Apple Cinema Display vs MacBook Pro 15" LED?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MarkW19, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. MarkW19 macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2002
    Surrey, UK
    I'm thinking of getting a 23" Apple Cinema Display (alu) to go with my MBP, and I was wondering how the brightness/crispness/overall quality will compare with the 15" LED backlit screen on my MBP?

    Thanks for any info.
  2. akadmon Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    ACD hands down.
  3. Sol765 macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2008
    23" Cinema Display compared to MacBook Pro 15"

    First of all, no comparison. The ACD 23" just looks better all the way around.

    Now, I have a question for All. Can anyone explain why there's such a huge difference between the two?
    I have a 15" MacBook Pro 2.2 Core Duo/4GB Ram and I love it!! A truly great machine. But I am curious as to whether anyone can explain technically why there is such a difference in the look of the 15" LED screen compared to my 23" display? I run my MBP in 'dual monitor' mode, so I am seeing the same images side by side. Is LCD technology that much better than the LED technology? Or, is there just some 'trick' to getting the dynamic range, and the color saturation out of the 15" LED screen so it compares to the 23" ACD. Currently, I wouldn't trust my MPB to edit color images on. Understand, I'm not saying the colors are 'off', there just not as 'on' as the 23" ACD.
    FYI, I hardware calibrate both monitors at the same time, using the same hardware system. They are calibrated to 6500K 2.2 gamma. And pretty much, anyone looks at the MBP 15" by itself, says it looks "great!!". But compared to the ACD 23" in side by side, it's dramatically different in overall richness and dynamic range, and in particular the color saturation. And this is true when simply sliding an image from one screen to the other. Or even with the look of the basic colored folders in 'Column view'.
    So how do I get that Cinema Display 'look' from the 15" LED technology? Is it even possible, to get it close?
    Or, is it simply just not to be? :)

  4. burningrave101 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    Sol765, it all has to do with the type of LCD panel used in the display. There are several different types of LCD technology and the primary panels consist of TN+Film, S-IPS, and M-PVA. LED is not a different type of LCD technology. LED is just the type of backlighting used to light up the display. CCFL lighting is the other common type that has been the primary one used before LED. LED displays are just more evenly lit and brighter so the colors do look better. The difference you're seeing with your MBP 15.4" LCD compared to the ACD is because your MBP is using a cheaper TN+Film panel that is only 6-bit. That's what most all laptops use because manufacturers are too cheap to put the more expensive displays in. Your ACD is likely using an S-IPS or M-PVA panel that can display full 8-bit colors. To be honest I haven't even looked to see what type of panel most of the ACD's use but I just know it's a true 8-bit panel.
  5. Sol765 macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2008
    One more question for the Pros and the 'Monitor Gurus'.

    Thanks for the feedback, and very in-depth explanation. I was afraid it was something like that. But that was exactly the type of 'how it was constructed" type explanation I was looking for. :)

    So one more question:
    Is there technique to use during or after the monitor calibration process, for getting a little more saturation out of the 15" MBP screen? Like I said, I use a hardware calibrater on each monitor. So it just does what it does, to get things 'balanced'. And there's obviously not a saturation control on the MBP color/calibration preferences. So is there some manually applied technique for dialing in the look a little closer to the 23" ACD's 'look' that the Pros know, that the rest of us don't?

    Thanks in advance, guys.

  6. burningrave101 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    I don't know about saturation. The only two settings easily adjustable is the brightness and contrast on the MBP. You might want to make sure that the gamma is set right on your MBP. I use a gamma of 2.2 since that's closer to what PC's use. The default gamma Apple has set is way off to me. You can adjust the contrast on your display using the keyboard shortcut control+option+command plus either the comma or period key to increase or decrease it.
  7. Sol765 macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2008
    Thanks for the response, much appreciated.
    I do set my monitors to 2.2 gamma.
    On the 'contrast adjustments'. I don't see that as an available adjustment in the Preference, only the 'Brightness' adjustment. Is that something that is only available as an 'unwritten' keyboard shortcut? If so, that's kind of insane, don't you think?!

    OK, so in trying out the keyboard shortcut, I'm seeing that it is indeed adjusting the contrast, which does help with the MBP. But, it's also adjusting the ACD 23 at the same time. The ACD doesn't need adjusted. Can you adjust only one monitor at a time in 'mirror-extended' mode? Calibration allows for working with each monitor one at a time?
    If they can be adjusted individually, that would definitely help in getting the MBP closer to the ACD 'look'..

    Thanks in advance.

  8. elrafo macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    hello there,

    did you find a way to adjust the Saturation on a MBP mat screen finally ?

  9. Sol765 macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2008
    Sorry, that's a 'No'.
  10. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    ACD. The 23" ACD especially has very deep colors and very vivid/accurate as well.

    When I had the 15" mbp and everytime I looked at the colors of the same website from the mbp and the 23" ACD, the colors look so much more detailed and depth of that color was much deeper as well.

    Basically you can clearly tell the difference.
  11. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    If you are working without a properly calibrated monitor which takes into account your ambience and whatever else your probably missing out anyway.

    I use a MPB and a samsung monitor as my "main" setup, then at work I use a variety of dell's, ACD's, and LaCie monitors. Since they were all calibrated using the same device (except the LaCie, thats a different story) which is my Spyder2Pro, they all look the same (yes some look better on others but whatever).

    I think they have a cheapy 99 dollar color "pen" thing that does the job, too.

    If your serious about graphics work across multiple displays its a worthy investment, especially if working with pictures of people (skin is more realistic)
  12. Sol765 macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2008
    I'm hardware calibrated. The MBP 15" doesn't cpmpare.

    I calibrate both my 23" ACD and my 15" MBP at the same time with a hardware system, Monaco, as stated in my first post in this thread. Doesn't matter. The 15" LED monitor doesn't hold up. Simple as that. At least not with the MBP available adjustments.

  13. Westsider 4 Mac macrumors regular

    Westsider 4 Mac

    Apr 12, 2007
    On the West Side
    Me too...

    I am looking at a refurb 30 inch ACD for my MBP line so this thread is extremely helpfull. THANKS! :):apple:

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