Mac Mini and Studio Display

A user purchased Mac Mini M2 Pro (2023) with 3 Apple Studio 27'' 5K Displays. An Apple store happily sold him everything ensuring that it will "just work". Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. Although Mac Mini M2 Pro does support 3 displays, Apple tech specs page says the following:

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.

This seemed acceptable to the user and he purchased HDMI to Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C 4K cable to connect the third screen.



Sadly, Mac Mini was having none of it and was refusing to recognise the third screen when connect with HDMI - Thunderbolt cable. After further research it appears these Apple Studio displays can only be connected to native Thunderbold video ports and will not accept anything else.

Since the user was insisting on 3 screens and native/supported Apple solutions, workarounds such as DisplayLink were out of the question. This left him with 2 choices:

  • Return one of the Apple Studio Screens and purchase a third-party 4K screen with native HDMI support.
  • Return Mac Mini Pro and purchase Mac Studio M1 Max / Ultra which supports up to 4 5K Thunderbolt displays.


February 2023
Mac Mini M2 Pro (2023)
Apple Studio 27'' 5K


One comment

  • I have exactly the same problem! I bought a Mac Mini 2023 M2 Pro and previously read that you can connect 3 displays.

    I called Apple Support and asked if the Mac Mini 2023 M2 Pro also works with 2xStudio Display (5k) and one time Pro Display XDR (6k). They told me that would work!

    Exactly these 4 Apple devices I now have here: Mac Mini 2023 M2 Pro, 2xStudio Display, 1xPro Display XDR. I think about the price for everything I do not need to say anything!

    Fact is: 2 displays work, no matter how you connect the third one (Thunderbolt 4 Element Hub tried). No chance! 

    TB4 on HDMI does not work at all, if you connect via Thunderbolt 4 Element Hub all 3 to TB4 come at least times 3 shining points on the third, but that was it!

    I have certainly spent 10 hours on the phone with Apple, tens of hours waiting for promised callbacks, which then did not come on the day, and tens of hours listening to terrible music on hold! Again and again the employees have told me they will find a solution in the end. Nothing was at the end!

    As a gesture of goodwill, I was offered to return the last purchased Studio Display (I had 3 days to do so).

    I have always mentioned that I would like to use the 3 displays! Offer to trade the Mac mini and buy the Mac Studio BUT the Mac Mini M2 Pro is too new, you can not trade! 

    I am really a big Apple fan but this was really a horror experience. For weeks I was held up (the developers need more time, they said). At the end was then simply: "As a gesture of goodwill, you can send back the last purchased Studio Display within 3 days"!

    I would never have expected that from Apple! I do not want anything for free, I was even ready to pay again properly on it for a Mac Studio (then there was the old no longer and I was also ready to pay for the new properly on it). But what really bothers me is that I just recently bought a Mac Mini 2023 M2 Pro configured to the limit, which would then just sit in the corner! Apple support has confirmed that it will work with the composition!

    I did not want a refund, I would have given him at a bargain price and bought the Mac Studio but no, nothing!

    3 different support staff members from Apple told me "I make this my personal case"! We find a solution and everybody is happy in the end! I should even send my bills from the last 6 months, which I bought at Apple, so that they can show that.

    All done, total 16.900 € and in the end they gave me as a gesture of goodwill 3 days to send the display back!

    I can almost laugh about it! Clearly, a company like Apple, almost 17.000 € is not interested but not the slightest concession, instead my time is massively taken up and wasted!

    So bottom line: You can connect 3 displays with the Mac Mini 2023 M2 Pro! BUT one of them can not be from Apple! 

    SAMSUNG 8K TV works as a third display without problems. LG Ultra Wide Screen works without problems! And so on.....but not from Apple!

    It just must not be an Apple display! The 3rd display in the bundle must be from a brand other than Apple, then you will be happy with it! 

    Embarrassing Apple! And shame on you for your empty promises!

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