What is the best 30" display out there? Apple?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by 3fingerbrown, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. 3fingerbrown macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2008
    I'm in the market for a 30" display to use with my Mac Pro I'm also going to get soon. The main use of this display will be for editing photos on Photoshop.

    The Dell 30" is $600 cheaper, has a better contrast ratio (1000:1 versus 700:1) and nice media card reader port on the side (can be used with compact flash?).

    I'd prefer to have an Apple brand display, but I'm not sure I can justify the extra $600 for a display that is inferior in technology, and about to be replaced. But a friend told me that the Apple quality is better than the Dell's, so that's a consideration. Any advice here?

    Also, anyone have any educated guesses on what the new display will have, and what the price will be?
  2. SubaruNation555 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2007
    Arlington, VA USA
    Not sure about the Dell but judging from the viewing angle and response time it looks like a S-IPS panel like in the Apple Cinema Displays which certainly isn't inferior.
  3. volvoben macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    nowhere fast
    Apple hasn't redesigned their displays in a while, but the technology really isn't 'outdated'.

    the panel is identical or nearly identical to the Dell (not sure about newer $2000 3008 model from Dell), but there are other differences. I don't trust "1000:1 contrast ratio" type stats, i'd rather just look at the two monitors.

    I've used both, and I will admit I liked the Apple slightly better...and of course the Apple is infinitely more attractive physically...but the $600 ($400 with edu, not sure if refurbs show up often) is up to you.

    I found both to calibrate well and certainly capable of commercial grade photo editing (my eyes aren't that great though apparently, the $6000 EIZO monitors they had in the agency at the time looked almost identical to me).

    There are other models to consider, such as those from Samsung and HP, but I haven't used any of these models.

    I doubt anyone here has great info on new displays, but my guess is that some or all will be LED backlit, meaning more expensive...but again, I'm just randomly guessing.
  4. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    I use a Ezio çoloredge at work and it the best I have ever seen!
  5. scottydawg macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2008
    Sacramento, CA
  6. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Just wait. Apple will be releasing new ACD's at MacWorld Expo 09. Some rumors say that they might be touchscreen too!
  7. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I'm a fan of the Dell 3008FPW. It's pricey, but it is pretty much the last monitor you will ever need in terms of connectivity.

    The Dell 3007FPW gives you the parts and performance of the 30" Apple Cinema Display for about the same price, but with more connectivity options (though not as many as the 3008FPW).

    Personally, I'd take the ACD over the 3007FPW since the price is close and I might as well have an all-Apple system (plus I like the FW400 ports). But I'd take the Dell 3008FPW over both.
  8. ceres macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    Dark Forests of Germania
    + the ACD is immensely slow. You´ll never enjoy games on it. I´d also go for the Dell right now. It also looks very good. Haptics and finish are top class.
    Apple might release new Displays rather soon and maybe it´s something big.
    So waiting some more might pay off.

    Take care,
  9. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    The ACD are great if pre-press colour accuracy is what you need. However, if your one who needs connectivity and flexibility then go with the Dell.

    Wasn't long ago I was in your shoes. Due to colour accuracy I went with the Apple and personally I like my ACD, I don't have any regrets... in fact I'm thinking of adding a second. Just need to find more desk/wall space.
  10. Jaap macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2008
    Samsung SyncMaster 305T

    I chose the Samsung 305T in favor of the Apple and the Dell.
    The samsung has a better contrast ratio (not dynamic) which i value greatly. There are some comparison reviews on the net between the ACD and the Dell or the Samsung.

    The Apple however is MUCH nicer looking, especially with other mac hardware.

    The Samsung has one disadvantage though: it only has 1 DVI port and no other ports.

    All in all: i recommend the Samsung unless you want the Apple looks or you need more connectivity.
  11. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    As I understand it, slow response times are endemic to IPS LCD panels, which all 30" LCD panels are, to my knowledge (I know the ACD, both Dells, and that new uber NEC use IPS panels).
  12. 3fingerbrown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2008
    Thanks to everyone for the responses.

    The CNET comparison of the Dell 3007WFP and the ACD actually gave Apple the slight edge in the gaming category.

    The CNET comparison also says the ACD "is the monitor of choice, especially if you own an Apple computer, since the Apple OS provides additional configuration options."

    I'm curious to know what those configuration options are, can anyone summarize?
  13. Jaap macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2008
    CWallace: Since i'm the resident Samsung fanboy: the 305T has a PVA panel.
  14. 3fingerbrown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2008
    Dell/Samsung calibration through OSX?

    A reviewer of the ACD said that to calibrate the ACD, you can:

    "go to System Preferences > Displays > Color > Calibrate and make a new profile. You can create new profiles on every Mac even without a hardware color meter as I use."

    Is the ability to calibrate through OSX (without additional software) unique to the ACD? Or can you calibrate a Dell or Samsung through OSX just as easily?

    The ability to calibrate and set up profiles through OSX without additional software, would be a signficant advantage to getting the ACD. In fact, it would likely swing me in favor of the ACD.
  15. ceres macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    Dark Forests of Germania
    For proper Calibration you´ll need standalone calibration hardware such as the SPYDER. Other than that you´d better count on well-defined presets out of the box.
  16. madfresh macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    I heard the samsung 30" displays are really nice.
  17. hualon macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    I just bought a Samsung 305t last week. I don't know about the metrics but the monitor is a sheer joy to use. I have played Spore on it for (LOTS of) hours and it is very good for working in Photoshop and Lightroom. The Samsung is $1250 or so at amazon.com and has very good reviews.

    Without calibration the 305t is really hot on red for some reason. Our eyes are very sensitive to red though so this could be an artifact of a very GOOD red output that consequently is overbearing. I calibrated using a Spyder Pro and all looks hunky dory now.

    The shipping container is second-rate on the Samsung. The Dell 2005FPW that I had previously was packed like a Ming vase but the Samsung was wedged between two flimsy pieces of (broken) Styrofoam. Despite the poor packing, the panel has ZERO dead pixels.

    The Apple display is overpriced and outdated.

    30" displays are the way to go. I have a itsy bitsy 24" at my office and I pine for my 30" every time I go in. The upshot is that now I'm doing a great deal more work from home!

    This is speculation but I think that the Samsung is better in terms of power consumption than the ACD. Something to think about and research...
  18. pit29 macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2006
    The Golden State
    rumors... although I wouldn't mind them to be true
  19. Habusho macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2006
    I think it's true. Especially since it seems like new MBPs will have BD drives. Blurary has to have HDMI for DRM reasons therefore they would most likely have to update their displays with at least HDMI connections.
  20. Shownarou macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2008
    Newton, IA
    >_> I think he was referring to the displays being touchscreen.
  21. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Dell 3008WFP is great. Has every possible connector.
  22. TinHead88 macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2008
    Let me give you this WARNING right now: If you buy ANYTHING purely based on specs you are most likely going to make a bad decision. Specs never tell the complete story.

    Many reviews are very basic and don’t tell you very much at all. You really need to see the monitors and compare.

    In regards to response time:
    All Apple monitors are fine but be careful with other brands (eg Samsung has 6ms response time but apparently a 30ms lag due to the technical implementation of S-PVA). It seems that people just make wild unjustifiable statements about Apple monitors being too slow for games etc simply from reading specs.

    Lots of non-professional reviews around on the net with comments like “don’t get an Apple display unless you want to pay extra for aesthetics”. Sorry, but that’s complete bs. The Apple displays are made with quality panels (S-IPS) and a lot of thought has gone into design. I do audio and I can’t have a display right in front of my face that hums and buzzes. Apple decided to put the power adaptor in a box away from the monitor which eliminates most of this problem (and it really is a problem when your environment is quiet). Apple monitors are almost completely silent. The Samsung 305T+ was totally unacceptable with both buzzing and humming.

    A lot of people talking about products out there seem to have very low standards. How anyone could choose a Samsung 305T+ over an Apple ADC is completely beyond my understanding. The difference in quality is night and day. I purchased a 305T+ and got a sinking feeling as soon as I turned it on. This monitor was like having a CRT in the lack of sharpness. My eyes started to hurt after a short time of reading text (I’m not exaggerating). There was a red fringe that could be seen 1 pixel to the left on a white line with black background which went some way to explain the blurriness. Then there was the noise coming from it. The stand was of such poor quality that the monitor was about 1cm higher on one side (ie impossible to get level horizontally).

    To their credit they took the monitor back and decided that they could not offer me a product that would meet my standards.

    I think the quality of a monitor has a lot to do with the type of panel used, however, I have seen Dell monitors which apparently use the same panels as Apple and I have to say, although the Dells are pretty close, the Apple monitors still look sharper, better with evenness of backlight, better with colour accuracy and of course more solidly built. Also I found the Dells to be too bright even at minimal settings and blacks were too grey in a dark room.

    Hope this helps...
  23. Jaap macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2008
    Youo must have had one from a very bad batch or something. I am looking at a white line on a black background right now and it is very sharp, no red fringe. Also my monitor is perfectly level. I guess ymmv.
  24. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    This is especially true for monitors. Essentially no one actually verifies the specs in reviews, so monitor manufacturers claim whatever they want. Having seen both, I don't think there is a significant difference in contrast between the Dell 3008 and the ACD. Apple has generally been conservative in the specs they claim for their monitors, sometimes to the point of appearing uncompetitive with other manufacturers using the exact same panel.

    All 30" S-IPS panels made today are generally comparable. As others have noted, the Dell 3008 has superior connectivity options; the Eizo SX-3031W is optimized for color accuracy, but very expensive; and the ACD has a beautiful and solid case. Make your own decision based on what is important to you. They will all calibrate well for photo work.
  25. digitalfrog macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2007

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