30" ACD - Trust the Buying Guide?

Michael73

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2007
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I'm thinking about upgrading my monitor as I'm doing more and more color intensive work so I'm looking for both an IPS display as well as a monitor capable of a 2560x1600 resolution. I took a look at the buying guide for the 30" ACD which of course says, "Don't Buy - Updates Soon" which is then followed by, "Days Since Update 1049 (Avg = 230)".

This of course leads to the inevitable question, should I put off the purchase or not?

The ACD will be hooked up to my MP and powered by my 8800GT (but thinking about a GTX 285). I don't really need extra inputs on my monitor. For as often I need inputs, I just use the front of my machine. I really just need great resolution and color accuracy. I don't game so I'm not going to notice the difference between 14ms, 11ms or even 6ms response times. the bottom line is I can live with my current monitor a little longer but would like to purchase something within the next 8-12 weeks.
 

Michael73

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2007
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Circuit City online has them for 700 or so after bing cash back. They are refurbished.
Thanks. As good a price as that is, I have a couple of issues with it. First CC has no more retail stores so any issues and you'd have to ship it back which is both expensive and inconvenient. Second, I plan on buying AppleCare which I suspect this isn't eligible for.

Does anyone know how much AppleCare is for a 30" ACD?

Can anyone recommend a good color calibrator? The Pantone model in Apple Stores and online doesn't get high marks. Does the color calibrator in OS X suffice or is there a better tool out there?
 

jampat

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2008
682
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Can anyone recommend a good color calibrator? The Pantone model in Apple Stores and online doesn't get high marks. Does the color calibrator in OS X suffice or is there a better tool out there?
I have used Pantone Eye One 2 LT's and a monaco optix xr. Interestingly they calibrated slightly differently, I prefered the Pantone, so I sold the Monaco.
 

Michael73

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2007
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AppleCare for all monitors is $79
Is this only for ACDs purchase at Apple Stores or Apple.com? I know that places like BestBuy.com. Frys, etc. sell ACDs. Could you buy an ACD at one of those places and then purchase the AppleCare later from Apple?

I have used Pantone Eye One 2 LT's and a monaco optix xr. Interestingly they calibrated slightly differently, I prefered the Pantone, so I sold the Monaco.
Did you ever try using the ColorSync Utility in OS X? If so, how well does it work compared to the Pantone and did they calibrate differently?

Back to the original question...so is everyone in agreement here that the chances of a new 30" display showing up in the next couple of months is remote? If so, I may run out and get an ACD in the next couple of days.
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,708
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"Between the Hedges"
Back to the original question...so is everyone in agreement here that the chances of a new 30" display showing up in the next couple of months is remote? If so, I may run out and get an ACD in the next couple of days.
You never know what surprises a day will bring
But in my opinion, yes, remote
 

SwiftLives

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Dec 7, 2001
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Charleston, SC
The 27in. iMac is $100 less than the 30in. Cinema display - and it has the same horizontal resolution. It would be like getting a free computer with your monitor.

Of course, the iMac displays have a whole host of issues right now, so that may not be a viable option is color accuracy and actually working are important to you.
 

Michael73

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2007
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The 27in. iMac is $100 less than the 30in. Cinema display - and it has the same horizontal resolution. It would be like getting a free computer with your monitor.

Of course, the iMac displays have a whole host of issues right now, so that may not be a viable option is color accuracy and actually working are important to you.
:D

But can the iMac be connected to my MP and used as an external monitor?

And then there are those pesky production issues...as I mentioned this is for work purposes so I'm looking for maximum up-time too.

My workflow is such that I'm a hardcore user of Spaces with 9 in use most of the time. Part of the point of upsizing the resolution is to increase screen usability and real estate.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
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The 27in. iMac is $100 less than the 30in. Cinema display - and it has the same horizontal resolution. It would be like getting a free computer with your monitor.

Of course, the iMac displays have a whole host of issues right now, so that may not be a viable option is color accuracy and actually working are important to you.
Good point in a way. 27" iMac is glossy, prone to problems currently, and may not be necessary for his needs. If he has a MP there's no reason to buy a 27" iMac unless he's getting rid of the MP. I have the MP he has and was considering the switch but the 30" ACD is really the display I choose to work off of.

I don't think you can link the imac and the MP together either.

Edit: the OP asked the question. Michael, I would get the 30" ACD or the 30" Dell if the aesthetics aren't super important to you (the dell is nice but it's not the ACD). If you can't get the ACD for semi cheap then maybe Dell is in the cards. Both use the same panels.
 

Transporteur

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Nov 30, 2008
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I don't think you can link the imac and the MP together either.
Yes you can use the 27" iMac as a screen for the Mac Pro.
Actually there are pictures around here showing a 27" iMac as a main screen, surrounded by two 24" ACDs on a 2009 Mac Pro.

But well, I would definitely miss the 160 pixels in height plus the matte finish of the Cinema.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
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I guess with target display mode it is possible with the proper cables. I guess in my eyes it's a complete waste of a computer.
 

Transporteur

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Nov 30, 2008
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I guess with target display mode it is possible with the proper cables. I guess in my eyes it's a complete waste of a computer.
IIRC the computer would still be usable, although the display is dedicated to another computer.
That would make a great server / render client or whatever for the Pro.

But I'm not 100% sure about that.
 

jetjaguar

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Apr 6, 2009
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I thought you cant use the imac while it is being used as a second monitor.

btw applecare for monitors is 99 .. 79 with education discounts
 

Michael73

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2007
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I used the chat feature in Apple's online store and discovered a couple of wrinkles to using a 27" iMac. Since the iMac has a mini DisplayPort, and my 8800GT has DVI, I'd need a converter (they recommended this one). The problem is that the converter, "Supports video at 1920x1200@60 resolution" which means I couldn't get the max resolution of 2560x1440 of the 27" display. The only way around this would be to buy the ATI Radeon HD 4870 for $349 which has the DisplayPort. Now it would cost $1,699 for the iMac + $349 for the new video card (which isn't a whole lot better than my 8800 GT for photo and color sensitive work) plus I'd still want AppleCare but since it's an iMac now it's $169 (not $99 for stand-alone display). Now this "substitute" for the 30" ACD costs is $2,217 + tax.

On top of everything the iMac only comes in a glossy display which is sub-optimal for graphics work.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
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IIRC the computer would still be usable, although the display is dedicated to another computer.
That would make a great server / render client or whatever for the Pro.

But I'm not 100% sure about that.
I am learning something new everyday. Good point on that for sure.
I used the chat feature in Apple's online store and discovered a couple of wrinkles to using a 27" iMac. Since the iMac has a mini DisplayPort, and my 8800GT has DVI, I'd need a converter (they recommended this one). The problem is that the converter, "Supports video at 1920x1200@60 resolution" which means I couldn't get the max resolution of 2560x1440 of the 27" display. The only way around this would be to buy the ATI Radeon HD 4870 for $349 which has the DisplayPort. Now it would cost $1,699 for the iMac + $349 for the new video card (which isn't a whole lot better than my 8800 GT for photo and color sensitive work) plus I'd still want AppleCare but since it's an iMac now it's $169 (not $99 for stand-alone display). Now this "substitute" for the 30" ACD costs is $2,217 + tax.

On top of everything the iMac only comes in a glossy display which is sub-optimal for graphics work.
First, any apple adapter you want should be bought through monoprice.com. ;) However, you are right about the resolution restrictions and for that, like you, the sale would go to the 30" ACD. Res issues, glossy, 27" screen problems, adapters etc ... not worth it to me.

If you find a good price on a 30" ACD btw let me know. ;)
 

MitchLewis

macrumors member
Jan 29, 2010
67
0
I'm waiting for the elusive 12-core Mac Pro to come out and kinda hoping they'll release a new 30-inch display at the same time. My plan is to wait until March 1st. Hopefully we'll hear something before them. Crossing my fingers.

I used the current 30-inch display at my previous job and it's very nice. Very bright. I can't imagine what it would be like as an LED screen. But maybe it will throw off less heat. The current model could heat a small office. ;) (I'm exaggerating a bit)
 

chaosbunny

macrumors 68000
I have a 30" ACD at my new job right now, and it's simply AWESOME! I come home to my 24" iMac and it seems like a 17" display to me. :D

Imo the 30" ACD is still worth it. Who knows, maybe it will be glossy only once they update it, which would really suck.
 

milk242

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2007
690
9
Ever think about a dell monitor? Their 30" monitors use the same IPS panel as Apple, maybe even newer
 

smacman

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2006
451
2
Maybe I am crazy, but I really hope Apple does not mess with the 30" for a while. The display is simply stunning to look at, and seems to have a quality feel to it that is lacking from Apple's current generation products.