ACD decision-making disorder: 23" or 30"?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rawrbbit, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. rawrbbit macrumors newbie

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    Seattle, WA
    #1
    I'm all set to order my mac pro, for which I've been saving up for a long time. I never imagined that I would agonize over the display FAR more than the specs of the computer, however. I've decided to get an ACD for a variety or reasons, and I assumed I would get the 23", but after playing with the 30" at the store this weekend now I'm totally stuck. I'm hoping someone will have some sage buying advice, or perhaps some info or personal experience about one or the other that will help sway my opinion.

    And right off the bat, it's not so much a question of money. Obviously the 23" is half the price of the 30". But for one, I have been saving and can get the 30" if I want to. Also, I'm considering the possibility (in the near future, not right away) of having a dual setup with 2x23", which would end up being the same price as one 30". My biggest problem is that I've never worked on anything larger than 21" and never worked with dual monitors. I KNOW I could use the extra real-estate however I get it, but the question in my mind is, can I justify a Ferrari when all I need is a perfectly good Civic? Or maybe that should be a Ferrari and a BMW, as both monitors are luxury cars :) Also, would 2x 23" be better than one 30", or is 46-freakin-inches just too wide?

    If it helps, I'm a graphic designer, sometimes web designer and video editor by day, and a designer/illustrator/amateur photographer by night. Career-wise I'm still really green (but very serious/committed) and I think that's part of why I'm worried about "justifying" a mammoth monitor. Anyhow, thank you for any advice and help!
     
  2. Schroedinger macrumors regular

    Schroedinger

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    Feb 12, 2004
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #2
    I'm running a 23 and a 17 (non apple). This is my first time using a dual display setup, and if I had to do it again (and a little more money) I would go with the 30. It may sound stupid, but turning your head gets annoying. If you have two 23s that's going to be quite a range to look across.

    Good luck
     
  3. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #3
    Did you also consider 2 x 30" ACD?
    Joking...
    But I would go with the 30. It's probably annoying to have to look at something that wide (i.e. 23" x 2). I also doubt you will be able to focus on 2 monitors at once...if you get the 30, youll be able to focus on it better. If you can afford it, get it, theres no doubt you'll be happy with the 30...but getting hte 23 might make you wanting more. I think 23 personally is too small for a graphics professional. 23 is good for office stuff nowadays...anything smaller just isn't enough. 30 would be perfect for you.
     
  4. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #4
    If you multi task a lot two 23" Apple Cinema Display will improve your efficiency over a single 30" Apple Cinema Diplay.

    You will be able to do more things at the same time and this will compliment the beast of the Mac pro you are about to order ;)

    Otherwise, if you are getting a single screen the 30" Apple Cinema Display is very nice.

    Got a single 23" Apple Cinema Display myself but will upgrade to two 23" later this year.

    Got two at work and it is great.

    I don't know anyone with anything larger than a 20" display yet so 23" will be quite big but you quickly adapt to the size.
     
  5. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    Dec 13, 2004
    #5
    look at other brand 30"..some are a lot cheaper and almost as good
     
  6. kwood macrumors 6502a

    kwood

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    In the Great White North.
    #6
    I would go with 2x23". And if push came to shove, you can rotate the 23" display so you dont have to look into another room to see the edge of the other display;) :p :D .
     
  7. rawrbbit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2007
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    Seattle, WA
    #7
    Thanks everyone!

    I really appreciate all the advice. I went back to the local Apple store tonight with all these comments in mind, as well as those from coworkers (I ran around polling folks). I sat at the 30" for a while, then at the 23". What I decided is 2 x 23" (and forget that "I'll get a second one at some point--I want it now! :D). If I was going to use this display only for the illustration and photo manip I do on the side, I would have gone for the 30 because I do much less multi-tasking. But I'm going to start working at home a couple days a week for my "real" job, and for that I multi-task to a head-popping degree--windows upon windows upon palettes upon windows.

    When I was playing with the 30" I found myself sizing an image so large as to almost fill the screen, meaning I then had to size down my other windows and dink around trying to make it all fit. But when I sat at the 23", which is just big enough for a 2-page (letter) spread in InDesign, I knew that every inch of that was for the task at hand, and other things I needed to grab were shoved to the side.

    The only thing I worry about is the whiplash factor, what with 46" of screen to keep track of, but if I'm concentrating on one app on the "main" screen and everything else is to the right, I don't think I'll be twisting around too much.

    Again, thanks for all the input! Much appreciated :)

    For the record, I think opinions on the subject are neatly split...
     
  8. rawrbbit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2007
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    Seattle, WA
    #8
    You're telling me.

    I've been working on a 15.5" notebook at home for almost 5 years, so ANYTHING will be huge! This...is gonna be awesome :p

    Thanks for the input!
     
  9. rawrbbit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I definitely think that when I'm doing my own stuff (illustration, mainly) full-time--someday!--I would prefer by FAR one huge monitor. But I think as this is also going to be for work, where I'm doing 10 different jobs at the same time, having two desktops will work better. I did make sure that a lett-sized spread fits on the 23"; if it didn't I would have gone big. That 30" is so awesome.

    Thanks very much for your response!
     
  10. rawrbbit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2007
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    Seattle, WA
    #10
    Oh man, I've been saving, but not for THAT long. I don't think I'm quite ready for a command center, anyhow ;)

    I do think you're right about focusing on one monitor better. While I decided to go for a dual setup, I definitely have in mind the "main" task on one monitor, and all the supporting apps in the other. So if I have an InDesign spread filling the left, Word, Photoshop, email, and palettes can all hang out in the left. Of course, this is all theoretical, we'll see how it plays out.

    I do agree that for most graphics work having that huge playing field would be optimal, but I tried multi-tasking with both and it didn't work as well on the 30 as I expected. For more concentrated, single-app work, though, I think it would be the only choice.

    Thanks for your advice!
     
  11. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #11
    Using a 30" ACD requires quite a lot of head and neck movement :mad: (It's a bit like watching tennis)

    This is why I eventually went for the 23" and I have absolutely no regrets :)

    FJ
     
  12. rawrbbit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2007
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    Seattle, WA
    #12
    You might very well be right, but I've been researching what is a pretty new topic to me (I've never shopped for a pro monitor) for a few weeks and have had a terrible time finding decent reviews that agree with each other for any single model. Most of the consistent reviews were for monitors even more expensive than the ACDs. I finally decided to go with Apple because it's a known quantity. It might not be THE best, but so many people are really happy with them--so many people in creative fields especially, that I figured I could do much worse.

    And...well...they're so very attractive, that counted for a little bit ;) :apple:
     
  13. rawrbbit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Seattle, WA
    #13
    Awesome! I hope I don't, either. I don't think I would regret going either way, frankly, they're both gorgeous and both have strong arguments in their favor. But the 30"....it's REALLY big. If I didn't already have a tv for watching movies I think I would have gone for it, actually, despite the fact that this is --ahem-- for work :D
     
  14. rawrbbit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Seattle, WA
    #14
    You think you're joking...actually, I'm moving soon, and I am a little worried about space. As I look for apartments I need to make sure there's space for these puppies. They're going have pride of place, methinks ;) :apple:

    Thanks for your input!
     
  15. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
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    #15
    Don't forget to get calibration hardware / software. I can recommend the Color Vision Spyder Pro 2. Great gear :) :)

    FJ
     
  16. mustard macrumors 6502a

    mustard

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    NJ
    #16
    My Apple Monitor Usage

    1 - 22" Studio Display
    2 - 22" Studio Display + 20" Cinema Display
    3 - 20" Cinema Display + 20" Cinema Display
    4 - 30" Cinema Display
    5 - 30" Cinema Display + 30" Cinema Display
    6 - 30" Cinema Display + 30" Cinema Display + Chief Manufacturing (tilt & swivel stand)
     
  17. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    Minneapolis, MN
  18. rawrbbit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2007
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    Seattle, WA
    #18
    That's definitely on the list. Thanks for the rec, though, I'm new to calibration and have no idea what's good.
     
  19. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #19
    Dual displays is definately is nice for multi tasking. For example, I love it for editing photos. I would use my powerbook display to have bridge always open as a browser with all my images, and then the 23" cinema was my main editing display.

    And I thought 1 23" display was nice. 30" is just huge (23" felt huge) and 2 23"... I can't imagine. Nice!
     

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