Thunderbolt Vs. Third Party Display

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Onewinged37, May 1, 2014.

  1. Onewinged37 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi, everyone! I'm completely brand new here but I have a quick issue I wanted to see if everyone could help me with. I currently have a Macbook pro 13 inch from 2011 and I use it for logic pro x, final cut pro x, and aperture work. I'm looking into an external display and I'm wondering if I should go for the Thunderbolt or a third party option. I'm looking for the best resolution possible without completely breaking the bank. I could afford the refurbished thunderbolt but I'm wondering if there's a cheaper, high quality alternative. Thanks!
     
  2. macsation macrumors member

    macsation

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    #2
  3. phositadc macrumors 6502

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    Also consider http://www.amazon.com/PB278Q-27-Inch-LED-lit-Professional-Graphics/dp/B009C3M7H0. Not much more expensive than the highest priced monoprice but a more recognizable brand and amazon prime for quick shipping and simple return/exchange if necessary.

    I have one and love it, especially for the price. I also recently convinced my dad to get one instead of the TBD. His arrived a couple days ago and he is thrilled he took my advice and saved several hundred dollars.
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #4
    Wait for one month to see what Apple plans to release. We will likely get 10,9,3 with 4K support in rMBPs. That might also mean a new generation of ATDs. And with in place.....just maybe a new Aperture to take advantage of higher resolution screens.

    WWDC is one month away....June 2.https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/
     
  5. Onewinged37 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5

    Do they offer everything the TBD does?

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    Does this offer everything the TBD does?
     
  6. phositadc macrumors 6502

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    No. Very few monitors, for instance, offer an Ethernet port, which I think tbd has. Also I think tbd has daisy chaining capability which I think very few other monitors have. If you want "everything" the tbd offers you are probably just going to need to get a tbd. But if you can live without the features I mentioned, you can get equal picture quality in a very nice monitor for half the price of a new tbd.
     
  7. macsation macrumors member

    macsation

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    #7
    These other monitors also more than likely have hdmi and dvi connections. These connections offer a lot more flexibility to use them with other pc's (like say a work computer) besides just with an apple machine. You can also plug a Roku or ATV into them as well.

    Like I originally stated, apparently monoprice uses the exact same panels as Apple. Same big, bright beautiful screen with popping colors. Why pay the markup if you don't have to?
     
  8. Onewinged37 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    I read some of these monitors don't have usb ports, so would I have to run a keyboard/mouse through my macbook pro?
     
  9. phositadc macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Better yet, get a wireless mouse/keyboard. The batteries last literally years these days.
     
  10. Onewinged37 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    An Apple wired/wireless keyboard or mouse would work with a third party monitor correct?
     
  11. COrocket macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Wired ones are standard USB and should work with any monitor equipped with a hub. Wireless ones are bluetooth and communicate directly with the computer, so the monitor does not matter.
     
  12. Onewinged37 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    So what am I truly missing out on by going with a third party display rather than thunderbolt?
     
  13. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #13
    Using the same panel does not amount to the exact same picture.

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    The connectivity options.
     
  14. raniel macrumors regular

    raniel

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    #14
    Go for the ATD for now, when the time comes apple updates the ATD you can sell it at a higher price compared to other brand
     
  15. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

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    #15
    You are better off getting a newer display like that ASUS one or a nice Dell one and getting a Caldigit TB dock. It will end up costing the same or less than TBD with a newer, much better display and better connectivity (Caldigit has USB 3 ports, Ethernet, spare TB port, audio in/out, HDMI).
     
  16. macsation, May 4, 2014
    Last edited: May 4, 2014

    macsation macrumors member

    macsation

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    #16
    If it's close enough, has great reviews , has an IPS display sourced from the same supplier as the Apple display....all at like 40% less than the ATD, why not seriously consider it?
     
  17. Onewinged37 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Would the Monoprice be the best third party option?
     
  18. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

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    Kind of subjective I guess...a lot of people here recommend it because they use the same panel as Apple. I didn't go that route, I ended up buying 2 23" Dell IPS panels and they look fantastic. Why? I really don't like buying things when I can't try it out first and see the display in action. Never used Monoprice so I can't speak to the quality, ease of returns, etc.
     
  19. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #19
    I am not saying you should not consider it. :)
     
  20. robgendreau, May 4, 2014
    Last edited: May 4, 2014

    robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #20
    I have one of the Monoprices. They have a few models now.

    Where they differ from Apple is quality control; some have pixels off. But many vendors have policies about those, and outfits like Monoprice are super good about returns. Maybe better than Apple...I don't know their dead pixel policy.

    You also miss maybe ethernet or USB ports. BFD; easy to get those anyway, assuming you need them, and maybe you don't need them.

    The other brand monitors may not have the connections you need; as price goes down you may get only one type of connection, like DVI or HDMI. If your card supports that you save a bunch; lots have display port connections. As noted previously, however, that HDMI port can come in handy with lots of stuff. And Thunderbolt is nice, but do you really need it? Kind of a waste if you can run the monitor some other way, like just DisplayPort. And 4K? really diminishing returns for most people.

    Some don't have really nice stands. The monoprice one I have has VESA mount holes (and they sell umpteen million mounts) and a good sturdy stand. Just happens to sit about 1.5" below my very similar (but inferior) 27" iMac screen (which has dust contamination, hence is inferior).

    The most serious downside, IMHO, is the collection of monitor controls you may get. I couldn't adjust some stuff on my monitor as easily as with some other third party or Apple monitors, but in my case where I'm using it means I don't care. It's basically set up to be exactly like the iMac, so it works for me. Others need more control. Here's an example review of the panel I got (note that the actual panel may differ in what monoprice or others sell now): http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/achieva_27_ips-zero-g.htm

    If your a pro who needs things like exact color calibration and have the tools to do so, you need to do your due diligence to see if the monitor can be adjusted to your liking. Best to ask in forums where people do that kind of calibration to see what each is capable of before you buy, whether it be Apple or any other. And what works in the light where you work can differ as well.

    For many of us, a cheaper alternative like the monoprice I have just works for general stuff; I don't have to do color calibration in any fine detail. Using this monitor over Apple's saved me enough to get a better graphics card. So YMMV. Maybe Apple, but maybe it's a waste of $$. Frankly, for the current price of an Apple Thunderbolt display you could probably get a used 27" iMac that you could use in Target Display Mode, and have some backup computing power to boot. And maybe it would have a bluetooth mouse and keyboard.
     
  21. Onewinged37 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Thanks for all the great information. I'm not a professional, I'm an amateur hobbyist who works in logic, fcp, and aperture for fun. I do want the best picture possible, but I am definitely on a budget, so maybe a third party monitor would suit me better. Love the Thunderbolt, just not sure I can drop 800 for a refurbished one :(
     
  22. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #22
    If I were you, my considerations will prioritise as follow.

    1) Buy what you need. If you only need a display, that means TBD is not the only option for you. However, if you may connect the display to another device (e.g. PS4), then TBD is definitely not an option for you.

    2) Buy what you can afford. As you said, you can afford a refurbished TBD. You will have plenty options with that budget.

    3) Buy what you want. As others said, you can get the CalDigit Thunderbolt Dock + another 3rd party display to achieve a better connectively + more flexibility option. However, if you really love the design of the TBD, then it's your choice (of course you can still choose the old ACD which give you a bit extra flexibility).

    No matter which option you choice, it's not a very cheap option. You better buy something you really want an won't regret. In terms of quality. I don't think you can see much difference if all the displays are correctly calibrated.
     
  23. Onewinged37 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    I won't be connecting the TBD to another device (although I do own a ps4) because I already have a 42 inch HD TV. I'd only potentially connect it to another display, MAYBE. I could maybe afford a refurbished TBD but that would be a cash hit for sure. What 3rd party display is the best value without sacrificing 2560x1440?
     
  24. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #24
    May be this one
     
  25. phositadc macrumors 6502

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    #25
    IMO for $490 the Asus is the best value. Avoids the potential quality control problems of monoprice and not that much more expensive.
     

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