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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > 30" or 2-24" displays

30" or 2-24" displays
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Aug 14, 2008, 03:46 PM
 
I was about to buy a 30" CD, but before I did I wanted to know about the pros/cons of having 2-24" CD vs. 1-30" CD. Can anyone provide any input?
     
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Aug 14, 2008, 10:24 PM
 
What kind of work will you be doing? Some workflows benefit with multiple monitors, whereas others benefit with increased resolution.
     
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Aug 14, 2008, 11:18 PM
 
Single big display... I'm not that effective with multiple displays because I end up looking at one all the time.
     
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Aug 15, 2008, 02:40 AM
 
If you do high-end work, then you may be happier with one high-end monitor instead of two very good ones or one very large very good one.

Check out Eizo's ColorEdge series.

For your palettes you can always use a cheaper monitor (not too cheap) like a refurb 20" cinema display.
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 07:33 PM
 
My vote goes to a single 30". I love being able to look at photos that big without printing them...

And you can always add another one later if money permits
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 09:18 PM
 
Another vote for the single large display. The workflow I have works pretty decently over 2 monitors, but I find it much easier to work on a single monitor.
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:05 PM
 
I vote for 2 x 24". The work I do benefits greatly from having a lot of lateral space, since I tend to have lots of smaller windows open, rather than working on one large document.

Plus,
two monitors @ 1920x1200 = ~4.6 million pixels
one monitor @ 2560x1600 = ~ 4.1 million pixels

That's more than 10% more stuff to look at.

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Bwa
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:33 PM
 
OK, I have a 30" Apple on my Mac Pro + 5 extra screens that make it comparable to 3x30" + a little extra.

I also have a 24" iMac with a 2nd 24" screen.

So speaking as someone with both: It depends.

The 30" is fantastic if you need to look at a single document that is huge. Large photos, big maps, big comparisons of data--anything that is big.

The dual 24"s are great for working with multiple documents that might be related but do not need to be seamless. For example, a spreadsheet and a word processing document. A spreadsheet an email. A PDF and an email. PowerPoint + web browser.

You can do these on the 30", of course.

The 2x24 will give you a lot of width. On my desk, the two 24" displays measure 43" across. The 30" is about 26" across. So the 2x24 will give you more inches as well as more pixels--1200 additional horizontal pixels more.

The other difference is that the DPI is a little lower on the 24", which has 1920 pixels taking 20.5" of room--94 dpi. The 30" is almost exactly 100 dpi. This means, if you do text work, you can use a slightly smaller font on the 24" but have the same physical size on the screen. On the other hand, if you are wanting sharper edges, you might prefer the 30".

The 30" is 400 pixels taller. When I look at my 24"s, I feel a little vertically cramped.
     
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Aug 19, 2008, 04:01 AM
 
I'd definitely go for a couple of 24s given the great prices you can get today, it's a much better deal and a lot more space for the money. Of course for what you do, that might not be ideal. You can get a decent 24" for $350 (at least this April) so you'd only be out $700 with two, relative to >$1,200 for a 30".

How about this? 3 24" displays in a portrait orientation. Even factoring in an additional video card, you're on par with the price of a single 30". That may be a bit silly depending upon your workflow, but it illustrates how much you pay for a 30 over 24"s.
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Aug 19, 2008, 01:20 PM
 
Right now, I have a 24-inch iMac + 24-inch DELL UltraSharp 2407WFP display. Sure, I can only look at one display at a time, but I still prefer two displays than one. On the flipside, I cannot wait to get a higher resolution glossy display from Apple (hint: 30-inch glossy ACD).
     
Bwa
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Aug 19, 2008, 02:23 PM
 
Be aware that a $350 24" is may not be a very good panel (colors and/or light buzzzzzz). I tried to upgrade to 4x24" last year using some cheap 24" panels ($550/ea) and despite going through a lot of panels, never managed to get more than 2 that didn't buzz. One of the older panels developed buzzing a year or so after I bought it.

The buzzing was why I bought the Apple 30" over the cheap Dell. For $1800, it'd better not buzz.
     
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Aug 19, 2008, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Bwa View Post
Be aware that a $350 24" is may not be a very good panel (colors and/or light buzzzzzz). I tried to upgrade to 4x24" last year using some cheap 24" panels ($550/ea) and despite going through a lot of panels, never managed to get more than 2 that didn't buzz. One of the older panels developed buzzing a year or so after I bought it.

The buzzing was why I bought the Apple 30" over the cheap Dell. For $1800, it'd better not buzz.
We have a couple of the $350 24" units from Dell and have enjoyed them very well. Sure, there are other better panels, but they're pretty impressive when I compare them to the high color versions that Dell also sells. They lack the component and HDMI inputs however.
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Aug 19, 2008, 03:20 PM
 
Just because you pay more doesn't mean you get more.

Apple's monitors may look pretty but they have a skimpy 1-year warranty (all other LCDs have 3 year warranties, even the cheap ones) and they cost a lot more than their competitors. I'd go with a different brand. On top of that, Apple's monitors are old and outdated, and they don't use the latest panel technology.

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Aug 19, 2008, 03:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno View Post
Just because you pay more doesn't mean you get more.

Apple's monitors may look pretty but they have a skimpy 1-year warranty (all other LCDs have 3 year warranties, even the cheap ones) and they cost a lot more than their competitors. I'd go with a different brand. On top of that, Apple's monitors are old and outdated, and they don't use the latest panel technology.
Agreed, and I don't think the Apple monitors can be used with VESA (standard) stands if you want to do something different with them. You can get 5 year warranties on Dells if you want them, and they're not too pricey.
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Aug 19, 2008, 08:17 PM
 
You do not spec your apps, but photostudio in your sig may be a clue. For photogs viewing vertically oriented images is often important, and bigger is better, so a 30" IMO is ideal with a cheap second monitor for palettes and/or thumbnails depending on the apps in use.

A large issue with 30" displays is having enough room for them, both on the desk and enough lateral distance from eyeballs to display. E.g. in my case the 23" ACDs are about maximum for my workspace.

I noted "glossy display" mentioned and would caution professionals to be very sure that they want the display to add contrast and saturation to images before selecting glossy.

--------------------------------------------

Without hijacking the thread, does anyone have a link to the appropriate cable adapter to attach an early 17" Apple flat panel display to a Mac Pro?

Thanks!

-Allen Wicks
     
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Aug 19, 2008, 08:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Without hijacking the thread, does anyone have a link to the appropriate cable adapter to attach an early 17" Apple flat panel display to a Mac Pro?

Thanks!

-Allen Wicks
I'm not familiar with the connector type, but if it's a standard connector (not Apple proprietary) then try:
http://www.extron.com/product/prodtype23.aspx or
http://www.belden.com/03Products/03_CableBasics.cfm
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Aug 19, 2008, 09:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Bwa View Post
Be aware that a $350 24" is may not be a very good panel (colors and/or light buzzzzzz). I tried to upgrade to 4x24" last year using some cheap 24" panels ($550/ea) and despite going through a lot of panels, never managed to get more than 2 that didn't buzz. One of the older panels developed buzzing a year or so after I bought it.

The buzzing was why I bought the Apple 30" over the cheap Dell. For $1800, it'd better not buzz.
There's a difference between 'cheap' (poor quality and lowest price) and 'less expensive' (lower price, no implication about quality). I don't know of any cheap 30" 2560x1600 displays on the market; shaving $10 off the price of the backlight doesn't have the same appeal on a $1400 display as it does on a $400 display.

Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Without hijacking the thread, does anyone have a link to the appropriate cable adapter to attach an early 17" Apple flat panel display to a Mac Pro?
You need the $99 ADC display to DVI port connector; not the $20 DVI display to ADC port dongle.
     
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Aug 20, 2008, 12:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
There's a difference between 'cheap' (poor quality and lowest price) and 'less expensive' (lower price, no implication about quality). I don't know of any cheap 30" 2560x1600 displays on the market; shaving $10 off the price of the backlight doesn't have the same appeal on a $1400 display as it does on a $400 display.
DoubleSight has introduced a 30" around the $1K mark. It looks like a no-frills monitor using a high-quality panel - I haven't seen any TN 30" panels.
     
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Aug 20, 2008, 12:22 AM
 
I think I work better with two 24". So for me, it's two 24".
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Aug 20, 2008, 09:07 AM
 
     
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Aug 20, 2008, 12:39 PM
 
yes two 24".. two 30" i think is overkill
     
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Aug 20, 2008, 02:25 PM
 
I vote for 2 x 24". More space and more flexible. But not Apple. Apple is the most beautifull and I love it but for graphical works the best is Eizo ColorEdge series. I don't have Eizo but have seen difference: Apple shows only white space but on Eizo you can seen every detail of white wedding dress. And Eizo has hardware calibration - it is very important.
     
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Aug 20, 2008, 02:50 PM
 
at work I have a 30" ACD and at home I have two 24" ACDs, both setups used primarily for FCP.

I much prefer the 2x24"s over the 30" for FCP work. For Aperture, I much prefer having the 30".
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Aug 20, 2008, 05:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by daybreak View Post
at work I have a 30" ACD and at home I have two 24" ACDs, both setups used primarily for FCP.

I much prefer the 2x24"s over the 30" for FCP work. For Aperture, I much prefer having the 30".
You have two 23" Apple displays. Apple doesn't make a 24" display (unless you count the 24" iMac's built-in screen).

Pedantic, I know.

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Aug 20, 2008, 07:28 PM
 
nope I have two 24" ACDs that you can't even buy at stores yet. pm me for details.
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Aug 20, 2008, 08:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by daybreak View Post
nope I have two 24" ACDs that you can't even buy at stores yet. pm me for details.

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Aug 20, 2008, 11:46 PM
 
I have 2 x 24".

I would prefer 2 x 30".
     
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Aug 21, 2008, 10:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I have 2 x 24".

I would prefer 2 x 30".
That's insane!
I would prefer 2x 24".
I used to have 2x 17", it's very useful to have 2 screens.
     
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Aug 21, 2008, 03:46 PM
 
I would prefer dual 30-inch and the iPod touch for video playback.
     
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Aug 21, 2008, 03:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by davidg14 View Post
That's insane!
I would prefer 2x 24".
I used to have 2x 17", it's very useful to have 2 screens.
I prefer 1 x 24" over 2 x 17". 1280x1024 is just too limiting for a single screen IMO, for my primary desktop.

I don't know if I would prefer 1x30" over 2x24", because I've never owned a 30" LCD. However, there are times I have wished my 24" screen was just a bit bigger... so I probably would like a single 30" too... esp. since I'd always know in the back of my mind I'd eventually buy another 30".
     
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Aug 21, 2008, 09:41 PM
 
The 30" display causes less eye strain for me. Another vote for the 30" display.
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Aug 22, 2008, 10:55 AM
 
I have a 30" and a 24" on my Mac Pro. The 24" is almost always in portrait mode. I find this a great balance although it would be great if I could get Aperture to automatically show portrait photos only on the 24" and landscape photos on the 30" in full screen mode.

I always suggest to start with the biggest single display you can afford and then go from there. However, it does depend on what you want to do with them.

One other thing, it is, IMO, essential to have multi-monitor colour calibration if you are running multiple displays, even if they are the same brand and model. It is horrible to be working on displays beside each other with different colour casts etc. I just have an inexpensive Huey Pro and it works fine.
     
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Aug 23, 2008, 05:21 AM
 
I bought a 30" Dell LCD and I love it love it love it. A lot more efficient in how I work now.
     
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Aug 29, 2008, 10:47 AM
 
2 monitors, hah that's for wusses. Real men use set ups like these.

http://www.digitaltigers.com/zenview-atlas20pro.asp
http://www.digitaltigers.com/zenview...enterelite.asp

More seriously on a Mac I'd go for a single large monitor as the file menu being on only one screen can be remarkably infuriating if you use programmes on both screens. Not to mention dialogue boxes popping up miles from where you clicked on the other screen, closing the wrong programme by mistake as the only indication what programme is live is a subtle bit of text about 90px on a 2560px wide screen across. Also when you do full screen, the apps only fill one screen, i.e. only half your desktop. I love dual screens when using a PC, but find them really irritating on a Mac. The set ups linked above would be a complete nightmare on a Mac.
If however you just want to use the second screen for say pallettes or previews and not other programmmes, then it's great. Though being able to view two programmes at same time is why dual set ups can be so much more efficient than single monitors.
     
   
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