Is the Apple Cinema Display 27" Worth It?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by AndrewMRiv, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. AndrewMRiv macrumors regular


    Oct 29, 2013
    Hello, I am owner of a non-thunderbolt equipped Hackintosh but still wish to use an Apple display for the full OS X experience.

    I think that my biggest reasons for wanting it are that it is big and beautiful. 27" is ideal for my display size and the IPS technology would be great since I currently own a 21" TN monitor. In addition to its nice screen quality, I just think the design of it is absolutely wondful and that it would look nice on my desk. Plus, my hackintosh is in my garage where there won't any bright lights that cause a glare on its glossy finish.

    The two biggest concerns I have are its pricetag and its age.

    1.) Is it worth the hefty price tag? I see that it is $999 brand new but have found a refurbished one on their website for a bit less. Still, it is VERY expensive since there are other IPS panels out there. Is it worth the price? Are the features worth it or am I mainly just paying to see an Apple logo on a nice-looking screen?

    2.) It appears to be discontinued (probably in favor of the Thunderbolt Displays, right?). Is it too age-old that I would be a fool to buy this? Is the screen quality probably going to become obselete soon since Retina displays are taking over most of the smaller devices?

    Thank you very much.
  2. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    For the price and tech, yes its overpriced, but if you want a non thunderbolt display with that style and design, there is nothing out there like it. However, you'd get more bang for your buck with an IPS dell. As nice as it is, its just not worth the full asking price now. But Apple will almost guarantee to not make a display without thunderbolt.
  3. AndrewMRiv thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 29, 2013
    Thank you for the quick response.

    You are definitely that it is a bit outdated for that price.

    Though, at the same time you are also right that they most likely won't make anymore non-thunderbolt displays since they seem to be moving in the "thunderbolt 2" direction for everything.

    I'm not too concerned about the iSight being outdated as long as it isn't absolutely horrid. I'm also not concerned about the USB 2.0 hubs on the back since I also have a USB 3.0 hub with 7 ports. I would likely just use the USB 2.0 hubs for keyboards and things that don't require the 3.0 ports.

    As for the quality of the display, I'm just unsure on if this will become obsolete in less than 2 years.
  4. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Way cheaper alternatives (of course, sans the IO ports and camera):

    I'm personally waiting on the 2nd gen Thunderbolt display myself, but that isn't to say I haven't considered the aforementioned (especially at their price points... I mean, you can get two of them for less than the price of an ACD or TBD).
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    not worth it if you can't do TB and need to power connection to a laptop. Get a Dell or other fine IPS panel instead.

    or B

    Get a real Mac. :eek:
  6. redshadow macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2013
    Yamakasi Catleaps, available on eBay, use the same IPS panel that the 27-inch iMac uses.

    You won't get the brushed metal look, but they're only about 350 dollars, IIRC...and that price is pretty unbeatable for a 27 inch IPS panel.
  7. Xerotech macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2011
  8. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    Apple displays are worth its price. Resell value holds pretty well when you decide to upgrade. You said you wanted the apple look on the hackint0sh so this is the only way to go.
  9. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012

    If the Apple look is important....get a top of the line iMac.

    Last year I retired and converted by desktop PC to a Hack to see if I wanted to go gback to Mac. My first Mac was one of the original '84 towers. When I compared OS to Win 8.....that was enough for me. So I got a rMBP and hooked up a ATD. I need the rMBP for multiple week photo trips. If I did not need the portability, I would all over a top of the line iMac.

    Of course if the budget allows...and mine does not.....I would have one of those little black oatmeal boxes in a few weeks hooked to a ATD...especially if there is to be ATD mark 2 soon. ;)
  10. eladnova macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2012
    If you can, hang on until December to see if Apple release an updated TB display.

    If they do, you'll be in a stronger position to bargain anyone down a bit more on price.

    For what it's worth, I bought a Dell 24" Ultrasharp about 7 years ago and have never had any issues. The quality is superb and it has all the inputs I need.
    I can highly recommend then. BUT... that doesn't mean that evety single day I fire it up, I don't wish I had a lovely Apple 27" TB display :)

    We'll see what December brings.
  11. Pompiliu macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2012
    Glossy screen, LED-lacklit, just one input, no adjustments (height left-right, portrat), etc.
    Don't make the same mistake as me. (i got two).
    Get a Dell. Maybe you can find a refurbished U2711. Get that!
  12. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Its a lovely display (provided you are not glossy-screen-phobic) but there are other lovely 27" IPS panels from Dell and others for a fraction of the price. Apple continuing to sell this at the same price as the Thunderbolt display (which does more, contains more expensive hardware and is currently unique) is a joke.

    The 'extras' you get for the price are:

    • Built in MagSafe power supply (wasted on you)
    • Built in Webcam (if this will work on Hackintosh)
    • Built in Audio (driven via DisplayPort or USB - if this will work on Hackintosh) - the speaker system is surprisingly good, way better than a laptop, but it won't satisfy audiophiles or home cinema buffs.

    (Yes, there's USB, but its only USB2 and virtually every other 27" display has that and - unlike the thunderbolt display - it is just a hub and uses a USB port on the computer)

    …on the other hand, a third party display will give you multiple, switchable inputs of various flavours (usually DVI and/or HDMI) so you can connect other devices and they usually have better tilt/swivel ergonomics.

    IMHO, a secondhand/refurb Apple Cinema display would make sense as a companion for a pre-thunderbolt MacBook Pro - but I wouldn't consider one for a desktop or hackintosh unless I had money to burn.

    (Personally, I'd go for 2 x 24" rather than a 27" for a desktop system, anyway)

    No sense in buying a genuine Rolex strap for your $20 "Genuein Rowlecks" watch :)
  13. Celedral macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Been hearing sources from a retail chain that supplies are drying up for the ACD. Expect new ones soon!
  14. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    A new, thinner, higher-res TBD would be welcomed. $999 for that bulky thing is quite rip-offish. It's so 2009.
  15. maplingstorie macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2009
    The new updated thunderbolt display will be worth it :p
  16. sarah3585 macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2007
    I currently have an old 20" IPS Dell. It's a good monitor but I would like something bigger. 24 would be ideal but reluctant to go for another Dell as I'm drawn to the sexy look of the thunderbolt displays. Even though they are way overpriced, and I'd have to go for the 27". I'm going to wait to see if they get an update, they are long over due, then make up my mind. A Dell is def much better value, but I don't want to look at it and wish it was a thunderbolt. I spend all my working week staring at it and it will last me prob 5 yrs, so I need something I'll be happy with.

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