Ultimate Quad - 30" ACD, SSD

tevion5

macrumors 68000
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Jul 12, 2011
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So I'm here to show off.

Having upgraded my G5 Quad to 16GB RAM and an Nvidia Quadro FX 4500, it was only matter of time before it got the SSD treatment. It had to be one that doesn't need TRIM, which poor old Leopard lacks. OWC offer a number of vintage compatible SSD's tailor made for old Macs, so I got an 256GB one from them.

I've also been in the market for a new monitor. I'll be upgrading from my aging 2011 MBP to the 2019 Mac Pro this year, all going to plan. While Apple haven't sold the 30" ACD in nearly a decade, I couldn't resist getting my hands on one. The sheer size of these things is something else. Noticeably bigger than the 27" iMac or TBD, the resolution on this thing isn't 5k but 2560x1600 is still huge. More importantly, the colours, contrast and angles on this behemoth are also still better than most monitors I see today. Granted a 23" ACD has been my MBP's daily companion for years now, but the legendary status of the biggest monitor Apple every shipped is still something special.

The 2019 MP will likely max out my budget alone, so I'll skip o the 6K monitor rumored to accompany it. I think the 30" ACD makes a very capable and stylish alternative in the meantime. For now my PowerPC flagship Quad is doing it justice. It's a lot bigger than the 20".



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desktop ss.jpg


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MattA

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May 15, 2006
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@Amethyst1: I have a pile of iPods that don't get used much anymore, but I still use my 6th gen 160GB one in the car. This pic was taken when I was using my 2011 Mac Mini, and the setup has changed slightly. I still have the one iPod dock for adding tunes to my daily iPod, but the 3rd gen has been moved to another room. I actually still really like old iPods, and feel it's a shame that they've gone by the wayside.

@CooperBox: L&H are awesome, and always will be. I've been looking for a largish poster of them for my work office. That's not a bad idea for the desktop on the 30"! I may do that. :)
 

z970mp

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Jun 2, 2017
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@MattA: I'll take an iPod over an iPhone any day.

They're special, and emanate days of when Apple wasn't in the tubes. Arguably, they're the most "Apple" thing they ever invented...and then brushed aside, after a 16-year heritage...

The touch is probably on life support now. Every other 7-year-old nowadays has at worst an iPhone 6, anyway...
 
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MattA

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May 15, 2006
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The biggest downer for the iPod for me is I just don't find myself needing one very often anymore. That's the real crime. They'll still get used in my cars until they can't, though.
 
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AUser2017

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Feb 4, 2017
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How loud is your Quadro FX 4500... Mine is quite loud... You can hear a hum noise from the fan. Its acceptable, but it is loud... Can you heare your card?
 

tevion5

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How loud is your Quadro FX 4500... Mine is quite loud... You can hear a hum noise from the fan. Its acceptable, but it is loud... Can you heare your card?

For web browsing or any 2D application is contributes as much noise as a fanless card, but when I’m running a 3D application like a game it can make a lot of noise. It’s about as much noise as when the G5 is under strain from a heavy task, but a higher frequency.

But definitely loud by modern standards.
 

tevion5

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Apple Dual-Link DVI to MiniDP adapter arrived yesterday, and tested with my 2011 MBP.

Now that I can hook it up to any Mac, I'll have to see about keeping it with the G5 Quad...

However last weekend I watched Avengers: Infinity War in HD on the 30" using the G5 Quad with no problems whatsoever. Not bad for a 2005 machine.
 

AshleyPomeroy

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Dec 27, 2018
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I've always wondered - can you run the 30" monitor at 1280x800 as a kind of pseudo-retina mode? I imagine it wouldn't work very well, because even if you scale the menu text down so that it looks normal-sized it won't help applications, but would there be any benefit to it? Less eye strain perhaps.
 

tevion5

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I've always wondered - can you run the 30" monitor at 1280x800 as a kind of pseudo-retina mode? I imagine it wouldn't work very well, because even if you scale the menu text down so that it looks normal-sized it won't help applications, but would there be any benefit to it? Less eye strain perhaps.

That would be halving the resolution down from 2560x1600. I'm not sure how that would be in any way 'retina'?

You can do it, it just means everything is half as sharp and twice as big.
 

amedias

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Feb 9, 2008
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That looks so great! I still want an aluminum Cinema Display, they looks so sleek even years later.

I had been using a pair of them for the last 10 years, but recently got a bulk deal on 4 more of the 20in ones, not quite as nice as the 23s or 30s but I prefer a number of smaller discrete screens over fewer bigger ones.

They can be found quite cheaply if you look around but beware people selling them without the PSUs as finding them separately can cost almost as much as the screen.
 
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Amethyst1

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Oct 28, 2015
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I've always wondered - can you run the 30" monitor at 1280x800 as a kind of pseudo-retina mode? I imagine it wouldn't work very well, because even if you scale the menu text down so that it looks normal-sized it won't help applications, but would there be any benefit to it? Less eye strain perhaps.

As said, it's possible but you'd be at only 50 ppi with very large and pixelated UI elements. You can't easily reduce font sizes used in menus and dialogues either. On an Intel Mac running Lion or a newer version of OS X, you could run 1280×800 in HiDPI/"Retina" mode on the 30" which would at least give you sharp fonts and UI elements, but they'd still be at a ridiculous size.

If you have a somewhat modern Intel Mac (or GPU, actually) you could run HiDPI/"Retina" modes larger than one quarter of the display's native resolution which would result in sharp fonts and UI elements while still providing a nice amount of desk space. For instance, you could run the 30" at 1920×1200 HiDPI, which would render everything off-screen at 3840×2400 and scale it down to 2560×1600 on the display. This is exactly how these scaled modes work on the Retina Macs or external 4K/5K displays (I apologise if you've already known this).
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They can be found quite cheaply if you look around but beware people selling them without the PSUs as finding them separately can cost almost as much as the screen.

If you don't mind going down the DIY route, you can look for a generic PSU with matching voltage and current specifications, cut off the ACD's power plug and solder the wires to the generic PSU's.
 
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California

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Aug 21, 2004
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I daily a 30" on my 2014 Mac Mini. It works perfectly. The only issue I have is it isn't HDCP compliant. Safari won't play Netflix/etc on it. But, Chrome will... :)



What year was your 30" ACD made? I have one from about 2012 and it WAS HDCP compliant, or at least it was through last year.

If you have an earlier version of the 30" Apple Cinema Display, which was updated I believe in 2007, then it would not be HDCP compliant. But later models I do believe... were.
 

covisio

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Aug 22, 2007
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Marvellous stuff, very jealous, particularly of the nice 8600.

I'm curious, where does your interest come from? Did you/do you have a job using Macs?

Cheers
 
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tevion5

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Marvellous stuff, very jealous, particularly of the nice 8600.

I'm curious, where does your interest come from? Did you/do you have a job using Macs?

Thanks man.

I got my first :apple: in 2011 and have been hooked since. I've used Macs on a daily basis studying Computer Science and now at work doing data science too. I record a lot of music in my spare time so the creative strengths are a big draw. I don't own an IT shop or anything, even though I've worked in IT in the past.

It's the geeky Comp Sci part of me that makes me love older models from the Apple II to the Quicksilver. I get a lot of fun pushing these systems to do modern tasks when they look so great, to my eyes at least.
 
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MattA

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May 15, 2006
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Orlando, FL
What year was your 30" ACD made? I have one from about 2012 and it WAS HDCP compliant, or at least it was through last year.

If you have an earlier version of the 30" Apple Cinema Display, which was updated I believe in 2007, then it would not be HDCP compliant. But later models I do believe... were.
I'm pretty sure it's from 2006. It belonged to a friend of mine who bought two of them new with a then new Macbook Pro. He wound up selling one and gave me the other one a few years ago. It still works and looks GREAT, but it isn't HDCP compliant (which is rather annoying!).
 
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California

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I'm pretty sure it's from 2006. It belonged to a friend of mine who bought two of them new with a then new Macbook Pro. He wound up selling one and gave me the other one a few years ago. It still works and looks GREAT, but it isn't HDCP compliant (which is rather annoying!).
I have a 23" ACD that is not HDCP compliant from 2006, right before Apple "upgraded" the ACD line in 2007... but I never had problems with my latter year 30" ACD with HD content.
 
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