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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > heard compatibility problems between dell lcds and macs - is this true?

heard compatibility problems between dell lcds and macs - is this true?
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Janaka Cooray
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Apr 11, 2005, 06:09 PM
 
Heard that there were compatibility problems between macs and dell lcds due to the pixel configuration not being RGB - and OS X not having the proper drivers?

I want to connect a Dell 17" Ultrasharp via the DVI - so i want sub-pixel antialiasing - will a dell lcd look worse on the mac than on a pc?
     
Mediaman_12
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Apr 11, 2005, 06:33 PM
 
What utter rubbish. Drivers? It's a display, it takes what comes out of the vid card (VGA or DVI) and 'paints' it on the screen.
I have run a wide range of displays on a wider range of Mac's with never a problem.
The 'want sub-pixel antialiasing' is always done by the OS, And I think that Apples version is far superior to XP's effort.
     
macaddict0001
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Apr 11, 2005, 09:23 PM
 
A display is a display. the brightness may vary, the color may vary and the contrast/whitepoint/sharpness(not applicable to lcd's) may vary. but it is the same with tv's a panasonic tv does not work better with a panasonic dvd player.
     
Manchungster
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Apr 11, 2005, 09:55 PM
 
I have no probelms with my PB and my Dell 2005FPW. They work amazing together. highly doubt what you've been hearing.
     
Janaka Cooray  (op)
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Apr 12, 2005, 06:34 AM
 
It was a post on this very forum that led to my concerns:

http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.p...cd#post1755723

Anyone care to comment?
     
mbryda
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Apr 12, 2005, 09:31 AM
 
Originally posted by Janaka Cooray:
It was a post on this very forum that led to my concerns:

http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.p...cd#post1755723

Anyone care to comment?
True, but only if you care about subpixel rendering.

I could care less as I hate SPR.

You can read more about it here:
http://www.grc.com/cleartype.htm


I also could care less as I would never buy a Dell anything ever. They are truly a garbage company. I'd rather spend 5x more for something they sell to buy from a competitor than spend one red cent @ Dell.
     
macaddict0001
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Apr 12, 2005, 09:44 AM
 
could be, if this is a problem you could turn off font smoothing for fonts under 14.
all that that post means is that instead of a pixel made up of red then green then blue it is reversed.
     
Mithras
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Apr 12, 2005, 11:30 AM
 
The 1800FP was an odd bird -- it's the only Dell monitor I know of that was BGR. It's not produced anymore.

Any Dell monitor you buy now will be fine.
     
southtdi
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Apr 12, 2005, 12:20 PM
 
I run a 24" Dell on my Powermac (going to be 2 shortly) and have no problems at all.

AS for Dells being utter garbage, we'll that may be the case with alot of their products, but their displays have proven to be really good. From digging around the 'net in the past it seems the Dell LCD's are Samsung screens and the rest is made and assembled by Benq which has a very god reputation in high-end displays.

All I can say is try before you declare something garbage. I would have liked to have a 23" ACD but for the price I was able to buy two Dell 24" displays and get multiple inputs on top of that. Something Apple doesn't even offer on their displays. This isn't even to mention the ongoing color problems on the 23" ACD.

I prefer Apple products but I am not going to go out and pay double just because it has an Apple logo on the screen and does not offer anything over the competition.
- TiBook 867mhz
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Janaka Cooray  (op)
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Apr 12, 2005, 12:29 PM
 
thank you Mithras - I was coming to that conclusion too from my research - but now I have it confirmed by someone who seems in the know.

I orderd my Dell 17" Ultraclear today after it topped the list for price/performance in a few compartive reviews in the last month...
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 12, 2005, 01:40 PM
 
Compatibility problems? Nope. Macs have standard VGA and DVI connectors (or if you have one with an ACD connector, there is an ACD-DVI adapter).

The only problems you might have is if Dell LCDs would use cheap electronics so you have problems (flickering, etc.). But these problems would also occur with a PC!

(Note that I have no personal experience with Dell LCDs.)
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
CaptainHaddock
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Apr 12, 2005, 05:26 PM
 
Originally posted by OreoCookie:
Compatibility problems? Nope. Macs have standard VGA and DVI connectors (or if you have one with an ACD connector, there is an ACD-DVI adapter).
Disclaimer: I know nothing in particular about Dell monitors.

There is, however, a possible conflict, not with the DVI signal itself, but with how the OS chooses to do sub-pixel rendering (which is important to many users and makes text much more crisp in my opinion). There is a very good primer on sub-pixel rendering here: http://grc.com/ctwhat.htm

Basically, each LCD pixel is composed of red, green, and blue sub-pixels snugly stuck next to each other. Mac OS X makes LCD text extra crisp by taking advantage of the fact that a sub-pixel is a third the width of a full pixel, and using it to tweak the width and spacing of letter stems. To do this, however, OS X must know which order the sub-pixels go in. Most go in R-G-B order, but some LCDs have another arrangement (like B-G-R). Mac OS X must be able to correctly detect the monitor and its sub-pixel arrangement for sub-pixel anti-aliasing to work properly. Presumably this information would be included in the DVI signal, but you'll want to check on that. Hopefully someone who actually knows more about the Dell monitors will chime in here.
     
tooki
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Apr 12, 2005, 06:45 PM
 
If you scroll up, you'll see that the 1800FP is the only Dell LCD with BGR pixels, which are exceedingly rare regardless of brand, to the point of being effectively irrelevant.

Yes, the OS needs to know the pixel arrangement, but BGR is so rare that most people will never encounter one.

tooki
     
CaptainHaddock
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Apr 13, 2005, 05:37 AM
 
Originally posted by tooki:
If you scroll up, you'll see that the 1800FP is the only Dell LCD with BGR pixels, which are exceedingly rare regardless of brand, to the point of being effectively irrelevant.tooki
Thanks, I missed that. There should definitely be no problem with any standard DVI monitor and OS.
     
ghporter
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Apr 13, 2005, 07:49 AM
 
I DO have experience with a number of Dell monitors, and the biggest issue any of them that I know of has ever had was the misfortune to be one of their 1800 models. THOSE had some odd cold cathode drivers and would flicker from time to time-particularly if used in a florescent lighting. I'm using an E171FP right now, and it works fine.

Remember that there are only about four or five LCD manufacturers around, so as has been noted, it's not the screen quality as much as the support and display electronics that separate current LCD displays. Dell has a reputation to uphold with these-and they're working at establilshing themselves with the LCD entertainment monitor market-so they work hard at keeping up their products' performance. I personally consider Dell bashing to be just plain dumb, since they did not get to be in their market position by building and selling crap, and since I have never experienced ANY substandard products from them-either persool or corporate products.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
mbryda
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Apr 13, 2005, 09:33 AM
 
Originally posted by southtdi:
I prefer Apple products but I am not going to go out and pay double just because it has an Apple logo on the screen and does not offer anything over the competition.
Neither am I. But I'm not going to run out and buy a Dell anything because it's 1/2 the price. Heck, even if it was given to me, I'd sell it on Ebay.

I just wish someone else would do widescreen LCD's so the choices are not Dell and Apple.
     
mbryda
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Apr 13, 2005, 09:42 AM
 
Originally posted by ghporter:
I personally consider Dell bashing to be just plain dumb, since they did not get to be in their market position by building and selling crap, and since I have never experienced ANY substandard products from them-either persool or corporate products.
Then you have not been around PC's for long. Dell has always cut major corners to ship a box. They have cut so many corners it's a wonder the cases are still rectangles.

Lets see here:
1) Dell consistently underspecs the power supplies and they are nonstandard ATX parts.

2) Dell's video cards typically use customized BIOS'es that leave features out

3) Dell's motherboards are very basic and generic Intel "reference" boards that leave a lot of settings out and generally are middle to bottom of the road performance.

4) Their hard drives, while may come from major manufacturers often have unique Dell parts and specs.

I've been around PC's for a long time now and would never, ever reccomend a Dell.

Ask yourself this question:

GM is the largest manufacturer of automobiles in the world. Would you consider their cars to be of high quality?

Sales does not equal marketshare. With the right marketing you could sell dog poop to people.
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 13, 2005, 09:44 AM
 
Originally posted by mbryda:
Neither am I. But I'm not going to run out and buy a Dell anything because it's 1/2 the price. Heck, even if it was given to me, I'd sell it on Ebay.

I just wish someone else would do widescreen LCD's so the choices are not Dell and Apple.
There are alternatives, at least here in Germany. But they are usually priced around the same as Apple displays (e. g. LG or Sony).
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
ghporter
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Apr 13, 2005, 11:36 AM
 
Originally posted by mbryda:
Then you have not been around PC's for long.
20 years and counting. I should note that I NEVER buy cheap, so maybe that's where your problems have come in. I have worked in Dell-equipped shops, I have connections with computer support people in LARGE Dell-equipped corporations and institutions, and I am a member of the second largest PC user group in the US; I do actually know something of what I'm talking about. If you are looking at anything other than bottom-of-the-line, then Dell is quite good. If you want cheap, they have it too.

Further, if you look at the "market class" that their LCDs are aimed at, you'll see that they simply CANNOT AFFORD cheap there. That's why they killed their 1800FPs; they were not good equipment.

As for "non-standard" cases, motherboards, etc., take a look at an HP desktop some time. It's supposedly all standard, but you can't get your hand into the case for the way the stuff wires into it. They leave sharp edges that are just waiting for a wire to scrape on them, and they do somethingthat makes their hard drives a bear to mount on any other system, even to image them.

I chimed into this thread because it started to look like yet another "Dell is evil" thread. I seem to have been right. ABSOLUTELY NO CORPORATION IS GOING TO PURPOSELY PRODUCE BAD PRODUCTS. Why would they? Producing bad products is corporate suicide.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
mbryda
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Apr 13, 2005, 01:29 PM
 
Originally posted by ghporter:
20 years and counting. I should note that I NEVER buy cheap, so maybe that's where your problems have come in. I have worked in Dell-equipped shops, I have connections with computer support people in LARGE Dell-equipped corporations and institutions, and I am a member of the second largest PC user group in the US; I do actually know something of what I'm talking about. If you are looking at anything other than bottom-of-the-line, then Dell is quite good. If you want cheap, they have it too.
So have I and I know of many who went away from Dell because of quality issues.

The quality and performance just isn't there at any of their levels. They are just way too junky for any use.

We have a few Dell servers where I work. Every one of them has had serious issues and in general just feels cheap (cases that bend, covers that stopped fitting, etc). Contrast that with a, say IBM server that is built like a tank and exhibits none of those characteristics.

Or where I work, we switched to Dell (and now are not) where their middle of the line "Corporate" machine has been nothing but problems with regards to the NIC. And it's not just 1 but most of them. Yeah, that's good quality. I won't even discuss the POS laptops that practically buckle if you pick them up by the corner (D600/800).

If that's quite good, I'd hate to see quite bad. I've seen them all and Dell is definitely bottom of the barrel.

As for "non-standard" cases, motherboards, etc., take a look at an HP desktop some time. It's supposedly all standard, but you can't get your hand into the case for the way the stuff wires into it. They leave sharp edges that are just waiting for a wire to scrape on them, and they do somethingthat makes their hard drives a bear to mount on any other system, even to image them.
Same can be said of Dell (ecxept their cases are mostly plastic), Gateway, eMachines, Micron, etc.

When I was building my own I would purposely use Inwin or Antec cases as they had the least sharp edges as well as good quality power supplies.


ABSOLUTELY NO CORPORATION IS GOING TO PURPOSELY PRODUCE BAD PRODUCTS. Why would they? Producing bad products is corporate suicide.
No, but they won't produce good products either - see the GM example. Nobody would argue GM makes the best (or even good) cars/trucks/SUV's. Yet they sell lots of them.
     
southtdi
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Apr 13, 2005, 03:24 PM
 
The biggest problem i have ever seen with Dell products has to do with their portable line over the desktop line. I am not saying they don't build a cheap box but the ones I have been around usually have not had many hardware related issues.


Now Dell servers are simply awsome. Great product, top notch support, and well-built and desinged equipment. I have never had any major issues with them.

As for teh LCD's, since Dell doesn't seem to do much with them other than contract another company to build them (which is a known company with a very good reputation for building quality displays) so i have no problems there. Sure, if I had a bad one I would be upset but i would look to see if the brand had known issues or if it was a particular model.

Being given a very good display and selling it just for the fact you don't like the name s beyond me but that is your opinion. I, for one, beleive that if the product has a good reputation (the Dell does, just look at the reviews), has good support (I had an odd question i had to ask them and got prompt service), and offers a great price and warranty then i could care less who name is on the case. I bet if NEC had the same exact monitor on the market without the Dell name there wouldn't even be an issue.
- TiBook 867mhz
- Rev. A Dual 2.0ghz PowerMac G5, 3 Gigs Ram, Dual Dell 24" displays.
- Imac G4 20" with 1 Gig of ram
     
ghporter
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Apr 13, 2005, 04:52 PM
 
mbryda, I don't know if I (and everyone I've personally met that works with them) has just had good luck, or if you've just had bad luck, but I am not making up what I'm talking about. The ONLY problem I ever had with a Dell that was Dell's fault (not a user who ralphed on the machine, or kicked it, or something like that) was when they failed to include a CD drive with a laptop I ordered. Looking at the invoice, I wasn't charged for it, but they sent it to me for free-including overnight shipping.

You have to keep in mind that there is a specific failure rate no matter what the manufacturer does, and with market saturation like Dell has, that's going to equate to a larger number of failed systems. They do their best to take care of those-at least if you can find someone who speaks english as a first language to tell them about it. That is one issue with Dell that I will not contest. Offshoring tech support is stupid in a customer-driven market.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
   
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