30" Cinema HD Display VS 27" LED Cinema Display

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rawweb, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. rawweb, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016

    rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    Given the option of either display, which would you choose?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The 30" Apple Cinema HD display was made between 2004 and 2010, so any monitor is at least 6 years old at this point and it run at a resolution of 2560 by 1600 (optimal).

    The LED version of the 27" display was discontinued in 2011 and had a a resolution of 2560x1440

    Basically you're getting nearly the same resolution in the 27" as the 30" The DPI is nearly identical as well.

    I guess its a toss up, which one is cheaper?
  3. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Things to consider (disclaimer: I use a 27" LED, and I haven't used the 30" - although I've many seen good things about it)

    - 27" has a glossy screen, 30"is (I believe) matte - personally, I'm OK with glossy and think the issue is swings and roundabouts, but its a deal-breaker for some.

    - 27" has a mini DisplayPort cable that also plugs straight into Thunderbolt ports.

    - 30" has a dual link DVI input - to use that with a current mac with mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt you'll need a MiniDisplayPort-to-Dual Link DVI adapter. The regular MiniDP-to-DVI that you may already have is only single-link and won't support full resolution: the dual-link one is more expensive and needs power from a USB port.

    - 27" has built-in USB hub, MagSafe 1 power supply, camera, mic and half-decent (i.e. better than in a laptop) speakers.

    - 30" arguably has a better quality display esp. for pro graphics work and is something of a 'classic'. This means they've held their value so you'll pay (relative to age/condition) more. 27" is still a very nice display, though.

    - You may want to look at new displays from third parties (e.g. Dell Ultrasharp range) rather than the 27" - they could be better value if you don't want the camera/speaker facilities.
  4. killr_b macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2005
    Personally, I still use the 30" display. I have several.

    I just recently picked up a 30" that is pretty much brand new. No fade on the LCD (which you can see they start to yellow from the UV light or sunlight exposure) no scratches, perfect. I've also bought several power bricks from parts shops over the years because they do die. But to me a couple hundred to keep the 30" going is worth it. You can also buy parts harvested from other 30" displays and reassemble/fix a 30" fairly easily. Just a couple clips and use a towel to cover the pointy corners of the aluminum.

    I can't stand the 27" displays- won't ever use one. I'll get a Dell or an Eizo before having to use the glossy screen and crappy backlighting of the 27" display. My house has floor to ceiling glass and it gets a lot of sun, so the glossy screen is pretty much impossible to use. Add to that the LED backlight is just too dim to use in sunlight. The matte finish of the 30" is pretty aggressive, but I guess I'm used to the "sparkle" that some people see.

    I could go on but it'll just be me bad-mouthing Apple for the 27" atrocity lol. The main points are the superior brightness of a 30" and the matte finish vs. a screen that's closer in appearance to the laptop screens and iMac screens.

    I'll also mention that I bought the Apple $99 Dual-link DVI to mini display port (thunderbolt) adapter and it works with the mid 2014 Macbook Pro that I mainly use now.
  5. smirking macrumors 68000


    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I'm still on my original ACD 30". I just hope and pray that it survives until Apple finally releases a 5K display.
  6. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    If your computer has a dual-link DVI port but no DisplayPort/Thunderbolt, the 30" display. If your computer has mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt, then the LED Cinema Display. If your computer has neither, then neither.

    Simple reason: Compatibility. To run the 30" display on a computer that has DisplayPort or Thunderbolt, you need a "dual link DVI adaptor" that costs about $100. Likewise, to run the 27" LED Cinema Display, you need a DisplayPort or Thunderbolt port.

    If you have one of the Mac Mini systems that has BOTH types of ports (2009 to 2012 Mac Pro with any of the Apple-shipped video cards,) I'd pick the LED Cinema Display because it would be newer, less likely to go bad sooner. Plus it has the speakers and camera.
  7. ValiumEater macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2015

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