Which 27'' display?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by arnoz, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. arnoz macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007

    I'm looking to buy a new 27 display, whatever the brand. I would like it to have the following specs:
    - compatible with Mac and Xbox (I guess it just means HDMI, I have a rMBP)
    - with a USB hub
    - good for gaming and work

    On a side note, what is the best 27'' in terms of resolution/image quality?
  2. jobush macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2013
    I can't recommend a model right away because there are so many variables, like where you live, your exact needs etc.

    However, I think this might be a useful advice:

    The best way to see if a screen works for you is to test it yourself.
    Like, you have to see it and check rather you are going to be comfortable staring at it hours at a time.

    Also, not many other displays offer a USB port on their screens.
    I think it's safe to say that if you're not getting the cinema or thunderbolt display, you should get a USB hub instead.

    I'd seriously recommend a small sized HD TV instead of a monitor designed to be used exclusively with computers.

    They come with better color and contrast options - and often come with multiple HDMI ports.

    You can also easily flip between your laptop and your 360 with the remote that comes with it.
  3. arnoz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    Thanks for your answer. I'm hesitating to buy the Thunderbolt in the end... But that means no 360 on it. :rolleyes:
  4. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    Be careful to check the resolution.

    Many 27" displays are 1920x1080. You might be happy with that resolution, and you might not.

    The higher-end 27" models are 2560 x 1440.
  5. arnoz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    Yep I think I'll go the 2560 x 1440 way (hence the TB display). Although I read about some others brands needing a dual DVI cable or something special not compatible with Mac. Didn't investigate further yet, can be complete BS :)
  6. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    "Dual Link DVI" -- this is a common cable and Dell (for example) tosses one in.

    I use a Dell U2711 and it has DVI, VGA, HDMI, and Displayport inputs. Most likely other non-Dell/non-Apple 27" displays have those inputs as well.

    You don't say which Mac you're using, but if it has mini-DP then you can just get a mini-DP--->DP cable and you'll be good.

    The problem I think you've been reading about is if you have a Mac with mini-DP output and a display that has only a dual-link DVI input. Then you have to buy a long $99 Apple adapter.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that TB and mini-DP share the same port on the Mac. So if you only have one such port, and need it for your non-Apple monitor, then you can't have TB accessories.
  7. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I like the TBD because it has a hub, on-board speakers, it's fairly color accurate and it has minimal cabling. The reason I hesitate is I'm holding out for USB3 and early adopter feedback.
  8. psharp macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Apple thunderbolt monitors are nice, while sleek I find them a bit pricey. I like that they use thunderbolt, and you can daisy chain more devices off them however I don't like the lack of HDMI.
    I don't typically suggest dell computers, but I'm a big fan of the dell displays. The UltraSharp series is great I run a U2713H at home next to my MBPr. The USB3 hub sold me

    I've ordered a handful of U2410's for people in my office and they're quite nice as well. I've also owned one which I've since passed off to a very happy family member.

    If you're willing to drop the grand on the TB display consider those too.
  9. arnoz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    Thanks to you and @psharp. I definitely agree about the price and lack of USB3 for the TB display.
    USB3 is easily replaceable though by plugging the disk directly to the rMBP. I also some a post about Chinese displays made from the same hardware but 1/3 of the price because they aren't Apple and lack TB ports. Don't know if that's accurate (yet).

    I'll have a look at the Dell ones but otherwise, even expensive, if I can have a great image quality, built speakers (of quality) and all the rest through the TB cable I think I will fall for it.
  10. jobush, Jan 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013

    jobush macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2013
    For Me I think that built in sound system can never beat an external sound.
    But I am guessing that you want an all-in-one computing experience as much as possible. Like I said; I would recommend an HDTV because with the right deal, they can have great sound options.

    I have a samsung 22" HDTV with an HDMI port and an aux audio-out.
    The HDMI connection automatically redirects the sound to the TV, and for me
    the sound is great. If I want to be quiet or want better sound experience - I just plug in my headphones and I'm good to go.

    I must caution you for buying a screen with 2560x1440 -
    To my knowledge, the maximum resolution the 360 can display is 1080P.
    So the UI itself will already look washed out on your display.
    Additionally, most games for the 360 play on 720p or 576p. The UI and the HUD are displayed 1080 while the rendered 3D stuff are on the sub HD level.

    I wouldn't go as far as saying that the games will look 'terrible'. But it certainly will not loook as nice as it being displayed on a 1080p screen with same screen real estate.

    For me no matter the resolution of the display, it always looks best on the native resolution.

    I believe you can daisychain a Thunderbolt USB hub and a Thunderbolt to HDMI cable.
    That way all you have to do is plug in the Thunderbolt cable and you'd be good to go-for the Mac side, at least.

    Ignore the following if your rMBP is 13" -

    -If you have the 15" Retina by chance, that computer plays games wonderfully. It's capable of playing games with higher resolution and visual quality than the 360, given that the games in question are reasonably optimized.

    Some of the games top of my head includes Borderlands 1&2, AC3, Black Ops 2, Skyrim, Crysis 2 etc..
    You can surely play these games one 'notch' above the 360's rendered resolution.
    1080P for the borderlands and ACIII vs. 720 on the 360, 1080P for Black Ops 2 and Crysis vs. 576p for the 360 etc..

    Also you can play some of the PC exclusives like Starcraft and Diablo! (Which both can run in 1080P with reasonable settings- 1440P might be pushing it.

    If you have a Bootcamp partition installed - you can find a way to connect your 360 controller for the laptop and play controller enabled games straight away.

    I'm sure you have invested quite a bit for your 360 collection - but I thought it might be good for you to know that there is this option available.
  11. arnoz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
  12. jobush macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2013
    I wouldn't entirely agree with that post.

    It is true that Apple's display panels are almost exclusively manufactured by Samsung and LG, but that doesn't make all LCD-LED displays the same.

    Some panels offer better color representation and vividity, richer black etc. than others.

    The only way to make sure that you're getting the display you want is as I've said above, seeing them for yourself. Refering to on-line benchmarks can be helpful to determine rather the display has good color accuracy, viewing angle, gamma and more since those things are difficult to tell with just your eyes.

    To my knowledge Apple's displays tend to have higher contrast, gamma, and saturation in comparison to the 'correct' or '0' values. If you want the color on the display to look exactly as it would when you print it off, Apple display may not be the best solution. But for multimedia and entertainment purposes, they work great.

    But the WLED on the thunderbolt displays are great- once they're calibrated, their color profile is a lot more superior than other displays.

    I would advise you to look at the benchmarks for yourself.

    But I am not exactly debunking the thread from the link you gave me - it does have some truth in there.

    For the performance - Apple displays are definitely ripoffs. I'm confident that you can find a deal with similar performance in the $600 level.

    The only problem is though - if you don't like the display of the panel, you're going to get annoyed really quickly because you do have to stare at the thing for a few hours at a time.

    So you can either chose: A really minimalistic design (Which dell usually offers) that really doesn't impact your experience much, or a really pretty one, like the Apple display, which is pleasant for your eyes during and outside use.
  13. arnoz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    I appreciate your feedback, I'll have a look at the DELL website also now.

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