ADC - should it stay or should it go?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by vniow, Mar 26, 2003.

  1. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    Note: I'm talking about the Apple Display Connector, not the Apple Developer Connection.[​IMG]

    This is probably the least of Apple's concerns right now, but the ADC connector has always bugged me.

    Simplistic design (very Apple)
    Carries power and USB along with video signal so it's one cable instead of three
    Enables USB ports on display
    Adds a bit to 'wow factor' and ease of use

    Propietary (also very Apple)
    Costs more to implement
    Forces graphics card manufacturers to make specialized hardware for it
    Requires 3rd party adaptor for use on machines without ADC connector

    As you can probably guess, I'm not too fond of it as I believe that the extra cost of producing all the neseccary hardware isn't worth having one cable for everything.

  2. alset macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2002
    East Bay, CA
    I love and prefer it, but when you throw cost of support into the mix I have to stop and ponder. Ah, hell, I say keep it.

  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    It's very convenient except that we'd probably have high end ATI graphics cards by now, in similar fashion to when Apple adopted the VGA connector.

    Give me separate cables.
  4. NavyIntel007 macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Yeah, I'm going to have to vote for extra cables. either that or ship the ADC adaptor with every Powermac. It's time to step away from proprietary APPLE!!!
  5. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    it seems liek apple is shooting itself in its foot (very apple). If they instited a more common connection(dvi) for no extra charge to the consumer and started publicizing its work wiht windows they would have a chance increase their market share. Also if they had a VGA other mac users like ibook imac and emac coudl all use the displays as extra. (I woudl love one)
  6. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    I'm all for ADC. Other than the "pros" already mentioned, I think it adds the ability to power up the system, sleep, and force shutdown without needing to access the computer itself. Yes, it is a drag not having the latest and greatest card, but who says even with the same connector we'd have drivers?

    If you ask me, ADC should be the default connector for all computers... DVI doesn't have any advantage over ADC.
  7. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Against. Apple finally realizes that there's strength in open standards (and does a damn good job with it), then turns around and makes a proprietary display connector (which is basically just USB, power, and DVI in one connector, nothing revolutionary). Bah.
  8. scem0 macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2002
    back in NYC!
    against. Adopt what is popular apple - and that includes USB 2.0.
  9. sparkleytone macrumors 68020


    Oct 28, 2001
    Greensboro, NC
    Well, now that there is a ADC-DVI adapter officially sold by Apple, ATI and NVIDIA have one less excuse to be slow to market with new products. They don't HAVE to make it ADC compatible anymore.
  10. joed macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2002
    Budapest, Hungary
    I think Apple should consider implementing HDMI (High Definition Media Interface).

    This replaces DVI and is backwards compatible. It's been designed for HD TV, but I don't see why it couldn't be used for computer screens?

  11. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2001
    west of Philly
    it should go

    It's the reason I won't purchase an Apple display even as nice as they are. I can't think of any good reason for Apple to have a proprietary connector for displays except that they get to tack on an extra $100 for a large portion of the sales. I suspect there is probably a large margin on that $100 and wonder if it helps supplement the bottom line on the displays which are surprisingly competively priced now. For a while there it looked like Apple was getting away from all that proprietary nonsense, but there they are back in it again for what would otherwise be a very intrigueing product even for a PC user.
  12. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2001
    west of Philly
    more thoughts

    I wonder if Apple does themselves a disservice by using ADC. My local compusa has a couple of Apple displays hooked up to PCs. They look great, but what's the impression of Apple if someone decides to go that route. Gee, I've got this Sony display here with power cord and DVI connector or I could get this Apple display, it requires an extra part, DVI to the part, USB to the part, power to the part(I think), and then hook up the Apple display. Now what's my impression of Apple, if hooking up a simple monitor is a mess compared to the norm, what's one of their computers like. Just a thought.
  13. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    I like ADC, sure the industry doesnt use it, but then again the industry is using windows. Anything to reduce clutter, and cables everywhere so iam for it. I must admit though iam biased since my display does have adc.
  14. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    The ADC is a residual of the Cube design, which everyone criticized for its cable clutter.

    Sending power through the cable is a problem. Bigger displays need more power. The Cube has a little board in it called the DC-DC converter. One Cube user recently had his machine catch on fire when he added a 17" ADC display to his system.

    Basically, a catch-all-connector with USB, video and power is only a temporary solution; as technologies change, and as power requirements change, it becomes obsolescent when any of its components do. If we designed it today, we might want Firewire on there, so you could plug your iPod onto the front of the monitor.

    A better idea would have been to have made an "octopus cable" with several ends on it, but rubberized together over the main length. It could have a USB plug, a DVI plug, some kind of power plug, etc. Both the monitor and the computer would have standard sockets. Such a cable would be much more future-proof.
  15. dricci macrumors 6502a

    Dec 15, 2001
    I think they should dump it and stick with DVI and VGA just for the sake of following hardware standards.

    ADC is convenient but doesn't seem to be too future-proof.
  16. Sol macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2003
    ADC a good thing

    Anyone who thinks that abandoning ADC for DVI will mean more graphics cards for the Mac is fooling themselves. First of all, drivers are needed and unless ATI or nVidia create those drivers then the cards you are thinking of will never work on the Mac. Second, PowerMacs and PowerBooks already have DVI ports on them so you can still use "industry standard" monitors.

    I think Apple make the best computer displays in their price-range and the ADC connection is a benefit to all us Mac users. Anything that reduces the number of cables at the back of the computer is a good thing in my book.

    I would argue that ADC needs to be enhanced further with even more powered USB ports on the back of Apple Displays and hopefully, a built-in FireWire hub.

    It is great that Apple has made ADC a Mac exclusive because that is one more reason for people to switch.
  17. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    The second video connector on the video board is a DVI connector (for those who have failed to notice this fact).

    I like the ADC connector it keeps the cable clutter coming up to the disk in check.

    A solution might be a dual DVI board and have the Apple display come with a cable that has multiple connectors on the system side. Naybe with a power jack on the system for the electricity that the display needs. I also like the lack of clutter of power cables. However, I think the ADC cable/connector setup is a pretty good idea in general.
  18. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    It would be nice if they made it non-proprietary, like the term Firewire. I work with dozens of flat screen and I hate switching them out. I have to tease the connectors loose, undo the wiring harness and then drop in a new screen. If they all had the equivalent of the ADC, my job would be easier. Apple wouldn't be loosing any sales. If anything, it would be good advertising. That tiny Apple stamp on ever monitor connector would remind the world that thinking differently pays off.
  19. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2002
    Chicago, IL, USA
    ADC puts small biz folks in a tight spot:
    example: i need a second monitor for a QS 867. I currently have a 17" studio display CRT on the VGA port, and an empty ADC port. My cheepest apple display option is the 17" LCD ($699.00). I have found 15" LCD's (which would be fine) for less than $300.00, but that has to go up $100-$120 ('cause i need the ADC-DVI and maybe the DVI-VGA). What a pain.

    I like ADC's advantages, and i love the look of apple's displays, but cost is extremely preventive in this case.
  20. madforrit macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    Berkeley, CA
    frustrated with ADC

    ADC has recently got me in a tizzy. I went ahead and got a 20" cinema the other day, convinced that I could use it with my G4 450 (AGP Graphics), after of course a video card upgrade from the Rage128 Pro, 16 MB (DVI, VGA) to the Radeon9000 Pro to supply the needed ADC connector. That was fine, since I needed the video card upgrade anyways. Unfortunately what isn't widely known (and I discovered only after browsing through ATI tech support articles) is that early G4's, despite having an AGP port, lack the ability to supply power to the ADC connector on the graphics board. So that means I have to run my display off the DVI port on the new card, which requires the adaptor.....extra $100.
    It's upsetting because according to system reqs for the apple 20" display, all you need is a G4 with one of several graphics cards, the Radeon9000 being one of them. And to install a Radeon9000 in a G4, all you need is a G4 with an AGP slot. See the problem?
    Oh well, you can't always expect the old technology to be smoothly upgradeable. And I can stomach the $100 for now....and I'll have the ADC port when I spring for a 970. Just trying to get the most out of my current system while I have it. Too bad it ended up costing more than I had expected.:rolleyes:
  21. cc bcc macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2001
    Re: frustrated with ADC

    Is that true!? I'm gonna recieve my 20" and ATI 9000 to put into my g4 400 AGP tomorrow! Do I need an adapter!? Boy, am I going to be mad at Apple.
  22. macphoria macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2002
    It would be nice to have both ADC and DVI. But if it comes down to choosing between the two, I would vote for ADC. It makes things simpler to set up and less mess with cables.
  23. yzedf macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2002
    Re: ADC a good thing

    Drivers don't come from just ATI and nVidia.

    ADC is a cool idea, it's just not being used by anyone besides Apple. That means it is going to end up causing more headaches then it is worth. Plus, vid cards that are released for Mac's months later due to this proprietary connector.

    Just because the hardware is good, does not mean it is a good way to do business. Good engineering has nothing to do with sales. If you disagree, go check the price of Microsoft's stock today, which recently split, again.
  24. madforrit macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    Berkeley, CA
    Re: Re: frustrated with ADC

    Yeah, can read an ATI doc about it at

    At this page they give several Mac model numbers that have this problem. Mine was not one of those model numbers, but an examination of my AGP slot itself reveals it doesn't have the needed extra power socket mentioned in the article. At this point, I am just ASSUMING that mine won't work either. I will have a chance to try it all out tonight (the 9000...just came in the mail today) and maybe it will work without the adapter, but I highly doubt it. Anyways, I'll keep you posted.
    The adapter isn't a TOTAL loss for me because a family member has a TiBook.
    But I know....this sucks. What would be even worse is if the new 970 machines couldn't in any practical way use the ADC displays....but that's so absurd it's impossible. right????:confused:
  25. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    exactly...both would be the best option

Share This Page