Mac Pro DVI and Monitor compatibility

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TallGlassOfFail, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. TallGlassOfFail macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    Hi, i am looking to purchase a Mac Pro with the ATI Radeon 4870 BTO. I am also looking to purchase 2 Samsung SyncMaster 2343BW monitors.

    The monitors have a resolution of 2048x1152, will the Radeon 4870 get the best resolution out of the 2048x1152 resolutions on a dual monitor setup?

    Also, is the monitor i have chosen compatible with the Radeon 4870 dvi ports, as i notice there are different DVI specifications with different number of pins.

    If so what DVI cable to i need to purchase?
  2. grockk macrumors 6502


    Mar 16, 2006
    DVI can output analog that's why you see different specs.

    The monitors you are looking at and the card both do digital DVI, which is just normal. So it'll work with two dvi cords just fine. don't need nothing special.
  3. TallGlassOfFail thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    Thanks, i could not find anything about the maximum resolution that OS X supports, seeing as the ATI Radeon 4870 would be the card of choice, i wanted to make sure that it can do 2048x1152 on both monitors.

    I am guessing then that DVI-D, the D means digital.

    Thanks for your help.
  4. Zillion macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2008
    The Netherlands
    Uuuhm doesnt the ATI Radeon 4870 have 1 Mini DisplayPort and 1 dual-link DVI port? That would mean you would also need to buy the Apple Mini-DVI to DVI Adapter...

    I have 2 Samsung 2443BW monitors and considering buying a Mac Pro to get rid of my Windows machine. So if you have connected the monitors plz share your experience if your 2343BW's give good quality etc. on the Mac Pro with the Radeon card. Thx
  5. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2004
    Richmond, VA
    You'll be fine. And yes, you'll need an adapter for the mini-display port to DVI for one of the 2 monitors.
  6. TallGlassOfFail thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    Thanks for all the support so far guys.

    I have already ordered the 2 monitors, need least one (so best buying in pairs to save on shipping). I need at least one now for a uni project using a pc system (which i hate blah). So they will hopefully arrive tommorow.

    Unfortunately i did not know about the mini display port problem, now i am kind of annoyed. I have not ordered my mac pro yet, but i really wanted to order the Radeon 4870 with my mac pro (will place the order for that in under 2 weeks time) but the fact that the mac version uses a display port is annoying. The PC version of the 4870 has 2 DVI-D ports on it according to photos on google image search, but include the term mac and suddenly a useless display port pops onto the card in place of that valuable second DVI-D port.

    Will converting display port to DVI-D cost anything in terms of:
    1) resolution restriction?
    2) response time ( ms )
    3) picture quality?

    I really would like to consider the thread about buying the PC version of the 4870 but all that modding of the card frankly scares me. I am a programmer but i am not a fan of messing with low level stuff like that.

    Does anyone know if anyone has setup an online store with pre-re-configured 4870 cards (pc edition) redone for the mac pro setup (plug-in play no fussing required?)...

    Thanks again guys...
  7. ymarker macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Why not get the brand new Radeon HD 5850 (retail $299) which has dvi/displayport/hdmi and can do directx11 and opengl3 and also has a pap to bitstream hd audio codecs (Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats ) if you ever want to watch blu-ray in all it's glory. This is the only videocard in the world currently that can do this.

    You can drive upto 3 monitors with this card. Monoprice will have a simple minidisplay port to display port cable for under $10 starting tomorrow. This isn't really an adaptor of sort (i.e. there isn't any electrical conversion going on) just a mechanically different plug to fit the mini DP VS DP. I'm not really comfortable with having to go DVI<->DP, that's why I prefer this soln.

    Newegg had it's pricier sibling 5870 for sale earlier today but they sold out.

    EDIT: 6 monitor version of this card coming later this year
  8. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Don't be too annoyed. It shouldn't cost you anything in terms of quality or response time. It's still a pure digital signal, just gets a few pins rearranged on the way. Just buy the adaptor and you'll be happy with your two monitors.

    Maybe because it doesn't have Mac Firmware? You might could flash it (haven't heard), but the OP has already stated he's not interested. I'll forgive you though, you're a newbie.

  9. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    Just remember that if you go over 1900x1200 resolution you're using DUAL-LINK DVI so all cables/adapters should be top grade. I think even Apple sells cheaper displayport-dvi adapter and a more expensive dual-link capable adapter so be mindful of what you're doing/buying.
  10. TallGlassOfFail thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    as Mal said, i am not interested in flashing cards so its not worth the hassle and stressing, when it comes to hardware i need simple in terms of installation etc.

    ah hell, samsung only gave me the DVI-D (Single Link). According to this picture [​IMG]

    Guess ill need to get 2 of those... thanks for the heads up JFreak.

    So what i need is 2x DVI-D Dual Link, (but no DVI-I Dual Link) right? seeing as looking at my monitors (they have arrived), they match the DVI-D Dual Link profile....
    Thanks everyone for all their help so far.
  11. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2004
    Richmond, VA
    Ah, yeah. One monitor will be fine in the DVI port the card comes with. The mini-display port will need the more expensive adapter. I don't think I've seen it anywhere else for any cheaper than that.

    EDIT: So the monitors came and they came with cables that don't support the full resolution of the monitor or they didn't come with cables at all? That seems odd. I thought 2048x1152 (~2.36million) was more pixels than 1900x1200 (2.28million) and would require the dual link. So if you need a new cable for the monitors I'd suggest getting them at since they are inexpensive and decent quality.
  12. TallGlassOfFail thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    They included DVI-D Single Link cables, but as stated above i need DVI-D Dual Link cables (going by looking at the cable ends and the above picture) So i need to buy new ones to replace the ones that came with the monitors. Which is a shame because why supply a cable with a monitor that won't allow it to show its full potential? kind of silly if you ask me..

    Anyways, ill do a google product search and see if i can get them for the same price or less (in pounds sterling £ ) before ordering them from america due to shipping times, plus risk of VAT getting added on once it reaches customs and excise... ugh.

    Thanks guys.
  13. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2004
    Richmond, VA

    Yeah, didn't realize you were in England. Maybe someone knows a monoprice equivalent over there.
  14. TallGlassOfFail thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    Thats why i am using uk google product search, contrary to common belief among [some] americans, the Uk is not THAT MUCH different from the USA. LOL :rolleyes: But i'm just teasing.

    First page of google results seems promising infact. £3.99 w00t

    or a 3 metre one for £7.13

    not bad aye? :D:D

    Think they will do the job?
  15. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2004
    Richmond, VA
  16. TallGlassOfFail thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    As requested i have had my system for about 2 weeks now and thought id share my experience with you guys. As stated above. I got the 2 monitors, both are the Samsung 2343BW 23" monitors. The resolutions are 2048x1152.

    My Mac Pro is the quad core Xeon 2.66Ghz. Ordered min ram 3Gb though i intend on upgrading that to 12gb when the christmas period is over and the probability of it being lost (translation: stolen) in transit while they have temporary christmas staff is reduced. 640Gb hdd though i am looking at a high RPM drive to buy at the same time as my ram. maybe 10,000 rpm, unless they make one higher (SSD life span till too short and price still too high + low capacities). ATI Radeon HD 4870. I am using the apple mini display port converter as suggested. works fine regardless of some people submitting bad reviews on the apple site product customer reviews.

    I am using the new apple magic mouse which works quite well though the right click is a bit weird.

    The monitors look amazing, really good resolution and really i am glad i never settled for the lower 1920x1080 resolution monitors. Refresh/response time seems great, can't notice any problems. Slim profile and sleek design.

    Here is a photo of my setup.

    Attached Files:

  17. TallGlassOfFail thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    ummm for some unknown reason the photo is upside down. Cannot explain why as on my computer it is fine, but once uploaded it got flipped.... but yeah you get the idea.

    Oh yeah and my setup looks cramped and messy because it actually is. I have a shoe box bedroom and thats all the space i got to work with... bleh.
  18. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    One last question?
    Did you really buy new DualLink DVI cables + the Apple mini-DP to DualLink DVI adapter?

    If so, try to give them back.
    According to various sources SingleLink is absolutely capable of 2048x1152!
    Why would Samsung deliver their monitors with a cable that doesn't support the full resolution of the displays? Makes no sense at all.
  19. TallGlassOfFail thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    Yeah everyone says that samsung ship the wrong cables but i thought hell i will set it up and get the cables later. But once i set mine up i was able to set it to 2048x1152 using the cables samsung shipped so luckily i have not had to purchase new cables. So yeah you can use the ones samsung give you. :) Works beautifully.

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