Which displays do you use and/or recommend?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dh2005, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. dh2005 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Hey folks,

    This is the second time I've had to write this post. I absolutely despise how this forum logs you out if you spend too long composing...!

    When I buy a Mac Pro (assuming an update is coming in Q1 2012...), I'll need a display for it. I had originally assumed I'd just get a 27" Thunderbolt display, but I recently considered what the alternatives might be.

    The reasons for me to favour the Apple display, that I can think of, are:

    1. It's an 'Apple display'. Fits with the rest of the kit.

    2. With the 17% educational discount, it's really quite reasonably priced.

    3. Further to 2., the educational promotion provides a three-year warranty at no extra charge.

    4. I gather it could be used to charge my MBP, which would be useful if I ever left my MagSafe at work.

    But here's why I might want to look elsewhere:

    1. I like the idea of having a display that's bigger than 27". I used to own a 27" iMac, and it doesn't have the 'wow' factor that it used to have, for me.

    2. I've 'got used' to the glossy finish on Apple displays, but I've never liked it.

    3. The proprietary-only inputs seem kinda mean, to me. I wouldn't buy this display expressly for hooking it up to my Blu-ray player; but it'd be nice to have the option, in the event that my (slightly antiquated) television croaked on me.

    These are the issues that come to mind, right now. Does anybody have any thoughts or advice about this?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. dh2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Ah. I see there's another thread on this topic opened only yesterday. Sorry...

    ... well, if anyone feels like replying, I'll add the following:

    I don't have any 'professional' functionality in mind; I just want a very nice display. Something that will make everything look good, whether it's web-browsing, gaming, video-playback, or whatever else I decide to do. Again, if there's a great display that might allow me to connect an Xbox or a Blu-ray player to it, that would be another potential consideration.

    It would be my intention to trick-out the Mac Pro I'm going to buy with the most grunty graphics system that the PSU can cope with, so gaming will be the most frequent demand I'll make of the display.
  3. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I like the Dell Ultrasharp series. Matte screen, IPS, very adjustable ergos, plenty of inputs, and still available in 16x10 ratio. I think nowadays you can even order them calibrated at the factory.
  4. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    I'd add that if you are coming from glossy or semi-gloss panel that the Dell Ultra-sharp super aggressive matte coating ruins the display's for me. Worst text I have ever seen on my U2311H. Major headaches. I came from a true 8-bit AS-IPS NEC 20WMGX2 and it was made in 2006 and I can't find anything to replace it yet. I have a closet full of displays.
  5. smali macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2010
    Exact same experience for me although with the newer U2311HM. Had to send it back straight away due to the antiglare.

    The display is fine if all you are doing is playing games, movies etc.

    Open up a new blank document in say photoshop or word however and you see the anti-glare coating give of a weird sparkle than made dizzy just looking at it.

    I really like the smoother anti-glare on the Macbook pro screen, anyone know if there are any monitors like that (reasonably priced)?
  6. kalex macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007
    tried using 27" Imac and couldn't get use to seeing my reflection in it. now I'm using 3 HP LP2475W displays and they work great
  7. yomibro macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2008
    I can deal with the glossy look on the displays but I am just not sold with the current 16:9 aspect ratio, much prefer the old 16:10 but unfortunately those types of monitors are becoming extinct.
  8. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    30" is about as big as you want to go. I've used bigger displays than that, and it just feels awkward. Dual displays is also an option.

    I'm still using two 23" Cinema Displays, which seemed more popular among pro users than the current displays. But if I had to do it again, I'd probably opt for one or two of the 27" displays. Honestly, the 24" displays at a cheaper price point would be my sweet spot, if Apple still made them.
  9. TheDoc macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2008
    When did this start happening? What country's store are you looking at? I've purchased items as a student before and have not been offered free Applecare.
  10. dh2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    The UK, mate. 'AppleCare' isn't free (i.e. the telephone support is still limited to 30 days), but the warranty is automatically extended to three years.

    If you're a student in the UK, go to apple.com/uk, login for the educational pricing, then look at the warranty information. It's three years, automatically.
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I use and recommend Dell's line of monitors. I currently use a Dell 30" (3008WFP); they have advance replacement warranties with accidental protection for a low price (probably because it's hard to accidentally break a monitor). Currently I have 12k power-on hours and it's been working fine.

    I recommend them mainly because they have antiglare panels. Plus you get an abundance of inputs (2x DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI, etc.); even does sound passthrough on some of the inputs on the current model. Comes with a USB hub and card reader built-in. It's not terribly expensive.
  12. fabriciom, Dec 13, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011

    fabriciom macrumors 6502


    Feb 17, 2008
    Madrid, España
  13. Kimmo macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2011
    I really like my NEC 24" Multisync with calibration.

    While I started with a preference for the Apple display, it just couldn't compete with the NEC's matte screen.

    Also, aside from a minor tilt adjustment, the Apple offers little in the way of ergonomic adjustment. This may not seem like a big deal at the store, but it can be huge when using the display for hours at a time. The NEC tilts, raises and lowers, and can easily be shifted to a vertical orientation. I've found this very useful for photography.

    Another aspect of the 24" NEC that I like is its 16:10 ratio. The 16:10 size is probably a dying breed, but I find it more useful than the shorter/wider 16:9 displays.
  14. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    My Dell Ultrasharp FPW2405 is still going strong after almost 7 years of use. If and when it dies, I'll replace it with another Ultrasharp..
  15. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    Are you sure that's because of the display, or because of what Apple does? I know a few people who have complained about grainy text on their Dell monitors, but once they implement sub-pixel antialiasing through the Terminal it looks fine.
  16. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Fairly certain. I can see the text outlines blurring when moving a window slowly as it passes under the jagged spaces in the anti glare. AG coating uses tiny peaks and valleys to diffuse the light and throw it in many tiny angles for an absorption effect. Too much and the text from the backlight can unfortunately be seen projecting over these peaks and valleys from behind the AG making it appear blurry since that's all the human eye can make out at normal distance.
    I'll take a look at the sub-pixel settings and compare but my NEC does not exhibit this as it uses a glossy surface but is also not an Apple standard. Are you saying it may only be with Dell or are there other manufacturers that benefit from the sub-pixel enabling?
  17. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    I have a 2311H as a second display and ZERO text issues. Great monitor.
  18. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I've seen some awful text, but almost always it is a resolution mismatch or a poor analog connection.

    Normally I would find it hard to believe that the Dell Ultrasharp could be described as the "worst text ever seen". Reading Derbothaus' posts though, he really knows his stuff, so I doubt it was user error. Not sure what to think about it.

    I will say this though, my particular model displays text just fine, and I have exceptional vision. I've never experienced anything close to "worst text ever seen" on it, nor have I experienced a dizzying "sparkle" in Photoshop.
  19. TheDoc macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Duly noted - thanks for the heads up. I'll need to check out the Canadian version, see if they've updated it.

    As per the original question, I also am using Dell's U2311H and really like it. No text issues as some people have mentioned.

    The U2711 will probably be my next purchase, but I'll wait for a sale. They can sometimes go down to C$699 if not less. I'd keep my eye out on Boxing Day (Dell usually has some pretty good sales).
  20. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Checked Amazon reviews and indeed many, many people complaining about bad text and white background having sparkling. My Ultrasharp is an older series sold from 2004-2009 and does not have this problem, but it is pre-IPS.
  21. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    I have a Dell 2209WA IPS monitor on my Mini, and I have never noticed any of those types of issues. There could be something going on with the newer models, though. I've been tempted to get a 2212 model to put beside my 2209, though. I never really noticed how much difference a good IPS can make until I bought a cheap 24" Acer to connect to my former gaming machine/current Linux box. I have it at an angle from my chair on my L-shaped desk, and if I look at it from the wrong angle, it's unreadable. Dell Ultrasharps for me in the future!
  22. G-Force, Dec 14, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011

    G-Force macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2006
    Same here, I did use the terminal command though to enable medium font smoothing. Text looks the same now as on an Apple display.
    In my opinion, every display benefits from font smoothing. However, I believe since Snow Leopard the setting relies on information sent from the display to the system. With some non-Apple displays, the setting is automatically 'Medium' (which is the same setting Apple displays use as default). But on some displays (like the U2311H) OS X automatically uses 'Light' which means jagged and ugly text. To correct this, use the above Terminal command to force OS X to use 'Medium'.

    Text now looks just as good on my U2311H as it did on my 27" iMac.

    What I don't like about the U2311H is that it's using an e-IPS panel. It has great viewing angles, but it's still a 6-bit+afrc (like TN) panel. But I guess for this price I can't complain about that. ;)
  23. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    If you are doing any type of 'serious' photo editing then consider a NEC. NEC, LaCie, and Eizo are top shelf with NEC being the best value of these three because NEC makes the LaCie (so the price is marked up) and Eizo just cost more.

    Why are these the best for photo editing? Because 1) non-glossy. Glossy makes things look better but doesn't make things look accurate. Serious work requires that what you see is exactly what is there so you prints match exactly what you see. 2) wide gamut - this is nothing special for web work or viewing movies but an expanded gamut, meaning beyong sRGB color space, lets you see the colors that are there so reds can be better and posterization is lessened... Again, not necessary for the average users 3) ability to calibrate (requires an investment in special software and a calibration sensor - about $300) and use multiple calibrations, like one for everyday viewing and one for printing. If your prints are too dark then your monitor is set too bright and vice versa.

    If you are not into serious photography then you can save some money but if you are then this is what you need but may not know it ;)
  24. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Yes worst I have seen but I was embellishing for clarity and I only and thankfully have used high quality monitors.
    Eizo, NEC, HP 24" IPS thing. All Apple ACD's through the new glossy's. I do not have much experience with TN or MVA panels. Just never were what I wanted. I'm not trying to be the guy who hates a great screen, cause it is a "great screen" for the price. I was just underwhelmed and thought it was incredibly dull looking even after an i1 and ColorEyes Pro profiling to .24 avg deltaE and static contrast of 850:1 (those are killer numbers). Apple's older 23" Aluminum Cinema has waaaaay better AG coating. Like diffused marble. So it is not just AG in general. I guess I am really sensitive and things bother me that may not bother others. I am looking forward to the Samsung PLS semi-gloss screens. But they have yet to really ramp up models yet and response times need to get 2-4ms faster for me. That or new IPS variants with 120Hz. Just bummed out that LCD tech is so stagnant. My 6ms NEC still hold up against all the 2ms TN's for speed and rivals or surpasses the Ultrasharps for color accuracy. Problem is it is getting old, the backlight is fading and the static contrast has been lowered to 450:1. Like I said these little things bother me. Pay no attention.
  25. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    a few quick thoughts

    what is it for ?

    gaming ?

    Video ?

    Photography ?

    documents reading ?

    General ?

    really it breaks down to 3 monitors

    gaming ? I am not a computer gamer console all the way for me :) but they do have certain monitors that are very good for gaming less ghosting etc..

    Photography and video ! where color accuracy might be a big thing ! NEC PA all the way or Eizo CG series more money lots of things about them fro photography make them superior

    General this opens things up a lot and is what most get so Apple cause it looks nice fits in can be a option if the shiny does not bug ya ?

    or dell Ultra series can be decent as long as a few HP models

    size wise also look at the resolution ! some 27 can be the same as a 24 in res ? so the 24 text will be smaller main thing but you dont fit anymore on the screen so res is important to look at if you want to fit more on your screen !

    backlight LED or CCFL (fluorescent tubes)
    in quick two types of LED but in your budget only one which is white LED used for lighting very high end LED can use RGB LED lights to create the colors also

    downside to LED the pulsing used to lower the brightness can cause headaches on some people ? and they are not as easy to profile if you go that route you will need a newer puck entry level spyder 3 or better i1 pro display but the software has issues ? but again if you are going to profile get a NEC and a closed system
    upside to LED less heat less power longer lasting

    really LED for basic users have a lot of pluses going for them

    CCFL is easier to get lower light and profile and not have strange things like the pulsing issue monitors like NEC can also make them very accurate across the whole screen from edge to edge in both color and brightness a plus for photographers for most ? wont matter really

    if for general again get what you like and will be happy with cause most all modern 27 inch monitors above $500 are pretty good

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