see how these displays compare in terms of specification and pricing, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the best monitors for the Mac Mini.

LG 27MD5KL-B 27 Inch UltraFine 5K (5120 x 2880) IPS Display with macOS Compatibility, DCI-P3 99% Color Gamut and Thunderbolt 3 Port, Black

LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine 34″ 21:9 5K 2K (5120 x 2160) Nano IPS LED UltraWide Monitor, 600 cd/m² HDR, Thunderbolt 3 / USB Type-C Inputs Black

Apple Studio Display 27″ 5K Retina Monitor, Standard Glass, VESA Mount Adapter

BenQ PD3220U Thunderbolt 3 Monitor for Macbook 32″ 4K UHD | 100% Rec.709 & sRGB, 95% P3 | IPS | DeltaE ≤3 | Pantone | AQCOLOR | Calibration Report | Ergonomic | USB-C (85W) | USB Hub | Daisy Chain

Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27 Inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) LED Backlit LCD IPS USB-C Monitor (7GZ651)

ASUS ProArt Display PA279CV 27” 4K HDR UHD (3840 x 2160) Monitor, IPS, 100% sRGB/Rec. 709, ΔE

Screen Size

27 inch

34 inch

27 inch

32 inch

27 inch

27 inch

Refresh Rate

Pixels Per Inch (ppi)

Resolution

5K2K 5120 x 2880 Pixels

5K 5120 x 2160

5K2K 5120 x 2880 Pixels

4K 3840 x 2160 pixels

4K 3480 x 2160

4K 3840 x 2160

Ports

1 Thunderbolt 3 port, 3 USB-C ports

Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, 3 USB-C

1 Thunderbolt 3 port, 3 USB-C ports

2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB-C ports, HDMI, DisplayPort

2 USB-C, 1 HDMI, 3 USB-A, DisplayPort

USB-C, 2 HDMI, USB 3. 1, DisplayPort

Brightness

500 nits

600 nits

600 nits

300 nits

350 nits

402 nits

Color Support

DCI-P3 99% color gamut

DCI-P3 99% Color Gamut

One billion colors & P3 wide color

DCI-P3 99% color gamut

DCI-P3 99% color gamut

Delta E < 2 color accuracy

Speakers

Six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio

Webcam

12MP Ultra Wide camera with Center Stage

Special Features

Mac keyboard integrations for controls

Thunderbolt port, 600 nits brightness, integration with Mac keyboard

Face tracking, Studio-quality three-mic array

Mac mode, HotKey puck, KVM switch

Supports HDR, LED Backlight

Color presets, ProArt Palletes

$1,198.11

$999.00

$1,599.00

$1,099.99

$738.00

$478.61

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Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

LG 27MD5KL-B 27 Inch UltraFine 5K (5120 x 2880) IPS Display with macOS Compatibility, DCI-P3 99% Color Gamut and Thunderbolt 3 Port, Black

Screen Size

27 inch

Refresh Rate

Pixels Per Inch (ppi)

Resolution

5K2K 5120 x 2880 Pixels

Ports

1 Thunderbolt 3 port, 3 USB-C ports

Brightness

500 nits

Color Support

DCI-P3 99% color gamut

Speakers

Webcam

Special Features

Mac keyboard integrations for controls

$1,198. 11

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LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine 34″ 21:9 5K 2K (5120 x 2160) Nano IPS LED UltraWide Monitor, 600 cd/m² HDR, Thunderbolt 3 / USB Type-C Inputs Black

Screen Size

34 inch

Refresh Rate

Pixels Per Inch (ppi)

Resolution

5K 5120 x 2160

Ports

Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, 3 USB-C

Brightness

600 nits

Color Support

DCI-P3 99% Color Gamut

Speakers

Webcam

Special Features

Thunderbolt port, 600 nits brightness, integration with Mac keyboard

$999.00

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Apple Studio Display 27″ 5K Retina Monitor, Standard Glass, VESA Mount Adapter

Screen Size

27 inch

Refresh Rate

Pixels Per Inch (ppi)

Resolution

5K2K 5120 x 2880 Pixels

Ports

1 Thunderbolt 3 port, 3 USB-C ports

Brightness

600 nits

Color Support

One billion colors & P3 wide color

Speakers

Six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio

Webcam

12MP Ultra Wide camera with Center Stage

Special Features

Face tracking, Studio-quality three-mic array

$1,599. 00

Buy Now

BenQ PD3220U Thunderbolt 3 Monitor for Macbook 32″ 4K UHD | 100% Rec.709 & sRGB, 95% P3 | IPS | DeltaE ≤3 | Pantone | AQCOLOR | Calibration Report | Ergonomic | USB-C (85W) | USB Hub | Daisy Chain

Screen Size

32 inch

Refresh Rate

Pixels Per Inch (ppi)

Resolution

4K 3840 x 2160 pixels

Ports

2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB-C ports, HDMI, DisplayPort

Brightness

300 nits

Color Support

DCI-P3 99% color gamut

Speakers

Webcam

Special Features

Mac mode, HotKey puck, KVM switch

$1,099.99

Buy Now

Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27 Inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) LED Backlit LCD IPS USB-C Monitor (7GZ651)

Screen Size

27 inch

Refresh Rate

Pixels Per Inch (ppi)

Resolution

4K 3480 x 2160

Ports

2 USB-C, 1 HDMI, 3 USB-A, DisplayPort

Brightness

350 nits

Color Support

DCI-P3 99% color gamut

Speakers

Webcam

Special Features

Supports HDR, LED Backlight

$738. 00

Buy Now

ASUS ProArt Display PA279CV 27” 4K HDR UHD (3840 x 2160) Monitor, IPS, 100% sRGB/Rec. 709, ΔE

Screen Size

27 inch

Refresh Rate

Pixels Per Inch (ppi)

Resolution

4K 3840 x 2160

Ports

USB-C, 2 HDMI, USB 3.1, DisplayPort

Brightness

402 nits

Color Support

Delta E < 2 color accuracy

Speakers

Webcam

Special Features

Color presets, ProArt Palletes

$478.61

Buy Now

Can You Use Any Monitor With The Mac Mini?

As long as the monitor has a USB-C/Thunderbolt port (indicated by the lightening bolts) or HDMI port (which almost all displays have at least one of nowadays) it will work with any Mac Mini including the Intel and M1, M2 and M2 Pro Mac Mini.

This means you can use any non Apple monitor with a Mac Mini – it doesn’t have to be the Apple Studio Display.

Thunderbolt and USB-C use the same cables to connect to a Mac Mini and are generally preferable to HDMI for stability, ease of connection and image transfer speeds.

Thunderbolt and USB-C also support 5K displays with a Mac .

If you want to use the monitor with a MacBook Pro too, Thunderbolt and USB-C connections will also charge MacBooks while you use the monitor.

However, the upgraded HDMI 2.1 port in the latest M2 Mac Minis is considerably more powerful than in the previous M1 Mac Mini.

The HDMI 2.0 port in the M1 Mac Mini could only support a maximum of one 4K display at 60Hz but the upgraded HDMI 2.1 port in the M2 and M2 Pro Mac Mini supports one display at up to 8K at 60Hz or one display of 4K at up to 240Hz.

The HDMI port also means that you can easily connect a TV to a Mac Mini and use it as a display too. If the Mac Mini is connected to an Apple TV, you can also connect to a TV to a Mac Mini wirelessly via AirPlay.

Mac Minis also have an Ethernet port which allows you to connect over a network which is supported by some monitors such as the Dell UltraSharp U2723QE.

For more, check out our guide on how to connect a display to a Mac Mini.

How Many Displays Can I Connect To A Mac Mini?

The number of external monitors a Mac Mini can support depends on which model you have.

Here is a breakdown of how many external displays the different models of Mac Mini can support:

M1 Mac Mini:

  • Up to two displays: One display up to 6K at 60Hz via a Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) port and one display up to 4K using the HDMI 2.0 port.

M2 Mac Mini

  • Up to two displays: One display up to 6K at 60Hz via a Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) port one display with up to 5K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt or 4K resolution at 60Hz over HDMI

M2 Pro Mac Mini

The M2 Pro Mac Mini supports the following combination of external displays and specifications:

  • Up to three displays: Two displays with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt and one display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz over HDMI.
  • Up to two displays: One display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt and one display with up to 4K resolution at 144Hz over HDMI
  • One display: Up to 8K resolution at 60Hz or 4K resolution at 240Hz over HDMI

If the display you want to connect to your Mac Mini only has a DVI or VGA ouput, you can also connect them to an M1/M2 Mac Mini using an adapter:

  • A Thunderbolt 2 display requires a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter
  • A VGA display or projector requires  a USB-C VGA Multiport adapter
  • A DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort display requires a USB-C to DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort adapter
  • A DVI display or projector requires a USB-C to DVI adapter

The M2 Pro Mac Mini clearly has the best support for external monitors.

There are ways of making the basic M1/M2 chip Macs support more external monitors but it depends on the resolution you need and you’ll require a Thunderbolt Hub, Docking Station or third party device.

Intel Mac Mini:

The Intel Mac Mini supports the following combination of displays:

  • Up to three displays:
    Two displays with 4096-by-2304 (4K) resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt 3 plus one display with 4096-by-2160 resolution (4K) at 60Hz connected via HDMI
  • Up to two displays:
    One display with 5120-by-2880 (5K) resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt 3 plus one display with 4096-by-2160 (4K) resolution at 60Hz connected via HDMI

Like with the Apple Silicon Mac Minis, if the display you want to connect to only has a DVI or VGA ouput, you can also connect them to an Intel Mac Mini using an adapter.

Note that as of 17th January 2023, Apple only stocks M2 Mac Minis from new.

The M1 Mac Mini and Intel Mac Mini are only available as older refurbished models from Apple or from third party vendors such as Amazon.

Does The Mac Mini Support HDMI 2.1?

The latest M2 Mac Mini supports HDMI 2. 1. One of the big upgrades in the new M2 Mac Mini was the addition of the HDMI 2.1 port.

Previously both the Intel Mac Mini and M1 Mac Mini only supported HDMI 2.0.

HDMI 2.0 supports up to 240 Hz when using 1080p resolution, 144 Hz at up to 1440p resolution, and 60 Hz at up to 4K resolution.

HDMI 2.1 supports 120 Hz at up to 4K resolution and 60 Hz at up to 8K resolution. If you use a lower resolution than 4K, HDMI 2.1 can even handle up to 240 Hz.

Can You Use An iMac As A Monitor For The Mac Mini?

If you’ve for an old iMac lying around you can use an iMac as an external display for the Mac Mini – but it’s not as straightforward as it should be.

The latest iMacs support up to 5K resolution which is the same as the Apple Studio Display so in theory, it would make perfect sense to use an old iMac with the Apple Studio.

However, Apple dropped what’s known as Target Display Mode for retina Macs like the iMac back in 2014 which previously allowed you to use an iMac as an external monitor with another Mac.

There are still ways to use an iMac as a monitor but there is no method that supports 5K resolution reliably and our advice is you’re much better off getting a dedicated external monitor.

Speakers & Webcams In External Monitors

If you need integrated speakers and a webcam with your external monitor then by far the best external monitor for Mac Minis with both integrated speakers and a webcam is the Apple Studio Display.

With a 12MP face tracking camera and six high fidelty speakers, there’s simply no monitor on the market that can touch it in terms of webcam and sound.

Most external monitors have very poor integrated speakers and many don’t even have a webcam.

Our advice is to use external speakers with an external monitor and for the best quality webcam images, use a digital camera as a webcam with your Mac Mini.

The best monitors for the Mac Mini

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By

Jon Martindale

Apple shook up the computer world forever in November 2020 when it introduced the first Mac lineup with its own Apple Silicon processors. Dubbed the M1, this processor blew professionals and critics away with its seamless performance and impressive benchmarks. The top dog of those new devices was the M1 Mac Mini. With Apple’s in-house processors, the Mac Mini is now one of the best desktop computers you can get, period. But a great computer will need great peripherals, which the Mac Mini lacks out of the box — key among them being a great monitor.

We’re helping out by going through our favorite picks for the best monitor to work with your Mac Mini, starting with Apple’s newest 5K monitor specifically made for Macs, the Studio Display. Read on to learn more and check out other options, too.

Apple Studio Display

Best Mac Mini display

Jump to details

BenQ PD3200U

Best 4K monitor for Mac Mini

Jump to details

Pixio PX275C Prime

Best budget monitor for Mac Mini

Jump to details

LG 34WK95U-W UltraWide monitor

Best ultrawide for Mac Mini

Jump to details

HP Z38c curved monitor

Best curved monitor for Mac Mini

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Dell U3223QE 4K Hub Monitor

Best USB-C monitor for Mac Mini

Jump to details

LG 32UN880-B Ultrafine Ergo

Best adjustable monitor for Mac Mini

Jump to details

Apple Studio Display

Best Mac Mini display

Pros

  • 5K Retina display
  • Updated wide-angle cam
  • Six-speaker array
  • Great color accuracy
  • Automatically pairs with Mac Mini

Cons

  • Expensive, especially with the advanced configurations

Apple’s latest 2022 monitor is designed from the ground up to serve as an external display for Mac products, making it easily the best fit for the Mac Mini. The 27-inch monitor offers a 5K resolution with Apple’s Retina panel technology and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide cam (plus studio-quality mics) for easy web conferences. In a less usual move for Apple, the monitor also comes with an excellent six-speaker sound system that includes Apple’s Spatial Audio support for compatible audio files, making it a great monitor pick if you listen to a lot of music while working, but don’t really like external speakers.

The Studio Display has an option to add Nano-texture glass, which helps reduce glare when working in sunny or bright conditions, and offers several choices for the stand, including a height adjustment design, or a VESA mount. Brightness is on the high end for monitors at 600 nits, and color accuracy is excellent (Apple is using its own Display P3 color gamut to gauge support for a billion different colors). Three USB-C ports are included, and the display can automatically pair with your Mac Mini during setup. All in all, you can see why we’re recommending Apple’s own entry first.

Apple Studio Display

Best Mac Mini display

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

BenQ PD3200U

Best 4K monitor for Mac Mini

Pros

  • Solid build
  • Pitch-perfect color accuracy
  • Sharp visuals
  • Competitive price

Cons

  • Narrow AdobeRGB color gamut
  • Bulky design

A 5K monitor is a dazzling high-end option for extra detail, but many people would be just fine with 4K for their work and play. This BenQ steps up with a spacious 32-inch, 4K design that is excellent for editing or design, especially if you like to make use of the DualView option that makes it easy to view photos or videos side by side on the screen. It also offers 100% coverage of the sRGB color gamut and factory calibration to help with color accuracy when the details are most important.

The 60Hz BenQ PD3200U also comes with a hotkey puck, or a little wheel accessory with several buttons to automatically switch between screen modes. Those modes are specifically designed to help with certain types of work, including CAD/CAM, Animation, and Darkroom. Put it all together, and this monitor has serious utility for a wide range of professional uses.

BenQ PD3200U

Best 4K monitor for Mac Mini

Pixio PX275C Prime

Best budget monitor for Mac Mini

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • HDR, G-Sync, and FreeSync
  • USB-C

Cons

  • Unremarkable design

You’ve already spent plenty of money on your Mac Mini — it’s understandable if you want to save on a compatible monitor. This 27-inch Pixio is an ideal pick for a budget monitor that can still provide plenty of visual capabilities. That includes a 1440p resolution, a 100Hz refresh rate, and support for HDR, plus both G-Sync and FreeSync.

The monitor also covers 90% of the DCI-P3 color space and offers USB-C for connecting and charging the latest accessories. The design isn’t exactly going to blow anyone away, but for these specs at this price, the Pixio gets the job done and can handle a variety of tasks, even gaming.

Pixio PX275C Prime

Best budget monitor for Mac Mini

LG 34WK95U-W UltraWide monitor

Best ultrawide for Mac Mini

Pros

  • Attractive, minimalist design
  • Convenient port location
  • Easy-to-use menus
  • Class-leading image quality
  • My god, it’s full of pixels

Cons

  • Far more expensive than competitors
  • No enhanced refresh rate or adaptive sync
  • Warranty should be longer

LG offers this 34-inch model with a 5K resolution for those looking for a clean design and top-notch image quality. The 5120 x 2160 resolution is backed by a 5ms response time and a 60Hz refresh rate. USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB-C ports all are included with this model, so you don’t need to worry about compatibility.

As we noted in our review, the menu options are very easy to use via the hidden joystick and allow for detailed adjustment of color and image quality. The price is high, but the LG 34WK95U-W monitor really has it all.

LG 34WK95U-W UltraWide monitor

Best ultrawide for Mac Mini

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

HP Z38c curved monitor

Best curved monitor for Mac Mini

Pros

  • Sleek industrial design
  • Beautiful, accurate colors
  • Highly adjustable stand
  • Good connectivity

Cons

  • No FreeSync support
  • No speakers

Curved monitors are great for multimedia lovers who plan on playing a lot of games or watching a lot of movies and TV on their computers. Now that the M1 has finally made the Mac a competent gaming solution, a curved monitor is an excellent option for your new Mac Mini setup. The HP Z38c curved monitor is one of the best curved monitors to come out recently, featuring a massive 37-inch screen for the most complicated projects or immersive entertainment, plus a UHD resolution for rendering as much detail as you need.

With a curved monitor this large, you will need a lot of space to accommodate it. But the HP Z38c curved monitor offers some of the most real estate you can find on a single screen, which can be particularly helpful for more detailed video or sound editing and many similar projects where you need to review a whole lot of information at once — preferably in high-resolution detail.

HP Z38c curved monitor

Best curved monitor for Mac Mini

Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

Dell U3223QE 4K Hub Monitor

Best USB-C monitor for Mac Mini

Pros

  • Large, sharp 4K IPS panel
  • Excellent image quality
  • Truly useful USB-C hub and KVM switch
  • Outstanding build quality and design
  • Standout warranty and support

Cons

  • Expensive
  • HDR support is so-so

Dell’s 32-inch USB-C hub is an ideal monitor for a busy desk, so makes an excellent companion for a Mac Mini model — especially if you need to dock some other accessories while you work. The sturdy design is made to last, with options for adjusting height, tilt, swiveling, and more, while the 4K IPS panel offers excellent image quality and great contrast. It covers 100% of the sRGB gamut and 100% of Rec 709.

In addition to the easily accessed USB-C ports, the Dell U3223QE monitor also comes with HDMI (HDCP 2.2), DisplayPort, four USB-A 3.0 ports, and Gigabit Ethernet. It’s a particularly strong choice if you tend to work not only with a desktop computer like the Mac Mini but with a MacBook also by your side that may need charging while you are busy.

Dell U3223QE 4K Hub Monitor

Best USB-C monitor for Mac Mini

LG 32UN880-B Ultrafine Ergo

Best adjustable monitor for Mac Mini

Pros

  • Ergo stand for easy positioning
  • 4K and HDR10 support
  • USB-C with PD

Cons

  • The Ergo stand isn’t for every setup

This is another excellent, large monitor for creatives, shipping with the “Ergo” stand that allows you to quickly reposition the monitor to any direction, height, or tilt that you want, making it ideal for sharing content with someone or working on a project together. But the display itself is also impressive, with a UHD resolution, support for HDR10, and 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut, making it a detailed and vibrant monitor that will make everything on it look great.

The monitor is also a good fit for your accessories, thanks to the inclusion of a USB-C connection with 60W Power Delivery. While the design certainly isn’t for every desk, it could be just the right solution for professionals with their own customized setup for certain kinds of content.

LG 32UN880-B Ultrafine Ergo

Best adjustable monitor for Mac Mini

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a Mac Mini need a monitor?

Yes. The Mac Mini does not come with a monitor included, so you will need to purchase one separately.

Can you use any monitor with a Mac Mini?

Yes, you can connect the Mac Mini to virtually any monitor as long as you have the proper ports or adapters. The Mac Mini really is flexible, and it comes with two display outputs. One is USB-C/Thunderbolt and the other is HDMI 2. 0. You can get adapters and accessories to convert it to DVI or VGA monitors.

Does the Mac Mini support 4K resolution?

Yes. The HDMI supports 4K up to 60Hz, and the USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port outputs up to 6K at 60Hz.

Can the Mac Mini support two monitors?

Since the Mac Mini has two display ports, it does support two monitors. However, you cannot daisy chain with the Thunderbolt 3 connection. You are limited to one for each. The M1 MacBooks are limited to only one external display.

Can I use a Mac Mini with my iMac monitor?

While prior Mac Mini models had some workarounds to get a Mac Mini running on an iMac monitor, you will have to obtain a separate display this time.

Can you use a MacBook as a monitor for your Mac Mini?

Not reliably. You could use Mac screen sharing or a solution like Luna Display over Wi-Fi if you are desperate, but most workarounds are a pain to get started. It’s best to stick with an external monitor whenever possible. Even options such as using Sidecar with an iPad require you to have a display first to set it up.

How do you connect a monitor to your Mac Mini?

Find the matching port in the back of the Mac mini, either USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 or HDMI 2.0. Plug in both devices (don’t turn them on yet), and then connect those ports with the compatible cable. Then turn your Mini and your monitor on. You also can find USB-C adapter cables that will work with the Thunderbolt 3 port if you are working only with DisplayPlay or other, rarer connections.

Should I choose a curved monitor for my Mac?

Given that the Mac Mini only supports two external displays and the M1-powered MacBooks can only connect to one monitor, a curved display can be a good solution to get more screen real estate. Curved monitors come in a variety of sizes and resolutions, but in general, you’ll want to choose an ultrawide curved display. These generally come in UWQHD resolution, and it’s like having two FHD panels stacked side-by-side. There are several benefits here.

First, curved displays are more immersive and the slight curvature can help immerse you into the content you’re looking at or working on. Second, the wide format means you essentially get the benefit of having two displays, but without the seams of connecting two monitors together. And third, cable clutter is reduced to a single cable running to your Mac. If you’re short on desk space with a large ultra-wide panel, be sure to choose a monitor that comes with a VESA mounting bracket so you can mount the display to a monitor arm or to the wall.

What should you avoid when choosing a monitor for your Mac Mini?

The 2020 Mac Mini has a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port and HDMI 2.0 port for video connections, so your monitor really needs one of those for a proper connection. Monitors that only have older connections will not be a good fit.

Otherwise, it’s mostly down to how you’ll be using the Mac Mini, and this can vary a lot. Artists and photographers will want to look for high-quality panels with plenty of color coverage. Those with additional accessories like MacBooks may want to check for extra USB-C hubs for multiple connections or charging. If you’ll be moving your Mini around frequently, look for a monitor design with easy-to-reach ports so re-connecting it will be less of a hassle.

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Connecting a display to Mac mini

The HDMI and Thunderbolt ports on Mac mini support video output, so you can connect an external display, projector, or high-definition TV to your computer.

Up to two external displays can be connected to a Mac mini with an Apple M2 chip using the configurations below.

  • Connect one display up to 4K @ 60Hz via HDMI port.

  • Connect one display up to 4K @ 60Hz via HDMI and one display up to 6K @ 60Hz via Thunderbolt.

  • Connect one display up to 6K at 60Hz and one display up to 5K at 60Hz through the Thunderbolt ports.

Up to three external displays can be connected to a Mac mini with an Apple M2 Pro chip using the configurations below.

  • Connect one external display up to 8K @ 60Hz via HDMI port.

  • Connect one display up to 4K resolution at 60Hz via the HDMI port and up to two external displays up to 6K resolution at 60Hz via the Thunderbolt ports.

  • Connect one external display up to 4K @ 240Hz via HDMI.

  • Connect one display up to 4K @ 144Hz via HDMI and one external display up to 6K @ 60Hz via Thunderbolt.

If you don’t know how many external displays you can connect to your Mac mini, check the technical specifications. Open System Preferences, choose Help > Mac mini Specifications, and find the Video Support section (you may need to scroll down).

When connecting multiple displays, connect the display with the higher resolution first.

To learn more about using an 8K display with a Mac mini, see the Apple Support article Use an 8K display with a Mac.

If you have an HDTV connected to your Apple TV, you can use AirPlay to mirror your screen. For more information, see Use AirPlay on Mac.

If the connector on the display cable does not fit into your computer port, you can use an adapter (sold separately) to connect. For more information or product availability, visit apple.com, your nearest Apple Store, or another reseller. To avoid product selection errors, refer to the display documentation or consult the display manufacturer. See the Apple Support article Adapters for a Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, or USB-C port on your Mac.

Mac mini device

Required cable or adapter and cable

9000 2 Apple Studio Display

Thunderbolt cable included with the display, or any supported cable Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C).

Apple Pro Display XDR (Mac mini with Apple processor only)

Thunderbolt cable included with display or any supported Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) cable.

Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Display

Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Cable

Display , equipped with a USB-C connector

USB-C cable ( USB 3.1)

HDMI display or HDTV

HDMI cable included with display or HDTV or any supported HDMI cable

Thunderbolt 2 display

Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter and cable included with Thunderbolt 2 display

Display or projector with VGA connector

USB-C VGA multiport adapter and cable included with display or projector

DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort display

USB-C to DisplayPort or USB-C to Mini DisplayPort adapter and cable included with monitor

Display or projector with DVI connector included in display or projector included

External monitor setup.