About a year ago, we blogged about how to build a dummy dongle to use with a headless Mac mini. This has been a very popular post. Adapters like this trick the machine to behave as if a monitor is attached. This change makes much more use of the GPU. This hardware hack has been great for years but we have something even better that comes with some real benefits.
The fit-headless adapter is a better option in a number of ways:
You don’t have to build adapter. It comes ready to plug into your Mac mini and is completely self-contained. (i.e., no wires hanging on the outside.)
Another benefit is that this adapter uses the HDMI port, leaving your Thunderbolt port available for high speed external devices like a hard drive.
Finally, Mavericks has really dumbed down support for VGA resolutions. Since the last dongle used VGA, you were very limited on the resolution choices and they were all quite small. Since this adapter uses HDMI, you can even choose a 16x9 1080p resolution. (Screenshot) Keep in mind, if you are accessing a server remotely, you might consider keeping it a bit smaller to speed transmission.
In short, this is a much better option in just about every single way. We have a large shipment on the way to our data center so we’ll be able to provide them to customers. If you’re running a server or media mini at home you might want to take a look. The creators will sell a five pack right on their site, or you can also order one right on Amazon.
Macminicolo, a Las Vegas based company, has been hosting Mac minis since their introduction in January 2005. We are the leaders in this niche market and are known for our personal service and advanced data center. We currently host hundreds of Mac minis for satisfied customers located in 56 different countries around the world. Find us on Twitter @macminicolo or on our company blog.