2011 13" MBA with Dell U2711

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by udflyer, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. udflyer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    #1
    Just picked up this Dell U2711 for $849.

    I have it connected Thunderbolt cable to my PC and I get 2560x1440 .. sweet !


    I tried my MBA via the minTB-->DVI --> DVI on the Dell and the Max I get is 1920x1200.

    Any ideas or is that it ?
     
  2. warfed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #2
    Maybe wrong type of DVI cable? As far as I know that kind of resolution requires a Dual-Link DVI cable... or you could use a miniDP to DP cable.
     
  3. Gator Bob macrumors regular

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    Aug 3, 2011
    #3
    FWIW, you can get a refurb 27" TBD for $849. I am amazed at how gorgeous the TBD is with my 2011 13" maxed out Air and the ports are great.
    Whenever TB peripherals become widely available it'll be even better. The TBD also is wonderful with Creative Suite 5.5 and Lightroom 4 in my Bootcamp windows partition. FWIW: My previous display was a 24" Dell 2408 with a matte screen.
     
  4. udflyer thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I agree on the display, but I paid $849 for the Dell which works with both my Macs AND PC's.

    If I was Mac only I would have done TBD.

    Needed the flexibility of the Dell
     
  5. Doju macrumors 68000

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  6. foodle macrumors 6502

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    #6
    A regular single-link DVI cable will not support the full resolution of the monitor. You need to use a dual-link DVI converter (like the $99 one from Apple) and a dual-link DVI cable.
     
  7. Al1n macrumors member

    Al1n

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #7
    Doesn't the Dell have a DisplayPort input? If so, use a miniDP-DP adapter, way cheaper than a miniDP-dual link dvi one. I got one for under 10 bux.
     
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Portland, OR
    #8
    This is correct. I drive my Dell U2711 with a MBA using a dual link DVI adapter/cable. It is $99 from Apple.

    /Jim
     
  9. digitalhen, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012

    digitalhen macrumors regular

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    #9
  10. udflyer thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 3, 2011
    #10
    Thanks. I just bought the cable tonite.

    Works.

    First time I switched to the resolution it held for 5 seconds then went very "snowy".

    I rebooted the MBA and I have been fine since.

    Has the "snow" ever happened to you ?


    So much for my deal on the Dell...
    $849 monitor
    $49 Soundbar
    $99 Apple Cable


    At least it works on both Mac & PC.
     
  11. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

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    UK
    #11
    Doesn't the TBD work with PC's that have DisplayPort?
     
  12. calvol macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 3, 2011
    #12
    Matt, it does not, the TBD only works with TB-equipped Macs/PCs. A friend just sold me his TBD for that reason-- he needed flexibility to run PC-DisplayPort machines with it. Seems like Apple would have made it backward compatible with DP.
     
  13. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #13
    I generally do not have a snowy problem... but I have seen it before. I cannot remember what I did to get rid of it... but I do not think a reboot was necessary. I may have switched from mirrored to clamshell mode. Of the MANY times that I have connected my MBA to my U2711... I have only seen it once or twice.

    I use the U2711 to connect my MBA and my Lenovo X201 at work. At home, I connect my MBA to an ATD and previously to a 2560X1600 30" HP display. I like the ATD better.

    /Jim
     
  14. BAP macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #14
    Do you find that the 2011 MBA and the U2711 provide adequate performance? I am looking for a 27" monitor but don't want to loose any performance in the process. Does the MBA have enough graphic horsepower to do the job, or is a smaller monitor a better bet?

    Thanks,

    Bruce
     
  15. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #15
    I guess that depends upon your application. I was just using my MBA driving my ATD to manipulate a fairly large Aperture 3 library (240GB database with 51,000 images). The storage was on a Promise Pegasus R4 Thunderbolt array, and it was operating great. The data would not have fit on my MBA SSD even if I wanted it to.

    I use the U2711 at work, and for that I am just using standard office applications. My main reason for having it at work is to have a "larger desktop"... it has nearly twice the pixels as the ubiquitous displays that have 1080P resolution (1920X1080). So for me... my application is to have 2560 horizontal pixels so I can have lots of data displayed concurrently... so therefore, I would not consider a smaller monitor for my usage.

    /Jim
     
  16. BAP, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    BAP macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Thanks so much! I wil look into a U2711. Do you think I would get full resolution by going from MiniDisplay to Displayport?
     
  17. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Unless Apple did something deliberately to prevent it, yes. DisplayPort supports that resolution.
     
  18. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #18
    The display port does, but the adapter that goes from display port to DVI or VGA may not...
     
  19. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
  20. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #20
    I use a DP to DP cable to connect my Lenovo X201 docking station to the U2711. It works fine. Mini display port is just a connector change... it is still fundamentally display port... so it should work just fine.

    SInce my single DP input on the U2711 is consumed by my laptop... I use a mini-DP to Dual-Link DVI to connect my MBA to the 2711. If the U2711 had a 2nd DP input, then I would use a mini-DP to DP cable.

    /Jim
     
  21. jonnos macrumors regular

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    #21
  22. Spectrum macrumors 6502a

    Spectrum

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    #22
    Interesting. Using a Dell U2711 (mDP>DP), I find the 2D graphics performance of a mac mini server (i7) with the same integrated HD3000 graphics as the MBAir (assuming it is a 2011-2012 machine) to be poor. The updates of windows are sluggish. Expose, Mission Control, Full Screen Spaces are all juddery. Like it is running at only 10-20 frames per second. Even scrolling large Safari windows is jerky.

    Performance gets better when I use the screen windowed at 1920x1080. I saw the same on a Mac Mini powering a TB in the AppleStore so it seems "normal". I think the HD3000 are not powerful enough for smooth 2D in the OSX (or the graphics drivers are poor). For now I have installed 10.6.8 and Expose/Dock from 10.5 and it is better but still not perfectly smooth.
     
  23. BAP macrumors newbie

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    May 12, 2009
    #23
    How is your experience with more common office functions such as word processing, spreadsheets, mail, web, movies?

    I am looking for big viewing area, but don't want to sacrifice performance. Not a gamer. We will do very little graphic editing. I am wondering if a strong 24" would be better and not overtax the MBA.

    Thanks,

    Bruce
     
  24. Spectrum macrumors 6502a

    Spectrum

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    UK
    #24
    I don't do any gaming, hence didn't realise I needed a powerful graphics card. The computer is really fast. The problem is literally the speed of screen/window updates. It makes most of the animations slighty jerky (fullscreen animation is the worst). Things do not actually move any slower, but the animations themselves have fewer frames. It makes me feel nauseus watching it as everything is juddery, especially on the big screen.

    So, I really think, in my opinion, the HD3000 is NOT fast enough for a large screen. I think even 1920x1200 may be too much for the HD3000.

    One way to smooth out the animation (in SL at least) is to turn off beam sync using "Quartz debug" from the developer tools, but then you get "tearing" of windows as they move.

    If possible, I'd take you MBA to an apple store and try it out for yourself.


     

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