Adding a monitor to a 24" iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Yerman, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Yerman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I want to add a second display to my 24" iMac to extend my desktop. My question is about the resolution...

    The 24" displays on the markets come in either 1920 x 1080 or 1920 x 1200 resolution. Because of the screen size of my iMac, the only resolution option I have for my iMac is 1920 x 1200. My concern is that if I get a 1920 x 1080 second display, I will never be able to set my resolution correctly. (Essentially squishing the picture to make everything look "skinny" or vise versa)

    Is this a correct assumption or does a resolution of 1920 x 1080 magically become available for the external display after I plug in a second monitor?

    Also, if there are any suggestions for an inexpensive monitor that looks great with a 24" iMac, I welcome the suggestions. Thanks.
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    Depending on what specific iMac you have, you can have an external resolution on an external and second monitor from 1920x1200 up to 2560x1600.

    That doesn't mean, that the iMac tries to apply those resolutions to all the monitors it gets in contact with, it adapts, and if the external and second monitor only likes 1680x1050, then the monitor only gets that, nothing more, nothing less. The same applies to a monitor that natively supports 1920x1080 or 1920x1200. It gets what it can get.
    And the iMac will keep its own resolution.

    Does that resolve your confusion?
     
  3. Yerman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #3
    Almost...My main concern is that if I get a 24" screen that has the resolution of 1920 x 1080, I will not be able to set that particular screen to that resolution.

    In other words, there is no choice (currently with no screen plugged in) to set the resolution to 1920 x 1080.

    Here is a picture...
    [​IMG]

    Is it possible that when I plug in an external screen, the above setting in my System Preferences will contain a 1920 x 1080 option for the external monitor?
     
  4. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #4
    When you up an external monitor and extra window appears on the external monitor when you want to set the resolution is System Preferences > Displays.
    That window will give you the native resolution of the external monitor, thus either 1920x1080 or even 2560x1600 if it is a 30" display.

    Just don't forget to uncheck Mirror Display in the Arrangement tab.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Yerman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #5
    Great...Thanks. I guess that opens up my options to getting a display of either resolution. When looking for 24" displays, I thought I was limited to only displays that are 1920 x 1200.

    One more thing, you said in your first post, "Depending on what specific iMac you have...."

    Is there something I should check before I head off to the store to look at monitors? Thanks for the super fast responses :D
     
  6. Yerman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #6
    Thanks again for the help...

    I hooked up the new screen and everything instantly starting working with the right resolution settings...

    I ended up with an LG-W2361VG and don't like it very much. The colors (even after hours of adjusting the screen) don't come close to the quality of the iMac screen. I think I am taking it back and getting the Dell S2409W instead.

    I also ordered up a stand from Office Depot that will be here later today to make the screen the same height of the iMac...This is the one I got: http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/554215/Office-Depot-Brand-Supershelf-Monitor-Stand/

    I'll post pictures when I get back. For the record, this is the window that popped up when I added the second screen confirming my guess that a resolution setting of 1920 x 1080 would pop up...
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #7
    Have you considered getting a 24" LED cinema display? You can get a refurbished one for $599.
     
  8. TTD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    #8
    Hi, don't want to hi-jack the thread, but i'm in the same position as you!

    I'm looking to add a second display to my 24" iMac! I've been looking at monitors for the past couple of weeks and am not sure which to go with. Originally wanted to get a second hand 23" cinema display, but am reluctant to pay £300+ for a screen if its used, most likely won't have a guarantee and there's always the chance Apple will finally release a new compatible monitor?

    So I think i'm going to buy a new model which I can replace if Apple release a new display in 2010. I've been looking at a Samsung P2450H Link I like the fact it has HDMI - found a few conflicting reviews as to whether it displays 1080p or not, but most people seem to say it does as I may want to connect a Blu Ray player (living at uni accomodation so no space for a proper tv).

    I was looking at the LG so it's a shame (but good to know) that it's not great in comparison with the iMac, the Dell looks nice though!

    Also was worried about the resolution issue, but relieved to see it wasn't a problem!

    But my main concern is i'm studying Graphic Design at University so the better display and colour accuracy the better. But as you generally have to pay a lot more for this, at the end of the day I'll use the iMac for design work and the 2nd display for palettes/safari/itunes/vlc so it won't matter ultimately.

    Sorry for the lengthy post! Really stuck with what to do.. :confused:
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #9
    Why not just buy a Blu-ray drive and a USB2 enclosure? Then you could watch Blu-ray movies on the Mac using Make MKV and VLC (and soon Plex).
     
  10. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #10
    You make that sound easy, it didn't seem easy when I read through it.

    is it that easy now?
     
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #11
  12. TTD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    #12
    Thanks for the reply! That's a good point - was reading that thread earlier. I have a (probably stupid) question however, if I were to plug in a blu ray drive how would the quality be on an imac screen? Or would I still need a HD screen to benefit? Thanks!
     
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #13
    It'll look better than any DVD you might have.
     
  14. Yerman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #14
    I like this screen much better...

    I ended up with the Dell S2409W

    Brightness and Contrast both set to 75%, Custom RGB R=100%, G=100%, B=92%

    [​IMG]
     
  15. iyacyas macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #15
    How bout now?

    So now that you've had the Dell for a few days... Are ya still liking it?
     

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