Which new (color accurate) 30"+ display for Mac Pro 4,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Diamond Dave, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Diamond Dave macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
    #1
    I'm looking to buy a new monitor for my Mac Pro, as the existing one (an old Samsung running at 1680 x 1050, which I got free with the Mac a couple of years or so ago) is on the way out.

    Ideally I'd like the new display to be at least the equal of the old Apple 30 inch Cinema Display in terms of screen size and resolution (2560 x 1600) and to be the sort that can be calibrated to give accurate colours, have Adobe RGB support, etc.

    I'll be using Adobe CS6 on the Mac for web graphics / design / coding, and also some design for print, as well as video editing / compositing work.

    My budget would be about £1200 at most.

    The Mac only has the stock NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics card installed, so it may struggle to support the new monitor at optimum resolution and give optimum performance, but I'm hoping the monitor I go for can be run (albeit sub-optimally) on the GT 120 until I can upgrade the graphics card to something more suitable at some point in the future.

    Details on the GT 120 (from everymac.com) are as follows:

    By default, a NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 512 MB of GDDR3 memory was installed in a double-wide, 16-lane PCI Express 2.0 graphics slot. It has both a Mini DisplayPort and a dual-link DVI port. It can support two 30-inch displays. The default video card is capable of supporting digital resolutions up to 2560x1600 and analog resolutions up to 2048x1536.

    I've done some online research, and come up with the following as possible options, most of which are 30" or larger and run at 2560 x 1600 or more:

    http://www.digitalversus.com/lcd-monitor/asus-pa328q-p20758/test.html

    http://www.digitalversus.com/lcd-monitor/benq-bl3201pt-p22555/test.html

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6890/dell-u3014-lcd-review

    http://www.digitalversus.com/lcd-monitor/dell-up3216q-p27957/test.html

    http://www.digitalversus.com/lcd-monitor/philips-bdm3270qp-p26853/test.html

    http://www.digitalversus.com/lcd-monitor/viewsonic-vp2780-4k-p25887/test.html

    Eizo monitors seem to be very high end, but the ColorEdge ones seem to be out with my budget:

    http://www.eizoglobal.com/products/coloredge/cg277/index.html

    although a FlexScan one might fit the bill(?):

    http://www.eizoglobal.com/products/flexscan/ev3237/index.html

    Similarly NEC monitors also seem to be high end:

    https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/EA304WMi.xhtml

    and this one:

    https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/PA302W.xhtml

    is recommended by Lloyd Chambers, whose opinion I value:

    http://diglloyd.com/articles/Recommended/displayNEC-PA302W.html

    although the 27" version is more within my budget:

    https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/PA272W.xhtml

    I've no particular preference for digitalversus.com and / or anandtech.com or their opinions. I just happened to stumble across these sites, and as well as reviewing many different displays that might be suitable, they seem to know their stuff regarding colour accuracy etc.

    I've also read this forum:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/monitors-for-2012-mac-pro.1851908

    which helped point me towards some of the monitors I mentioned.

    I'd prefer a matt rather than a gloss screen, and although there's no substitute for trying out a screen before buying it, as far as I know I don't live anywhere near to somewhere that would have any of these models on display that I'd be able to try out.

    Therefore I'd greatly appreciate anyone's wisdom as to any displays I should either disregard or seriously consider.

    I'm not wedded to any of the ones I've listed, and there may be other options I've not considered.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. Diamond Dave, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016

    Diamond Dave thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
    #2
    Having initially posted this topic in 5 different places (macrumors.com, apple.com, tomshardware.co.uk, overclock.net and cnet.com) as well as trying a 6th (mac-forums.com, who never published my thread and never responded to my email asking why not) I'm taking the advice of a cnet.com Forum Moderator and narrowing my list down (to 4 displays) before asking for any more feedback.

    I'll also be posting at http://hardforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=78. as this seems the place where this type of discussion is most common.

    So… to recap, I'm looking to buy a new colour accurate 30"+ display for my Mac Pro 4,1 running at at least 2560 x 1600, and of the sort that can be calibrated to give accurate colours, has Adobe RGB support, etc.

    I'll be using Adobe CS6 on the Mac for web graphics / design / coding, and also some design for print, as well as video editing / compositing work.

    The Mac only has the stock NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics card (with 512 MB of memory) at the moment. Although it supports resolutions up to 2560 x 1600, it's an old, slow card which will struggle with the new display, so I'll be replacing the card once I've decided which display to buy, and will seek advice on selecting the card in these forums.

    If money was no object, I'd either go for the Eizo ColorEdge CG318-4K:

    http://www.eizoglobal.com/products/coloredge/cg318-4k/index.html

    or the NEC SpectraView® Reference 322UHD:

    https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/Reference322UHD.xhtml

    However these cost over £3,600 and £4,000 respectively here in the UK, so are out of the question. Ideally I don't want to spend more than about £1,200, but I appreciate I may have to if I want to meet my requirements.

    In theory a display like the Dell UP3216Q ticks all the boxes and can be had for less than £800:

    http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/dell-up3216q-monitor?c=uk&l=en&s=bsd&

    However, reading certain reviews, as well as threads such as this one:

    http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1838486&highlight=ev3237&page=2

    casts doubt on the quality of the likes of Dell displays when it comes to colour accuracy, true calibration accuracy (not to be confused with faux calibration - see http://diglloyd.com/articles/Recommended/display-calibration.html) top notch sRGB and Adobe RGB etc.

    The LG 31MU97-B should in theory be a possibility:

    http://www.lg.com/uk/monitors/lg-31MU97

    It comes out top from a UK review of six 32-inch Ultra HD monitors:

    http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/614...d-monitor-review-serious-business-lg-31mu97-b

    http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/614...onitor-review-serious-business-final-thoughts

    Indeed on paper it has some technical specs (for example true 4K resolution and a very useful split screen feature) which are superior to the other displays I'm considering, and it can be had for only £750, but there seem to have been many quality, reliability and poor after-sales support issues reported:

    http://www.amazon.com/product-revie..._pr_hist_1?filterByStar=one_star&pageNumber=1

    The Eizo FlexScan EV3237 would be a possibility:

    http://www.eizoglobal.com/products/flexscan/ev3237/index.html

    and can be had for around £1,000 but doesn't offer Adobe RGB:

    http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/614...d-monitor-review-serious-business-eizo-ev3237

    and the very thorough review on overclockers.ru mentions in its summary/conclusions that the display isn't up to the professional levels of NEC and Eizo (CG series) models:

    http://www.overclockers.ru/lab/6608...tora-eizo-flexscan-ev3237-plata-za-brend.html

    I'm therefore left with a choice of NEC monitors. The MultiSync® PA302W:

    https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/PA302W.xhtml

    which can be had for £1,200 or so.

    The "SV2" version of this:

    https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/PA302W-SV2.xhtml

    which comes with the calibration hardware, can be bought for around £1,500, and is recommended by Lloyd Chambers, whose opinion I value:

    http://diglloyd.com/articles/Recommended/displayNEC-PA302W.html

    or the MultiSync® PA322UHD. The SV2 version with the calibration hardware is listed here:

    https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/PA322UHD-SV2.xhtml


    I've given this link as there doesn't appear to be a page for the non-SV2 version on the NEC UK website.

    The PA322UHD is also recommended by Lloyd Chambers:

    http://diglloyd.com/articles/Recommended/displayNEC-PA322UHD.html

    It retails at over £2,100 but second hand units seem to come up on Amazon UK from time to time at around the £1,100 mark:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00T3SEXK8

    I've emailed the seller of these asking about warranties, dead pixels, accessories, etc.

    _____________

    So, to summarise, I'm down to a choice of 4 displays.

    The LG 31MU97-B, which is true 4K, has Adobe RGB support, has the split screen feature, etc, and would seem perfect at only £750, but there are so many quality and support issues mentioned online that buying one of these would make me nervous.

    The NEC PA302W on the other hand isn't 4K, or even UHD, "only" having a 2560 x 1600 resolution, but from a colour accuracy point of view, a brand new SV2 version of this may be the best choice, as it comes with calibration hardware.

    The NEC PA322UHD is UHD (almost 4K) and is rated very highly for colour accuracy by Lloyd Chambers too, but I'd have to risk buying a second hand unit.

    And the Dell? It can be had for less than £800, but it's not an Eizo or an NEC and as such would appear simply to not be in the same class. It's merely a Dell. A compromise it would seem. Or is that just snobbery on my part?

    Wise, meticulously thought out opinions would be most welcome!

    Many thanks.
     

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