Mac Pro Monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jaxrox1, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. jaxrox1 macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2008
    So I've been gifted a specced up early '09 model Mac Pro after a friend upgraded to a new Mac Pro.

    I've had iMacs since '08, so I haven't had a need for monitors, so find myself in a situation where I have a computer and no monitor.

    I don't believe I can use my iMac in target mode because
    a) I don't have a mini DisplayPort to mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt cable
    b) My iMac's HDD has failed to the point where the computer no longer recognizes it and therefore cannot startup, so I don't believe it will start up to a point to let me put it into target mode.

    Which leads me to my question:

    I don't particularly want to spend $1000+ on a new Thunderbolt display. Secondly, because the Mac Pro has a mini display port and not Thunderbolt, the associated ports on a Thunderbolt display wouldn't work anyway. If I'm going to get a newer Apple Cinema Display, I need the '08 model, which is Mini DisplayPort, not Thunderbolt.

    So I've found locally someone selling the previous aluminium Cinema Display 23". These have two FW400 and two USB2.0 ports, which would work fine with the Mac Pro. They seem to be in fine condition, and would match the silver Mac Pro tower more than a black monitor, but as they are old models (and the panels themselves could be 8-10 years old), I wonder if it's worth spending just over $400 on two.

    The other option is to get two standard 24" monitors from somewhere like Officeworks, which could end up similarly priced (or a bit cheaper). The upside to this is the screens will be brand new, and they will come with at least 12 months warranty.

    As far as I can tell, getting a brand new cheap 24" monitor or an older 23" Cinema Display will get me a similar display quality, with the Cinema Display giving me extra ports and a better stand. A generic brand new monitor will get me a brand new display (which means potentially a longer display life, as it's not already 8+ years old) and warranty, at the compromise of USB ports (FW is neither here nor there), and with a worse stand.

    What's better?

    Any help/tips as to what I should go with, or recommendations for different monitors are greatly appreciated!
  2. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2007
    On The Interweb Thingy!
    My advice would be to take a look at the Dell 4K or Ultrasharp monitors. Dell make great monitors, at fraction of the cost of an Apple Display.

    In the office I have a 30" Ultrasharp connected to my 2009 Pro and I couldn't be happier. At home I picked up a second hand 27" Apple LED Display. Whilst I'm happy with it, I must say that it does kick out a lot of heat. Sometimes I consider selling it on and ordering a Dell for at home too.
  3. macmesser macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2012
    Long Island, NY USA
    I second that. I have a 30" Ultrasharp factory calibrated Dell at work and it's great. At home, my budget Auria 27" IPS just died. It had display quality to die for and I replaced it for a similarly priced and specced Asus PB278Q from Microcenter. Very nice WQHD display, like the Dell and Auria that comes with a three year warranty. If you need 4K consider one of the Seiki 39 inch TVs as a second monitor, which were available quite recently for a song. I got the older SE39UY04 for under $200, new and w/free shipping, just for the real estate as I do a lot of web research. Drawback is only 30MHz at 4K, but that's OK for my usage. They have a more recent model 39" (outdated like mine), which is also available at almost the price I paid for the SE39UY04, that does 4K at 60MHz. I'd have bought that one were it on sale when I was shopping. These TVs are considered by many to have great image quality as well. Great for graphic design but not for gaming nor color-accurate work, probably. Both are flashable.
  4. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    Not worth it at all; CCFLs age and dim over time.

    4k is not quite ready for prime time imho.

    There are lots of 27" 2560x1440 in the $300-$400 range that are just as good as the Apple TB display (minus the extra ports.) The Asus PB278Q mentioned above is fine. Get something like that and a miniDP -> DP cable and you are good to go.
  5. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Why do you say that?

    I've bought about 24 Dell P2715Qs for the office to replace every non-retina display (part of a push to send all CCFLs to eWaste). I even got two for home (on my dime). Six more on order for new hires.

    Everyone loves them (especially the people with old systems who got a new dual DisplayPort capable system as part of the upgrade).
  6. thornslack macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2013
    3440x1440 baby! No but really, I do think those 21:9 IPS displays are attractive and would be up for contention were I looking at monitors.

    And I second the above recommendation for 2560x1440 over 4K. I don't have 4K but I understand there can be UI scaling issues, more so in Windows than OSX.

    Don't pick up an old Cinema Display unless it is a steal. I replaced my 27" Cinema Display panel a few years back and it's still going strong, but given the age, and often the moir issues those displays ran into, I would be hesitant to invest given the myriad of more modern and competitive options.
  7. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Actually, I think that you "misunderstand" the UI scaling issues - they're actually worse in Apple OSX than in Windows. Windows is much closer to resolution independence than Apple OSX.

    Windows gives you a slider (per monitor, in case you have monitors with different resolutions) to set the magnification. Apple gives you a choice of native, or double size, at good quality. Some other options are available, but at substandard performance and quality.

    I run my 4K monitors at 150%. One tri-head system at work has two 4K Dells on the outside, and a 1920x1200 in portrait as the middle monitor. 150% for the 4K monitors, and 100% for the middle one.

    Perhaps what you don't understand is that running a 4K monitor at an effective 2560x1440 gives you what Apple calls "Retina®".

    If your OS has modern resolution indepencence - don't fear a 4K or 5K or 8K monitor.
  8. scott.n macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2010
    I'm happily using the P2715Q in OS X scaled to 2560x1440.

    That said, the P2415Q "doubled" to 1920x1080 makes a little more sense. (And the monitor is available for just $360 at B&H right now. Pretty remarkable price for the quality.)
  9. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    The older Cinema Displays are certainly very good-looking, and match the cMP very well. I have a pair of 20" ACDs hooked into my 5,1. I have had the LCDs for many many years now, and they have always served me well. That said, if they ever crap out, I would most likely replace them with a pair of UltraSharps, as Dell makes some of the best monitors for their price range.
  10. Squuiid, Apr 26, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016

    Squuiid macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    Personally I'd wait a month or so until AMD and NVIDIA release their Displayport 1.3 cards, which will finally bring 5K into the mainstream. Currently most gfx cards use MST to drive 5K which is a horrible hack IMO.
    Once Displayport 1.3 is commonplace on both gfx cards and monitors I'd finally jump onto the 5K bandwagon.
  11. Obioban macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2011
    What do we think about 5k?

    I'd love to be able to edit 4k in native resolution, like on the retina iMac.

    I've been putting off updating my graphics card or display waiting for that (currently running a mini displayport thunderbolt display).
  12. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2015
  13. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    I'm sure the Dells are great. I just don't necessarily see the value in running 4k at 2560x1440. It's like the 15" MB Retina at 1920x1200 - it is interpolating to get to that in-between resolution. It doesn't look as good as full 2880x1800, or pixel-doubled 1440x900. Granted there are enough pixels that it looks decent enough, but I don't think it is particularly better than a native 1920 screen at the same size.

    Meanwhile running 4k at pixel-doubled 1920 is a waste of real estate, and native res 4k at 27" is too small to be functional. So the 4k 27" just seems like an odd duck to me. (5k for pixel-doubled 2560x1440 is another story.) If I were going 4k on a desktop I'd want something ~40" for the increased screen real estate , which would give a comparable pixel density to the 27" 2560x1440. And there isn't much to choose from yet at that size.

    As you mentioned, in Windows you have more control over the scaling, so 27" 4k native probably works better there (if you can deal with all the rest of the Windows interface cluster-f***-ery)

    All just my opinion; I've not used the Dell. Main point being there are many better options than spending $1000 on an ® display.
  14. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    id relay not get the Cinema displays there old and there back light will be worn out by now.

    if your on a budget BenQ make some good displays i have one of the 'BL' line displays which seems good displays srgb and good adjustments height/rotation
    there cheaper displays are fine to

    tftcentral has a lot of good reviews too

    the big question is what do you want from a display?
    are you working or grading or just surfing the web and watching films ?

    ps got my last benq from amazon warehouse, checked it and it's been working fine saved 20-30% i think but worth looking around there's always a few on sale on amazon
  15. linuxcooldude, Apr 26, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016

    linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    To be qualified as "Retina" PPI is more important than resolution. Thats at 300 Pixels Per Inch for mobile and at least 200 PPI for monitors.

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