Widespread Display Issue on the New Mac minis

Widespread Display Issue on the New Mac minisSometimes, I get emails asking simple questions that I’m able to answer. And then other times, well, it helps to bring in the community. Has anyone else experienced what our friend Farhan encountered here?

Hello, Chris. I hope you are doing well. I know this is going to be a long email and you are a busy person, but please bear with me.

First of all, I recently started following your YouTube channel and am really enjoying it. I’ve been using Apple devices for about a couple years now and that is how I found you on YouTube.

Anyway, after being a Windows user since 1995, I recently bought my first Mac ever — the newest Mac mini (the $599 model). Soon I ran into an HDMI display issue where the screen goes black for about a second once every hour or so. I tried different HDMI cables and monitors and the same was happening with all of them. I ran to the local Apple Store and got a replacement; the replacement also had the problem. I then got another replacement, which also had the same issue. So I hopped onto Google and surprisingly found a few long threads of people talking about them having the same exact problem with their minis.

And here are a few links to threads of this issue:

I’d like to hear what you have to say about this. Have the Mac minis had widespread troubles before? People from around the globe have jumped onto the forums to see what is going on with their brand new minis. And the Apple Store employees and geniuses I’ve spoken with don’t know about this. The Apple Care agent on the phone didn’t know about this either. Has Apple officially acknowledged this problem? Do you think it will recall all these minis, or will the company release a firmware update with a display driver fix?

For now I have returned my mini. It’s a bummer because I was starting to really enjoy learning the Mac OS. I will most likely pick up a mini again after they have sorted out this mess. I have had a very pleasurable experience with my iPods, iPhones, and iPads, so it is surprising to have to deal with this on my first Mac.

Thank you for your patience in reading this email and I hope you get a chance to respond.

Kind regards,


Article Written by

Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.

  • mikelking

    I’d bet they will release a firmware update.

  • http://www.facebook.com/denny.prijadi Denny Prijadi

    change the cable , my macmini never have this problem so i think this is isolated to few owner of the new macmini.

    • http://nixgeeks.com/ Adam Thompson

      I would say that the cable likely isn’t the issue here, since he stated in the email that he tried several different cables. I would agree with mikelking and say that it’s probably a firmware issue.

      • http://www.facebook.com/denny.prijadi Denny Prijadi

        lucky its only affect minimal number of new macmini user

  • https://plus.google.com/112301869379652563135/posts Ryan Matthew Pierson

    I had that problem with a 13″ MacBook Pro from early 2011. The result was a jumpy mouse. Apple did a firmware update after a while that addressed the issue.

  • StevenJohnson

    I’m actually having the same issue on my 2012 Ivy Bridge Mac Mini (the newest Mac Mini). I’m also noticing a different error, my HDMI to DVI monitor will get the “pepper” (white noise) image out of nowhere. The only way I can fix this is by powering down my monitor and turning it back on. Very strange and I’m praying Apple addresses this in the VERY near future.

  • Divan Visagie

    Probably a firmware thing , sure it will be updated shortly , Apple have been releasing a lot of updates for Mountain Lion lately so im sure it will be coming soon

  • calvol

    I have a BTO 2.6 built Nov-week01 that has both random screen blackout and snow screen using HDMI to Samsung TV and HDMI->DVI to Dell 2412m. The Intel forum reported this back in June and affects all Win/OSX/Linux platforms using HD4000 GPU. Intel has tried to fix with MFC release v1.5 and v1.6 to NO avail, users still reporting issue. Apparently, if Intel is trying to fix with MFC, it’s a memory alloc issue. If Intel finds a fix in MFC, it is released to OEMs like Apple, who then release updated BIOS/EFI. If Intel cannot fix in MFC release, then everyone is screwed, because it’s a hardware issue with the HD4000. I RMA’d my Mini TODAY!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584877368 Bruno Groen

      Here’s a thread about the issue on intel community forums.

      After 2 Mini’s with this issue, i chose a refund aswell.

  • http://pretenseofknowledge.com/ speedmaster

    Running into this one myself, new late 2012 Mac Mini, 16GB RAM (also happened w/ 4), using a 21.5 Viewsonic LED monitor, DVI.

  • http://roughingit.subtlehints.net Wari Wahab

    It’s not just the Mac Minis, I used to have this issue with my PS3, and got it fixed by changing the settings to not enable a feature my TV did not support, and it’s also in my ASRock ION 3D. After playing a video with XBMC, there will be a chance that the screen will blank out a second or two on the menu screen. It can get annoying and I have no idea how to fix it. I believe it’s got to do with the video mode or something. I don’t have this issue with my Lenovo Y570 when plugged in to the TV though.

  • Farhan

    Hey! Thanks for getting the word out. I’ve been following the listed forums and someone correctly made an observation on one of them that it seems that many of
    the people reporting this issue are working with Samsung displays and an
    HDMI output, be it direct HDMI to HDMI or through the included HDMI to DVI adapter.
    Me too, actually. I had it set up on a fairly new Samsung monitor (HDMI directly to HDMI).
    And a good number of people who are using the Mini DisplayPort output
    have said that they aren’t experiencing the flickering screen.

    There are a few who said their Mini DisplayPort died. There are also a few that have talked about having the problem on their Apple monitors too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584877368 Bruno Groen

    I’ve had this happen on two MacMini i7’s – 2.3Ghz. I’m not taking any chances on a 3rd replacement. I opted for a full refund. (Sales channel: Europe / Apple online store).

  • VonMagnum

    I had a few blinking issues when I first got my late 2012 Mini (2.3GHz Quad i7 Server with 8GB ram), but the firmware update seemed to fix it. I’m not using Samsung monitors, however. I have two monitors, however and both the HDMI and Mini-DP output is fine and has been for over a year now.