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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > My thoughts on the Dell 2005 FPW (brief review)

My thoughts on the Dell 2005 FPW (brief review)
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Mar 26, 2005, 01:17 PM
 
Well, I received my Dell 2005 FPW from Dell at the end of last week. Now that I've had a few days to play with it I figured I'd post my thoughts. (My final cost was $534 including shipping)

I'm going to do this as a list of pros & cons. I'll start with the cons first since I like to end on a positive note.

Cons:
- It's not really very attractive to look at. I replaced my Apple 17" LCD Studio Display with this. The former was much more visually stunning. In fact, if I didn't have a few thousand in medical bills to pay off I would be sending this back for an Apple Cinema display.

- Wires, wires wires .... it looks like R2D2 puked on my desk.

- Bright ... this monitor is FAR too bright. It's like looking at the surface of the sun when used late at night. There seems to be no effective way to adjust the brightness. Even changing the setting from 100 to 0 shows no visual difference. I also can't find any way to adjust the contrast. (The bar is dimmed out.)

- Too tall ... I actually have to look UP to see the display. They really should have considered making the neck shorter on this thing.

- Portrait mode. (This is also in the Pro section): BUT: No software support on the Mac for portrait mode. I'd love to be able to use this. Does anyone know of any software to support this?

- No Firewire bus. (Would have been helpful for the video camera)

- It's not that much bigger than my 17" on a vertical scale, although it is much wider. (This one is really just an observation, not a con)


Pros: (Finally, something nice to say!)

+ The picture is stunning. I can find 0 dead pixels. It's beautiful from this standpoint.

+ Widescreen. Once you go wide, you don't go back!

+ Very fast response rate. Games go well with this display.

+ Many many inputs ... In spite of my complaints about the wires, it *IS* nice to be able to have in input for everything! Analog (yuk), DVI, S-Video and Composite are all there.

+ Picture-in-picture! I plan on utilizing this feature for previewing my videos while doing editing.

+ 4 USB port hub! (2 more than Apple gives you!) <-- This is arguably more useful than a Firewire port ... see my entry in Cons for FW.

+ Portrait mode (See my other entry in cons). If nothing else, the swivel allows you to easilly plug and unplug the cables.


Anyway: That's about it. I'm pretty happy with my purchase. I'm fairly certain that if I purcahsed an Apple Cinema Display that I'd also have a list of cons, albeit a different list. <smile>

Overall: I'm happy with my purchase. My biggest gripe is the lack of adjustement on brightness.
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Mar 26, 2005, 05:51 PM
 
Glad you like your new monitor. I'm more than happy with mine! Anyway, as far as brightness is concerned, just go to Versiontracker and get a freeware app called, coincidently enough, brightness control. It might be just what the doctor ordered.
     
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Mar 26, 2005, 06:27 PM
 
X-Ray,

You are my hero!
Thanks for the brightness control link. What a great little utility!

This improves the usability of this monitor by about 100%.

Now: Do you know of any similar utility to enable me to use the pivot mode?
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Mar 26, 2005, 06:30 PM
 
Originally posted by driven:

- Portrait mode. (This is also in the Pro section): BUT: No software support on the Mac for portrait mode. I'd love to be able to use this. Does anyone know of any software to support this?

Looks like we'll get this soon! link
     
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Mar 26, 2005, 06:33 PM
 
Originally posted by sworthy:
Looks like we'll get this soon! link
Wow ...

The article was a little unclear though ... is this going to be in Tiger?
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Mar 26, 2005, 06:34 PM
 
Originally posted by driven:
Wow ...

The article was a little unclear though ... is this going to be in Tiger?
It seems like that's what they're saying
...and in the preview of Tiger, there is the option in the Cinema HD display menu to set the angle of your monitor.
     
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Mar 27, 2005, 12:12 AM
 
Originally posted by sworthy:
It seems like that's what they're saying

Whoops. Back to reading comprehension 101 for me.

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Mar 29, 2005, 07:59 PM
 
I can lower mine almost to the surface of my desk...how much lower do you want to go?!?
     
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Mar 29, 2005, 09:58 PM
 
Originally posted by Gdog:
I can lower mine almost to the surface of my desk...how much lower do you want to go?!?
????

Mine is really really tall.

I'll take a photo when I get home. (I'm clear across the country right now.)
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Mar 29, 2005, 10:10 PM
 
Glad that you are happy with your purchase. I can tell you that portrait mode is awesome (from what I've experienced with my Samsung 191T hooked up to my PC desktop - not that I really use it anymore). If portrait mode is enabled in Tiger I may jump on one of these things! Makes reading forums and various documents much better as they fit the screan perfectly. I also like the composite in option. Does that monitor also have s-video? This would be great to use with my xbox HD pack (as long as I didn't sit to close).

I'm not a strong advocate of Dell products, but their ultra sharp monitors are usually top notch. And, while not as visually appealing as an apple display, most people find it hard to justify the extra price for less features.
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Mar 29, 2005, 10:39 PM
 
Its interesting how so many Mac lovers love to rag on Dell monitors (not that anyone here is, lets be clear on that ) but Dell do EXACTLY the same thing as Apple do, buy LCD Panels from Samsung, Phillips, LG or someone else, then get another OEM to manufacture them a monitor case and stick their name on it. You pay way more for the Apple one for what? If a monitor costs less, functions the same or better and has the same or better warranty, why buy the more expensive one? I have been an Apple user for over 15 years, and its always the same thing with Apple, they try to offer something no-one else can (like the 30 inch CD), so they can justify charging the earth for it.
If someone else makes a comparable product, it will inveriably be cheaper and in the case we are talking about (Dell 2005FPW), probably exactly the same as the Apple product.
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Mar 29, 2005, 11:04 PM
 
I just hate Dell. I came from the PC side and see how they have ruined that side with their junk computers. They have always been junk.

I'd never buy antything nor do I ever reccomend anything with Dell on it.

It's a shame the OEM's of these panels aren't interested in selling them. I'd snap up an LG, Samsung, etc 20" widescreen in a heartbeat.

But I'll never, ever pick up something with Dell printed on it.
     
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Mar 30, 2005, 12:52 AM
 
I agree that its a shame the OEM's dont sell directly. But they might have some kind of deal going with the likes of Dell , Apple, HP not to compete. It's well known that LG/Phillips supplied the 23 inch panel for the original Apple cinema display, and it took them a long time to produce their own 23 inch display, probably because Apple had some kind of exclusivity deal (same with 30 inch panel I assume)
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Mar 30, 2005, 10:40 AM
 
Does anyone remember Steve Jobs saying during his keynote where he introduced the Apple displays that "We reject some of the panels that other manufacturers accept?"
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Mar 31, 2005, 04:05 AM
 
Originally posted by mbryda:
I just hate Dell. I came from the PC side and see how they have ruined that side with their junk computers. They have always been junk.

I'd never buy antything nor do I ever reccomend anything with Dell on it.

It's a shame the OEM's of these panels aren't interested in selling them. I'd snap up an LG, Samsung, etc 20" widescreen in a heartbeat.

But I'll never, ever pick up something with Dell printed on it.


a long time ago, dells were good. they were cheap, reliable, and something that I personally wanted (this coming from a guy who owned a packard bell) had 'em in school .. they ran fine. the dells being sold now seem to be cheaply thrown together, and not upgradeable (as in, lots of them can not be upgraded easily - you'd have complications compared to a self built computer)


that said .. now i'm damn tempted to get a 20inch wide. i'd die for an apple one .. but they cost WAY too much. I guess they dont cost way too much, just that I am unable to afford them. I might end up with a dell monitor... I hope by the time i'm ready for a new monitor, apple will have moved onto a new line of displays and i can pick up a aluminum 20 or 23 for a good price.

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Mar 31, 2005, 09:41 AM
 
Originally posted by driven:
Does anyone remember Steve Jobs saying during his keynote where he introduced the Apple displays that "We reject some of the panels that other manufacturers accept?"
Then why does Apple accept the 23" panels that develop uncorrectable pink tints, yellowing sides and uneven color?? Apple's current aluminum 23" Cinema Displays have horrible reputations.

For me, the 20" is too small (not enough vertical space), and because of all the problems with the 23" displays (and I've seen them for myself), I ended up getting two conventional 4:3 20" displays (1600x1200 times two).

And, yes, I did buy two Dell 2001FPs. Why? Because they have had consistently good reviews by several magazines, get good reviews by people in the various online forums, and they're among the most inexpensive 20" displays on the market. Total cost for two was $1100 ($550 each). Its an amazing deal no matter how you look at it.

I have these two monitors attached to my G5 via DVI and to my PC via VGA. Try that with an Apple display. I'm as big an Apple fanboy as they come, but I also have both feet planted firmly on the ground...
     
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Mar 31, 2005, 10:00 AM
 
I do like mine as well, once you look past the cosmetics of it

I did find out recently that I have 7-9 bad pixels, and am thinking of trying to return it for a trade up to a 24" version of this same monitor.

the image is stunning
     
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Mar 31, 2005, 02:02 PM
 
Originally posted by Cadaver:
Then why does Apple accept the 23" panels that develop uncorrectable pink tints, yellowing sides and uneven color?? Apple's current aluminum 23" Cinema Displays have horrible reputations.

For me, the 20" is too small (not enough vertical space), and because of all the problems with the 23" displays (and I've seen them for myself), I ended up getting two conventional 4:3 20" displays (1600x1200 times two).
Argh!
I'm in the exact same spot. It's been a week now that I walk around with cash in my pocket for an ACD 23", but I've not been able to convince myself to actually plunk it down. Every 23" ACD I saw in shops had this horrid pink tint! I'm amazed they even dare to display it, as it looks like *!@? next to the perfect colours of the 20" and the 30".

However, the 20" is too small a step up for me from my 17" PB, and the 30" is too big (a step, and a screen -- I find it intimidating).
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Mar 31, 2005, 05:05 PM
 
Originally posted by workerbee:
However, the 20" is too small a step up for me from my 17" PB, and the 30" is too big (a step, and a screen -- I find it intimidating).
Of course, there's always the Dell 24" <grin>.
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Mar 31, 2005, 06:21 PM
 
Originally posted by OldCodger73:
Of course, there's always the Dell 24".
Yes, I know... I just don't find it very sexy, though, especially with the bloated-looking backside, cabling, and those loads of inputs and card readers I'll never need.
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Mar 31, 2005, 08:50 PM
 
Originally posted by driven:
????

Mine is really really tall.

I'll take a photo when I get home. (I'm clear across the country right now.)
There's a button on the back bottom section of the base - push that in and give the part that the monitor is mounted on a good push downward - it goes down so that the bottom of the monitor is within 3 inches of the desk.

I have a pair of 2005FPWs and the *only* downside compared to apple monitors is that the casing isn't as pretty. To make up for the lack of pretty casing, the stand raises up and down, and is rotatable to portrait mode. They have more inputs, better control over what to do with smaller-than-native resolution, and as far as I am aware use the same panel as apple.

At 100 brightness they are eye scaldingly bright, but if you lower it to zero it should be fine for non pitch dark rooms. If you frequently use your computer in a completely dark room you can either use that Brightness Control app that someone mentioned earlier or set a user defined color setting (in the OSD) so that all 3 colors are dimmer than 100. I found 78 or so was a good spot.

So to recap:
more features
less "pretty"
tiny bit more than half the cost


Sounds good to me.

To give you an idea of the brightness: 0 on the dell is brighter than the highest setting on my original 17" powerbook.
     
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Mar 31, 2005, 08:58 PM
 
Is *THAT* what that button on the back is for?

I'll try it on Tuesday when I get home. I'm assuming you are saying that pushing down is going to require quite a bit of force .... I'll give it a shot.

I recently looked at the cable on the back of the Apple monitor. I *really* like the way they did it. Very very clean looking.

I have to find some way to clean up the horde of cables I have from mine. (Maybe even find something to tie them all together.)

THANK YOU for the advice. It is very much appreciated.
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Mar 31, 2005, 11:20 PM
 
Originally posted by driven:
Is *THAT* what that button on the back is for?

I'll try it on Tuesday when I get home. I'm assuming you are saying that pushing down is going to require quite a bit of force .... I'll give it a shot.

I recently looked at the cable on the back of the Apple monitor. I *really* like the way they did it. Very very clean looking.

I have to find some way to clean up the horde of cables I have from mine. (Maybe even find something to tie them all together.)

THANK YOU for the advice. It is very much appreciated.
If the button does not depress, carefully pull the display panel up with one hand while pressing on the button with your other hand. Once the button is free, it doesnt require a lot of force.
     
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Mar 31, 2005, 11:25 PM
 
If you buy an Ati 9800 Pro Mac Edition for your G4, you will be able to use the Ati control panel (versavision) to enable portrait mode for your new flat panel display.
     
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Mar 31, 2005, 11:48 PM
 
I love this forum!
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Apr 1, 2005, 12:59 AM
 
If you're afraid of the current crop of ACDs your other option is to buy a previous gen one, and some stores STILL have these.. sure you'd have to buy an adaptor, but I'm sure given the fact the price of the previous gen ones went down, you'd actually save money
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Apr 1, 2005, 04:15 AM
 
I'd be leary of buying the old ADC connector. Future Apple's are not going to be supporting it.
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Apr 1, 2005, 04:37 AM
 
Originally posted by driven:
I'd be leary of buying the old ADC connector. Future Apple's are not going to be supporting it.
That's why I suggested the adaptor, and even considering that, you can still get a 23" ADC + adaptor for less than what a 23" DVI costs, new too.. you just have to search around (we managed to somehow)..

And if you have a computer that supports ADC, well, then you don't have to worry about it (unless you want a geforce 6800) -- until you're ready to upgrade the card or swap out the machine.. in which case a DVI adaptor figures in, eh?
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Apr 1, 2005, 09:34 AM
 
Originally posted by rhogue islander:
If you buy an Ati 9800 Pro Mac Edition for your G4, you will be able to use the Ati control panel (versavision) to enable portrait mode for your new flat panel display.
Don't buy a new video card just yet...
Rumor has it that 10.4 will support display rotation on anything. Can't recall where, but I saw a picture of a PowerBook running an external monitor, rotated 90. Could have been fake, but I've read several rumors of this nature. We'll find out in a few weeks, though.
     
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Apr 1, 2005, 03:48 PM
 
Originally posted by Cadaver:
Don't buy a new video card just yet...
Rumor has it that 10.4 will support display rotation on anything. Can't recall where, but I saw a picture of a PowerBook running an external monitor, rotated 90. Could have been fake, but I've read several rumors of this nature. We'll find out in a few weeks, though.
There is a mention of this, and a link to a press article earlier in this thread.

That said: If games continue to be released for OSX then the upgraded video card may be worth it! :-)
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Apr 1, 2005, 07:37 PM
 
I believe the 9600/9700 mobile is supported by ATI's control panel, so yes, you can rotate with it
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Apr 1, 2005, 07:51 PM
 
I've got the ATI version that came with my G5, but I don't have an ATI control panel with it.
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Apr 2, 2005, 03:09 AM
 
Aloha
     
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Apr 4, 2005, 12:16 AM
 
might seem a little silly, but can the dell logo be removed? is it just glued on?

Maybe a nice sticker to go over it?

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Apr 4, 2005, 12:42 PM
 
Originally posted by vasu:
might seem a little silly, but can the dell logo be removed?
Why?
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Apr 4, 2005, 01:12 PM
 
haha, nice.

did you do that?

I just got a 2005fpw. but don't want that dell logo on my desk

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Apr 4, 2005, 03:26 PM
 
Originally posted by vasu:
did you do that?
No, found it here...
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Apr 4, 2005, 09:10 PM
 
The ATI control panel still only supports display rotation on retail (i.e., not OEM) Radeon cards. All of the other features (OpenGL overrides, TV out controls, etc) work on OEM or retail cards.
     
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Apr 5, 2005, 03:55 AM
 
Originally posted by Cadaver:
The ATI control panel still only supports display rotation on retail (i.e., not OEM) Radeon cards. All of the other features (OpenGL overrides, TV out controls, etc) work on OEM or retail cards.
Bummer.
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Apr 5, 2005, 11:02 PM
 
ok, I just got my new 15inch powerbook and the 2005FPW, and I must be missing something really basic. How exactly do I get my 2005FPW to run in full screen mode with my powerbook closed? I've done it accidentally about three times, but I cannot figure out how to do it. Whenever I go to shut my lid, it puts the powerbook to sleep, and when I try running the display in mirror mode when the lid is open, it doesn't run the display at the correct resolution (and doesn't give me the option to change it to the correct one either).

Thanks in advance for helping me out!
     
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Apr 5, 2005, 11:38 PM
 
Originally posted by cakeandpie:
ok, I just got my new 15inch powerbook and the 2005FPW, and I must be missing something really basic. How exactly do I get my 2005FPW to run in full screen mode with my powerbook closed? I've done it accidentally about three times, but I cannot figure out how to do it. Whenever I go to shut my lid, it puts the powerbook to sleep, and when I try running the display in mirror mode when the lid is open, it doesn't run the display at the correct resolution (and doesn't give me the option to change it to the correct one either).

Thanks in advance for helping me out!
from apple support
Using your PowerBook G4 with the display closed
If you use an external display or projector with any PowerBook G4 or PowerBook (FireWire), you can close the display and still use the computer. Here's how.
(If you want to do the same thing with a Bluetooth USB mouse and keyboard, see this article.)

Make sure the computer is plugged in to an outlet using the AC power adapter.
Close the PowerBook's display. The PowerBook will go to sleep.
Connect the external monitor.
Turn on the external monitor.
Connect an external Apple USB keyboard and mouse. The PowerBook will wake from sleep. If you have an Apple display that also has a USB cable, connecting this cable will also wake up the PowerBook.
To use the internal display again, choose Sleep from the Apple menu, then wake the PowerBook by opening its display.


Tips

When you use your PowerBook with the display closed, you can't take advantage of Video Mirroring. If you have both a VGA and S-video source connected to the PowerBook, only the VGA device, usually an external display, will have an image.
Connecting an external monitor increases the power requirements of the PowerBook. Therefore, you must use the AC adapter whenever the PowerBook is connected to an external monitor. The PowerBook will not wake up if the power adapter is not connected, and if you disconnect the power adapter the computer will go to sleep.
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Apr 5, 2005, 11:45 PM
 
awesome, thanks a lot. i had tried that a couple of times, but most of the time it didn't work, so I'm not sure what I was doing wrong.

One more question - how much backlight bleeding on the 2005FPW is too much? I have quite a bit in every corner and I'm considering getting it replaced.
     
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Apr 6, 2005, 01:16 AM
 
Please describe to me what "backlight bleeding" is.

(I presume that if I don't know, then I don't have it?)
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Apr 8, 2005, 03:32 PM
 
Has anyone ever gotten a refurb from Dell? I found this and I've been wondering if it is worth it.
Backup your Backup
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 05:17 AM
 
backlight bleeding refers to when the white backlight from the screen is easily visible in the corners when the screen is on a black or dark image.

last thursday at 2:00 AM I called up dell and let them know about my backlight issues and the guy sent me out a new one with no hassles at all, and it was here by friday(!). until i hooked up this one I really had no idea how bad my other one was. this one is pretty much perfect, no backlight or pixel issues at all.

however, whenever I am watching dvd's, the screen still seems to clip rather often. basically horizontal lines will run across the screen while the image skips a little bit. is this normal and to be expected? or were both of my screens defective?

thanks!

oh, also, i would definitely recommend not going for that refurb, as it is rather easy to get a new one at an even cheaper price.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 05:19 AM
 
i have the horizontal lines/clipping issue as well when watching full screen video

march 2005 manufacture date

-vasu
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 06:10 AM
 
hmm, i wonder if this is normal or a problem. it even happens on my screen saver.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 08:19 AM
 
Originally posted by cakeandpie:
hmm, i wonder if this is normal or a problem. it even happens on my screen saver.
If you've got an ATI graphics card in your Mac, then its not the monitor's fault. This is an issue with ATI boards in the Mac. Lots of discussion about it on the Apple support forums.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 10:10 AM
 
That's good to know, I do have an OEM Radeon 9600... Is it a problem with the board/firmware, or the OSX driver in panther?

Do you happen to know the URL of the discussion on this topic offhand? not even sure what words to search for? clipping? smearing? tearing? shearing?

-vasu
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 03:46 PM
 
Originally posted by vasu:
That's good to know, I do have an OEM Radeon 9600... Is it a problem with the board/firmware, or the OSX driver in panther?

Do you happen to know the URL of the discussion on this topic offhand? not even sure what words to search for? clipping? smearing? tearing? shearing?

-vasu
I think they've been calling it image tearing on the Apple discussion groups. Seems to be described only with the ATI boards; people with nVidia cards don't seem to be reporting the phenomenon. Don't know if its hardware or software (I'd guess probably software though, since I've not seen anything similar on PCs with ATI hardware).
     
 
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