DVI and nMP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macpr, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. macpr macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2013
    Hi guys,

    I’m a graphics dude who’s been working with Powermacs/MacPros since 8 years or so. I’m very serious about soft proofing for print and bought an Eizo (CG303W, 30") 2 years ago. Since my beefed-up 2008 MP is becoming too slow to keep working with it productively, I’m in the market for the nMP.

    Now there are a couple of problems with it (like the lack of internal storage) which have been discussed at great lenghts here and everywhere. But apart from that and the fact that I’d rather have a Titan or 780ti than two FirePros there’s another thing that bothers me: The lack of DVI connectivity.

    There’s a Displayport-to-Dual-Link-DVI adapter from Apple but just read the reviews and you’ll see that it works flakey at best. I’ve used it for a project where I had to use a MacBook with my 30" and did have occasional blackouts of the screen.

    So here I am, with a kickass monitor that cost more than the base line nMP, unable to properly use it on the machine because Apple obviously designed this machine to win design prices, not for people to seriously work with it. And to top it all, they couldn’t even bothered to produce a DP-Dual-Link-DVI-Adapter that Just works®

    It sucks to be an Apple pro users these days. It really does. And don’t get me started on their glossy, non-hardware-calibratable thunderbolt displays, ~80% AdobeRGB is a joke.
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    I have used the dual link adapter with good results. Don't use the reviews as a total bench as most people write in only because it is pissing them off. 5x more users are just using with no need to tell the world about their success'.
  3. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    More so designed for the future not the past. Eizo doesn't make CG303 anymore. ( and fewer vendors have them in stock these days). Eizo's current line up generally have DisplayPort ports.

    As folks move to "4K" size display resolutions DisplayPort and HDMI are going to squeeze out legacy DVI.

    Yes the monitor is 'kickass', but the connection technology is hardly so versus the competing options.

    Is the the adapter or the monitor or a combo of both ?

    Here is a "Thunderbolt compatibility" chart from Eizo.


    Down in the validation results sections some monitors have footnotes in the mini-DisplayPort DVI section and some don't. There at newer 27" monitors that don't (which are very likely being tested with the same dual link adapter in question here. )

    And in this apparently older chart the CG301 gets a unqualified 'Yes'.


    Apple isn't in the display business. They are in the docking station business... which happens to have a display. However, there is nothing at al "pro" in only buying equipment from one vendor. There are lots of pros who print on non Apple devices. Doesn't really materially have an impact on delivering "pro" services.
  4. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Take a look at the adapters by Accell, ATLONA, Monoprice and StarTech. None of them are perfect, but you may get a good experience from one. I suggest buying based on the simplicity of the return process :/
  5. djarum69 macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2007
    I came to the conclusion that a HDMI 1.4 to DVI-D connector is going to be the more reliable solution for my 30" monitor. If the nMP can push 4K out off the HDMI connector they should be able to feed a 30" at full resolution. I obviously haven't tried it yet, but that's my current plan.
  6. snapdragonx macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2012
    Just my 2c - I purchased a very cheap $10 Display Port > DVI adapter off Ebay a couple of years ago, and it has been working perfectly without any issues since then.
  7. macpr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2013
    I’ve got the Apple Adapter and it has been somewhat flakey. Sometimes the image just turns black for a few seconds with no apparent reason. It’s not really a deal breaker but it doesn’t exactly build trust.

    Designed for the future is all fine and dandy, but we are obviously in a transition period tech-wise. I’m not sure if it’s wise to just ditch old connections. Same as they ditched firewire too early on the MBP, then reintroduced it on the next version. Thanks for the chart, not sure if the CG301 is comparable to the CG303W, I’ll just have to get the nMP and test it out, I guess.

    Oh, I didn’t even think of that. Might be a valid plan, thanks!

    A $10 DP>DVI is no good for me, I need to push 2560x1600 and thus need an active adapter that provides Dual-Link-DVI. The Apple-adapter cost me $100 and most of the competitors are in a similar price range.
  8. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Maybe, maybe not.


    the original HDMI can pass without transform to single link DVI. So stuff like 1080p HDTV generally works fine. That is what the majority of cables out there do. And quirks with DVI-D signalling probably work better.

    Not so sure there are as many solutions in the 30" monitor and 4K space. The additions in HDMI 1.3 and 1.4 are where it starts to diverge from DVI in color space, bandwidth , etc. Some active converters can show up, but rule of thumb of it mostly being a transparent pass-thru seems a bit dated. If new solutions show up it would be worth digging into their track record or having a viable evaluation mechanism.
  9. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Depends upon perspective. From the perspective of minimizing impact on sunk costs then no. Apple doesn't particularly ask people to saddle themselves with sunk costs, so bailing them out isn't a high priority either.

    From the perspective of getting people to move on to newer, better technologies it does help. DisplayPort could be invented to replace VGA, DVI ,etc but as long as there is a defacto requirement to also stick those connectors on systems that transition will take longer. It isn't necessarily wise to maximize the length of the transition period.

    The adapters are transitional scaffolding.

    Apple probably has an expectation that the transition to 4k is going to have more traction over next couple of years than sticking with the status quo in DVI era display tech.

    It was only the 13" it disappeared from and this was more so a move they made overlapping the 13" with the MacBook in feature sets temporarily. It was in part too early because there were deployed alternative like USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. It isn't like DVI doesn't have alternatives. HDMI is about to go to version 2 ( after 1.2 , 1.3 , 1.4 ) and DisplayPort is on 1.2 also. The transition started a while ago.

    There may be more on the Eizo support pages. I didn't dig through all of it.
    Or may have ideas on which cable/adapters work better.
  10. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The older one used a PVA panel. I recall that being the biggest difference. As for inputs, they generally take several. The newest ones have started to include mini displayport too.
  11. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    That's what is a bit odd about this CG303W. There are only DVI-D dual link connectors. Two, but of the same type. If it was introduced in 2008 or 2009 I could see that as DisplayPort had not really gotten started. ( DisplayPort standardized in 2006-7 and was in products by 2008. Apple almost immediately mutated it with mini DisplayPort also in 2008 ).

    But by 2010 when this monitor was introduced, it has been out for a while and the 1.2 update already ratified very late in 2009 ( if not deployed much yet in 2010). By this point the standard group for DVI had disbanded. So the monitor had just one interface type with no future at all on it other than the then current industry inertia.

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