Best external monitors

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by -BigMac-, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. -BigMac- macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi guys,
    Having a Mac Pro, i am deciding now between monitors. I have previously started a thread (30" ACD vs. 27" ACD). Having decided on the 27" ACD, i have stumbled last minute on the 30" Dell UltraSharp U3011.


    Here's why i like it:
    - Matte (my room is lit up quite brightly during the day)
    - Extra real estate (what's not to love:D)
    - Extra connection ports (will plug in xbox 360, MP, iPod Classic and eventually iPhone 5 ;))
    - Response time (7ms vs. 12ms)

    Why i dont like it:
    - its fatter (i dont have so much "depth" on my desk..)
    - No iSight
    - No Speakers
    - No Microphone
    - ACD has higher pixel density (not so important)

    I'm wondering.. do any of you guys have any experience with the Dell 30"? Maybe some reasons why you wouldn't purchase the Dell? Or perhaps bought the Dell over the ACD?

    It's a big investment, so i was hoping with some more insight before the purchase :)

    Thanks a lot :D
  2. Toumak macrumors member


    Jul 26, 2010
    Hi !

    I bought few months ago not the U3011, but his little brother, the U2711.
    It has the same resolution, and thus the same pixel density, then Apple's 27".

    But the big points why I took the Dell's one, is because of its extra connection ports, and most of all : the display is MATTE !

    I HATE glossy displays ...

    Also, the colors are much better then Apple's one's.
    It's now 6 months I'm using it, and it's a real pleasure.
    I don't regret it, at all ;)

    ... and it's sensibly less expensive than the 30" ! :)
  3. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Another reason to go with the Dell is that it has height adjustment, swivel and tilt. While the ADC has... tilt... so you can try get that reflecting light out of your eyes ;) :p

    As for the lack of speakers, you could always buy the Dell soundbar and attach it to the monitor.

    Regarding the webcam. I don't know if the iSight in the ACD is the same as newer Macbook Pro's - i.e. they can be used to get 1280x1024 images instead of tiny VGA resolution. Either way, going with Dell you'd have a nice range of webcams to choose for yourself if you care about image quality and whatnot. Additionally you could get a webcam with built-in microphone - that's two birds with one stone ;)

    Anyway, go with the Dell :p
  4. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Lack of speakers shouldn't stop you from buying a monitor. The speakers in any monitor, including the ACD, are rubbish. Rather get some separate ones like the B&W MM-1, or something cheaper if you prefer.
  5. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    Some of these are very good quality.

    this set is nice
  6. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
  7. maclaptop macrumors 65816


    Apr 8, 2011
    Western Hemisphere
  8. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Keep in mind that the Dell has a pretty harsh AG coating. Some people find this to be very annoying since texts are not as sharp as on glossy screens.

    Personally, I'm absolutely fine with AG coating as long as I don't have a freaking mirror in front of me. I mean I'm astonishingly good looking, but I wouldn't mind seeing some documents on the screen once in a while instead of just me. :p ;)

    Other than that, 30" all the way. :D
  9. Bob Kiwi macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2010
    I have a Dell 3008WFP (the predecessor to the U3011, from a few years ago). It's fantastic, mostly due to the availability of Displayport, multiple DVI, component, HDMI, etc.

    Picture-by-picture is cute but I miss the Picture-in-picture from my old HP 23in.

    Oh, it's got an accessible USB hub and a SD/CF/etc card reader too. So much flexibility versus a Cinema Display.

    If thickness is an issue, pretty sure you can get a monitor holder as you can remove it from the standard stand and use a VESA mount (like an Ergotron) just need one that can handle the weight/size of a 30.

    I have to imagine the 3011 has some technical improvements over a 3008 too.
  10. badmoth macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2011
    New England, USA
    I'm using the U3011. The base of the stand is a little over 8" deep. I love it. I'm coming over from a 2408WFP (1920x1200) which is now my 2nd display (great monitor too, by the way). Transporteur mentioned the anti-glare. If I move a text window from the 30" over the 24", I can definitely tell the difference. But I don't notice it day-to-day. That's a personal preference thing so get in front of one if you can. If you're patient, you can get a refurb from Dell Outlet for $899. And speaking of Dell Outlet, they have the 2408WFP for $399 right now. Three of those for $1200 would make an awesome set-up!
  11. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    When I last looked at apple monitors they really weren't good, low contrast ratio's, slow refresh times, only one gamma setting..... That was a while ago so they might have improved.

    IIRC I ended up buying a formac galeria, as they were feature rich and good value for money, but mine is a graphics and photography machine mainly.
  12. zephonic macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2011
    greater L.A. area
    I'd choose NEC for professional use. With dual displays I like 1680x1050 or 1900x1200. Not a fan of 1920x1080.
  13. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    I ended up buying a 27acd with my new Mac pro ... Should be here today. I had the 30acd with my other Mac pro that I loved but I plan on running two monitors and 2 30s would be huge ... I'm sure I will miss my 30 but I didn't mind working on my 27 iMac I had so I figured the 27acd wouldn't be that bad
  14. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    If money wasnt an issue I'd by this badboy


    Its more expensive than my mac pro was.:D
  15. -BigMac- thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thats a really good point about the tilt!! that could pretty much take care of any reflection :p The webcam would also be a good idea, i skype quite a lot so a choice of some super hi-res cameras wouldnt be bad.
    But would Photobooth be compatible with a higher-than-facetime quality webcam?

    I would absolutely love to mount it on the wall, but we are renting so that's not an option :( if i could wall mount without drilling, the Dell would be a definite buy

    Agreed. 3 of those would b fantastic, but i live in Australia, and we dont have the 24" referbs in. only up to 22"ers :( I will look on eBay to see if i can bargain my way into a 30" :p
  16. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Best external monitors

    I like Dell Ultrasharps, but I like matte screens.

    Kudos for going with external monitors though. Those internal monitors sure are useless! :p
  17. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
  18. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Video quality shouldn't matter. Photobooth should be able to use any OS X compatible webcam.

    Quick google search, here's a small list of webcams that you can use:

    There is at least one better list out there - I came across it a couple years ago which was more comprehensive but it's hard to find. But, the above page is good enough in terms of listing good/recommended HD webcams.
  19. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    Do you live close to an Apple store? Buy an ACD and a Dell and try them out, return the one you don't want.
  20. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    These people have it down if you care about actual performance of screens. Out of box and calibrated professionally. Input lag, color accuracy, "real" contrast ratio, etc... So much more refreshing than the reviews that are pretty much all subjective feel. They review most of the Dell top of the lines.
  21. VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    what are you going to be using the display for?
  22. JavaTheHut macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2010

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