27" 5K inch Imac (2017) & Cinema Display as 2nd Monitor

Discussion in 'iMac' started by amalmic, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. amalmic macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2019

    I have a 27" 5K inch Imac (2017) and I am considering an Apple Cinema Display as a second monitor. I need to know from those of you guys who have the same setup how does the text look on the Cinema Display. Is the difference in screen resolution annoying? I am a translator and work only with text and translation software and I am very happy with the resolution of the 5K iMac.

    Thought about buying a 21.5" iMac as a second monitor, but not sure if this would work.

    Any recommendations regarding the model of the Cinema Display? Or other external, not so expensive, matte monitors?

    My ideal setup would be to have 2 other small monitors.

    Thank you all so much in advance!
  2. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    I have an older Apple Cinema Display in use on my wife's computer; never thought to try and pair it up with my 27" retina iMac. I get annoyed when I have to use her computer; heck, I get annoyed when I go to work and use the standard monitors there, too. High pixel density displays raise your standards. I respect that some people aren't overly bothered by it, though.

    Question for you: why get an Apple Cinema Display? From what I can see, for the cost of the ACD you could buy something like a LG 24" 4K monitor. I had one (similar model) that I used with my MacBook for a few months, and I can't say that I felt any huge difference compared with my iMac when I returned to using my iMac, other than the difference in screen size. They do make 4K 27" monitors as well, but having a 27" 4K screen side-by-side with the 27" 5K iMac display might be a bit more noticeable... although it still wouldn't be as noticeable as the Apple Cinema Display. If you're favoring the Apple Cinema Display because you like the idea of being able to plug in devices into the monitor, LG does also offer a version that has USB inputs (I can't find one in 24" on Amazon at the moment, but I did see one a few months ago - you can probably find it if you look a bit harder than I am). Alternately, you could just get a separate USB hub for a similar benefit.
  3. Cruz3LT macrumors member


    Jun 24, 2019
    Seattle, Washington
    The height will be different and the resolution since the Cinema Display isn't 5k. But it wouldn't be too bad. I have a 2013 iMac 27" that I paired with the 27" Thunderbolt Display and there was the height issue that I just didn't like, so I found a cheap 2011 27" iMac that I can either use as a second display or still as a computer in itself. The monitor height between the 2 are identical. I have them connected with a thunderbolt cable.
  4. mikehalloran macrumors 68000

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Which Cinema Display?

    Not that it really matters. They seem to go for $300–400 used, generate too much heat and don’t have great resolution/

    There are 27” 4K monitors for $250 if you shop around. A USB-C to DisplayPort or HDMI cable is all you need to connect. These support the same resolution choices as the 5K on your iMac though the resolution isn’t quite as sharp—yes, side by side, you’ll notice the slight difference.
  5. amalmic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2019
    I was considering the ACD after reading negative reviews about many 4K monitors; flickering, bleeding or having dead pixels after some months. I will look into the LG 24" 4K monitor. Thank you!
  6. amalmic, Aug 13, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019

    amalmic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2019
    I will be searching for a 27" inch iMac on eBay Germany although my experience with eBay isn't that great. In that case, I would just have one extra display not two. Thank you!
  7. amalmic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2019
    Idea of a ACD dropped; will be using the monitor in Africa. Thank you :)

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6 August 12, 2019