HP ZR30W - 2nd review with new video card, wow!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Eric-PTEK, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Eric-PTEK macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    I had settled on selling my HP ZR30W and getting a 27" CD.

    I actually wanted two CD's but my MB Pro obviously would not run two monitors. I decided to build myself a Hack Pro based on some guides on the net.

    It works absolutely perfectly and I chose a 5850 ATI Video card to go with it.

    I was happy with the ZR30 with the MB Pro but it didn't have the same POP that my wife's 27" iMac did which was part of my decision to go with the CD instead even at a loss of screen space.

    I connected the MB Pro via a mini-DP to DP cable. I have a Huey Pro and let it do the tuning on the monitor.

    Then I plugged in the 5850 and what an incredible difference. The color richness, quality, all of it is so much better its difficult to explain.

    I'm sure we've all seen the start differences between how OSx looks on a Apple monitor, especially the new ones and how it looks on a generic PC monitor, or Win7. OSx always looks better, it looks richer, deeper, and takes away partly that feeling your looking at a monitor.

    The ZR30W now with the 5850(XFX 1GB) without any tuning at all, just picking the standard ZR30 profile is incredible. You can't even tell it has antiglare coating on it the colors are so deep.

    Last week I would have easily given this up for a 27" CD with the color quality of my wife's 27" iMac.

    Today I'm wondering why I didn't build her one of these too :)

    It is an amazing difference. The ZR30 is connected via the DP to DP cable it came with. The 5850 has 2 DVI, 1 DP, and 1 HDMI.

    I'm using the 5xxx Kext's to get it running, it is identified as:

    Chipset Model: ATI Radeon HD 5850
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCIe
    Slot: Slot-1
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 1024 MB
    Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
    Device ID: 0x6899
    Revision ID: 0x0000
    ROM Revision: 113-B7710C-176
    EFI Driver Version: 01.00.318
    HP ZR30w:
    Resolution: 2560 x 1600
    Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
    Main Display: Yes
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Rotation: Supported
    Connection Type: DisplayPort
    Display Connector:
    Status: No Display Connected

    I've seen wildly different color quality from cheap PC cards to good PC cards but I always thought Apple had a standard for their RAMDAC's so things look good all across the product line.

    I really cannot believe how much better it looks, it is so much more satisfying to use the computer now.

    Besides the RAMDAC what else could be the big difference in quality?

    In Win7 I have a lot of work to do, any white background on a web page blinds you but I only use 7 for games anyways.
  2. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    FL, USA
    When I started reading this I thought your dissatisfaction was due to the matte screen.

    I love mine which I use on my late 2009 Mini. Works great. I got a cheap little HP longish speaker ($25) I use via USB and you know it pumps out my iTunes music just fine.
  3. Eric-PTEK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    I went from a Dell 27" with the frosted glass screen to this so any matte finish was an improvement.

    I really did prefer the glossy look of the iMac...the Matte on here wasn't bad, not at all, but as I said it didn't have that POP.

    Now I can't even tell there is a matte finish...you could see tell it was there before but not now.

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