While many are happy with 2 displays attached on their computer, I actually don't quite like having to look either to the left or to the right when I'm working on something... I want a display right in front of me and I want additional displays on the sides for less important stuff.

According to Macworld, the latest Mac Mini 2011 (the version with the Radeon graphics chip) can actually drive 3 displays: 2 through Thunderbolt and 1 though HDMI...

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, the Radeon HD graphics processor in the $799 mini can drive two Thunderbolt displays, daisy-chained, while still handling a third display on the HDMI port, although you shouldn’t expect amazing performance.

If this actually works, I'd be happy to swap out that bulky Mac Pro for a tiny little mac mini...

Now... gotta find 3 identical displays that accept either HDMI or Thunderbolt... And that won't be easy... for some reason there are not a lot of Thunderbolt devices out there... it seems that only Apple has offerings so far... and Apple displays... well... they are just way too glossy for me :p

Anyways, has anyone done this already??

Comments from long ago:

Comment from: Chris

Any update? Were you successful with the 3 display setup? I just bought a Mac Pro and I’m returning it. The Mac mini is really piquing my interest- but I need a 3 display setup.

Another question- with the Mac mini, does it matter if the displays are NOT Apple? I have 3 different displays- 2 Dells and a Samsung.

2011-09-17 20-53

Comment from: Z


I googled around and saw this video of a MBP driving two Thunderbolt displays:


Does anyone have a setup with the Mac mini already and can confirm it works with 3 displays ?


2011-09-23 22-18

Comment from: ejandrich

3x usb-to-dvi cables and 3x dvi input displays then extended desktop and lastly 1x usb hub for all of you usb devices and bluetooth for the keyboard and mouse

2011-12-29 16-59

Comment from: François Planque

USB-to-DVI cannot be a cable. It has to be an external video adapter (card) connected by USB (much more expensive than a cable). Has anyone every tried one of those? What kind of performance do you get? Not for gaming of course, but what about desktop/web apps, flash animations and video? Do you see a difference with built in video adapters?

2012-01-31 18-12

Comment from: FlyingAvatar

You are correct about USB-to-DVI “adapters”, their performance is not good. (i.e. forget about gaming or playing video with them)

A ThunderBolt port, is effectively a mini DisplayPort, to which you could connect one of these:


And get two DVI ports. HDMI can also be converted to DVI with a cable, so three displays may be possible in this fashion.

I would be interested to see someone try it.

2012-03-25 20-30

Comment from: zuco

This guy seems to be very happy with an USB-to-DVI adapter

2012-04-24 18-25

Comment from: Alex

FlyingAvatar, it’s a split output DVI device, meaning you will always get the SAME signal out of both DVI ports.

2012-07-28 00-16