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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Which monitors are 6-bit? Which monitors are 8-bit?

Which monitors are 6-bit? Which monitors are 8-bit?
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And.reg
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Jun 12, 2015, 10:17 AM
 
Greetings.

Does the 2015 21.5" iMac have a 6-bit monitor or an 8-bit monitor?
Does the 2015 27" retina iMac have a 6-bit monitor or an 8-bit monitor?
Does the 27" non-retina iMac have a 6-bit monitor or an 8-bit monitor?
Does the 2015 13.3" retina Pro Macbook have a 6-bit monitor or an 8-bit monitor?
Does the 2015 15.4" retina Pro Macbook have a 6-bit monitor or an 8-bit monitor?
Does the 2015 12" retina Pro Macbook have a 6-bit monitor or an 8-bit monitor?
Does the 2012 13.3" non-retina Pro Macbook have a 6-bit monitor or an 8-bit monitor?
Does the iPad Air 2 have a 6-bit monitor or an 8-bit monitor?
Does the iPhone 6+ have a 6-bit monitor or an 8-bit monitor?


And where would I go to find this information on the internet? I've spent many hours searching for this information and I can't find it anywhere.

Also, where can I find a simple 6-bit vs. 8-bit monitor test? There used to be a dozen of these tests online like 5 years ago and all of a sudden I can't find any of them.

I just want straight answers. Which monitors have 6-bit vs. 8-bit colors?
     
caol
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Jun 12, 2015, 04:54 PM
 
From Mac Specs, Prices, Answers and Comparison @ EveryMac.com, Est. 1996, the iMac's you have listed are all 8-bit. It was the first gen aluminium iMac's that were 6-bit, but the hue & cry had that taken care of in the next iteration.

However, info on the MacBook Pro's and iPad's does not seem to include colour depth info.
     
P
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Jun 13, 2015, 12:15 PM
 
In general, the TN-panels are 6-bit and IPS-panels are 8-bit. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are very few, and at least the rare 6-bit IPS panels are quite good nonetheless.

All iPads and iPhones are reported as being IPS panels, and since I have never heard of such a small IPS panel being 6-bit, we can probably assume that they're 8-bit. If they're not, they're as good as anyway. In the same way, recent iMacs use IPS panels, which are 8-bit as call says.

The problem comes in the laptops. The Retina MBPs all appear to use IPS displays now, and I think they always did, while the non-retina MBA use TN displays (for reasons I never understood). The MBA displays are quite poor, I don't think that they somehow picked an 8-bit TN, though admittedly I haven't checked.

That answers all the questions except the non-Retina MBP. I can't find any any word on the display panel in that model.

In general, the way to test this is to show a gradient on the display. An 8-bit display will look nice and even. A 6-bit display will have banding.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
angelmb
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Jun 17, 2015, 01:24 PM
 
Running this command thru Terminal,

ioreg -lw0 | grep IODisplayEDID | sed "/[^<]*</s///" | xxd -p -r | strings -6

should give you some info regarding the model of the LCP panel on a modern Mac.

Then, a search on sites like panelook.com should bring some light on it.
     
And.reg  (op)
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Jun 17, 2015, 01:44 PM
 
I remember the old 20" iMac had 6-bit panels, and seeing that and going "yuck..."

Glad to know that the retinas are (likely) 8-bit, though I just find it weird that I can't dig up a TN or IPS model # from System Profile. I just figured that there would be some general database about these.

Also the terminal command just gave me "Color LCD" and when I removed "strings -6" it gave me

PT
4p0 6
Color LCD
     
angelmb
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Jun 17, 2015, 03:21 PM
 
Maybe that command doesn’t quite work for all Macs.? Mine, a MBP 17” Late 2011, reads:
LP171WU6-TLA2

which is a 6-bit TN panel, for shame.
     
   
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