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I'm looking to buy a new monitor for my Mac Pro, as the existing one (an old Samsung running at 1680 x 1050, which I got free with the Mac a couple of years or so ago) is on the way out.

Ideally I'd like the new display to be at least the equal of the old Apple 30 inch Cinema Display in terms of screen size and resolution (2560 x 1600) and to be the sort that can be calibrated to give accurate colours, have Adobe RGB support, etc.

I'll be using Adobe CS6 on the Mac for web graphics / design / coding, and also some design for print, as well as video editing / compositing work.

My budget would be about £1200 at most.

The Mac only has the stock NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics card installed, so it may struggle to support the new monitor at optimum resolution and give optimum performance, but I'm hoping the monitor I go for can be run (albeit sub-optimally) on the GT 120 until I can upgrade the graphics card to something more suitable at some point in the future.

Details on the GT 120 (from everymac.com) are as follows:

By default, a NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 512 MB of GDDR3 memory was installed in a double-wide, 16-lane PCI Express 2.0 graphics slot. It has both a Mini DisplayPort and a dual-link DVI port. It can support two 30-inch displays. The default video card is capable of supporting digital resolutions up to 2560x1600 and analog resolutions up to 2048x1536.


I've done some online research, and come up with the following as possible options, most of which are 30" or larger and run at 2560 x 1600 or more:

http://www.digitalversus.com/lcd-monitor/asus-pa328q-p20758/test.html


http://www.digitalversus.com/lcd-monitor/benq-bl3201pt-p22555/test.html


http://www.anandtech.com/show/6890/dell-u3014-lcd-review

http://www.digitalversus.com/lcd-monitor/dell-up3216q-p27957/test.html

http://www.digitalversus.com/lcd-monitor/philips-bdm3270qp-p26853/test.html

http://www.digitalversus.com/lcd-monitor/viewsonic-vp2780-4k-p25887/test.html

Eizo monitors seem to be very high end, but the ColorEdge ones seem to be out with my budget:

http://www.eizoglobal.com/products/coloredge/cg277/index.html


although a FlexScan one might fit the bill(?):

http://www.eizoglobal.com/products/flexscan/ev3237/index.html

Similarly NEC monitors also seem to be high end:

https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/EA304WMi.xhtml

and this one:

https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/PA302W.xhtml

is recommended by Lloyd Chambers, whose opinion I value:

http://diglloyd.com/articles/Recommended/displayNEC-PA302W.html

although the 27" version is more within my budget:

https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/PA272W.xhtml


I've no particular preference for digitalversus.com and / or anandtech.com or their opinions. I just happened to stumble across these sites, and as well as reviewing many different displays that might be suitable, they seem to know their stuff regarding colour accuracy etc.

I've also read this forum:

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/monitors-for-2012-mac-pro.1851908


which helped point me towards some of the monitors I mentioned.

I'd prefer a matt rather than a gloss screen, and although there's no substitute for trying out a screen before buying it, as far as I know I don't live anywhere near to somewhere that would have any of these models on display that I'd be able to try out.

Therefore I'd greatly appreciate anyone's wisdom as to any displays I should either disregard or seriously consider.

I'm not wedded to any of the ones I've listed, and there may be other options I've not considered.

Many thanks.
 

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You're not going to like 1600p on that card for anything even things like zooming in on Ps will be a stuttering waiting mess. I'd forgo the 1600p display until you get a newish CUDA card. Just find yourself a used GTX 7xx card and go from there.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post

You're not going to like 1600p on that card for anything even things like zooming in on Ps will be a stuttering waiting mess. I'd forgo the 1600p display until you get a newish CUDA card. Just find yourself a used GTX 7xx card and go from there.
Sure, I appreciate that. Zooming etc. isn't great even at the moment with my existing 1680 x 1050 monitor, but the monitor is failing and needs replacing soon, whereas the graphics card works fine (i.e. isn't faulty).

I'll be looking to upgrade the card once I have the new display. At that point I'll come back to these forums for detailed advice on cards.

Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDB-UK View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post

You're not going to like 1600p on that card for anything even things like zooming in on Ps will be a stuttering waiting mess. I'd forgo the 1600p display until you get a newish CUDA card. Just find yourself a used GTX 7xx card and go from there.
Sure, I appreciate that. Zooming etc. isn't great even at the moment with my existing 1680 x 1050 monitor, but the monitor is failing and needs replacing soon, whereas the graphics card works fine (i.e. isn't faulty).

I'll be looking to upgrade the card once I have the new display. At that point I'll come back to these forums for detailed advice on cards.

Thanks.
I'd honestly flip the purchase sequence no matter. You want a seriously expensive monitor but don't want the HW to back that monitor. I spend my day working on a MP 5,1 with the CS on a 5770 and 1200p display and am not a happy camper. At home I use a 30" ACD because it's honestly a great display and 16:10 displays are expensive so there is no benefit in replacing it. Please take my word that what you are looking to do will be an unmitigated disaster and that disaster will be on your dime not your employers. You NEED to get another card preferably one that is 10bit before you ponder getting a 1600p display it's no kidding that bad.

I'd pick up a U2412M before I tried what you're doing and don't come to these forums looking for cards as MR in the MP section. My username there is lowendlinux if you need to order something from MacVidCards I can receive it at my US address and ship it from my EU address if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post

I'd honestly flip the purchase sequence no matter. You want a seriously expensive monitor but don't want the HW to back that monitor. I spend my day working on a MP 5,1 with the CS on a 5770 and 1200p display and am not a happy camper. At home I use a 30" ACD because it's honestly a great display and 16:10 displays are expensive so there is no benefit in replacing it. Please take my word that what you are looking to do will be an unmitigated disaster and that disaster will be on your dime not your employers. You NEED to get another card preferably one that is 10bit before you ponder getting a 1600p display it's no kidding that bad.

I'd pick up a U2412M before I tried what you're doing and don't come to these forums looking for cards as MR in the MP section. My username there is lowendlinux if you need to order something from MacVidCards I can receive it at my US address and ship it from my EU address if needed.
Thanks for the advice. Yes I do want the hardware to back the monitor. The existing monitor however could fail completely at any time. It may no longer work after a month, a week, or even a day. Therefore, replacing it has to be my priority. The existing graphics card, will, technically, support 2560 x 1600, meaning that if I decide which monitor to buy, and then buy it, and have it sitting here ready, it can take over when, not if, but when, my existing monitor fails. At least I'll be able to check my emails etc.

If I spend time researching what card to get, and then buy it & fit it (not ideal when I don't know what monitor I'll be getting) and then the screen fails, I'll have no way to use my computer. I have no other computer, and no other monitor I can use instead. I don't even own a smart phone, so I must prioritise replacing the component that could fail at any time. The existing screen barely works some days at all.

I take what you say on board, but you must understand that it's more important to have a slow, almost unusable, but working system, than no working monitor, and therefore no working system at all.

As I said in my original post, I do intend to get a new graphics card, but knowing what monitor it will be driving will help inform what one to get.

Incidentally, I'd just finished typing this post when my monitor cut out (as it often does). The only way I could get it working again was to put the Mac to sleep, then wake it up again. This logged me out of overclock.net, and I lost some of what I'd typed. Just one example of how urgent it is I decide what new monitor to get.

Equally though, I don't want to throw good money after bad and buy a cheap "temporary" replacement screen, which no doubt would become less than temporary. If I'm going to get a new monitor, I want a long term solution - the best that I can afford - and that has to come first.
 

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I agree with everything GermanyChris suggests; that card is pretty dated. Owning a Mac that you can even put a card into is very telling as to how old your equipment is; Apple hasn't made towers in years ( mid 2012??)

That said, I have owned a Dell U3014 since they were released and have been very happy. I'm a Tech Artist (game developer) by trade, but my color requirements are not as stringent as yours appear to be. Your subject line says "new"; i would hardly call the u3014 new; I would expect it to be supplanted by a newer version within the next year or so.

Best thing about the Dell is the warranty. One of my 3014's croaked while under warranty, and they had a brand new one to me in just a day.

ps: spend the ~$50 for a spare refurb'd Dell 24" as a backup while you shop.
 

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Thanks for your reply.

Yes the card is dated. As for the Mac being dated, I'm afraid we can't all afford the latest kit. A new Mac Pro starts at £2500 here in the UK.

It wasn't until 2012 that I was able to afford my current (2009) Mac, and only then partly with a cash gift from a friend. I've invested in the tower form factor (with all its inherent advantages) and the Mac is here to stay for the foreseeable.

In my view, one of the many great ironies of the new Mac Pro is that it's in reality what semi-pros and others begged Apple to provide for years & years - the fabled "x-Mac" - a headless, powerful, small desktop Mac with limited expandability. Priced like it is though, home users & semi-pros will find the new Mac Pro out of their budgets more often than not I'd wager.

Yes my subject line says "new" - as in the purchase of a brand new monitor. There's nothing inherently wrong with buying a model that's already been manufactured for a few years. In fact it can be an advantage. Witness the threads all over the internet decrying the mark 1 of something, and praising the mark 2 (or 3 or 4). This applies to monitors of the sort I'm considering as much as anything else. Indeed the old Apple 30 inch Cinema Display is a classic case in point. The mark 2 was superior to the mark 1 in several ways.

Similarly with the Dell U3014 that you're recommending. Many of the reviews etc., on, for example, Amazon UK state what a difference it makes whether you're using the original model (A01) or one of the newer iterations (up to the A05).

Thanks for recommending the Dell though. Even if it's supplanted by a newer version within the next year or so, the fact that it's generally highly regarded, and is a mature product (at version 5 it would seem) means I'll definitely consider it.

Incidentally, I've posted this thread in 3 other forums but not had any genuinely useful input (the replies above apart) to help narrow my monitor choice I'm afraid. I'm still hopeful though that someone with real insight will come across the thread and offer me their wisdom...
 

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Having initially posted this topic in 5 different places (macrumors.com, apple.com, tomshardware.co.uk, overclock.net and cnet.com) as well as trying a 6th (mac-forums.com, who never published my thread and never responded to my email asking why not) I'm taking the advice of a cnet.com Forum Moderator and narrowing my list down (to 4 displays) before asking for any more feedback.

I'll also be posting at http://hardforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=78. as this seems the place where this type of discussion is most common.

So… to recap, I'm looking to buy a new colour accurate 30"+ display for my Mac Pro 4,1 running at at least 2560 x 1600, and of the sort that can be calibrated to give accurate colours, has Adobe RGB support, etc.

I'll be using Adobe CS6 on the Mac for web graphics / design / coding, and also some design for print, as well as video editing / compositing work.

The Mac only has the stock NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics card (with 512 MB of memory) at the moment. Although it supports resolutions up to 2560 x 1600, it's an old, slow card which will struggle with the new display, so I'll be replacing the card once I've decided which display to buy, and will seek advice on selecting the card in these forums.

If money was no object, I'd either go for the Eizo ColorEdge CG318-4K:

http://www.eizoglobal.com/products/coloredge/cg318-4k/index.html

or the NEC SpectraView® Reference 322UHD:

https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/Reference322UHD.xhtml

However these cost over £3,600 and £4,000 respectively here in the UK, so are out of the question. Ideally I don't want to spend more than about £1,200, but I appreciate I may have to if I want to meet my requirements.

In theory a display like the Dell UP3216Q ticks all the boxes and can be had for less than £800:

http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/dell-up3216q-monitor?c=uk&l=en&s=bsd&

However, reading certain reviews, as well as threads such as this one:

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1838486&highlight=ev3237&page=2

casts doubt on the quality of the likes of Dell displays when it comes to colour accuracy, true calibration accuracy (not to be confused with faux calibration - see http://diglloyd.com/articles/Recommended/display-calibration.html) top notch sRGB and Adobe RGB etc.

The LG 31MU97-B should in theory be a possibility:

http://www.lg.com/uk/monitors/lg-31MU97

It comes out top from a UK review of six 32-inch Ultra HD monitors:

http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/6143/6/six-32-inch-ultra-hd-monitor-review-serious-business-lg-31mu97-b

http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/6143/14/six-32-inch-ultra-hd-monitor-review-serious-business-final-thoughts

Indeed on paper it has some technical specs (for example true 4K resolution and a very useful split screen feature) which are superior to the other displays I'm considering, and it can be had for only £750, but there seem to have been many quality, reliability and poor after-sales support issues reported:

http://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B00OKSEVTY/showViewpoints=1&sortBy=helpful&filterByStar=one_star&pageNumber=1/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_1?filterByStar=one_star&pageNumber=1

The Eizo FlexScan EV3237 would be a possibility:

http://www.eizoglobal.com/products/flexscan/ev3237/index.html

and can be had for around £1,000 but doesn't offer Adobe RGB:

http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/6143/5/six-32-inch-ultra-hd-monitor-review-serious-business-eizo-ev3237

and the very thorough review on overclockers.ru mentions in its summary/conclusions that the display isn't up to the professional levels of NEC and Eizo (CG series) models:

http://www.overclockers.ru/lab/66089_7/obzor-i-testirovanie-4k-monitora-eizo-flexscan-ev3237-plata-za-brend.html

I'm therefore left with a choice of NEC monitors. The MultiSync® PA302W:

https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/PA302W.xhtml

which can be had for £1,200 or so.

The "SV2" version of this:
https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/PA302W-SV2.xhtml

which comes with the calibration hardware, can be bought for around £1,500, and is recommended by Lloyd Chambers, whose opinion I value:

http://diglloyd.com/articles/Recommended/displayNEC-PA302W.html

or the MultiSync® PA322UHD. The SV2 version with the calibration hardware is listed here:

https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/uk/en/products/details/rp/PA322UHD-SV2.xhtml

I've given this link as there doesn't appear to be a page for the non-SV2 version on the NEC UK website.

The PA322UHD is also recommended by Lloyd Chambers:

http://diglloyd.com/articles/Recommended/displayNEC-PA322UHD.html

It retails at over £2,100 but second hand units seem to come up on Amazon UK from time to time at around the £1,100 mark:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00T3SEXK8

I've emailed the seller of these asking about warranties, dead pixels, accessories, etc.

_____________

So, to summarise, I'm down to a choice of 4 displays.

The LG 31MU97-B, which is true 4K, has Adobe RGB support, has the split screen feature, etc, and would seem perfect at only £750, but there are so many quality and support issues mentioned online that buying one of these would make me nervous.

The NEC PA302W on the other hand isn't 4K, or even UHD, "only" having a 2560 x 1600 resolution, but from a colour accuracy point of view, a brand new SV2 version of this may be the best choice, as it comes with calibration hardware

The NEC PA322UHD is UHD (almost 4K) and is rated very highly for colour accuracy by Lloyd Chambers too, but I'd have to risk buying a second hand unit.

And the Dell? It can be had for less than £800, but it's not an Eizo or an NEC and as such would appear simply to not be in the same class. It's merely a Dell. A compromise it would seem. Or is that just snobbery on my part?

Wise, meticulously thought out opinions would be most welcome!

Many thanks.
 

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