You think 6 displays is crazy…but I am not alone!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by eyoungren, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #1
    Nope! I am NOT crazy!

    There are others like me!!!
     

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  2. spf2 macrumors regular

    spf2

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  3. eyoungren, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015

    eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #3
    As a designer…

    Finder windows containing the folders I am currently working in on the left and right of the main display. Main display holds the actual work I am doing while inside the apps my pallettes are arranged on the left and right displays. The two farther out displays hold Finder windows that I use frequently but are less important.

    The top display holds email and/or iTunes or another secondary app.

    EDIT: Made changes to the wallpaper tonight. The previous pic, BTW was not current with my wallpaper or the change where I put the LED fan in front.
     

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  4. SuperKerem macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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    Oct 29, 2012
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    London, England
    #4
    Damn. But I would give away those 6 displays (if I had that many) for a retina iMac any day! I have a retina MBP, and boy do you notice the difference.

    ----------

    I'm guessing it's more of a 'want' than 'need' but, hey, I'm not complaining! I wish I had a few more displays lying around.
     
  5. Ih8reno macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

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    Aug 10, 2012
    #5
    Love seeing that setup. Glad to have someone who spent so much time and effort get the results they want.
     
  6. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    I imagine so, but fortunately I only work for a newspaper and any print/web/projector materials I design are not for high res projects.
    No, definitely not a need. However, my Intel Mac at work only uses three displays. :D

    Both of the Studio Displays sat for about 9 months before I could afford the two A1006 converters to use them – as well as the third video card.

    ----------

    Thanks!

    I have always wanted a Quicksilver and once I got one I wanted to see how far I could push it. As I can afford it and over time these displays will be replaced with the 23" Cinema Display HD models.

    But I met the goal of driving six. Just needed three video cards to do it. :D
     
  7. Ih8reno macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

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    Aug 10, 2012
    #7
    I myself made a project out of a Mac Pro 1,1 I traded some Power Macs for. Found ways to install and run 10.6-10.10. When a project works out there isn't a better feeling in the world!


     
  8. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #8
    I'm so used to having two displays that I find going back to one to be cramped.

    For my home set-up(G4 Quicksilver), I had a 20" 1680x1050 that I had sitting sitting next to my 23" HD Cinema. A week or two ago, my dad asked me for the 20"-which I'd been borrowing from him for several months-and I replaced it with a 17" 4:3(I think it's 1280x1050). I really missed the extra real estate when I did that, too. Since then-for the past week-I've been using that 17" with my 9600, so I'm down to a single display on my Quicksilver-I really miss the second now, but it's only temporary.

    My work G5 currently has a pair of mismatched pair of 23" 1680x1050 displays. I think they actually have the same panels, but have two different brandings on them(one is Gateway and the other Dell) as well as obvious different amounts of downtime(this affects the color temperature of the fluorescent backlights). I have enough of a background in photography that off-color and especially mismatched displays really bug me. I'm actually bidding on a Colorpro Spyder 2 at the moment that I hope will take care of that. At some point soon(hopefully this summer), I'm probably going to buy a matched pair of 1920x1080 LED displays for my work computer. Those are getting cheap enough that I think I can get a decent pair of displays for about $300 total.

    Then, I can put a 1680x1050 back on my Quicksilver. Or, maybe I'll go all out and get another acrylic Cinema HD :).

    I'm afraid to make the leap to more than two monitors. Not only do I not have the desk space, but I'm afraid I'd get used to it like I am with having two monitors now.
     
  9. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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  10. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    Apr 27, 2013
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    #10
    I personally have a second display, and even then, I barely use it. I considered getting a widescreen monitor when I get my custom-built PC. I do know a Youtuber named "MrThaiBox123" who has a six-display setup, although I can't imagine the purpose of it though. :rolleyes:
     
  11. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #11
    I was ok with two.

    Until I found out that the Mac Pro that had just been delivered at work could drive three - on one card. That blew me away because I was so used to two.

    So…yeah, there is a serious danger here. I use three at work and new people who get hired come in and think I'm nuts. Until they see what and how we work and realize that it's a productivity booster.

    I really couldn't go back to anything less than what I have now on my QS. I could theoretically add four more but I still want use of my SATA card and my FW/USB card - and there's a limit to excess even for me.

    ----------

    Not really. All are more than adequately ventilated and none of them are hot. The display converter boxes are quite warm, but not hot.

    The Mac itself has had it's fans replaced with higher CFM fans, and three fans added, one of which I knocked a hole in the bottom of the case for.

    Right now the HDs are reading 104º and 102º and that's with three apps open and iTunes streaming internet. Both drives are completely within acceptable temps. Normally just using TenFourFox the drive temps are about 100º.

    Now as far as the heat the fans pump out of the box - well you have me there. It's a lot. :D
     
  12. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #12
    I remember that video... he mentioned later selling a couple off.
     
  13. RedCroissant Suspended

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #13
    I love this. This is something like what I was hoping to do with my car design stuff. Only I was going to keep it to 3 displays! Yes, you are crazy but also crazy awesome!
     
  14. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #14
    I'm good with just one display as well, as long as it's a 27" 5K which likely has as many pixels as all 6 of eyoungren's displays ;)
     
  15. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

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    Ireland
    #15
    Admire them every opportunity. It's a work of art IMO.
     
  16. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #16
    LOL! That's ok, I get a workout with the mouse when dragging! :D
     
  17. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #17
    Anyone want to pool our resources and come up with 6 30" Cinemas to put on one computer?

    I'm actually not sure this is even possible. Doing the math, I think you can only run four off a late '05 G5, as all the PCI-E G5s GPUs with 2 dual link ports are double height. This means that you could only install two of them in a G5. I don't think any PCI card has dual link to drive a 30", so the early '05 and earlier is out. I think I could run two off my 6600 Ultra or flashed X800XT, but that's as far as I could get on that computer. It might be possible with a Classic Mac Pro with the right GPU. You could also theoretically do it on the new Mac Pro, since you have 6 Thunderbolt ports and could use 6 dual-link adapters, but that would limit your other expansion options. You'd also probably need to spend the extra money for the higher end GPUs.
     
  18. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #18
    :D

    I recall in the video he explained having a cMP with 3 graphics cards.
     
  19. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Lincolnshire, UK
    #19
    For designers, multi-display setups are totally necessary - my typical workflow would include:
    A4 brochure open in inDesign displaying one spread (two pages) at a time.
    Photoshop editing images to be placed into the brochure.
    Excel spreadsheet open containing data for the brochure.
    Adobe Acrobat open for distilling and previewing potentially troublesome page layouts.
    Finder or Adobe Bridge displaying broad sweep off thumbnails to select suitable images.
    Email open (usually for reference and copy and pasting for the brochure).

    So, yeah, that's six - plus 1920X1200 is essential for the brochure view.

    Having said all that, I've never used more than 2 - and that didn't last long as I couldn't bear to see the crappy PC monitor shoulder to shoulder with my Apple Cinema. That's the crunch for me, the monitors would have to be identical and laid out precisely...and that's just too expensive.
    So, for me, bouncing between apps is the norm but it does waste a fair bit of time.

    One question though, what impact do the displays have on CPU? Do the cards handle all of the donkey work?
     
  20. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #20
    Well, I guess it's a personal decision. I don't like that the monitors don't all match, but I'd rather have them then not at all.

    At work I actually have three Samsung monitors, two of which do match. But the fact that they are all Samsung and not Apple does drive me batty. While the ones I have at home do not match at least three of them are Apple displays. And I intend over time to make them all 23" Cinema Display HDs.

    Working with one display is a productivity killer as you've mentioned. But you only notice that once you've first used two or more displays. That said, I can function that way, I just choose not to.

    Not much of an impact on CPU as the video cards do as you suggest.

    The 20" inch CD and the HDTV display above it are being driven by a Radeon 9800 Pro, one of the most powerful cards you can get short of a FireGL X3 (which I do have, but that particular card won't work in this Mac). I intend to get a FireGL X3 which will work, thus replacing the 9800 Pro with an even more powerful card.

    The other displays are driven by a Radeon 9200 and a Radeon 7000. Since these are secondary displays I'm not demanding CoreImage or QuartzExtreme. I'm not using this Mac as a gaming rig so I'm comfortable with only the two main displays having it.

    Right now it all works and I expect it to continue working as I add the 23" displays. But we will see how that all works out.
     
  21. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #21
    Virtually desktops have saved my rear-end on laptops. They're a poor substitute for having actual monitors, but they at least allow some of the productivity advantages of multiple monitors.

    When I'm working, I typically have-at a minimum, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Endnote open, along with a web browser(often a work necessity, and not just a something for an occasional break). I need Excel to look at and manipulate data, then generate charts. These then get transplated into Powerpoint to make figures. I also generate a lot of figures using only Powerpoint. In turn the Powerpoint slides(as Jpegs) get transplanted into the Word document I'm using. Endnote makes(relatively) quick work of citations, although I've found recently that with 100+ citations and over 100 pages(as in my dissertation) it slows down dramatically.

    That's not to mention Chemdraw, which, again, is a frequent necessity for creating figures.

    I'll add in that I often have Photoshop open, as I frequently need to take one of the Jpegs from Powerpoint and adjust the contrast and/or colors to make what I'm trying to illustrate in a particular figure stand out. As an example, the only way I have to get data off the NMR is to process the data in the instrument, and then save the(would be) printout as a PDF. Although it shows up fine on my computer screen, when these are shrunk and inserted into a Word document, then printed, the lines of the spectrum virtually disappear. To avoid this, I go into Photoshop and basically crank the contrast and saturation up, which makes the lines of the spectrum a lot bolder(it's basically black lines against a white background). It's a simple task, but none-the-less is necessary.

    When I'm working with a laptop-particularly something like my 13" Macbook Pro(which, whatever I may say, I use out of practicality because I can't beat having 5 years worth of data that I need to access at my fingertips on the hard drive), I'll typically put each of these programs in its own separate virtual desktop and can easily to a 4 finger swipe on the trackpad to cycle between them(of course, Option+arrow works just as well on computers with the old, discrete button trackpad).

    I do also love my 17" Powerbook, as with 1680x1050(or whatever weird number Apple came up that's close to those dimensions) I can at least put two windows on the same screen.
     
  22. gooser macrumors 6502

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    Jul 4, 2013
    #22
    i sure am glad that i don't need multiple monitors because if i did i'd have them. having said that in each of my two rooms that i use computers the most i have in each a 2.13ghz macbook and a 17" 1.25ghz imac and i do use them both at the same time so i guess that's multiple monitors in a way.
     
  23. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #23
    On my busy days at work I will have our newspaper document open in InDesign, the ad I am working on open in InDesign, PDFs of our pages open in Acrobat with those pages printing, an image open in Photoshop and Illustrator being prepped to be inserted in an ID document, T4Fx open to find art and if I need it because of a problem, Acrobat Distiller open making a PDF. Word is open to handle editorial, my email is always running and I may have Excel open to deal with a file from our legal publications.

    I could also be using PitStop Pro inside Acrobat to fix the bad things customers do to their PDFs.

    So, having three monitors at work makes me more efficient at processing all of this. It also makes it better when I have to compare images or PDFs.

    ----------

    Well…I'm using multiple computers (Macs/PCs) at work as well. ;-)

    One G4 is our Applescript server, another is our print server so my Mac Pro can print to our Appletalk printers, one Windows 2003 SBS server that serves as a backup to our Windows 2012 server and also sees incremental data backup every 15 minutes, one Windows XP box for any PC specific stuff I may need to do and one Win7 box for the customer who sends me a PC Word doc using fonts I don't have on my MP.

    Of course I am not using them all at once, but the G4 print server also has older design apps that I occasionally need to use to get work done. Acrobat 9 for instance does not allow you to make an Acrobat 4 or less PDF while Acrobat 5/6 running on the G4 will.
     
  24. robertdsc macrumors regular

    robertdsc

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    Jan 28, 2014
    #24
    I have had up to three monitors on 1 table and that worked for a little while, but I prefer a 2 monitor setup.

    So after a lot of tinkering and some lucky purchases, my G5 DC 2.0 runs two nearly identical HP 19 inch monitors. They were deemed "surplus" after I went big on the Mac Pro, loading an ADC Cinema HD monitor as primary and a 23 inch Acer 1080p monitor as a secondary. The two HP monitors now sit comfortably side by side for the G5's use as a backup machine and file downloader.

    edit to add that I do miss, sort of, using the G5 DP as my main machine. I had a Radeon PCI card in there with dual DVI ports, so I could use up to four monitors in the Mac, 1 ADC monitor and three DVI to VGA monitors. The PCI-E Mac Pro and DC G5 are out for that kind of thing, since cards can get expensive for that protocol.

    [​IMG]

    I tried using the Acer monitor as a primary, but I have long been used to the 1920x1200 size of the Cinema Display. So after a long struggle, I switched to the new setup. I'm more or less happy with things, making do with what I have instead of spending untold amounts of money to get *exactly* what I want. The ADC display has the extreme bonus of driving the Apple USB speakers, something I always prefer to other options.
     
  25. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #25
    Everyone has a different idea for what works for them. As I've said elsewhere, I don't need six displays. But I wanted them. Now, in order to do that I've got every flat panel I own hooked up. The only other monitors in the house are one old CRT and another Apple monitor that only hooks up to old OS9 PowerMacs - with an adapter I might add.

    So, right there I'm making do with what I have, or have managed to scrape together. When I bought my QS I had two things in mind. Max it out to what I wanted and use it as a test pancake.

    I've achieved my first few goals and have broken and burned out a few parts along the way. But I'm taking this as a journey and not so much as an end. By the time I'm done, sure I will have spent WAY more than this Mac is worth and done things to it that would have made me cringe in the beginning but I will have enjoyed the entire process of getting there.

    A little bit here, a little bit there and at some point I will have everything. Last year I didn't own a single Studio or Cinema display, let alone the A1006 converters - or even three video cards to run in my QS.

    I think it's great that you're happy and what you've got going meets your desires. And you have a nice setup. Certainly more tower Macs than I have, unless you want to count my 6500. ;-)
     

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