Apple Cinema Display Questions

Justin122

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 14, 2008
399
52
Hi all,

I want to add a 20" Cinema Display to my collection however I need to know what adapters I need before I can do so. I have a 2006 PB 12".

If possible, I'd also like my 2012 MBP with a Thunderbolt port to connect to it as well - what adapter would I need for this?

Thanks in advance.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
6,722
3,275
Kentucky
Do you want aluminum or acrylic?

If you want aluminum, it's mostly plug and play. You will need mini-DVI to DVI for the Powerbook and Mini-DP to DVI for the MBP.

If you want an acrylic Cinema, things get a big more complicated. The connections to the computer remain the same. You also, however, need to add in an A1006 ADC-DVI adapter. This provides power to the display and also "splits off" the DVI and USB signals separate from the ADC port so that you can plug the display into any standard DVI port. These adapters use to run about $50 but have come down in price in the last few years. Be patient and you can often find a display with the adapter included for not much more than a bare display(I've picked up two of mine this way).

The bigger issue with your MBP is that somewhere along the way, Apple deprecated software support for the acrylic displays. I think it happened at 10.7, but couldn't swear to it(and a 2012 can't run anything older). For the most part, they will continue to work fine but you have no way to control the brightness on any but the 22".

The aluminum Cinemas(I use a pair of 23" ones with my Mac Pro) are still supported as of El Capitan.
 

Justin122

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 14, 2008
399
52
Do you want aluminum or acrylic?

If you want aluminum, it's mostly plug and play. You will need mini-DVI to DVI for the Powerbook and Mini-DP to DVI for the MBP.

If you want an acrylic Cinema, things get a big more complicated. The connections to the computer remain the same. You also, however, need to add in an A1006 ADC-DVI adapter. This provides power to the display and also "splits off" the DVI and USB signals separate from the ADC port so that you can plug the display into any standard DVI port. These adapters use to run about $50 but have come down in price in the last few years. Be patient and you can often find a display with the adapter included for not much more than a bare display(I've picked up two of mine this way).

The bigger issue with your MBP is that somewhere along the way, Apple deprecated software support for the acrylic displays. I think it happened at 10.7, but couldn't swear to it(and a 2012 can't run anything older). For the most part, they will continue to work fine but you have no way to control the brightness on any but the 22".

The aluminum Cinemas(I use a pair of 23" ones with my Mac Pro) are still supported as of El Capitan.
The aluminium displays, thankfully seems to be a lot more simple. What cable came with the display?
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
6,722
3,275
Kentucky
The aluminum displays have a single hard-wired cable out the back that split off into DVI, USB, Firewire, and power. USB is used(like in the acrylic displays) to tie the brightness adjustment into the OS, although the buttons on the side work just fine absent the display "talking" to the OS. They also tie USB into the 2-port hub on the back. The Firewire cable is just a pass-through to the two Firewire ports on the back of the display.

The power cable plugs into a power brick, which is often missing(the price of displays on Ebay will vary dramatically depending on whether or not the brick is included). Personally, I bought generic 24V, 5A LED lighting transformers from China for about $20 each and spliced these into the power cable, but this option may not be for everyone. If you're not comfortable doing this, pay extra for one with an included PSU.
 

Greene

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2015
149
42
Fort Worth
...pay extra for one with an included PSU.
The PSU's run around $40 on ebay, but deals can be found (I paid about $25 for my 20" PSU). Sometimes the premium you pay for one with an included PSU is more than the actual PSU, so if you're not in a rush and can ebay well, you might be better off buying them separately.
 

Justin122

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 14, 2008
399
52
The PSU's run around $40 on ebay, but deals can be found (I paid about $25 for my 20" PSU). Sometimes the premium you pay for one with an included PSU is more than the actual PSU, so if you're not in a rush and can ebay well, you might be better off buying them separately.
Thank you. Do the cinema displays have speakers?
 

128keaton

macrumors 68020
Jan 13, 2013
2,027
401
Would you all recommend still buying one in 2015?
Acrylic: I'd buy just for older systems, like a G5/G4

Alum: Yes, absolutely. Buyer beware, some models have a slightly noticeable purple hue around the border. These require a special power adaptor, but if you can't find one, you can make one for $30.

LED: Also, yes, but it depends on if you get a good deal on it. This are mega $$$.
 

bobesch

macrumors 65816
Oct 21, 2015
1,219
840
Kiel, Germany
Would you all recommend still buying one in 2015?
Acrylic Displays
Reading the Steve Jobs biography I browsed a bit about silicon-valley and Eichler-houses mentioned in the book. Then I found this page about an Eichler-house: http://www.eichlermidcentury.com/e_house/1_front.html, and there was an Apple-display I didn't see before.
(http://www.eichlermidcentury.com/e_house/11_blb_desk.html).
After little research I discovered the Cube and acrylic display and was instantly mad about getting those.
Since I've got 2 acrylic 20" Cinema displays and I really like their style. I was quite happy that both of them came with the ADC-DVI-adapter, but to be honest, even if the adapters look stylish like the other Apple AC-adapters for MacBooks, the bunch of cables is really annoying, if you have to connect any DVI cable.
Concerning the quality of the two LCD-displays I owe: both of them are somehow weared out at the edges with a yellowish tint (likewise water, that has spoiled a paper-photography from the edges.) That is somehow annoying I you use a solid-color background and if display quality is the thing that's more important than the whole setting.
Beyond the problems controlling the brightness on newer systems, the quality of the displays seem to be fading after years of use, and I wouldn'd recommend the acrylic displays generally
except
that I you like to add one to a set of other fine "old" hardware-components, like the Cube or a Quicksilver and/or the Harman-Kardon speakers.
 
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Justin122

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 14, 2008
399
52
Thank you all so much for your help.

What would be a "good price" for an Alu 23?