my odd switiching to windows stumbling block

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by dottdirtt, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. dottdirtt macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2018
    so i have a 2011 21.5 imac that needs a new hard drive and/or fan repair - runs very slowly and hardware test reports a fault. would consider just repairing except that i'd really like usb 3 ports (!) and the ability to play the newer tomb raider games. other thing i really need is fast access to files for writing essays and next year will be writing a thesis so getting a decent sized (500gb) ssd is key.

    so i've been considering options and looking at something like a dell xps tower for around $1500 aud - they have some cheaper deals in their ebay store - and most likely adding a pcie ssd. then buying a cheap ultrawide monitor for having multiple docs open at a time and reducing alt tabbing, and for those tomb raider games.

    but i've hit a stumbling block. apparently you can't adjust the screen brightness on an external monitor with the keyboard like with my imac and macbook air?? you have to fumble around with clumsy monitor hard buttons and on-screen menus?? i'm just stunned that such a basic function of macs seems to just not exist in the windows world. everyone just puts up with that?! i need to do some more research - maybe can track down a monitor that has direct brightness buttons or a windows all in one that works similarly, but that doesn't seem to be info that's easy to find by googling. and the thing is that i fine tune display brightness all. the. time. it's second nature. auto-adjustment doesn't cut it but it's no big deal with a mac, i do it without looking at the keyboard.

    so seemingly options are: current imac (out of price range with graphics and ssd needs), wait for new imacs (possibly affordable if ssds become the default and lower end models have decent graphics), or there is a mac display released to connect to a mini which i assume will work seamlessly with mac keyboard brightness buttons! edit: although that really rules out gaming. other than that i'm stumped.

    ?? i haven't researched computers since pretty much 2011 so very out of the loop. open to help and suggestions!
  2. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    Think if you outline your usage, you will get a better response.

  3. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    PC laptops most certainly have brightness keys, as do PC all-in-ones like the iMac. But typically not on towers + external monitors. But in all fairness, a Mac with a non-Apple external monitor won’t do it, either, regardless of the brightness keys on the keyboard. And Apple currently doesn’t make their own branded display. Plug a second display into your iMac and see for yourself.

    Maybe you’d prefer a PC all-in-one? Several companies make then with ultrawide displays and half decent graphics. HP make several. Not sure if they hit your budget points, though.
  4. DarthVader! macrumors regular


    Oct 3, 2013
    I'm not running windows right now, but I've been able to manage the brightness of multiple monitors from within Windows in the past.

    Windows is different, and there is a level of inconsistency, Some things are very inconsistent and other areas, not so much. Feature wise, both Windows and macOS are at parity, nearly everything you can do in macOS you can do in windows. Its how you get at those setting that will be different.
  5. PieVsCake macrumors newbie


    Sep 10, 2018
    There are several Windows 10 compatible applications that run in the background for doing what you want with hotkeys. What selection of apps depends on how your connecting your monitor. HDMI connections dont allow for a lot of commands to be sent via the cable unless you use DDC/CI. If you are connecting via DVI or others you will have better choices.

    Do a little googling to see what your particular hardware will support and make a choice. Windows can do 99% of the stuff Macs can do. It's just that Apple does a great job of including the things we want already configured and ready to go.

  6. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    You're going to have to buy a 3rd party keyboard that includes brightness function keys. Some of which is located on the up and down keys when pressing FN. Some located on the FN keys.

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5 November 30, 2018