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Old May 5, 2012, 01:34 PM   #1
JasonR
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Monitor for Mac Mini?

Just picked up a mid-range Mac Mini. I'm using a crappy Dell 20" Monitor currently..and it's just not going to cut it for long. How well does the Mac Mini drive a 27" Display? My Macbook Air (2011 13") struggled to do so.

And any other good options...such as a 24" etc?
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Old May 5, 2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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I used an old Dell 2407 FWP monitor and now the newer Dell U2412M and could not be happier for doing some gaming (Not taxing), internet, photoshop and casual work on them. I'm using the display port cable but also used the dvi cable earlier and no monitor issues to report.

I have not calibrated the monitor. It was just fine out of the box but others have done so for photos

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Old May 5, 2012, 04:38 PM   #3
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The 27" Thunderbolt Display and the Mini work fine and well in my set-up. I'd go for the 27" Thunderbolt Display if you have enough funds.
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Old May 6, 2012, 01:49 AM   #4
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Go on newegg and read the reviews.
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Old May 6, 2012, 04:36 AM   #5
KScottMyers
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The 27" Thunderbolt Display and the Mini work fine and well in my set-up. I'd go for the 27" Thunderbolt Display if you have enough funds.
I'd second that. Couldn't be happier with the Thunderbolt Display.
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Old May 6, 2012, 05:46 AM   #6
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The choice is relatively easy. The best value in a 24" display is easily the Dell Ultrasharp series (e.g. the U2412M). These are great displays - if you like matte screens and if you can live with their design.

If you have more money or want to go bigger, get the 27" Thunderbolt Display. It's one of the cheapest 27" displays with IPS-panel, LED-backlighting and the "standard" 2560x1440 pixel resolution.
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Old May 6, 2012, 07:55 AM   #7
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The Thunderbolt Display is definitely one of the best out there; but glossy screens aren't for everybody.

The other thing is there's no power button. Yeah it turns on/off "seamlessly" with your computer, but with a Mini you might want the computer on all the time (e.g. itunes server) and just want to turn the display off. There are some 3rd party utilities that allow you to put the display asleep on demand without turning the computer off.

The Dell monitors have a power button.

Dell makes a nice 27" display with a matte screen (U2711) and the same resolution as a Thunderbolt display. The Dell uses CFL backlighting instead of LED, but that results in a better color gamut than an LED-backlit screen. You also don't get all the expansion ports, but it does have a wide variety of input ports whereas the Thunderbolt display ONLY works with Thunderbolt macs.

I'm still using an old Dell 24" panel (2407). I just re-calibrated it and it works great but eventually it'll be replaced with a 27", just not sure what kind yet.
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Old May 6, 2012, 08:08 AM   #8
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Actually, regarding the power button, you can assign a screen corner to Display Sleep in System Preferences.

I do recommend the Dell U-series, as they all have IPS and are well-priced.

The Mini won't have a problem with driving any large display, because unlike the Macbook's Intel graphics, it has a discrete GPU.
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Old May 6, 2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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I have a 27" ACD with my iMac and I find it annoying not to have a power button. Sometimes I want just 1 screen to be turned off and the other on. And if you unplug your ACD all your applications switch to the single monitor. Annoying and unnecessary. Definitely form over function.
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Old May 6, 2012, 09:59 AM   #10
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Regarding the power button - I use the keyboard combination shift-ctrl-eject to turn the Cinema Display of. This works just as good if not better than a power button on the display.

Edit: If you use dual monitors, it could be a problem of course. But I bet there's a program out there to turn one screen of in such a scenario.
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Old May 6, 2012, 12:55 PM   #11
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Regarding the power button - I use the keyboard combination shift-ctrl-eject to turn the Cinema Display of. This works just as good if not better than a power button on the display.
Exactly - no power button needed. Works great!

Last edited by KScottMyers; May 7, 2012 at 04:23 AM.
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Old May 6, 2012, 01:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Poki View Post
Regarding the power button - I use the keyboard combination shift-ctrl-eject to turn the Cinema Display of. This works just as good if not better than a power button on the display.

Edit: If you use dual monitors, it could be a problem of course. But I bet there's a program out there to turn one screen of in such a scenario.
Does the monitor stay off even if you are actively sharing the screen to a remote system?

I.e. I turn my mini's monitor off in the basement, but connect to the screen remotely from my laptop... Would that wake the thunderbolt display up? In that scenario I don't need the monitor to turn on.
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Old May 6, 2012, 02:01 PM   #13
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Does the monitor stay off even if you are actively sharing the screen to a remote system?

I.e. I turn my mini's monitor off in the basement, but connect to the screen remotely from my laptop... Would that wake the thunderbolt display up? In that scenario I don't need the monitor to turn on.
Good question. The theory goes like this: The key combination turns off all displays that are hard wired to the Mac, and they stay off as long as you don't move the mouse or press a button. So if you stream a film to your other screen, no problem. If you're working, there's just one solution for the Thunderbolt display: A plug bar with power switch. Just connect the Mini to another plug bar and use the last one only for the Thunderbolt display. This way, you practically have a power button for the Thunderbolt display, although not directly on the display.
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Old May 6, 2012, 02:51 PM   #14
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I was aware of the hotkey that turned the screens off. But indeed, they turn off both and that's not what I want. Also, I've had multiple times that I needed my iMac to crunch a little more/update etc. while I was asleep and I wake up with the bright light of my iMac that magically turned on. (I disabled wake on lan etc.)

Just a little power button. Won't be buying the displays again, the TB/mDP only is stupid, the price is quite steep and no power button… A shame because I like the looks, the cam, the quality of the panel etc. but I don't want it to be a docking station with a monitor attached to it.
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Old May 6, 2012, 04:21 PM   #15
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Just buy a cheap plug bar for 3€ or so and the problem is solved. (Oh, and there are even plug-adapters with power button out if you want to save space/money).
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Old May 7, 2012, 09:23 PM   #16
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No on/off button on Apple thunderbolt display? Typical!! What worst is the glossy though... that's a real shame.

Really, get an ultrasharp display. All the 3D and FX studios I worked at used the ultrasharp series. IPS is a must.
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Old May 7, 2012, 11:59 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Liquinn View Post
The 27" Thunderbolt Display and the Mini work fine and well in my set-up. I'd go for the 27" Thunderbolt Display if you have enough funds.
I still find this puzzling. In spite of its flaws, it makes more sense to me to look at an imac if you're going to spend that much. Budget computer + $1000 display makes very little sense to me. I realize the OP already owns a mini.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CausticPuppy View Post
The Thunderbolt Display is definitely one of the best out there; but glossy screens aren't for everybody.
I dislike glossy, but most people seem to get used to it. On the Apple store, reviews are somewhat divided on this point. If they switched to treated glass, they could probably reach a much more acceptable solution without the classic (minor) drawbacks present in a matte finish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CausticPuppy View Post
Dell makes a nice 27" display with a matte screen (U2711) and the same resolution as a Thunderbolt display. The Dell uses CFL backlighting instead of LED, but that results in a better color gamut than an LED-backlit screen. You also don't get all the expansion ports, but it does have a wide variety of input ports whereas the Thunderbolt display ONLY works with Thunderbolt macs.

I'm still using an old Dell 24" panel (2407). I just re-calibrated it and it works great but eventually it'll be replaced with a 27", just not sure what kind yet.
I need to clarify, better is highly subjective there. Personally I liked some of the really good sRGB displays because the gamut was easier to profile.
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Old May 8, 2012, 08:09 AM   #18
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I still find this puzzling. In spite of its flaws, it makes more sense to me to look at an imac if you're going to spend that much. Budget computer + $1000 display makes very little sense to me. I realize the OP already owns a mini.
It depends on your needs. I love the iMac form factor, but there's a risk- if the system or the display goes bad, you lose both. You're also limited on inputs; if you go with something like the Dell you can also run your XBox or PS3 into the monitor (using component in or HDMI) and maybe a second computer using the other DVI port.


Quote:
I dislike glossy, but most people seem to get used to it. On the Apple store, reviews are somewhat divided on this point. If they switched to treated glass, they could probably reach a much more acceptable solution without the classic (minor) drawbacks present in a matte finish.
I think this depends on where the system is. If you're in a brightly lit room, glossy can be more of a problem. Glossy looks fantastic though if you don't have many reflections.



Quote:
I need to clarify, better is highly subjective there. Personally I liked some of the really good sRGB displays because the gamut was easier to profile.
The difference is quantifiable and measurable. As a percentage of AdobeRGB the Dell scores 95% whereas the TBolt scores 76%.
More users will probably be impressed with the glossy screen though, which makes colors "pop out" more; and not everybody is a graphics pro (I'm certainly not). So unless you view the two side-by-side the gamut difference is probably a moot point, but it is more than just a subjective difference for somebody who really needs that criteria. A graphics pro is probably going to spend much more money on a higher-end monitor anyway.

Now, the Apple and Dell actually use the same panel- so the gamut difference is due to the backlighting. White LED's still don't have as broad a spectrum as CFL's, and the color gamut is very dependent on the quality of the white light being shot through the colored pixels.
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Old May 8, 2012, 08:10 AM   #19
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I am using a Samsung P2770FH 27" display on my 2010 Mini with no issues. It has the Gforce320 graphics. I am curious to check out the LG DM92 monitor if it ever comes out. It has almost no bezel on three sides and looks so sweet!
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Old May 8, 2012, 08:49 AM   #20
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I still find this puzzling. In spite of its flaws, it makes more sense to me to look at an imac if you're going to spend that much. Budget computer + $1000 display makes very little sense to me. I realize the OP already owns a mini.
I chose the TB Display with my Mini simply because its easier to upgrade the Mini year after year when Apple updates the hardware. Plus, I've upgraded my Mini with two SSD drives that can be easily moved to the new Mini when I upgrade. Seems like an easy way to stay current.

Not to mention that it makes for a great display when I plug in my MBA and gives me ethernet, USB and a Firewire port.
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Old May 8, 2012, 09:27 AM   #21
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I use a 30" HP. The monitor is awesome. The Apple dual link DVI adapter, not so much.
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Old May 8, 2012, 09:58 AM   #22
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The difference is quantifiable and measurable. As a percentage of AdobeRGB the Dell scores 95% whereas the TBolt scores 76%.
Yeah, that well may be the case. But I'm a passionate hobby photographer and never had any problem with the Apple LED Cinema Displays. I can say for sure that they don't show you exactly how an image will look like when it's printed, but for on-screen work, it's just great. And honestly, most of my pics came out great when they looked good on the display, so for non-professional work that's probably not a disadvantage at all.
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Old May 8, 2012, 10:48 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by CausticPuppy View Post
It depends on your needs. I love the iMac form factor, but there's a risk- if the system or the display goes bad, you lose both. You're also limited on inputs; if you go with something like the Dell you can also run your XBox or PS3 into the monitor (using component in or HDMI) and maybe a second computer using the other DVI port.
I guess you're right there. How has the longevity been on the recent Apple display generations? I am hoping it has improved. I've seen plenty of them, but none of the new ones that are that old yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CausticPuppy View Post
I think this depends on where the system is. If you're in a brightly lit room, glossy can be more of a problem. Glossy looks fantastic though if you don't have many reflections.
That's why I was saying treated glass as opposed to a typical diffuse bump coating would be cool.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CausticPuppy View Post
The difference is quantifiable and measurable. As a percentage of AdobeRGB the Dell scores 95% whereas the TBolt scores 76%.
More users will probably be impressed with the glossy screen though, which makes colors "pop out" more; and not everybody is a graphics pro (I'm certainly not). So unless you view the two side-by-side the gamut difference is probably a moot point, but it is more than just a subjective difference for somebody who really needs that criteria. A graphics pro is probably going to spend much more money on a higher-end monitor anyway.
Sort of.. NEC is kind of the budget end. I like them, but they can be inconsistent, so I switched to Eizo. I'm not saying wider gamut is bad. I'm saying that it's not always better, mostly because it's harder to control. Prior to Xrite's device (which is just okay in this regard) it was nearly impossible to get an Adobe RGB display (including the Eizos) calibrated properly without something like the discus puck or a spectrophotometer that supports transmitted light. I watched many people try the Datacolor Spyder, and the displays always came out looking a bit green. Keep in mind NEC and Eizo no longer use NEC, Mitsubishi, or Hitachi panels. They migrated to LG like everyone else. The difference is mostly in testing and what they add to it for control. In the case of LED, it's a similar problem, but it seems to get close enough for most people. I don't think this is a problem for the OP. I'm just saying that unless you can manage all of those colors properly, they can be inferior. The initial fear in them was actually banding, but dithering takes care of that, and it's usually unnoticeable if implemented well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CausticPuppy View Post
Now, the Apple and Dell actually use the same panel- so the gamut difference is due to the backlighting. White LED's still don't have as broad a spectrum as CFL's, and the color gamut is very dependent on the quality of the white light being shot through the colored pixels.
That's not exactly how it works . Display gamuts have been boosted by RGB LEDs, but that's totally different It's more likely that it's a slightly different version and tuned differently for Apple but with the same underlying hardware. Panels have become very generic. Most likely the volume isn't there for custom designs. 76% is the same percentage as sRGB. Anyway on a positive note assuming good consistency, the adjustments noted over some of the previous 27" Cinema revisions sound excellent. The maximum brightness was quite high before, and even on low settings it was much higher than I'd want to sit at for a long period of time. He mentioned that it measured more like 6300K rather than 7000, which most people would definitely find more pleasing. If they switched to treated glass and improved the ergonomics, I'd probably want one. The reviewer also liked the NEC PA271W quite a bit, but it's not really necessary for the OP. If he was a photographer, graphic designer, etc. I'd say to look at that, as they've dropped in price to almost thunderbolt display level.
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Old May 8, 2012, 12:10 PM   #24
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I use a 30" HP. The monitor is awesome. The Apple dual link DVI adapter, not so much.
They still haven't fixed the dual link DVI adapter?
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Old May 8, 2012, 01:02 PM   #25
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They still haven't fixed the dual link DVI adapter?
No. I don't think they get enough complaints that they want to worry about it....even though I figure everyone that owns one probably complains about it.

And since I'm using it with an HP monitor and not the 30" ACD, then it's not officially supported.
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