Useful life of 30" Cinema Display

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mhbergstein, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. mhbergstein macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2013
    What is the useful life of a 30" Cinema Display?
  2. AkuskaUK macrumors 6502


    Mar 18, 2011
    Shanklin, Isle Of Wight
    30 inches of cat videos on YouTube? That's what Ild use it for...
  3. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    I think that the useful life of the 30" ended about 3 years ago.

    Seriously - put a 30" beside a $550 Dell 27" 4K P2715Q display.

    Look at the picture - Dell wins hands down. Feel the heat - the 30" is a furnace.

    Sure the 30" still works and looks good - unless you put it side-by-side with a modern monitor.
  4. rawweb, Sep 6, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015

    rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    Well, depends on what you mean. I'll write you a novel. I've got one centered between two 27" LED Cinema Displays on my 12c cMP rig. The 30, hands down, is the winner. It's HUGE compared to the grand kids. The matte display is incredible. I use the 30" as my daily reader and check it against everything I do before publishing content. For me, the extra vertical pixels provide the perfect working space in Premiere and After Effects, The other two displays I use for bins and monitor previews. I like the 27 form factor a lot though. Since Apple abandoned traditional input for thunderbolt, I've held a lot of value into the 30 and 27 ACD as it can be plugged into anything with a display port (including thunderbolt). I just recently nabbed a new reburb 27 that popped up in the Apple store thinking it will replace my 30 if that day ever comes...

    Back to the 30, I think a lot of it depends on what version you have. I happen to have the refreshed model that had better brightness and contrast. I think the 2004-2006 hardware might be pretty long in the tooth these days. Got mine new in 2007 (god was that an expensive toy) and never looked back. I really wish I could still buy one today. The two grand kids might be a bit sharper, but at times, I despise the glare and reflections. I will run this 30" into the ground. I think the most common problem with the display is they tend to blow power supplies. I wish I could pick up a spare for mine just in case. I've always treated the power supply as best as possible though. I turn the display off when not in use, and keep it's power supply off the carpet and make sure it's not in a strained position. I think if you take care of something well enough it should last a long time. I'm currently hoping my rig will run for many years to come. At work, my cMP was replaced with a nMP with dual thunderbolt displays, and honestly, I would just rather work from home.

    The most you have to worry about is power supplies and discoloration as the LCD ages. I have a hardware calibrator and calibrate all 3 displays monthly. The hardware calibrator usually puts my brightness down to almost nothing and I'm glad. If I threw it all the way up, I think I could help usher in world war III. The previous poster mentioned the Dell, I can't speak to that, the design of the ACD to me is great. Everyone's all hyped up about retina displays, and I get it...but I would much rather be sitting in front of a nicely calibrated 30", no mirror, ACD. These things are truly a sight to see. Friends call me crazy, but I really think there is a lot of value in both the old form 30 and 23 displays and classic mac pros. If my house burned down today, I have no idea what I would do to replace these beloved units. If you can get a 30" for around 400 or 500 bucks, buy 3.
  5. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2010
    I agree with rawweb. In the last 3 years, I bought two 30" ACD displays on the used market, and have been thrilled with both. I haven't had any problems, though both of mine were made within a year of Apple discontinuing manufacture of the units.

    So while I'm happy with both units, I just ran into my first really annoying thing with them. I tried to play an HD video that I bought off of iTunes (rare occurrence for me), and found that the display is not compliant with current anti-piracy security measures. I can watch the SD version, but I'm just saying that it was a bit annoying. I don't have a TV, so the 30" ACD is my main way to watch cat videos on youtube. :rolleyes:
  6. VikNomad macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2009
    I will agree on that. From my use of Dell 3007 which came out nearly 10 years ago I can see useful life spanning till monitor dies. The only limiting factor is technology and all crap that come with copyright restrictions. HCDP and other rubbish that does not allow you to watch HD stuff. Resolution wise and size wise 30" displays have all you need till forever. Retina and other things come as niche use and can't be applied for general public.
  7. rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    BTW...this thread probably should be moved to 'Mac Accessories' as the discussion wasn't directed at Mac Pro by the OP.
  8. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
  9. jamesdmc macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2007
    I have two 30" ACD's. The mac pro downstairs has been rocking one for several years and I recently picked up a second one. Three months ago, when I replaced our dying 2007 iMac, I did so with a 2014 mac mini and a used 30" ACD from eBay It doesn't have a warranty, but I didn't pay that much for it, and all this screen real estate was worth it to me. If it suddenly dies on me, I knew the risks going in.
  10. Average Pro macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2013
    Running since early 2007. I love this thing. I had the chance to buy another, but because I hesitated someone else grabbed it. If I come across another the same won't happen. When (if) Apple comes to the market with a new monitor that is when I'll replace my current inventory. The only other monitory I'd consider is the NEC PA322UHD 32".

  11. agazoo macrumors regular


    May 15, 2015
    Running ACD 30" with NEC PA301W 30" at the moment.
    ACD 30" still runs strong. Not nearly as good as NEC but still MUCH better then many other current 27" IMHO.
    Bought it back in 2006(or end of 2005?) for about 2700$ or so with student discount. 10 years for a monitor is a lot!
    2700/10= 270$ per year. Pretty good investment.
  12. CapnDavey macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2015
    hey if it still works and looks good and you don't want to replace it yet. i still use a 20 inch one
  13. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Jun 28, 2011
    Mines' as old as my G5, and it still works fine, but it was never particularly accurate, and I used a second monitor for critical color work. It's nice to have the real estate sometimes.
  14. rickvanr macrumors 68040


    Apr 10, 2002
    I still have my 23" that I bought with my 2.7 DP G5. It still looks great plugged into my 2009 Mac Pro.

    Always wanted the 30.
  15. bunnspecial, Sep 14, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015

    bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    I don't have a 30", but am using a pair of 23" ones of the same design as the 30" as the "daily drivers" on my 1,1.

    Despite the fact that they were manufactured about 6 months apart, one is "pre refresh" and one is post. The difference is obvious. In fact, one of the things on my "to do" list is find a post-refresh, and then probably transition the other over to my Quad. Sitting side by side, the difference is noticeable.

    I'd love a 30", but prices on them are still too high for me at the moment.

    With regard to the PSUs, I'm running both of my 23s" off aftermarket powersupplies. Some may cringe at the thought, but I bought 24V, 5A LED lighting transformers off Ebay for around $20 each. I cut the proprietary power connector off the display and just spliced it into the power supply. Solder and put some heat shrink tubing over the joints and it's neat if not particularly attractive. I've been meaning to go shopping for some connectors to make it a little bit easier to separate the PSU from the display, but it hasn't been a priority since they're more or less stationary now.

    The same thing should work with a 30", although I'd probably suggest looking for a 10A PSU.
  16. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I still use mine and it's and '08 version. I'll replace mine but only with a 5K after prices come down a bit
  17. tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    I have a single 30" ACD which I have used on my PowerMac G5 1.8, PowerMac G5 2.0 DC, Mac Mini, and finally the Mac Pro 5,1. I still prefer the display because of its screen estate. Having a text editor and two A4 sized PDF files open side by side is something I've learned to appreciate.
    My main usage is more focused on the coding side of things—colour accuracy is not my primary concern. I hope my ACD does still run for a few years.
    So to answer your question: If you do not need a retina display and colour is of secondary concern, there may be still a few years of useful life for an ACD be ahead. However, I would not buy a used 30" ACD today, because most devices have quite some age and may fail anytime soon.
  18. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    between earth and heaven
    Imho the useful life of these kind of displays is until the end of life of their backlight.
    They 're brilliant displays and a display of this quality never ages.
  19. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    The 30" Apple Cinema Display is probably one of the best matte and durable displays made by Apple. Mine has been running well the past 7 years with no discoloration or flickering. I need the non-glossy screen for graphic and video edits. I know there are newer monitors that came out with more connection options. I set the brightness controls a little over halfway to prolong the life the LCD light.

    I also have the older acrylic 23" Apple Display and still running well for 10 years.

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