Thunderbolt Display is cool... literally

convergent

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 6, 2008
3,019
3,075
I replaced a 4 year old Dell 30" display with an Apple 27" Thunderbolt display and I'm amazed at how cool this thing is, both figuratively and literally. My old Dell display generated a lot of heat. If you held your hand over the top edge it felt almost like the heating system vent. The TBD's aluminum back has no vents that I can find and is cool to the touch. Is there that much difference between LED and LCD technology, or am I missing something here?
 

reebzor

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2008
869
1
Philadelphia, PA
Is there that much difference between LED and LCD technology, or am I missing something here?
Yes you are missing something.

The TBD is an LCD display. When they say LED, whether it's a monitor or a TV, they are referring to the backlight. Traditional LCD's have used CCFL's for backlight. LED's generate less heat and draw less power than CCFL.
 

Lennyvalentin

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2011
1,429
783
Try turning off the light sensor and whacking the brightness up to max, and then wait a couple hours, then put your hand on the rear of the lower left corner of the display... :p

It's pretty cool to the touch while at no more than ~80% brightness, though.
 

convergent

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 6, 2008
3,019
3,075
Yes you are missing something.

The TBD is an LCD display. When they say LED, whether it's a monitor or a TV, they are referring to the backlight. Traditional LCD's have used CCFL's for backlight. LED's generate less heat and draw less power than CCFL.

I know there is a difference between LED and LCD technology... I mentioned that in the post. The actual power dissipation difference that I've seen quantitatively measured isn't as huge as my experience here... that was my point in the thread... that it seems to be orders of magnitude different and I didn't expect that significant of a difference.

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Try turning off the light sensor and whacking the brightness up to max, and then wait a couple hours, then put your hand on the rear of the lower left corner of the display... :p

It's pretty cool to the touch while at no more than ~80% brightness, though.
I'm not talking about normal usage. I always ran the Dell 30" calibrated with a colorimeter, so it wasn't cranked to the max or anything when it was generating so much heat.
 

RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,219
215
Iowa, USA
I know there is a difference between LED and LCD technology... I mentioned that in the post.
Keep in mind the terminology—that is probably what the first commenter meant. "LEDs" are still LCDs; it just means an LED-backlit LCD. If it says only "LCD," it probably refers to traditional CCFL-backlit LCDs.

Like you, I've also noticed LED displays get less warm than traditional CCFL displays (and, of course, they do draw less power). I don't think your experience is that weird. :)

(This is somewhat surprising given that my LED light bulbs in the house seem to get nearly as warm as the CFLs, but I suppose they're more spread out in the display.)
 
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