Connecting a new monitor

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by macman4789, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. macman4789 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm thinking a getting an additional monitor to add more screen to my 17" iMac core 2 duo and now and again to connect to my macbook pro 15" (not new one).

    I'm quite inexperienced with this and have a few questions.

    1. I'm thinking of getting one as future proof as possible, so one thats 1080p. The smallest LCD monitor I can find is 24" which has a 1080p or higher resolution, is there a no brainer which everyone goes for around this size that I'm unaware of? I don't think I could afford the ACD before you say that!

    2. Will my graphics cards support an additional monitor and one with such a high resolution? I think my imac has a 128mb ati and my MB pro a 256mb nvidia.

    3. Is it possible to have a different resolution on an additional monitor or do I have to get one with the same resolution as my imac (1200 x 800 i think) because both monitors would be using the same graphics card?

    Thanks for your time
     
  2. chilipie macrumors 6502a

    chilipie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    Englandshire
    #2
    1. Having more than 1080 lines of vertical resolution doesn't necessarily future proof it, just means that you can watch videos in 1080p without scaling it. A find my 24" a very good size though - you can never have too many pixels to work with, but it strikes the right balance between cost and usefulness.

    2. Yes. I've run my 24" Dell from a 17" Core Duo iMac and my 15" Penryn MacBook Pro with no problems whatsoever. Your iMac will support an external screen up to 1920 x 1200 pixels (most 24" screens). Your MacBook Pro will run an external monitor at resolutions up to 2560 x 1600 pixels, which is the same resolution as most 30" computer monitors.

    3. Yes, you can run each screen at a different resolution, with each monitor displaying different windows. You can also do something called "display mirroring", where each screen displays exactly the same thing in exactly the same resolution, but this is really only any use for presentations and the like.

    I hope I've answered all your questions, let me know if you want to know anything else :)
     
  3. macman4789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for your detailed reply chilipie, very helpful. That display mirroring you mentioned sounds interesting, would I have to down scale the resolution to the same as my imac's if I want to do that?

    I've noticed that my MB Pro and iMac have different connectors for external displays, will this affect which monitor I can get? Could you let me know the difference between the two? Is one better than the other?

    Thanks
     
  4. chilipie macrumors 6502a

    chilipie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    Englandshire
    #4
    Display mirroring means that exactly the same thing is displayed on the two screens, pixel for pixel, so the resolution has to be identical. As I said before, this is only really any use for presentations etc - there'll be no increase in workspace so it's not going to make you any more productive.

    The MacBook Pro has a dual-link DVI connection and the iMac has a Mini-DVI port. They're both digital and so there should be no difference between the quality of the signal, but it does limit the resolution the computer can output (1920 x 1200, or most 24" screens). The MacBook Pro can support resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels, which is the same resolution as most 30" screens. To use the iMac with an external display you will need to purchase an adaptor cable (Mini-DVI to DVI or Mini-DVI to VGA depending on which screen you purchase - most new screens should work with either), which can be bought from Apple for around £15.

    Your choice of monitor is only limited by the size really - there's no point purchasing a 30" screen if you want to use it with your iMac and can't use it to its full potential. I highly recommend the Dell monitors; I use a 24" widescreen, and there's a 20" one on a PC in the study - we've had no problems with either, and I've been very happy with mine :)
     
  5. macman4789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    #5
    I was actually looking at the dell ones. Some really good 24" at good prices. Got my eyes on a 1080p screen from dell, but then think why not pay a bit extra and get the 1920 x 1200 but do I really need that much resolution!

    So just to clarify, it's not the graphics card that is stopping me from plugging in a monitor with a greater resolution than 1920 x 1200, its the type of connection? So the dual link DVI enables a greater resolution display than the mini DVI?

    Thanks
     
  6. chilipie macrumors 6502a

    chilipie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    Englandshire
    #6
    I'd go for the 1920 x 1200 myself - you can never have too many pixels ;) Also, the aspect ration of a screen like that is 16:10 - a 1080p screen is 16:9. I find the former much better for computer use.

    Yes, that's correct - dual-link DVI is capable of outputting higher resolutions than Mini-DVI. (Although the MacBook Pro does also have a better graphics card.)
     
  7. macman4789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    #7
    Ok cool, thanks for that. The greater the response time the better, is that right? I've found a dell monitor with a 6ms.

    I've found 24" Dell 2408WFP Ultrasharp monitor which looks the business, does anyone have any experience with the difference between dells ultrasharp range and the other 24" monitors with the same resolution? Are they worth the extra money?

    Thanks
     
  8. chilipie macrumors 6502a

    chilipie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    Englandshire
    #8
    A shorter response time (ie. a lower number) is better. Can't help you with the other question though, I'm afraid :)
     
  9. macman4789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    #9
    Ah right. Is 6ms a good number? Contrast ratio of 3000:1. resolution 1920 x 1200.

    Sorry for all the questions but as you can tell I don't know what makes a god monitor!
     
  10. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #10
    I recently got the Dell 24" S2409W - heres my video to it (unboxing and mini review).
     
  11. macman4789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    #11
    Thanks for that video, really helpful. After using it now for a longer period of time, what do you think of the monitor?

    And where did you get it for such a good price! :D
     
  12. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #12
    I think its an absolutely fantastic monitor. Great to watch movies on and it works a treat with my MB. Still waiting for my wireless keyboard to arrive, should be here tomorrow.

    I got it from the Dell website - apparently it was a misprice.
     

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