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30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

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30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:59 pm

I nearly bumped a 4 year old thread but decided a new one made more sense.

I have a 20" Apple Cinema display on my Studio Mac Pro (2008 3.0GHz 8 core with NVIDIA GeForce 8800/512 graphic card with two DVI outputs). I want to replace it with a bigger ~30" display.

Three options :-

1 - Buy a used 30" Apple Cinema Display for around £250

2 - Buy a new 32" monitor from the likes of AOC (seen one I like and it's cheap) or somebody else

3 - Buy a 32" HDTV

The Apple display will be at least 10 years old and the old thread from 2014/5 said getting them fixed is difficult when it inevitably breaks (That said both my 20" Cinema displays are working fine).

Both the 32" monitor and TV will require an adapter cable or change of graphics card to supply the HDMI or Display Port input (the Mac Pro doesn't have VGA but even if it did I would consider it a backward step anyway). Will an adapter from DVI to HDMI or Display Port degrade the signal and which would be better if both are available?
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby James Perrett » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:25 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Will an adapter from DVI to HDMI or Display Port degrade the signal and which would be better if both are available?

They won't degrade the signal as its all digital but you need to check that your Mac Pro can support the desired resolution. Older DVI outputs are often limited to something lower than the resolution that modern displays use.
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:59 pm

Thanks James, how much will using a lower resolution degrade the image? I'm not thinking of buying a 4k monitor, looking at the cheap end TBH, so I'll check the max the Mac Pro can do and looking at a monitor that maxes out at a multiple of that seems logical?
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby James Perrett » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:50 am

You'll probably be OK with a full HD monitor (1920x1080) but I seem to remember a 27" 2560 x 1440 monitor that I was trying to use via DVI wouldn't work at full resolution so things were a bit fuzzier than they should have been.
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:08 am

More research needed or maybe I should just buy an old 30" Cinema display. Head says buy a brand new monitor, heart says buy the Apple Cinema Display.....

T'is a bugger (and the brand new iMac Pro is out of the question :( )........
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Agharta » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:25 am

A modern display provided you do a bit of research should look better than the old Cinema Display as the technology has moved on.
For £250 I picked up an AOC q3277Pqu a year ago and it looks better for my usage than my other 5 year old Dell Premium Colour Ultrasharp.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00ZB9NEVC/

I prefer 2560x1440 on a 32" screen as it doesn't require scaling.
It shouldn't be difficult to determine what the maximum resolution your system supports.
I would imagine it has a dual link DVI which is good for 2560x1440 I think!
You'd want to run it at native resolution even if you use scaling if that makes sense.
Not sure how macOS handles all that though!

You should be fine:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/ma ... ns.587074/
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:38 am

In my experience, the old 30 inch cinema display is pretty reliable...
(and its nice to have the extra USB and FW ports)
However the small white PSU (that powers it) is not so good :(

I'd advise getting something new.
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Agharta » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:59 am

Jumpeyspyder wrote:In my experience, the old 30 inch cinema display is pretty reliable...
(and its nice to have the extra USB and FW ports)
They will be USB 2.0 I imagine whereas modern monitors can have two to four USB 3.0 ports which are much more useful if hooking up a hard drive.
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:24 am

Ok, I'll be sensible and buy new...... Thinking about this one :-

https://www.scan.co.uk/products/315-iiyama-prolite-xb3270qs-b1-ips-monitor-2560x1440-4ms-300cd-m2-speakers-audio-output-dvi-hdmi-dp

The horizontal resolution matches the Mac Pro but, cos it's 16:9 the vert res is lower at 1440 (the Mac does 2560x1600 to match the 30" Cinema Display). I'm guessing that will be ok and not compromise quality. And it has a DVI input (and 2 x 5W speakers so there's the 'grot box' sorted out too).

I did consider a 'smart TV' but they are either 1080P (1920x1080) or 4k (3840x2160) so probably not the ideal choice.

Listed as due in stock tomorrow, fingers crossed :thumbup:
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:14 pm

edit the above :-

I'm assuming the Mac will do 2560 x 1440 as it has a 'default for the display' option so it should be fine.
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Agharta » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:54 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I'm assuming the Mac will do 2560 x 1440 as it has a 'default for the display' option so it should be fine.

That nVidia card will output up to 2560x1600 so using it with a monitor with less than that resolution is fine as it will still be running at the native resolution of the monitor.
That's the important bit as you don't want a card that outputs at less than the native resolution of the monitor as then the monitor will have to do hardware level scaling which can be poor.

Software level scaling within the operating system is another thing entirely and Apple use that extensively otherwise a 5K iMac Pro would have very tiny fonts etc. :o
The safest option is no scaling at either level because software level scaling can be an issue with older software especially with Windows but not sure if there are any legacy scaling issues with Apple gear!
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Agharta » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:02 pm


No USB seemingly if that matters! £250 for iPS of that size is cheap so I'd check reviews in case they cut too many corners.
The one thing I miss on my Aoc is that it doesn't swivel, let alone do the rumba. :D
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:22 pm

USB is not a requirement, the monitor sits on a shelf between the monitor speakers (set back a few inches) and access to the connectors on the back is not easy.

Iiyama used to be amongst the best names in monitors. But it is cheap (the AOC I was first looking at was £169 but the hight adjustable stand and DVI input which the AOC doesn't have are useful additions).

Will check reviews before flashing the plastic :thumbup:
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Agharta » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:31 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:USB is not a requirement, the monitor sits on a shelf between the monitor speakers (set back a few inches) and access to the connectors on the back is not easy.

Iiyama used to be amongst the best names in monitors. But it is cheap (the AOC I was first looking at was £169 but the hight adjustable stand and DVI input which the AOC doesn't have are useful additions).

Will check reviews before flashing the plastic :thumbup:

Rear mounted USB ports on a monitor are hardly friendly, both of mine have side mounted alongside a Card Reader.
I noticed the cheaper AOC and it was too budget for me also so I found a good deal on their premium model.
The jump from 24" 1920x1200 to 31.5" 2560x1440 has been sweet. 2560x1600 was just too expensive for the gain.
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Re: 30"ish monitor for 2008 Mac Pro.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:25 pm

Thanks for the heads up, the Iiyama has got very mixed reviews on Amazon so I'm not sure where to go from here.

I might still go for the Iiyama as it got some good reviews as well as bad ones, if I have a problem I can't see Scan not resolving it.

Or, I'm almost tempted to go for a 28" as I don't want to spend more than £300 but I think the extra screen real estate of a 30' or 31.5" would be worth having.
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