Thunderbolt Display alternative compatible with nMP

GreenWater

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 30, 2013
61
0
Venice, CA
I was nudged away from buying a TBD by someone who told me to get a cheaper alternative. I assumed this would be an easy purchase but I read there were compatibility issues with monitors and the nMP. Can anyone confirm success in using a lower cost 27" display than the TBD on a nMP or should I pay $999 to avoid problems? I will add a second 27" display and a higher quality 30" as a center later in the year.
 

Reno Richter

macrumors member
May 31, 2012
84
17
I have a Dell U2713H currently connected via HDMI, originally via Display Port and it has issues waking up with Display Port all the time and less with HDMI and some odd issues with Firefox and pages flickering Blue from time to time. Still have yet to get text in certain apps to display correctly. Can't say I would buy another if I had too.


The U2713H is flanked by 2 Dell U2412M left and right that work flawlessly connected by Display Port. The U2412M's came from my retired oMP setup. Dell has discontinued the U2412M's but they can still be purchased from various online retailers. I would buy these again as support real estate to a main monitor in a heartbeat.
 

snouter

macrumors 6502a
May 26, 2009
767
0
I have a 27" HPZR2740w 1440p connected via a mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable with no issues. I also have a 27" LED Apple Cinema Display 1440p.

The HP and Apple screens behave and color very similar except the Apple is glossy. Basically you could get two ($449 each) for less than the price of one Apple.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/828572-REG/HP_Hewlett_Packard_XW476A8_ABA_ZR2740W_27inch_LED_Backlit.html

EDIT: The market has fallen out on 1440p monitors with the coming 4k monitors. It's a good time to buy. There is nothing special about the Apple TBD. It looks nice. It has thunderbolt. After that it's just an LG panel and frankly, not worth $999. It's IPS, the color is ok. the speakers are handy. But it is 8-bit and bands and only has a prosumer color space. You can def do better for the money. I have two of these HP monitors on my PC as well, so, I own 3 of them and have been happy with them given their limitations. I have no delusions that they are Dreamcolor 10 bits or super accurate Eizo or NEC. They are pretty good though. The Dell monitors are also good. I've only heard some complaints about a sparkling anti-glare, but I'm not sure which monitor had that and I heard they revised it at some point anyhow.

I calibrated both my Apple Cinema and my HP and they looked very similar before, and very similar after. Neither needed a whole lot of calibration, just got some of that blue out mostly.
 
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Cubemmal

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2013
824
1
I have a 27" HPZR2740w 1440p connected via a mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable with no issues.
I like HP monitors. They give you a good stand, for one thing. I don't get why so many monitors have crappy stands that you can't use for portrait.

The big advantage for TB monitors is the Thunderbolt. I have three Cinema, a regular and two TB. The Cinema hogs one bus as Mini-DP, and the TB go off the second bus daisy chained. That leaves the third bus by itself which I use for data.

If I had three 27" monitors they all would be hogging all of the TB busses, and putting data on those would halve the bandwidth as they would all default to TB 1.0.
 

lemonade-maker

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2009
497
4
I like HP monitors. They give you a good stand, for one thing. I don't get why so many monitors have crappy stands that you can't use for portrait.

The big advantage for TB monitors is the Thunderbolt. I have three Cinema, a regular and two TB. The Cinema hogs one bus as Mini-DP, and the TB go off the second bus daisy chained. That leaves the third bus by itself which I use for data.

If I had three 27" monitors they all would be hogging all of the TB busses, and putting data on those would halve the bandwidth as they would all default to TB 1.0.
I have two HPZR2740w and two crossover q27s. The HP's are great. The crossovers are also but sometimes emit a buzz when the power brick is cold and the dvi-d to mdp adapter isn't working with 10.9.2 drivers, had to use the last working amd drivers from 10.9.2 beta 2. I'll probably buy 2 more HPZR2740w and call it a day.
 
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Cubemmal

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2013
824
1
I have two HPZR2740w and two crossover q27s. The HP's are great. The crossovers are also but sometimes emit a buzz went the power brick is cold and the dvi-d to mdp adapter isn't working with 10.9.2 drivers, had to use the last working amd drivers from 10.9.2 beta 2. I'll probably buy 2 more HPZR2740w and call it a day.
Yeah, I'd rather not muck with drivers, buzzes and other potential glitches. Pick your poison. My time is extremely limited and I don't want to add to the list of problems I've got to work on. I'd like to keep them creative problems.
 

GreenWater

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 30, 2013
61
0
Venice, CA
I have a Dell U2713H currently connected via HDMI, originally via Display Port and it has issues waking up with Display Port all the time and less with HDMI and some odd issues with Firefox and pages flickering Blue from time to time. Still have yet to get text in certain apps to display correctly. Can't say I would buy another if I had too.


The U2713H is flanked by 2 Dell U2412M left and right that work flawlessly connected by Display Port. The U2412M's came from my retired oMP setup. Dell has discontinued the U2412M's but they can still be purchased from various online retailers. I would buy these again as support real estate to a main monitor in a heartbeat.
Thanks for alerting me to the Dell U2713H glitches. I was considering that display.
 

GreenWater

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 30, 2013
61
0
Venice, CA
Thanks for the advice. It looks like the rest of you guys like the HPZR2740W which looks like a great option with a quality build. It sells at under $500 too. The other monitor I liked was the Asus PB278Q which seems to perform similarly, but is $100 more. Is there any advantage to using HDMI as video connection to the nMP - might not need an adapter for example? The HPZR2740W does not have HDMI but I am not a gamer so it probably doesn't affect me. I'll wait till they ship my nMP before I buy as it looks like the display prices change on a weekly basis (unless it is made by Apple).
 

orpheus1120

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2008
1,317
10
Malaysia
If I had three 27" monitors they all would be hogging all of the TB busses, and putting data on those would halve the bandwidth as they would all default to TB 1.0.
You could daisy-chain 2 TB displays on one TB bus, while the third occupying a second TB bus. That will leave the third TB bus empty for you to use for data.

Considering that the current TB displays have yet to be upgraded to TB 2.0, they need to be situated at the end of the TB daisy chain with current TB 2.0 equipped Macs. This is what most users will do if they have a nMP, Apple TB displays with other TB 2.0 external peripherals.
 
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Cubemmal

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2013
824
1
You could daisy-chain 2 TB displays on one TB bus, while the third occupying a second TB bus. That will leave the third TB bus empty for you to use for data.
That's what I said, it's what I'm doing. Two TB on one bus, an older Cinema on the second, and data on the third.
 

orpheus1120

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2008
1,317
10
Malaysia
That's what I said, it's what I'm doing. Two TB on one bus, an older Cinema on the second, and data on the third.
You mentioned three 27" monitors and hogging all TB busses, which I assumed to be TB monitors, hence my reply.

Unless of course if you meant an additional TB monitor to your existing ones, then you are correct.
 

Cubemmal

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2013
824
1
You mentioned three 27" monitors and hogging all TB busses, which I assumed to be TB monitors, hence my reply.

Unless of course if you meant an additional TB monitor to your existing ones, then you are correct.
I was referring to the previous post quoted here

I have a 27" HPZR2740w 1440p connected via a mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable with no issues.
Three HP 27" monitors with adapters on the nMP - my point was that they are cheaper but they'll eat up your TB busses.
 

Chancha

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2014
920
793
It depends on how new the 3rd party monitor models are, but if you check to see if the specs on them clearly states a version of DisplayPort 1.2, it means you can daisy chain from just one TB2 port on the nMP. For 2560x1440 resolution 8-bit I think the limit is 2 monitors per chain. If you have one or two 1920x1080 there you may be able to get 3 or 4 in one chain.