1.5 GHz PB w/30" ACD?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Gwendolyn, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Gwendolyn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #1
    I would like to buy my husband a 30" ACD for our anniversary. However, he has a 15" Powerbook. From the research I've done on the MR Guides, it seems to be a Revision B (purchased May 14, 2004). There is some doubt as to whether this PowerBook can run the 30" ACD at maximum superhigh resolution. I have searched here (and MRoogle) and checked the Apple specifications website, and not found a definitive answer. Instead, I found some posts saying that only the newest Powerbooks (and the MBP) can do this; on the other hand, I also found some posts saying all that is needed is the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700. We also asked at our Apple store twice, and received different answers each time (the first time "yes, definitely", the second time "no, it only has 128 MB VRAM and doesn't have dual-link DVI" from the Apple Genius (we did not have the laptop with us on either visit)). The Apple specifications don't say that the connector is dual-link DVI, but the connector on the right-hand side of the computer looks (to us) like the one described as "DVI-I (Dual Link)" on Wikipedia. I hate to post new threads, so please be kind, but since Macrumors is so great, I was hoping that you could help us decide for sure whether this will work.

    This Powerbook is 1.5 GHz. It has the extra 128 MB VRAM, and 2 GB regular RAM (if that matters). When he checks the "About this Mac" dialog, it says under "Graphics": "ATI Mobility Radeon 9700".

    We don't want to buy it and then bring it home and find out it is not fully supported, and then be stuck with the restocking fee. Has someone here used this version of the PB with the 30" ACD at full resolution? Or do you know for sure if it is possible? I didn't consider asking the Apple store whether we could bring it in and hook it up to one of their ACDs in person until after we had gone home and the store was closed. The computer is here, so please let me know if I need to provide more information. Thanks so much for any help!
     
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #2
    The 9700 with 128MB VidCard will power the 30" display -- the 64MB version will not. You're all set. :)
     
  3. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #3
    Your PowerBook won't support the 30" ACD.

    It only has a regular DVI out, not the dual-link port that the last revisions of the PowerBook and the MacBook Pro has.

    From the information you give I'm guessing the screenshots below (courtsey of MacTracker) relate to your PowerBook - you can see that the Video-Out options are only DVI and SVideo, not enough to power a 30" ACD.

    You would have no trouble running a 23" ACD though.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #4
    Not on her revision. Her revision can only power up to a 23" ACD.

    It was changed in January 2005 such that the 128MB 9700 had a dual-link output but hers was purchased in April 2004 and as such she can't run the 30" display.
     
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #5
    Crap, I think you're right. My version is from the 1.5/1.67 generation not the 1.33/1.5 generation. :(
     
  6. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #6
    The Genius staff members are usually dead-on. They remember exact dates and revisions for what they can technically do and what parts are inside.

    Good call on checking the revision dates Chundles, and sorry about not getting the 30". :(
     
  7. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816

    ImNoSuperMan

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    #7
    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  8. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a

    ZoomZoomZoom

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #8
    My what a lucky man.
     
  9. Gwendolyn thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #9
    I see, so what you're saying is that even though the graphics card has the same name as the one used in the later Powerbooks, there were a couple of different revisions of this card, and only later versions of this card have the capability to do dual-link DVI. No wonder this has been so confusing--you would think they would change the name of it when they were adding such different functionality. I really appreciate your help--thank you!

    Usually I'd give them more benefit of the doubt, but this one seemed pretty flaky since his primary reason was that it only had 128MB VRAM, and I knew that the 1.67 GHz PBs with 128 MB VRAM could run it. He only brought up the dual-link DVI business as an afterthought. So I had to come here to get a 3rd opinion :)

    Oh well, it was worth looking into! And thank you! It's kind of disappointing, but at least we saved the restocking fee.

    Not so much now, he is stuck with his CRT until his laptop is replaced and makes a 30" a viable option. :eek: I think he'd rather have a 30" later than buy a 23" now and wish it were a 30"... it's a lot of money to spend just to settle. I can't say I fully understand the allure of the huge screen myself--I use a 12" PB :p The price drop made it an attractive option, if it would have worked out.



    Thanks again for the help!
     
  10. worriedmac macrumors regular

    worriedmac

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    #10
    Chundles, whats the program your using for that spec readout of your computer? I'm in dire need of understanding whats under the hood on my powerbook. Ta!
     
  11. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #11
    MacTracker
     
  12. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816

    fivetoadsloth

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    #13
    yeah, but id say get him the 23 inch it would be an amazing anniversary present and i doubt hell be wishing for a 30"
     

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