Is a 27" Cinema Display really worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Yumunum, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Yumunum macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    #1
    I'm thinking about saving up for a 27" Thunderbolt Cinema Display. That's $999.99... I know I could buy another computer with that money, heck, I could buy a whole lot with that... But I feel like it could be pretty useful. And some it's features make it a lot more desirable for me than getting a third party monitor or TV. (I know I'll probably be told to buy a cheaper alternative, but at that point I wouldn't bother) I want to make an insightful decision though, and I'm wondering what some of your experiences have been. Was it worth it? What do you use it for specifically? Has it actually become practical for you to "dock" your laptop (if you're using a MacBook) to the desk every time you want to use the display?

    Thanks in advance!

    Oh, and one more thing, I'm beginning to learn how to code OS X and iOS applications starting this coming school year. Should thatsway me towards having the ACD? I'm guessing I could need a lot of windows open for that?
     
  2. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

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    Apr 25, 2011
    #2
    The thunderbolt display is still not available for sale and probably won't be for a couple more weeks, so its value as a docking station is rather hypothetical at this point since nobody's been able to buy it yet, although it probably doesn't take too much imagination to figure out it's going to be very useful to some people. :)

    The two main drawbacks of the display is the price (which is pretty steep for an LCD monitor today) and the glossy front. It's really, REALLY shiny which makes it look super awesome and all hip an' stuff, but the downside is any smudge is going to show up immediately, and reflections will be almost unavoidable. Unless you're able to cope with the reflections, or can position yourself where there won't be any major light sources shining either on you or the display, you may want to buy something else. :p

    Now, if you consider that it's a high-quality build unit, made out of aluminium and glass rather than plastic with a well above average sound system for a computer display, using some decent cans integrated, HD camera (of probably mediocre quality, but there's nothing better than that in the webcam class anyway) plus the thunderbolt-enabled ports, the $999 price tag may be a bit more easily digestible.

    The last LCD display I bought, made by BenQ and using a Vertical Alignment panel, had a chassis made of molded thermoplastics and was TAPED together internally. That's right, not a single screw. No wonder it was so cheap! :rolleyes: You can bet Apple doesn't secure the power supply to the back of the LCD panel with metallized duct tape in the TB Display, which is what BenQ did...

    The VA panel was also really inferior to the (glorious, glorious!) IPS panel used by Apple, the speakers were also really tiny and thus, tinny, and the HDMI input suffered from big underscan, with giant black bars around the input as a result (and was thus unusable). So you get what you pay for when it comes to displays, for sure.

    Now, there's better displays than Apple's in the $999 price class if you want the best color reproduction; white LEDs are kind of wonky in the spectrum they give off, but unless you work professionally with photo editing or desktop publishing or such it's not going to matter. The TB display offers the best fit for an Apple computer due to the integration between the two, particularly for Macbooks where you get the magsafe charging cable.
     
  3. Eddyisgreat, Aug 16, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011

    Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    #3
    I have the 27" NON TB display, and I feel like it was more than worth it.

    The Thunderbolt display is a killer deal for what you get. No, it's not like other monitors. Ok...but how many other monitors allow you to daisy chain TB and pipe ethernet and firewire , hd webcam and usb through a single cable.

    v----v my setup. And I use mine next to an open window. It's fine.
     

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  4. respectabilia macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2010
    #4
    Nice setup!

    I was thinking of the thunderbolt display myself to support my 2011 MBA 128GB SSD i7 which I'm planning to use a main computer.

    But for roughly the same money, I can get a base iMac 21.5 inch, use that as a display if need be (though why would I if it becomes my main computer?). The advantage would be that I would get more power than with the MBA, although currently I don't need that much power really...

    decisions...
     
  5. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Poole, England
    #5
    The TB, Gigabit ethernet and FW800 ports are tempting to somebody like me as a MBA user, but since I am getting a desktop soon, I am reconsidering that need. The MBA will be purely for travel and when I am working from my apartment in the city and then I will use the desktop at home.

    If you're planning on getting something like a Mac Mini, then I would have to question the usefulness of an ATD. The biggest question is can you live with the glossy display? I have the 24" ACD and it does annoy me. I am planning to replace it with a non glossy Dell ultra sharp.

    Screen estate makes coding a pleasure, but I started to code on a ZX spectrum and an 11" TV many years ago.
     
  6. farmermac macrumors 6502a

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    Iowa
    #6
    Not sure if the 27 is worth it at 1100 with tax, but I have a 24" acd that was 550 (refurb) with tax and it was definitely worth it. The sound is great, charger and USB ports are awesome, really turns your Mbp into a desktop

    I wouldn't be willing to pay much more than that though, especially not full retail.
     
  7. Aboo macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    How did you get a 24" ACD for 550? I thought they were 599 on the refurb store...
     
  8. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

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    Jan 27, 2007
    #8
    No tax at Amazon, but act quickly!
     
  9. minik macrumors 65816

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    Bellevue, WA
    #9
    I finally pulled the trigger and bought the non-TB 27-inch Cinema Display on the day Apple annouced the TB unit.

    It's connected the 11-inch MacBook Air (Mid-2010) and worked pretty well.
     

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  10. farmermac macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Oops. Total was $636, nOt $550
     
  11. Aboo macrumors 6502a

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    #11

    Thats a beautiful setup! Have you noticed any issues with the MBA 11" powering the 27" ACD? By issues, I mean lagging, occasional freezing, or slow downs of any sort?
     
  12. minik macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Thank you. The fan does indeed kicks-in when I was watching Flash encoded HD video, otherwise this 1.6Ghz C2D with 256MB nVidia 320M graphics are pretty capable to drive this 27-inch display in closed lid mode. Since I'm not doing anything CPU intensive task, I don't see any slow down at all.

    The current mode is only get better.

    This is my 3rd Apple-brand display and they tend to last for years.
     
  13. thelead macrumors 6502

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    Apr 30, 2010
    #13
    I think the ACD is worth it, let alone the TB display.
     
  14. reputationZed macrumors 65816

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    #14
    an overabundance of desktop space is a nice thing to have for development but certainly not something you need to have. One option to consider would be to pick up a pair of 23" or 24" monitors instead of a single 27". What I like about the multi monitor set up is that shuffling things off to the side on the second monitor helps me to focus on what's on my main monitor. I should mention that my main monitor is a 30" ACD so I'm not immune to the calling of big screen LCD. That being said If I had to choose between a single 27" and a pair of 24" monitors I'd probably go with the single large monitor. I was just throwing the multi monitor idea out there as an option.
     
  15. umbilical macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I have the same question,

    I need for photo editing, Im web designer etc... is really a monitor for profesionals? for calibrate etc... you know

    no fresh for retina true? that would be mega expensive right? a 27 retina, even new imac is not retina... so maybe retinas down price in 5 years.

    no thunderbolt yet?

    :confused:
     
  16. colshine macrumors regular

    colshine

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    UK
    #16
    I agree, I came from 2 smaller monitors to the TBD as I prefer one larger display. I do use the MBP screen as a second screen when I'm developing as sometimes I want a lot of things to be visible but normally one larger screen is my preferred choice.
     
  17. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #17
    If you want an good 27" IPS panel for narrow gamut (sRGB) that can also provide a thunderbolt dock for connections to any Mac with thunderbolt, the Apple Thunderbolt Display (ATD) is your only choice.

    If you don't care about Thunderbolt, there is Apple Cinema Display (ACD).

    If you want wide gamut (aRBG), there is Dell U2711 and several other excellent brands/models. If you don't know if you need wide gamut, then you don't.

    You can google for "photography monitor" and see lots of sites that have reviews and recommendations.

    And yes you can use Sypder or Munki to color calibrate the Apple displays or other vendors' displays.
     
  18. umbilical macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    thanks , you talk like an expert , Im so bad calibrating etc... I have a tons of questions about it... color... you work on that? right now I use fireworks for web and I have some problems, the picker dont get the right colors etc... a desmess... I have a DELL monitor DELL SP2309W Display with my macpro 08, Im thinking on moving to mobile.. macbook pro with a cinema... or well maybe buy a new imac... but my goal is get the proper colors etc... for my web sites... I want focus on do my best on UX desing etc... you know...
     
  19. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #19
    Stuff on the web only needs sRGB. Art images for high quality printing need wide gamut.
     
  20. umbilical macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    and where I know that? I mean I dont see on monitors that say nathing about that. like gamut o etc... you know in specs
     
  21. umbilical macrumors 6502a

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    #22
  22. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #23

    I do not know of any web design environment requirement that is specifically addressed by any Mac. All Macs should be able to run any design tools designed for OS X.

    If I were planning to build a web design desktop (not laptop) today I would get a tricked out Mac Mini and connect it to an ATD. If portability is needed, then I would get a rMBP and connect that to an ATD when at home. While the retina screen is very good, the only thing that beats a nice 27" screen is an equally nice 30" screen.

    For either case I would hook up a thunderbolt RAID 1 set for redundant storage and have a 3TB Time Capsule for wifi, routing, and Time Machine backups.
     
  23. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #24

    True, but I'd strongly recommend:
    • Dual displays (e.g. two monitors or 15"+laptop with an external monitor).
    • Plenty of RAM so you can run multiple virtual machines for cross-platform testing

    Design/development is so much easier with loads of screen space, and even with a big screen like the ACD/ATD it's useful to have a second screen on which to 'park' source/reference materials or tool palettes without window juggling. If you're going for a laptop solution, you presumably envision sometimes working 'on the road' which isn't fun with a 13" or smaller display.

    The retina display might help if you want to optimise your sites for retina-class phones and tablets. Whether it gives you more 'screen estate' than a regular display depends on your eyesight!

    I think that, for preference, I'd go with either dual third-party 24" 1600x1200 displays with a MacMini (or second-hand MacPro), or a laptop with the 27" thunderbolt display.

    (Just remember to *test* your websites will fit into 1280x800, or even smaller, if you want people with netbooks to read them... and I still occasionally get landed with a data projecta that won't do more than 800x600!)
     
  24. Hessel, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

    Hessel macrumors member

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    Renkum
    #25
    I have a 27 inch Cinema Display but I wouldn't say it's worth the 999,-

    even though I love the design it's not perfect. the color just isn't accurate.
    my particular model has yellowish tint to it while some models i saw in the store are neutral or have a blue ish tint to it. It doesn't bother me that much because I use it for audio & not for graphical stuff.

    But there are better screens on the market for less money!

    btw thunderbolt or cinema display, both are exactly the same screen :)
     

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