27" ACD vs 27" Dell Ultrasharp

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by fearoftigers, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. fearoftigers macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2010
    What do you think fellas, which is the better monitor?

    I'm just running Logic but want one of these for the resolution.

    Which one should I buy?
  2. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    According to Anandtech's review, Dell is a better performer overall, with more accurate color, wider gamut, better contrast, etc.

    But Apple's does look have better design, MacBook friendly cable management, speakers, and webcam.
  3. gameface macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2010
    Boston, MA
    I recently got in a big argument over this with a few other members. And, I'll stick to my guns saying the Dell smokes the Apple. The Dell U2711 is what I use for my system monitor in my home suite and couldn't be happier..
  4. amarcus macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2008
    London, UK
    While I can't make the decision for you... I can list the points worth considering:

    ACD vs. Dell

    • Glossy vs. Matte
      If you can't control your lighting, go with the dell.
    • Limited connectivity vs. Loads of connections
      If you need to hook up other devices i.e. PS3/xbox go with the dell
    • Fixed stand vs. Adjustable stand
      If you need to adjust the height of your screen, go with the dell
    • Docks with a macbook vs. No docking
      If you need to charge your macbook and/or require integrated external speakers/webcam etc. go with the ACD.
    • Normal gamut LED backlight vs. Wide gamut CCFL backlight
      This one is entirely dependant on your own needs. So go with what you need.

    Otherwise, I would go for the ACD as in my opinion it just looks more stylish and has better resale value. Plus, I've yet to have a problem with apple's support.

    Hope this made your decision a little easier,

  5. Eric-PTEK macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    Wow I thought the Dell was a smoking piece of poo.

    Buy an ACD, goto Lowes and get some of that frosted glass stuff, spray the front of your ACD and put a Dell sticker on it.

    The AG coating ruined the monitor for me.
  6. fearoftigers thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2010
    Thanks Adam, this is really good advice.

    I actually think I'm going to go with the Dell. Largely because I have a PC with all my old tracks on that I occasionally want to go back to, so it'll be more ergonomic to have just one monitor and a KVM switch, rather than keep my old screen permanently set up.

    Also I do have fairly sensitive eyes and find I'm often having to turn down the contract on displays, so a matte would be better suited.

    It's a shame because the ACD does look so good but that's really the only advantage at the moment.

    Thanks again for all your advice.

  7. Noctilux.95 macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010

    I can't do my work looking at a "dell" logo all day.
  8. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    That's funny because I can't do my work all day looking at my ugly face in the glare of a glossy mac monitor.:D
  9. fearoftigers thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2010
    Ha, I'm with you both here. The Dell logo is slightly depressing, it reminds me of working in a depressing office. I wonder if it can be removed? If not I think I'll make my own logo out of paper.

    But yes it is preferable to seeing my big moon face looking back at me.
  10. nikonsean macrumors newbie


    Jul 15, 2010
    For close to the price of the Dell u2711 you can get the HP zr30w and it is awesome. It can connect to a PC via DVI-D and the mac via displayport. I love mine. When profiled @ 120 lumens it uses 77 watts.
  11. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    What about Dell's 3 year advance exchange warranty and zero dead pixel policy? Blows away Apple's 1 year warranty
  12. Ashok0 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2010
    I am a former DELL U3011 owner and I ended up trading my DELL for an ACD27". The U3011 was the better monitor in terms of functionality, but for me personally the strong anti-glare coating was a total deal breaker.

    The U3011 is a very sharp looking display, but when you have bright colors on the screen the AG coating creates strong "sparkle" effect. It's kind of like you're looking at your screen thru a window. This may not be a problem for some, but for me the AG coating prevents the U3011 from being a total ACD27" killer.
  13. sswitze1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    ACD vs Dell

    I actually have an alternative perspective for people to consider. I have an office with variable brightness at home and do occasional photo work. I have a 27" ACD and a 24" Dell U2410 (IPS) monitor in a dual setup. Both are great monitors and I actually adjust my use depending on what I am doing and the amount of light/glare. I suspect a lot of people would benefit from a combination of glossy and matte displays. I find the glossy looks great, particularly with games and video. Photo editing with extra light is difficult with the glare, and I use my matte display. If the room is darker, both displays work great for photo's. The real other ACD benefit is the LED. My dell takes awhile to warmup everytime I use it before the screen is optimal. The ACD is instantly at its best which makes a difference in some situations.
  14. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    Certainly would swing it in favour of the Dell. Apple warranties suck, they should be different and offer 3 year warranties on computer products (not just for students)
  15. fearoftigers thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2010
    Well my Dell U2711 Ultrasharp arrived today and lo.... it is good!

    It doesn't have the in your face wow factor of the ACD but it is much softer on the eyes and I think it will be better to work on for long periods of time. No reflections either which used to drive me crazy on the 27" iMac.

    I actually like the Dell design, it's slick a nice looking monitor, has adjustable height and tilts left, right and up and down.

    Ultimately my decision came down to function over form. I run a studio not an Apple store or a tech museum. For me it's about making music, not getting hot and sweaty over Jonny Ive's designs - as pleasing to the eye as they are.

    I wonder if Apple designed a chair, would people buy it? Yes I think they would, so it would match their iPhones, Macbook etc.

    The one thing that is rubbish about it though is the Dell Logo, it's such a crap brand in many ways. I'm going to copy over it and make it my own.
  16. linux2mac macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2009
    "City of Lakes", MN
  17. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    Good to know, thanks!

    I'm about to invest in a 27" monitor and am debating both U2711 (Dell) and the ACD 27" (same panel, different backlighting, etc).

    Have you ever used this:



    If so, can you - on either U2410 or 27" ACD - differentiate all of the dark boxes? (Shadow detail is the one thing I cannot find conclusive results on, from the various review sites I've looked at that actually show any technical details...) Or anyone with a U2711...

    I also do photography, often in dark situations and crushed blacks are a no-no.

    (I will be upgrading from an LG IPS236, which is more or less on par with a Dell U2311...)
  18. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Shadow detail is a really tough issue. Also if you look at displays with 10 bit displayport, just keep in mind that Macs do not support this feature aside from a couple older mac pros under Leopard (not snow leopard, the original leopard) which tends to be bad for shadow detail. I'd try hardforum on this rather than a Mac enthusiast site. The Apple display does take time to warm up too (contrary to the statement in the other post), and it's difficult to profile as many colorimeters don't work or don't work well with LED backlighting. I can't stand reflective displays. The downside to anti-glare is that these are all LG panels these days, and LG uses cheap coatings that produce residual specular highlights if too much light falls on them. Some of the older Eizos and NEC displays used to have kind of a soft matte coating. It didn't completely block reflection, but in controlled lighting, it wouldn't mirror things just from the display's emitted light like I experience with the Apple displays. Displays in some ways have gone backward the past couple years. I think it's due to manufacturers trying to cut costs. I wish I could be of more help in your comparison, but just remember you need to compare something that enables a workflow. This means monitor + colorimeter or spectrophotometer + calibration software. Without testing a full setup, you're not really testing. Also 10 bit displayport would give you better shadow detail, but as I said you can't get that under OSX (one of my biggest irritations with Apple).
  19. flynz4, Mar 24, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Great webs site.

    I have a Dell U2711 at work and an Apple Thunderbolt display (ATD) at home. I can test both for you. I do not have an ACD... but I think the ACD and ATD should be pretty similar. I'll be away through the weekend, but I'll try to run the tests on Monday (time permitting).

    I'll assume that you want me to use the same computer for both tests. The only one that I'll be able to use for both is my 11" MacBook Air. If you want, I can also test the Dell U2711 with a Lenovo X201.

    I use a MDP-to-DualLinkDVI adapter to connect my MBA to the U2711... because the DP input on the U2711 is used for my X201. On the ATD, I obviously connect my MBA via TB.

    I bought the U2711 for my office because I needed multiple inputs for both my PC as well as my MBA. At home, I use the ATD only with my MBA. Once I upgrade my iMac to the '12 version, I'll possibly use the ATD with the iMac in a dual display configuration.

  20. kirkster501 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2011
    Nottingham, UK
    A very timely thread here guys.....

    I have a i7, 32 Gig PC for emulation and VM purposes so need a to use a PC... :rolleyes: However, I am buying a new Graphics card for it soon so have output options to research :)

    So looking at a high res monitor. I like the ACD 27. Also, I am going to buy a Mac mini and a Macbook Pro provided to me by work.

    How would all this lot hook up to the ACD 27?

    Recap. ACD needs connections to the PC and also Mac Mini (2011 refresh) and MBP (late 2011).

    Me thinks the Apple components could all be daisy chained with Thunderbolt? But then how would the PC connect? There's no TB or DVI on the ACD.....

    Also, what about a KVM for this lot? I can live with separate K+M for the PC but would want the mini and MBP using the same K+M

    Would the Dell 2711 be a better choice? Clearly, I need to research this some. But any pointers to set me off on the right direction please?

    Thanks Steve
  21. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR

    If you want all of these connecting to a single monitor, then I think you should skip the ACD and go with the U2711. The ACD has a single input, where the U2711 has many.

    Neither the VGA nor the HDMI inputs will be able to drive the full resolution of the monitor, so you should immediately discount those. The HDMI might be useful if you want to input a 1080P TV video stream to the monitor... but I would not recommend it for any of your computers.

    For high res inputs, you have two dual-link DVI inputs, and one DisplayPort input. All three can drive the full 2560X1440 screen resolution of the U2711.

    You will not be able to use the Thunderbolt outputs of your computers (Mac mini, or MBP)... but both support mini-displayport outputs. To connect either to the DisplayPort input... you will need a simple mini-DP to DP cable. They are inexpensive and easy to use. To connect either Mac to a dual-link DVI port, you will need a miniDP to DL DVI converter which is available for $99 at Apple.

    My recommendation would be:

    MBP: Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable
    Mac Mini: Mini DisplayPort to Dual Link DVI converter
    PC: Dual Link DVI to Dual Link DVI direct connection

    This gives you connectivity to all three computers using just one of the more expensive ($99) converters. It keeps the single converter on the more stable Mac Mini. It means that you should look for a video card that has a dual link DVI output that supports 2560X1440 output.

    Good luck in your project.

  22. tortex macrumors member

    May 21, 2009
    My needs (I bought a couple of weeks back) were:

    1. Nice cable that charges and connects easily to my MBP.
    2. Has to look really pretty.
    3. Has to look so pretty that my girlfriend would not think I'm nuts for dropping that much cash on it.

    Easy decision for me! If I came home with that Dell, she'd go 'what's that ugly POS doing in my house' and I'd be forced to work from the garden.
  23. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Apple displays are certainly pretty. But the glassy display and the lack of ergonomic adjustments except for the essentially useless "tilt" are deal killers for me...

    I like NEC displays. There are thirty CCFL backlit LCDs available starting at $300 MSRP. NEC displays are often available at discount prices from retailer like B&H Photo. They are built like tanks compared to Dell displays. Excellent reputation for quality, 4 year warranty, anti-glare (matte) panels and all the ergonomic adjustments necessary to get it just right.
  24. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    As promised, I ran a series of tests today.

    TEST 1: Dell U2711 in well lit office:

    The test instructions said to test in a darkened room. Unfortunately, my monitor is in a fully lighted office environment, and turning off the lights is not an option. I received the same results when using my Lenovo X201 and my MacBook Air. The following numbers represent the specific square number in the test.​

    • 1-2 Not visible
    • 3 Maybe visible (but not obvious)
    • 4 Faint
    • 5+ Clearly visible

    Test 2: Apple Thunderbolt display in a very highly lit room

    Because I could not dim the office in test 1, I decided to test the ATD in my home office which had a window directly behind the monitor. It was a very bright day, so the environment was actually quite a bit brighter than my office environment in test 1.​

    • 1-10 Not Visible
    • 11 Maybe visible (but not obvious)
    • 12 Faint
    • 13+ Clearly Visible

    Test 3: Apple Thunderbolt display in a darkened room

    This matches the environment specified in the test​

    • 1 Not Visible
    • 2 Maybe visible (but not obvious)
    • 3 Faint
    • 4+ Clearly Visible

    My conclusion is that the ambient light in the test environment makes a big difference. I really cannot duplicate the environment exactly... but I hope these test help you make your decision.

  25. kirkster501 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2011
    Nottingham, UK
    Fantastic reply Jim !!! :)

    Thanks so much.

    Rgds, Steve

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