Apple Cinema LED Display for Mac Pro a good choice?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dogbait, May 4, 2012.

  1. dogbait macrumors regular

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    #1
    I received a good offer on an Apple Cinema LED Display (£150 less than retail) brand new.

    It's for a Mac Pro, but I'm put off by bad reviews complaining about gloss causing eyestrain and its unsuitability for photo editing/proofing.

    I'm a developer and amateur photographer so need something which has good color accuracy (doesn't have to be excellent, just reasonably good) and also allows me to stare at it for hours without eye strain. The two Dell 2405FPW displays I have are easy on the eyes, but the color and brightness have drifted massively with time and I want a display which looks as good as the machine driving them. Nothing in Dell's current lineup looks remotely well built or well designed.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #2
    I use one next to a window...no complaints here. I love it.
     
  3. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #3
    Check out NEX's PA-271 W for comparison before you make a decision.

    It's wide gamut, so you'll need to buy the calibration package as well ($300).
     
  4. dogbait thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Thanks, the NEC has good reviews although it is seriously ugly.

    I've only ever seen one good looking display (besides Apple's Cinema range) and that's the Dell Crystal 22":
    [​IMG]

    Is there nothing else as well made or as well designed as this besides Apple's offering?
     
  5. brentsg macrumors 68030

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    #5
    That's as tacky looking as Sony's TVs were for a few years there.
     
  6. dogbait thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Each to our own I guess but my point is no one seems to have put any design thought into their displays at the moment apart from Apple. Sony don't seem to do make monitors any more, Eizo are plasticky as are HP. Is no manufacturer making well made, good looking displays which can be used with a Mac Pro? I would love to hear of at least one...
     
  7. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #7
    Apple and NEC can both be okay. I've had issues with both of them in the past. There are some things about Apple's design that irritate me. I haven't gotten to see enough examples on long term performance with the current one. Older models looked kind of bleh after a couple years with both Apple and NEC (and Dell). The biggest issues are that LED backlighting sucks (Apple), and Adobe RGB displays are a pain in the ass to calibrate (NEC). If you use spectraview, it's reasonably good software, but it takes quite a long time to run. That's the case with most software of its kind. You'll want to warm it up for at least 30 minutes if you're going to calibrate. An hour is better. The colorimeter should be plugged in for at least 10 minutes prior to running it. Screen savers should be disabled before you go to calibrate and the display should be set as your primary display. Typically that is enough to prevent weird results. Spectraview can freak out at times, and bug fixes are slow. In the case of Apple should you choose to profile it, I'd probably go with X-rite, even though their software is annoying. The thing about Apple displays is that you can do a random test easily. Print out a photo. Bring it to the Apple store. I wouldn't expect it to match the same image on screen, but you can get a very ballpark idea of how it will look.

    It's a tool, nothing more. They have a simple bezel and a springloaded stand that's balanced quite well, so you can raise or lower it to a comfortable level.
     
  8. kromekat macrumors member

    kromekat

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    #8
    I have 2 of them on my desktop with my primary Mac Pro, and they are awesome. I went from a pair of 23 acd which were also excellent, but after 5 years constant use were dimming somewhat. There is no eye strain, and the gloss is only an issue if you are in an overly lit room, mine have the window behind them, and it's only when my screens are off, or displaying a very dark image that I see reflections, but I don't really notice them otherwise. Either way, they don't effect my working with them all day. The lack of an anti glare coating means your images look as pure and clean/sharp as possible. The colour fidelity and overall vitality of the displays is quite stunning IMO. Would I rather have anti glare? Yes to be honest, but only if it came with the clarity these have with no grain - its swings and roundabouts!

    I did consider the Dell 27 which are almost half the price with the same panel albeit with the anti glare, but opted for theApple in the end because my previous pair were such a huge step up from the Samsungs before them, and have been so reliable.
     
  9. PeopleTheseDays macrumors regular

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    #9
    If you're worried about "design thought" you should check out the Dell Ultrasharp line. Good reviews, good panels, anti-glare display, and something I think is really important, adjustability up down, tilt, and portrait.
     
  10. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #10
    I'd say you got lucky on the 23" ACDs. There was a lot of unit to unit variability with uniformity and color on those. That's not why I'm responding though.

    I was going to say that the Dell and the Apple both have things that are somewhat difficult to manage if you're trying to precisely match photography color to prints and see visibly neutral greyscales. The Dells use wide gamut panels which tend to be difficult. On the Apple I don't think they took an identical panel with sRGB emulation. LG might tweak it for them a bit as it's much closer to sRGB, not that this is a bad thing. Lower gamuts are often more controllable. The CG211 is still one of the best displays I've ever seen, and that was an sRGB type with only a 500:1 contrast ratio specified. The only annoying point in terms of color and trying to get a good profile is that it uses LED backlighting. Sometimes you have to tweak the inputs a bit to get visually neutral results, and most colorimeters just don't provide perfect results with LED.

    The point I was trying to make is that both can be a little tricky if you're trying to get a good match. Given my prior experience with Apple displays not having been as good as yours, I no longer trust them. I think I'd budget for Applecare.
     
  11. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    My only complaint about the Apple screens is the Gloss finish.
    Everything else about it is nice.

    But it doesn't bother everyone, so you should decide for yourself.
     
  12. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #12
    That's the problem.

    What we need is the soul of the NEC display in the body of an Apple.

    The cinema display needs a total redesign.

    Even from a marketing standpoint: You have a Mac Pro, but it looks like you have an iMac.

    Professional grade equipment should look different from consumer stuff like the iMac.

    I'd love to see an black, all-matte cinema display - stealth design.

    Matte can look very elegant, more elegant than glossy.

    And it's ergonomically far superior.

    I'd love to see a cinema redesign appear next to the new Mac Pro line. Same panel as the NEC.
     
  13. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #13
    Are you trying to look cool while you're making good work? Or look cool making crap work?

    Usually if you need 100% color accuracy, you will use ugly monitors that have good panels.

    Some of the studios that I've been to that do really really really high end work use Apple Cinema Displays without a problem...however, it usually goes through final color grading on proper monitors, anyways, so...
     
  14. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #14
    NEC is great but the Photo models have really bad input lag and pixel response times so they are out of the running for me. Any IPS panel has the ability to get great color results just keep away from the 6-bit dithered junk. Hazro just started selling in the US. May look into them. Can't do matte anymore. Or at least the way Dell and the like slop it on.
    http://www.hazro.co.uk/HZ27WC.php
    Glass or Matte, 6ms response, 8-bit IPS, very low input lag, 1000:1 static contrast and dE hovering around .2, .3 after calibration. I may be in line if the quality is there.
    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/hazro_hz27wa.htm
     
  15. Vapor matt macrumors regular

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    #15
    Here are some hazro screens with user reviews and opinions from the uk, read the thread, I know its long but you will get an idea of the good, the bad and the ugly of hazro!

    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18204986

    I don't want to diss hazro, but worth a read before you buy!:)
     
  16. Nostromo, May 6, 2012
    Last edited: May 6, 2012

    Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #16
    Eizo also has a short response time, but, of course, $1650 for a 27" display isn't pocket money.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/789560-REG/Eizo_SX2762W_BK_FlexScan_SX2762W_27_LCD.html
     
  17. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #17
    Yeah. That was what I meant by "...if the quality is there". I was aware of some issues with quality and support. Sometimes you have bad batches and bad employee's etc. If they are just cashing in (apple+IPS) and have terrible manufacturing control I will avoid. I am hopeful they turn things around.

    ----------

    My next display might HAVE to be Eizo at the rate we are getting any affordable choices. LCD's are at a snail's progress for tech.
     
  18. ndraves macrumors member

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    #18
    Just my thoughts but I have an ACD and had it on my MP for a while but it is now back in it's box. I have a reasonable amount of light behind me and it always reflects on the glossy screen. Also only having tilt adjustment is quite frankly crap.

    When in a dark room or with the light behind it then the ACD is great, looks good, good colour etc.

    I have swapped it for a pair of Dell U2410s and I much prefer these. Much better designed than previous Dells and the height adjustment makes a huge difference in getting a comfortable viewing position. Also they come with a 3yr single pixel defect replacement warranty (upgradable to 5 for about $30) which the ACDs don't. The "Premier Color" upgraded panel may be worth it for you but I find mine great and fantastic colour.
     
  19. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Whilst apple screens look nice, the quality of the screens themselves are often awful. I've found them unusable for photographic retouching, they hurt my eyes, there's glare, and certainly last time I bought a screen the specs were very low in comparison to what else was on the market.

    I went with a formac in the end. Lovely screen.

    I really wanted an Eizo :(
     
  20. goMac macrumors 603

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    #20
    I really like the ACD but some people feel religiously about antiglare. I still use some old 23" antiglare ACDs at home, so I can't really testify to that, but I know the glare on my iPad annoys me, so I could certainly see how having one or two giant glare prone displays at your desk could be annoying.
     
  21. thekev, May 8, 2012
    Last edited: May 8, 2012

    thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #21
    I will tell you I wish I went for a CG211 before they were discontinued rather than the 24". The older ones with the insane price tags ($2800 for a 21" display in the US) were just completely awesome. Most of the newer ones are wide gamut displays. This can make it a pain in the ass to get a perfectly neutral grey. Their software does have fewer bugs than NEC's spectraview. The only reason I suggest NEC is because it's fairly close and much less expensive. You do put up with more software bugs that aren't always fixed quickly, and their QC tolerance isn't as tight. I usually tell people to take a good look at it out of the box, and if by chance they get a bad one, just send it back immediately. Regarding input lag, many of them use overdrive circuits. Their grey to grey numbers are commonly shown with overdrive enabled, and it's usually on by default. I've read about reverse ghosting with this, but I haven't experienced it personally. In terms of NEC and Eizo, I've personally used quite a few from each brand in the past few years. I owned 2 NECs before switching to Eizo. Actually if I was thinking of switching back for cost reasons next time, I'd probably look at one of the non CG ones compared to the NECs.

    Apple may have gotten better in the past few years. Someone linked me to a review on Anandtech which suggested that they're not going quite so excessive on backlight brightness or retaining the 7000K white point anymore. He measured 6300. It may have been a D65 target where either the display or instrument was a bit of, as most of those instruments are nowhere near perfect.

    I own one. I liked the older (hitachi/mitsubishi panel) ones better. I should have bought one when chromix had them on sale.

    I'll give you a couple suggestions to make your life easier. First of all darken your work area as much as possible. If it's near total darkness, that's great. You can use blackout curtains or whatever is necessary. Next turn the display brightness way down. Note the Eizos are balanced to be used between 80 and 120 cd/m2. This is much darker than your average consumer display, but they set their levels and make adjustments with this range in mind. Apple displays don't always seem to hold contrast really well when turned down that far, but if you can profile it (note I say profile because it really doesn't have much in the way of internal hardware controls) at roughly minimum brightness but not below 90 cd/m2 or so and still achieve 350:1 or so as a contrast ratio, it will meet your needs quite well. It's actually annoying to edit still imagery on a high contrast display. It just crushes your shadows. By the way, before profiling you should leave it on at that brightness level for 30-45 minutes. Keep the colorimeter plugged in for at least 10. I'd order from a place with a good return policy. That way if by some chance the results aren't very good, you can always send it back. Feel free to ask me questions if the software is giving you problems. Last thing to note is that if you're matching to a printing device, you may have to tweak the brightness up or down slightly to get a good visual match to your prints. Just make sure you re-profile if you do this. The issue isn't just the reflections. These displays are way too bright for your intended purpose when they are new.

    Edit edit: I forgot to mention. Even with the Eizos they suggest extremely low ambient light levels. That's the typical thing for what you are doing, low display brightness combined with low ambient lighting whenever possible. There are plenty of places where it's not possible, but usually if they're doing any print matching, the lighting will be extremely controlled.
     
  22. mus0r macrumors regular

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    #22
    I have a pair of 23" Asus led displays that I like very much. Also an aluminum Apple display, also 23."

    I like the Asus ones just as much and they were only about $200 retail.
     
  23. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #23
    I use NEC right now (20WMGX2). But it is 6 years old. I like NEC too. A lot.
    But they have nothing of me right now. Color is important but so is response.
    I am aware of the OD circuits as pretty much all displays use them. What I meant by input lag is the difference between CRT and LCD in clone mode. NEC pro displays get off by 30-40ms. Well done display's get around 1-20ms. I'll just quote tftcentral on what it actually is. Source: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/features.htm.
    "The premise is that an LCD display shows a degree of lag between the image being sent to the screen from the graphics card, and what is actually shown on the panel. This is most easily noticeable when comparing a TFT and CRT side by side in clone mode, and you can see that the image on the TFT is lagging a little behind the CRT in some tests. The degree of this input lag varies from one screen to another. It doesn't seem to be linked to anything in particular, but it's presence is thought to be linked most likely to screen electronics and components. Other factors such as panel technology and interface used don't seem to exhibit a particular pattern of input lag but may be attributing factors."
    It works with pixel response time to net you the speed experience mainly for FPS and other quick image needs.
     
  24. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #24
    I was not as aware of this. I really liked my 2190 UXi when it was new. Their naming convention at the time was kind of bad though. UXi=ips and UXp= pva, but it was extremely difficult to actually locate these details. I wasn't awre they lagged that much.
     
  25. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #25
    It all depends on the batch but NEC have been consistently slow in this area over the last 3 years or so. Probably using similar components across models.
    I really don't think it matters when accuracy and color are involved at all. More when you are turning very quick 90º in first person shooters and other quick games. In fact from what I have seen the best pro photo display's are usually very slow. So when you can find one that has little lag + >6ms my eyebrows raise.
     

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