Is a 20" ACD worth the price?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bking1000, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #1
    I have been using an iMac, but am now switching to a Santa Rosa MacBook as my primary, and moving my iMac to a relative. I would like to run an external monitor.

    I have a 19" Samsung SyncMaster 906BW and also a ViewSonic VA1930wm. Both have something like 3-6ms refresh, and I think I remember the Samsung having something like 2000 or 3000:1 contrast ratio. The 20"ACD seems to have only 700:1 contrast and 16ms response time (??)

    Is this right? Could the ACD be worse than my run-of-the-mill 19" monitors?

    Also, as a side question a) Do ACDs have a magnetic place for the remote and b) do the laptops fit in under the monitors well?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #2
    The ACD is not worse than run of the mill monitors. It is actually quite a superior display BUT it's probably not worth the money if you don't need very high color accuracy (search these forums for threads about IPS panels).

    The ACD does not have a magnetic place for the remote.

    A macbook fits well under the side of the 20" ACD. The macbook will hang out past the edge of the display, of course. I guess you could balance the MB on the "foot" of the display, but I've never done that for fear of scratching the MB plastic when I move it.

    Note that if you store your MB under the display it will (again, obviously) be in clamshell mode, which always makes me a little nervous when the fans really get going. I know macbooks are designed to be used that way, but I've played games with the lid closed and the macbook overheated enough that the game started stuttering. So I always feel better when I can open the lid if I'm doing anything that really taxes the macbook.

    By the way - I hope you're not disappointed when you switch from imac to macbook. I just recently went the other way, and I was really surprised to find the imac much faster. I don't know if it's the 466 mhz per core, the desktop HD, or the dedicated graphics, but my imac just blows away my macbook (which is the same model you're using), even for day-to-day tasks on which I didn't think I'd see any difference. Also, the imac is so much quieter. The fans get really loud on a macbook, and I've yet to hear my imac except for the optical drive.
     
  3. gazfocus macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #3
    My opinion of the ACD's over the other displays on the market has dropped dramatically. I currently have a 23" ACD and it has recently developed a fault where it starts to flicker after about 30 mins, took it to the Apple store and they ran '5 hours of extensive tests' then told me there was nothing wrong with my screen :(.

    The fact that I've used this along side a Samsung screen (which is perfect although not of the same quality, doesn't seem to have any bearing on the fact that Apple are saying it's my computer (a PC) at fault and not the display.

    I am seriously looking at a pair of 24" Dells at the moment.
     
  4. bking1000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #4
    Thanks for the reply and the help on the ACD. As this is a test phase (I am loaning either my MB or my iMac to a relative), I think I'll just go with a cheap monitor.

    Having said that -- you also mentioned I might not be happy moving to a MB. I'm already feeling that! Now, there are wires everywhere all over my desk, I've lost like twice as much real estate on my desk, the audio on the MB is not nearly as nice as on my iMac (I play music a lot on the iMac), the 13" screen is small, so I'm looking for a larger monitor, but the iMac monitor (I have an old white iMac) is very crisp. The Samsung I'm testing now with my MB looks cartoonish compared to it (though it is brighter).
     
  5. bking1000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #5
    Thanks for the feedback. I've seen enough quality concerns on the web now, that I think I'll steer clear of the ACDs. Thanks for the input.
     
  6. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #6
    The ACD uses an IPS LCD panel and those panels are more expensive then (S-)PVA and TN panels. The ACD's have a similar price to other displays that use an IPS LCD panel, but most any display with an IPS LCD panel will cost more then one using an (S-)PVA or TN panel.

    The main advantage of an IPS panel is it's color accuracy. Out of the box they are usually very accurate and with proper calibration, as exceptionally so. The disadvantages are they have a lower response time (so they're not as good for fast-action movement like some video games) and their black levels are not the best (so movie watching can be compromised a bit).
     
  7. Enigmafan420 macrumors 6502a

    Enigmafan420

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    Puget Sound, U.S.A.
    #7
    I just purchased an LG 22" widescreen-Model #W2600H-PF
    -it has 5000:1 contrast ratio and 5ms response. It is a BEAUTIFUL screen and was on sale at Best Buy for $259.99.

    I do like the ACD but the cost has always scared me off-I think there are other great monitors out there for less-go to best buy or costco and look-you have to like it-regardless of the Specs.

    I looked at a Samsung that on paper was better, but it looked washed out and dull to me. For me anyway, it has to look nice to my eyes, not just on the spec sheet.
     
  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #8
    Sometimes specs are just a selling point, the ACD's are going to be refreshed soon, but again this is a rumor. You might want to wait if you really like the ACD's but would like a lower price. The selling point of the ACD's is the build quality, and the aesthetics. For me, I use my 24" Samsung which cost me half as much as the 20" ACD. The ACD's have better color accuracy, and better customer support, since Apple has AppleCare for the ACd, I believe.

    So yea, basically the ACd has better build quality and color accuracy, and the other displays have better specs. For most users, you won't be able to tell the difference in the ms response times, unless you're playing high fps games or watch high fps movies or any other video content. If you like it,go for it, regardless of the specs, after all, aren't we in the 'personal' computing age? :D
     
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #9
    When you say flicker it could possibly be interference, especially if the genius bar couldn't duplicate the problem. Id have to see it for sure. Try replacing the cable.
     
  10. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    You pay a considerable design premium for the ACDs, and you lose out on ports. I love my 20" Dell, great color, bright, and it has DVI, VGA, S-Video and Composite, so I can hook up my powerbook (DVI), an xbox 360 (VGA) and, perhaps a PS2 on s-video.
     
  11. macgruder macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Well, of course, anecdotal experiences mean nothing regarding the quality of the monitor. I bought a 23" ACD because it was about the cheapest S-IPS monitor I could find. The color is wonderful and it looks beautiful.
     
  12. bking1000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #12
    Thanks for all the input. I've decided after setting up a cheap-o monitor, macbook, external drives, etc. that it took up too much desktop real estate. Now, I'm thinking I could sell the MB and move to a MPB, and not use an external monitor. I think I could live with a 15", and a 17" may be out of my price range (unless I get a refurb).

    Can anyone comment on the technology used in the MBP? Are they all just TN, or is there a model with something more? Also, if you could refrain from commenting on glossy vs matte, just so the thread doesn't spin out of control ;)
     
  13. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    The MBP uses a TN LCD panel. Looks okay from nose-on, but from the sides it has a distinct yellow tint and the viewing angles are a bit constrained. Mine operates in clamshell (closed lid) mode and is connected to a Dell 2408 S-PVA display.

    I sold my 24" 2.4GHz iMac and 2.0GHz MacBook and bought a 2.4GHz MacBook Pro. Have to say I love it, and it seems as quick as my iMac. I will be moving to a Mac Pro as my main machine in a few months, at which point my MBP will become my portable.
     
  14. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #14
    You make a lot of good points about what is lost when going from an imac to a macbook (wires, audio, loss of physical space on the desk). All other reasons that I'm very happy with the switch. The biggest disadvantage for me has been going from an ACD to a glossy display. The room I have my imac in is very bright, and I get a lot of glare. (FWIW, the imac monitor is fantastic when it's dark out.)
     
  15. applepalace.com macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #15
    Another addition to the topic.

    The problems we ve receives about the cinema displays are mostly the power adapters. Depending on my conversations with the customers, life time of the power supplies are around 1.5 year. Then you end up paying $90 for a replacement.
     

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