Need advice on two things before I splurge

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by big dainjerus, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. big dainjerus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    #1
    The end is nigh.

    I have about 10 days before I have to make my purchase of a new mac pro. I have been hanging around here for months reading and messaging with people about what exactly I need. I spent a lot of time waiting for the kinks to be ironed out and I think it is time to get going on a new Mac Pro, before I have to start paying rent next month. It is now or never.

    To make a long story short, I just need to know what I am going to do about a graphics card, and what to do about a computer monitor.

    I figure most of my work will be done with Logic, Aperture, Photoshop, and Final Cut. The only gaming I may do on it would be World of Warcraft, and/or Warhammer if it ever comes out.

    I would potentially like to end up with two 23 (give or take an inch or three) inch displays, but for now I believe one will suffice. I know the question has been asked 1,000 times before, but I am still on the fence about getting the 23 inch ACD (old tech), or something else, possibly the dell 2408 or maybe a samsung if they make any good ones. If money was no issue would you still take the apple over the dell for what needs I listed above? Or is the 300 or so dollars I would save worth it? Would one dell and one apple (a new one if they were ever updated) be a horrid combination? Or how about a current apple with a potential future upgraded apple screen? What I am asking is, if I am going to have two screens it would probably be best to have them identical no?

    With the above information, can someone please provide me with some advice upon what graphics card to get along with what display? I am kind of a stickler with regards to performance, I would just like the screen to be snappy and respond quickly. What card is better for the apps listed above? Although I will, I don't really need to do much else than what I listed. Performance with those apps is first and foremost (as well as a little WOW). I am tempted to get the 8800 and hope for a drive update but who knows if that will come and if it will do anything. If I ordered one, would they still give me the 2600 that comes stock as well? I am already planning on sooping it up with ram and nice HDs.

    These are my last two puzzle pieces. Thank you all.

    Big Dainjerus
     
  2. Mac_Max macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    #2
    I really like my Benq 20" LCD. You should see what they have available in the specs you're looking for. Newegg has good prices on them usually.

    The only reason they'd include the 2600 and the 8800 would be if you added the 8800 as a second video card.
     
  3. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

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    Nov 16, 2007
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    Ontario, Canada
    #3
    I run a BebQ 24" and love it. I don't think you would want to run to different type of monitors. One manufacture sets there monitors up different then another manufacture. I would think that would bother the eyes over time. You could try to adjust them to match but good luck. BTW, BenQ makes the Dell monitors.
     
  4. big dainjerus thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 9, 2007
    #4
    Anyone fluent in photoshop and aperture here? Are the apple monitors the best ones for it?

    What do you guys think about graphics card? I'm trying to order this bad boy ASAP.
     
  5. hobbbz macrumors 6502a

    hobbbz

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    #5
    If you don't know what kind of monitor will work best for you then it doesn't matter what kind (within reason) that you get as long as you get the same brand.

    I mean think about it, if you don't know what you're looking for then anything will do.

    I suggest the cheapest brand name monitor you can find, BenQ or Dell or something like that, not anything like some WeiLong no-name Chinese monitor
     
  6. itou macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #6
    apple monitors are not the best but they look great. they do not perform the best in the sea of competition nowadays but it's still not bad. if you want the best in panel only, NEC and lacie are both great. Eizo is also always very good. many people look at a monitor and they argue which one is better based on the panel only. that's great if everything else doesn't matter but it usually does.

    the apple display is built very well, the design is classic, the feel is upscale, and the ports are adequate. more isn't always better. i guess what i'm trying to say is that the best things about an apple display are not what you see but rather what you use. i've been in your situation and i ended up buying the ATI card with a 23" ACD. i couldn't wait for the 8800 and i wanted a 30" display. compromising on having another display made by someone else just didn't get through me. it's like building a great ferrari engine and then skimping out on body work by putting it in a hyundai. i love my acd and i can care less about how many ports it's missing compared to others.
     
  7. big dainjerus thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 9, 2007
    #7
    Thanks for the great response itou. I spoke with my brother last night on the phone and he broke out the same ferrari argument! He said the reason they haven't updated them is because they were so well built and designed from the get go.

    Putting aside other things, are there better monitors for cheaper or equal pricing that will be on the same par with the ACD regarding photoshop/aperture/final cut picture/video quality? Or is the ACD top dog for that?

    I just know I am going to feel stupid when they actually do update them soon and I'm stuck with an old generation one. I just can't wait any longer and need to buy now or never.

    If I got a more up to date monitor and they updated the ACDs, at least I would have a smaller HD LCD screen laying around the house I could use for other purposes. But if its the ACD is best for the work I need it for then it will be ok.
     
  8. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    #8
    I agree the design and quality is great.

    However, they ARE still 14ms for God's sake. I'm typing on a 2ms Samsung monitor that I bought on the cheap TWO YEARS AGO.

    Unless you just HAVE to have matching components... I'd save yourself a ton of $$$ and get a nice Samsung 2ms monitor.
     
  9. Hatchet macrumors regular

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    Dec 9, 2007
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    Baton Rouge
    #9
    I do most of the tasks you do and I bought a Dell 2407 (Would have gotten 2408 if I had waited a month or so). Monitor is fantastic. I highly recommend it.

    Dell Monitors have been great for me for the last 4 years and I can't complain a bit about them. I'd definitely stay away from the ACD unless you want it simply for the look and the logo as you can get a better monitor for less.
     
  10. fernmeister macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    #10
    I have an ACD 23 inch and if I had the space I would buy another one. But, I agree with what others have said - if your sole consideration is screen performance for image editing, then it makes sense to look at a Dell or Samsung. With the ACD you are paying a premium for the balance of form and function, which for some people is perfect and for others less important.

    As for card, go with the 8800.
     
  11. scottydawg macrumors 6502

    scottydawg

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    #11
    If your using Photoshop it would be worth your time to look at the NEC 2490WUXi or NEC2690WUXi and if you get one order the Spectraview software/hardware kit with it (if you already have a hardware calibration kit just get the Spectraview software). It's H-IPS technology is spot on.
     
  12. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #12
    I did use a 30" ACD but changed to the Dell 30".

    I find the dell colours more natural. (I calibrate weekly with a Spyder 2 Pro)
     
  13. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #13
    This is not an apples and oranges comparison. Samsung (and many of their competitors, actually) won't reveal other important specifications on their consumer-level monitors. That 2 ms rating is likely its GTG (gray to gray) response time, not its full black to white response time (which is probably in the neighborhood of 8 ms). The 14 ms on the Apple Cinema Displays is the full black to white rating.

    Secondly, the current Apple Cinema Displays use LG/Philips S-IPS panels. These are 8-bit panels that will display the full 24-bit, 16.7 million color palette. S-IPS panels sacrifice response time for color accuracy. Color accuracy is very important for graphics professionals and video editors that need to do color grading in post. And to be realistic, motion blur isn't very noticeable on modern S-IPS panels anyway.

    If your panel is 2 ms GTG, it's probably a TN panel. TN panels are the fastest type, but there's a reason why they're the fastest (and cheapest to produce). Most of them (if not all) are 6-bit panels, meaning they display 18-bit color (262,144 colors) and have to use dithering to "fake" a 24-bit color palette. It's good enough for normal computer usage (Internet, games, office applications, etc.), but not so good for professional graphics work.

    So why does a monitor like an Eizo, LaCie or pro NEC get so much more money? IPS and PVA panels that go into many of these monitors cost a lot more. Plus, many of these monitors have 12-bit look-up tables and are able to display over 90% of the Adobe RGB and NTSC color gamuts.

    To the OP:

    If you don't care about your monitor physically matching your Mac Pro, the higher-end Dell monitors are extremely good values.
     
  14. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
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    Phoenix, AZ
    #14
    If you upgrade to the GeForce 8800 GT as a BTO option, it will take the place of the Radeon HD 2600 XT that ships stock. So no, you won't get the 2600. Given your projected workflow, you'll probably be fine with the stock Radeon.
     
  15. big dainjerus thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    #15
    Thanks for all the replies this is what I was hoping would happen as it is putting me closer and closer to finally pulling the trigger. A few things:

    I have read a lot of complaints about color saturation and reds being too bright etc. Do you see any of these issues? Is the new Dell 2408 (or 2407) just as good as the ACD for photography work and film/video editing?

    Father Jack, you say that your Dell is in fact superior to the ACD? Have you experienced any of the issues I have been reading about regarding the Dell, or is it bar none better than the ACD?

    The response rate does caution me a bit regarding the ACD. What are the real world noticeable flaws in a slower response rate with the ACD compared to newer monitors?

    Is it that any monitor that sacrifices response rate for color accuracy will sit around that 14ms level the ACD has? Are there any monitors that have a similar color gamut AND a faster response time, that are in the same price market as the ACD?

    Also, which are the higher end Dell monitors are you referring to? Is the 2408 one of them?

    And with regards to the graphics card, some are saying go with the 8800 and others are saying stick with the stock. The $200 upgrade is not of any concern to me as I have no problem dishing that out to get a better performing card, as I am more concerned with what will perform better for what I would like to do. Keep in mind the only gaming I would consider doing is WOW.

    But overall am I going to be missing anything by not having the 8800, am I better off waiting for either a new card to come out or better drivers? Or should I just go ahead and get it now and hope for better drivers, while in the meantime the real world performance difference in using the 8800 for pro apps really won't be noticeable? Is the 8800 better for aperture?

    I appreciate all the help I apologize for all the questions but like I said, the end is nighhhhh....
     
  16. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Phoenix, AZ
    #16
    If you don't mind spending the extra $200, it doesn't hurt to upgrade to the 8800, even if you don't need the added performance now. At least you would have a more future-proof system later. I could be wrong, but something tells me that Aperture is a lot more CPU intensive than anything else, as is rendering and encoding with Final Cut Pro. Now if you were working with Motion and/or Shake (which both DO utilize the GPU quite a bit), graphics performance does matter more.
     
  17. big dainjerus thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 9, 2007
    #17
    That is originally what I was thinking. But I read that its performance with "pro apps" isn't as good as the stock card. Does anyone know what real world performance deficiencies the 8800 shows with "pro apps"? Are the pro apps just logic pro/final cut pro? Are aperture and photoshop not considered pro apps?
     
  18. GoKyu macrumors 65816

    GoKyu

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
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    New Orleans
    #18
    I use Photoshop and Lightroom a lot - I have a Samsung 245BW monitor that I'm very happy with. I calibrate monthly (or whenever I'm starting an important project) with an X-Rite eye-one Display 2 colorimeter.

    As for the video card, I don't really play games other than on MAME, or a few games that use OpenGL. The default card (in my sig) is plenty powerful for what I use it for.

    You certainly don't need an 8800 if you're doing mostly Photoshop (unless you're doing multi-gigabyte files, in which case the extra video memory can't hurt...)

    -Bryan
     
  19. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    Jan 1, 2007
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    Ireland
    #19
    I have been using the 30" Dell for just under a year and have had absolutely no issues with it. I find the display extremely sharp and the colours true .. :)

    I also fitted the Dell sound bar which is much neater than having to have a couple of external speakers sitting on the desk..... :cool:
     
  20. big dainjerus thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 9, 2007
    #20
    I think I prefer the samsungs over the dells because the dells looks too PC-like to me, and my samsung 40 inch is sharp (aside from all the dead pixels).

    This might be an absolutely idiotic question but check it out. If I film a video in HD and use it in Final Cut will it appear in HD on the 23 ACD as well as the samsung 2345BW? Will it get burned to dvd in HD as well?
     
  21. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    Ireland
    #21
    This is quite an emotive question, Apple do not list the 23 ACD as HD, unlike the 30" but lots of people on MR say the 23" is HD ..... :eek:
     
  22. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #22
    The "HD" moniker used on the 23" and 30" ACDs indicates the displays' ability to display a full 1920x1080 HD signal without downscaling.

    In FCP, your viewer and canvas will have the video scaled down to fit the windows, but the actual recorded resolution will be preserved during editing. However, if you plan on mastering your finished project to a playable DVD, a down-res is inevitable. The DVD format is 720x480 (NTSC) or 720x576 (PAL).
     
  23. tom. macrumors 6502

    tom.

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    UK
    #23
    Even only playing WoW, an ACD has a slow response time. I would highly recommend the dells, and matching too. There is nothing more frustrating than non-matching colors in dual-screen, and it can be really hard to configure.

    Good luck!
     
  24. kudukudu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #24
    Having used both 24" and 30" monitors, I prefer a single 30" over 2 24" monitors. A 30" monitor is 1.7 times larger than a 24" monitor so it almost gives you the same work area as matching 24s.

    24 " - 1920 x 1200 = 2,304,000
    30" - 2560 x 1600 = 4,096,000

    I personally wouldn't get 24" since is not quite large enough to comfortably work with 2 applications side-by-side (e.g. web browser and mail). It can be done, but you need to do a lot of manual resizing to get the 2 applications to fit.

    Also with applications like aperture a fair amount of space can be eaten up by all of the menus and browsers. With a 30" you can still get a decent sized picture without going into full-screen mode..
     
  25. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #25
    If ACD has "slow" response time, then how can people edit videos on it?

    Display makers don't really use the same measurements in term of response times. Some use white to white and some measure gray to gray. One of those measurements can be 2 times (don't remember the exact thing) faster than the other one.

    For certain products Apple lists the specs conservatively. Cinema Display is one of them. However I would wait for an update (been waiting for awhile now).
     

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