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lostgonzoband

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 27, 2023
3
0
Hi all. My 2010 27” IMac hard drive crashed and I am done waiting for Apple to produce another 27”. After getting used to the 27” screen it’s hard to go back to the current 24”.
I am thinking about going to a Mac Mini 2 w 16GB memory and 1TB drive. Since I don’t want a monitor smaller than 27” and don’t wish to shell out $ for the Apple 27” monitor, I need some monitor suggestions as well. Primary use will be photo editing.
The questions are M2 or M2 Pro?
Non Apple monitors that won’t break the bank. Thanks!
 

drrich2

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2005
195
94
PC Magazine did a monitor roundup; of the 4K section, the first on their list is a Philips that I bought back in 2021. https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-4k-monitors

I recently saw it on sale around $300; it's around $370 now (Amazon pricing).

A big question is whether you want the monitor to serve a hub function, and if so, whether you want it to be a USB-C or Thunderbolt hub, and to charge other devices, like a MacBook Air or Pro.

Another big question is what price you're willing to accept. I'm a budget 4K guy myself; if you're willing to pay more for professional photo work grade quality, just not Apple Studio Display level more, and the $600 - $1,000 price range is acceptable, you're not looking in the same niche I do.

See if this Tom's Hardware deal is still good: https://www.tomshardware.com/monitors/msi-27-inch-4k-144hz-monitor-drops-to-dollar305-at-newegg

That's a big sale on a gaming 4K 27" display.

A lot of people like Dell displays and they have a range of offerings.

I'm not saying my suggestions for consideration are the best, but they may be a place to start.
 
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AlmightyKang

macrumors regular
Nov 20, 2023
215
448
Depends on what you are doing:

Anything Adobe i.e. Photoshop / Lightroom -> M2 16Gb or even Pro.

Apple Photos / Pixelmator -> M2 8Gb is fine.

As for the display, I have a Dell P2723QE, a Dell U2723QE and a Studio Display. The Dells have several problems which frustrate me:

1. The backlight doesn't extend past the LCD panel itself so if you look at it at even slightly at an angle it fades out at the edges.
2. They don't have speakers and the speaker options they have are terrible. As are the webcam options.
3. When plugged into windows laptops at least, they don't always connect and switch displays. This is a complete pain for me. Also the built in ethernet craps out occasionally.
4. The U2723QE is supposed to be an IPS black display but my word it is the slowest display I've ever used. You can't really watch an action film on it. Also the glossy front is 10x worse than anything else on the anti glare front. It's impossible to use it in a bright room because I can see myself in it all the time!
5. The stands are really wobbly. Also they have plastic base which scratches up really quickly and looks like ass.
6. Colour calibration is waaaaay off on the P2723QE.
7. The 4k at 27" resolution is a little off for macOS which expects 2:1 or 1:1 pixel scaling ratios so that's 5K at 27" or 4.5k at 24" so things look a bit fuzzy next to an Apple display.

Personally I'd go for an iMac and go back to 24" to avoid this hassle or hit the studio display and wince. It only hurts once and they are decent displays, both P3 and don't overstate their specifications at all!
 
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MBAir2010

macrumors 603
May 30, 2018
6,436
5,911
there
Im using a refurb Mac Mini M1 with a BanQ 2K 25" monitor that cost under $800 in November '23.
the experience, screen and response is excellent using Affinity design and an old canon scanner LDE30.
oh and with a Satechi BT keyboard and mouse.
so $900.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,101
12,250
M2pro Mini.
16gb RAM is "stock" with the base model.

I'd "up" the SSD from the [stock] 512gb to 1tb.
REASON WHY:
The 1tb SSD is actually 2x as fast as the 512, due to the chip configuration.

It's not that the 512gb is "slow" (it's not).
But again, you get twice the speed with 1tb.

If price is a concern, consider buying from the Apple online refurbished store.
I got my 2018 Mini from there five years ago, still doing fine.
 
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Alameda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2012
846
320
Hi all. My 2010 27” IMac hard drive crashed and I am done waiting for Apple to produce another 27”. After getting used to the 27” screen it’s hard to go back to the current 24”.
I am thinking about going to a Mac Mini 2 w 16GB memory and 1TB drive. Since I don’t want a monitor smaller than 27” and don’t wish to shell out $ for the Apple 27” monitor, I need some monitor suggestions as well. Primary use will be photo editing.
The questions are M2 or M2 Pro?
Non Apple monitors that won’t break the bank. Thanks!
One bit of advice: Attach the monitor with DisplayPort, not HDMI.

In most Mac Mini models, Apple describes the HDMI output as “Support for one display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz.”

What that means is 4K60 video will only be 8-bit color (HDMI 2.0, not 2.1), and the Mac prefers 10-bit color these days. Even if you buy the M2 Pro version, with HDMI 2.1, your monitor’s HDMI may still be limited to 8-bit color at 4K60.

But the older 4K60 DisplayPort, which is used in lots and lots of 4K monitors, does support 10-bit color at 4K60.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,101
12,250
Alameda wrote:
"What that means is 4K60 video will only be 8-bit color (HDMI 2.0, not 2.1), and the Mac prefers 10-bit color these days. Even if you buy the M2 Pro version, with HDMI 2.1, your monitor’s HDMI may still be limited to 8-bit color at 4K60."

Just as a point of reference.
I have a Dell U2723QE Ultrasharp 27" 4k display.
Mac is a 2018 Mini, still using Mojave.

It's connected with an HDMI-to-HDMI cable I had laying around.

Using the "Better Display" utility to control it, the resolution is reported at 10bpc.
For what it's worth.
 

picpicmac

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2023
864
1,122
a Mac Mini 2 w 16GB memory and 1TB drive.
That's a $600 bump in specs. Do you really need to pay Apple $200 for that second 512GB NAND chip when an external SSD price is less for more storage?

And along that line of thinking... why not just use an SSD on your current iMac. It's not difficult to make an external Startup Disk for these old iMacs. And the SSD will be much faster than your old HD. A $100 USB SSD is a lot cheaper than spending over a thousand dollars for a new Mac.

And many of us expect the M3 version of the Mini to be introduced Real Soon Now, so if you can wait three months you might be happier with the latest model.

I'm in such a shopping mode right now. I've been reading horror stories of flicker when using non-Apple monitors. Even with pricey Dells. Makes an iMac sound like a better expenditure. But there are people who love their LGs/Dells/BenQ monitors, so there's that.
 

picpicmac

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2023
864
1,122
don’t wish to shell out $ for the Apple 27” monitor, I need some monitor suggestions as well. Primary use will be photo editing.
I get it. The ASD is not cheap (in any meaning of that word.) But people who have them love them.

Have you owned the 2010 iMac all it's life? If so, it gave you 13+ years of service. The per-day cost of acquisition is really low.

I'm arguing with myself here.... $1500 ASD sounds expensive. But I use my computer(s) every day. If I use the ASD for 10 years, then $1500/10/365 days comes to less than 50 cents per day. Very few things can be bought for 50 cents any more.

"Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality, not quantity"
 
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bradman83

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2020
800
1,840
Buffalo, NY
Depends on what you are doing:

Anything Adobe i.e. Photoshop / Lightroom -> M2 16Gb or even Pro.

Apple Photos / Pixelmator -> M2 8Gb is fine.

As for the display, I have a Dell P2723QE, a Dell U2723QE and a Studio Display. The Dells have several problems which frustrate me:

1. The backlight doesn't extend past the LCD panel itself so if you look at it at even slightly at an angle it fades out at the edges.
2. They don't have speakers and the speaker options they have are terrible. As are the webcam options.
3. When plugged into windows laptops at least, they don't always connect and switch displays. This is a complete pain for me. Also the built in ethernet craps out occasionally.
4. The U2723QE is supposed to be an IPS black display but my word it is the slowest display I've ever used. You can't really watch an action film on it. Also the glossy front is 10x worse than anything else on the anti glare front. It's impossible to use it in a bright room because I can see myself in it all the time!
5. The stands are really wobbly. Also they have plastic base which scratches up really quickly and looks like ass.
6. Colour calibration is waaaaay off on the P2723QE.
7. The 4k at 27" resolution is a little off for macOS which expects 2:1 or 1:1 pixel scaling ratios so that's 5K at 27" or 4.5k at 24" so things look a bit fuzzy next to an Apple display.

Personally I'd go for an iMac and go back to 24" to avoid this hassle or hit the studio display and wince. It only hurts once and they are decent displays, both P3 and don't overstate their specifications at all!
The U2723QE is a great display but it has a terrible issue with corner light bleed, it's a crapshoot per unit as to whether yours will be impacted.
 
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