Dell U2711 on the Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by teohyc, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. teohyc macrumors regular


    May 24, 2007
    I've recently upgraded from a Dell 2405FPW to a U2711. Here's my short review from a Mac perspective.

    1. It's basically plug and play (on my Mac OS 10.5.8).

    2. It requires a DVI Dual link graphics card. The LCD monitor comes with the appropriate cable to enjoy the maximum resolution straightaway. No HDMI cable though.

    3. When plugged into the Radeon X1900XT, it doesn't show the dual boot screen when holding Alt while starting up -- that's if you're using Boot Camp. You're still on that dual boot screen, just that you have to choose blindly your boot option.

    4. When plugged into the Radeon 4870HD, there are no issues.

    5. Colour calibration, if you don't require 100% colour matching to your output i.e. photos, is very quick via the System Preferences.

    6. If you're on Windows (via Boot Camp), you'll need to download and install the graphics card driver, which I can't seem to find/run on the disc provided.

    -- My general review --

    The resolution is outstanding at 2560 by 1440. Yes, there's 160 pixels missing from the bottom compared to a typical 30-inch, but coming up from 1920 by 1200 it doesn't really matter.

    The colours are vibrant, which is great. The text is a bit smaller, of a size you typically see on 13-inch laptops. It took me a while to get used to the smaller font size.

    This set is non-glossy. Apparently, Dell has applied some anti-glare coating. I've read on forums that some customers disliked it but I've no problem with it.

    Compared to a 24-inch, 1920 by 1200, the U2711 isn't much taller, it's much wider. I can fit two webpages, 1024px each, and still be able to see icons on the desktop.

    As for backlight bleeding, it's hard to detect. It means if your widescreen movies still show the letterbox black bars, you'll be less distracted.

    The U2711 also works well with my PS3 via HDMI. I'm not sure of the audio capabilities but I use a 2.1 speaker plugged in with a 3.5mm jack. One thing to note is you'll have to set the audio settings on your PS3 to output 2.1 sound to make sure they output all the sound, dialogue, effects, surround, etc.

    Gaming on the PS3 is very enjoyable. The games had to be upscaled and there's a notch of graininess. Not really an issue unless you're sitting really close. Everything looks pretty snappy and I don't notice any lag but I'm don't really play FPS games.

    Note that this monitor would require a decent graphics card with dual-DVI output. If you want to game at the maximum resolution, they you need a powerful card.

    This is a huge physical monitor. My table is really small and it took up almost half of it. But not regrets.

    I managed to get this LCD at US$690 equivalent in Asia, Singapore. It's really value for money. This set is going to last me for a long time, until the slimmer LED version comes out in who-knows-which year.

    I would recommend this monitor to graphic designers, photographers or anything who multi-task a lot.
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Damn I want one just for the increased input options. Right now, with a just a DVI input on my monitor, it's getting a bit lacking.

    But then I also lose about 160 vertical pixels…
  3. LurchNC macrumors regular

    May 1, 2008
    Thanks for the review!

    I recently upgraded to this monitor myself. I also got the speaker bar. I have it hooked to the line out on the Mac for normal use. I use a duet and M-Audio monitors when I'm recording, or if I really want to crank my music.

    The Duet and monitors obviously blow away the speaker bar, but I don't like running them all the time, especially if I'm just surfing. The speaker bar is fine for the basic stuff and it looks pretty good mounted to the monitor. I only wish it had an extra audio input like my Gateway speaker bar did on my last monitor. I had my PS3 and my Mac hooked up and both could output at the same time. I guess I could use a splitter to do the same thing.

    The monitor itself is perfect for me. No backlight bleed and the colors are great. I too had to get used to the smaller text, but the extra real estate is well worth it. I debated between a refurb 30" ACD and this, and I feel like I did the right thing. I love the extra inputs, and the fact that it's HDCP compliant means my HD iTunes and hopefully future Blu-Ray(common Steve... open that "bag of hurt") stuff plays full res.

  4. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Thanks for the detailed review.

    How are you adjusting to the font size? That's holding me back and and thinking to get the 24" intead ... is there a way to adjust the font size so it's similar in size as you'd see on the 24"? ...

    I know you can do it, but if you increase the DPI or use windows to re-size how does it look? Often fonts look horrible when you change from the native resolution no matter what I try. Changing DPI seems to be the best way I've found.
  5. teohyc thread starter macrumors regular


    May 24, 2007
    I've gotten used to the smaller font size pretty within a few days.

    I don't think there's any way to adjust Mac OS system font sizes. Which means things like Photoshop palettes will have a very small tab.

    As for browsers, just increase the browser's font size by a notch and it will be close to that on a 24-inch LCD. Nowadays, browsers (like Firefox) scale the font size and also the layout, which works really like zoom in. Even after the font size increase, you can still fit in two pages on the screen side by side.

    For Windows (under boot camp), the system fonts can be changed.
  6. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    I can currently get this monitor for about $900 with the small business coupon. Would you say it's worth it, especially at this price? I guess I am between this and possibly a 30 inch model. It seems like the resolution wouldn't be a problem in terms of losing some vertical space? I currently have 1920x1200. After having this monitor for about a month longer now...are you still pleased with it? Thanks so much!
  7. ajhnyc macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2011
    Dell U2711 on Early 2008 Mac Pro

    I am interested in increasing size and quality of my display. Have read great reviews of the Dell but have a couple of questions.

    I do not play games but watch 90% of video on computer. I am prepared to spend $1000 on the U2711 but would like some confirmation that extra $$s will be well spent. Will there be a significant improvement from 1920 x 1200 24" Samsung?

    The GPU in my MacPro is ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB (two dual-link DVI ports). Do I need to upgrade and if so what do you recommend at a reasonable price?

    All help and suggestions gratefully received.
  8. 100Years macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2011
    I just recently bought a U2711 monitor myself; so far, I absolutely love it; no complaints at all.
  9. crashnburn macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2009
    How and where did you buy it from for this price in Singapore?
  10. voyagerd macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2002
    Rancho Cordova, CA
    I think I'm going to get a U2711 as soon as I save up the money for one. I have a Dell 2005FPW and feels really small and dim compared to the 27" iMac that my father got. It's also getting pretty old after 6 years. The display is a lot dimmer than my 3 year old MacBook Pro. I do quite a bit of high end gaming, so it will be interesting to see how those games run at that resolution.
  11. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    No it doesn't ;) You can use various inputs such as DisplayPort. The DP cable Dell uses has the normal sized DP connectors which is a problem since current Macs need the mini DP connector. Such DP-mDP cables are available from NEC, Circuit Assembly, Monoprice and others. If you wish you could also use the other inputs but they don't allow you to use the max resolution (2560x1440). One of the biggest advantages of Dell displays are the many input options.

    How is switching inputs? Say you have something hooked up via DisplayPort and HDMI; can you switch directly from DP to HDMI?
  12. 100Years macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2011
    I posted earlier in this thread that I had no complaints about the U2711. Well, here's what happend just last week:

    I came across a really good local deal on a Apple 27" LED display, so I picked it up. Comparing the Dell with the Apple, I was amazed at how much I preferred the image quality on the Apple LED. You know, the reflectiveness of the display is not anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I pretty much don't even notice it.

    So far, everything I have thrown at the display from movies, games, to generic web browsing, have all been outstanding. The images all have a strong clarity and richness to them.

    Short of the story, I ended up selling the Dell.

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