Best shared monitor for Mac/PC?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by CavemanMike, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. CavemanMike macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    Can someone suggest a good monitor which has more than one input?

    I'd like to keep the monitor always connected to my windows 8 desktop, and have another cable going to my macbook pro 2013 retina (should I want to work with a larger screen).

    I'm thinking I should be able to press the source button on the monitor, press whatever key is needed on the macbook and see my macbook on a big screen.

    1) Are there any issues or considerations for SHARING?
    My 4 year old win8 desktop is presently connected via dvi but I'm guessing if I ever replace it, the future pc would probably be hdmi, like my macbook. So, I guess a monitor with 2 HDMI inputs would be great, unless perhaps I get an adapter to convert one of the HDMI to DVI?

    2) Any resolution issues? It looks like all the monitors are 1920x1080 . I presume the macs support that.

    3) though bigger sounds better, unless I get an expensive apple monitor, a 27" monitor has the same resolution as a 22". Do you think a 27" for general desktop computing is a bad idea because it won't be as sharp as a smaller screen?

    4) To avoid clutter, I'm open to getting a monitor with an integrated webcam (though I'd probably just use my macbook if I wanted to video conf.).

    5) Any other suggestions or considerations would be very much appreciated!

    Thanks a bunch,

    (2 month old mac convert, driven to mac because windows 8 is TERRIBLE!)

    PS: after clicking submit, I realized I posted this in the mini forum by mistake. Sorry. I don't see a delete button :-(
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I am partial for Dell monitors, the Ultrasharp series especially, which has one DVI and one DisplayPort and one VGA input, and the newer ones probably even HDMI.

    As most not so cheap monitors, more than 150€, still have DVI as input, and your future desktop computer still having that video output, no need for an adapter.

    Macs support a variety of resolutions, 1920 x 1080 especially, as it comes in the 21.5" iMac.

    Depending on the state of your eyesight, a bigger monitor with the same resolution as a 22" display might be okay, but if you want more screen real estate, I would go with the bigger resolution.
    I have a 24" display with 1920 x 1200 pixel, as I still am partial to 16:10 displays and like that aspect ratio.

    Sorry, cannot advise you there. But consider those displays with webcams not having a good webcam at all.

    Do not get a display with built in speakers.

    Use the [​IMG] button to report it and ask for the thread being moved.
  3. CavemanMike thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    Thank you! Great advice!

    Particularly about the resolutions other than 1920x1080.

    Is the mac like windows where the higher the resolution, everything gets tiny?

    Do mac icons scale so they remain readable at higher resolutions?

  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    If you use bigger resolutions, the rest will become smaller, thus a 24" display might be a good compromise.
  5. CavemanMike thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    No built in speakers?

    I was actually thinking of getting built in speakers to eliminate desk clutter :-(
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Yeah, but then look for a display with quality speakers. The ones I experienced where all tinny and such.
  7. CavemanMike thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    Good point about integrated speakers.

    I have an airport express connected to my 5.1 home theatre. If I wanted big sound, I'd probably redirect audio to that.

    I'm still not sure how often I'll connect my macbook to the big monitor, and fuss with the keyboard & mouse.

    However, I did find an interesting alternative so I can use the usb keyboard & mouse to control my macbook:

    There is sometimes a slight delay. If I decide to use my mac with the big screen often, I might invest in a bluetooth keyboard & mouse, and just connect the video & power when I want to go big.


    Many years ago, I had a swivel portrait monitor on my windows pc, but the windows pc couldn't keep up and there was an annoying effect in that mode.

  8. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Best I've seen is the NEC PA271W and PA301W.
    These screens have dual DP input and they can switch USB as well (KVM switch). So with the press of a button, screen, keyboard and mouse move from Mac to PC and visa versa.
  9. CavemanMike thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    24" further= 22" closer?

    If I get a 24" and it turns out it doesn't look as sharp as a smaller monitor because it haz he same resolution, could I simply push it further away?

    Would that achieve the same effect but give me the flexibility to move it closer as my eyes get worse?

    I'm 45 and have been resisting getting glasses for several years.

    I keep getting bigger phones :)

    In June, I'll be upgrading my galaxy 3 to a Note 4 !

    BTW, I should have mentioned I'd like to keep this monitor purchase under about $350

    Thanks to everyone who has replied, this has been really helpful !!!

  10. CavemanMike thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2013

    any last minute thoughts re: 24" vs. 22".

    Anyone got a 24"?


  11. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    I have one of these, a Dell ultrasharp 2412M, and would recommend it:

    It has a DisplayPort, DVI and VGA inputs.

    You can plug the Mac into the DisplayPort using a cheap mini-displayPort-to-full-displayPort cable, and connect the PC directly to the DVI port. It is quick and easy to change inputs via the front panel.

    The resolution is 1920x1200, better than the typical 1920x1080 you'll get on a cheaper panel.

    No speakers, but Dell do make an optional soundbar (no idea what that's like).

    If you shop around you'll probably get it for your $350 budget.
  12. CavemanMike thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2013


    Any other features that a pc person might not think would be relevant for a monitor I'd be using with my new macbook pro ???

    I'm taking a brief detour and investigating docking stations (am searching macrumors now )

  13. CavemanMike thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    Wait: Retina -> 1920x1080?

    When I'm normally using my 13" macbook pro retina, I presume I'm seeing: 2560-by-1600.

    If I use my an external 1920x1080 monitor, what will it look like?

    Will I have more or less or the same desktop real estate?

    (Do I have to manually go in an change display settings on the mac?)

    If so, I guess that means it won't be a real seamless process:

    plug in power
    plug in display cable
    change display settings
    change video input on minitor
    plug in usb keyboard

    I guess it's not like the old fashioned days of docking stations on my dell laptop where you just plop it in and are good to go.

    Thoughts? (I don't have any experience with the mac display issues so I'm not sure what to expect).

  14. Cristian .b macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2013
    Apple walled garden
    What you see on the retina is 2560x1600 upscaled to 1280x800. Same real estate as 1280x800 just sharper. on 1920x1080 you will get more real estate.
  15. CtotheP macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    Whitefish Bay, WI
    I am partial to Samsung monitors in that the display quality is amazing and they usually have all 3 ports on the back (VGA, Dvi, hdmi). I have 2 23" displays and run dual hdmi from my mac to each and then a Devi and VGA to the,pm from my dell latitude docking statio
  16. CavemanMike thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    Thanks Cristian .b

    Very informative. Thanks for describing the resolutions. Very clear.

  17. CavemanMike thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    I'm getting a mac mini instead!

    It's really good sometimes to step back, challenge assumptions, and be open to changing directions.

    I decided I'm not going to spend $200-$300 for a monitor with multiple inputs so I can keep this 4 year old (now upgraded to windows 8 which I hate) pc at my desk, and share the the monitor with my new macbook pro retina (which I love).

    For the difference in price of a good monitor and an entry mac mini, I'll not have to fuss with plugs, keyboards, kvm's, etc.

    The mac mini will work with my existing keyboard/monitor and mouse, and I can just walk up to it and surf, and not fuss.

    Problem solved!

    Thanks everyone!


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