# Widescreen lcd monitor comparison

1. Apr 27, 2005

### gnome

Have you looked at any of these monitors?

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/...8&cs=04&l=en&mnf=694&Page=productlisting.aspx
http://www.apple.com/displays/specs.html
http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INT...s&CategoryName=cpu_Displays_FlatPanelLCDs_20"

The Apple looks great, but it's pricey. I've only seen pictures of the others.

Without a side-by-side comparison I don't know how to choose among them (and frankly, I'm not sure I'd be able to decide just by looking at them for a couple of minutes even if they were side-by-side). The price on the Dell looks compelling ($1000 vs about$1800 for the Apple and the Sony). Do you see any significant differences in the specs, or do you have any other information about them that would lead you to choose one over the others?

Last edited: Apr 27, 2005
2. Apr 27, 2005

Dell occasionally has mind-blowing deals on high-end spec monitors with good quality. It looks like this may be one of those times. I have looked around quite a bit and have never seen a 1920 x 1200 monitor for anywhere near as low as $1000 (and Dell is offering free shipping, also). If you have a video card that can drive that resolution, and that is a resolution you are looking for and can live with, I would jump on that deal before the price goes back up to$1200.

3. Apr 27, 2005

PC Magazine Editor's Choice (the Dell).
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1774272,00.asp

--
The model has a 9-in-1 USB memory card reader and a USB 2.0 hub built into the display. In the lab, the 2405FPW hit its marks, with a measured contrast ratio of 612:1. The minimum dark level was also quite good for an LCD. In addition, the unit we tested tracked close to the 6,500 K (Kelvin) color temperature that's specified by the NTSC standard, which is good news if you plan on watching DVD movies or TV.

One key parameter for fast-moving video and high-frame-rate gaming is the response time. Dell rates the 2405FPW at 12 ms gray-to-gray (from one shade of gray to another). Several action movies we viewed showed no visible signs of smearing or streaking—once we updated the graphics card driver. If you buy one of these, make sure you update your video card with the latest drivers. Games also looked good, and we saw no ghosting even in fast-paced 3D game play.
--

I don't see any reason not to choose the Dell. You aren't going to get much better than a 612:1 contrast ratio and 12ms response time on an LCD.

4. Apr 27, 2005

### gnome

Yes, I saw that PCmag article & I'm leaning very strongly towards the Dell. I'm just a little suspicious -- that price seems almost too good.

Would your answer be any different if I said it was going to be used with a Mac? Actually, it's for my wife; she's about to get a new G5 powerMac so it'll definitely handle the resolution. There's no way I can talk her out of the Mac, but I just can't see any reason to throw out an extra $700 or$800 for the Apple display, can you?

Of course, if it turns out that she hates it, I might just have to *suffer* with it myself.

PS: ExtremeTech gives the Dell a good review too:
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1764458,00.asp

Last edited: Apr 27, 2005
5. Apr 27, 2005

I would check to make sure there will not be any compatibility issues between the Apple video card/driver and this display as far as image-adjustability is concerned. As PCmag said, there are no adjustments on the monitor itself, and so you are at the mercy of the video card and its driver.

And I'm not sure if Dell's 30-day no-questions-asked return policy applies to their monitors or just to their systems.

6. Apr 27, 2005

### gnome

Both good points. I will look into it further. Hopefully there won't be a compatibility problem. Actually the Apple monitor has even less manual (hardware) adjustability than the others, since the Apple has ONLY DVI input. According to what I've read, most fine-tuning of the Apple LCD monitors is done through software, i.e. the driver that comes with MacOS. And the G5 comes with either an Nvidia GeForce FX Ultra or ATI Radeon graphics card, not some proprietary Apple graphics setup, so I'm hoping that the same software that adjusts the Apple monitor (and the Sony -- MacMall also sells Sony monitors with their Mac PCs) should be able to control any LCD with DVI.

7. Apr 27, 2005

### gnome

I spoke to someone at Dell. She said that the 21 day return policy does apply (but I'm not sure I believe her; I'd want to have that in writing). As far as compatibility is concerned, it sounded discouraging. She was (after consulting with someone else) alternating between saying "it won't work" and saying "we don't guarantee that it will work".

Frankly, it doesn't make sense to me. I know the G5 can drive a 1920x1200 monitor, because that is the native resolution of the Apple Cinema widescreen displays AND the Sony SDM-P234/B widescreen display that MacMall sells with Mac G5's. So why shouldn't it drive a 1920x1200 Dell display?

Maybe the Dell technicians were looking at the specs for two graphics adapters used in Dell Notebooks -- the Nvidia GeForce FX Go 5200, and and ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo, both of which apparently do not support 1920x1200 DVI.

But the Power Mac comes with either Nvidia's GeForce FX5200 Ultra or ATI's Radeon 9600XT graphics cards, similar model numbers, but not exactly the same, as the ones used in the Dell notebooks. Presumably the Mac versions of the cards do support that resolution, since they work with the Apple and the Sony monitors. So I guess I may just have to take a chance & hope for the best.

8. Apr 28, 2005

Apple, Honda, and the gilded guarantee

The compatibility answer the Dell rep gave you was a risk-minimization answer. I would not have been discouraged by that answer; but then I would not even have asked a compatibility question whose answer was not already loudly advertised on the product page.

The cards might be same as the cards used in PC machines, but I think the drivers are OS specific. I believe any drivers supplied by Apple in their OS were provided by the video card manufacturers (meaning that they provide customized drivers for big customers like Apple, etc.). I think it will more than likely work when you plug it in, but there is a smaller but still significant chance that little compatibility issues will come up that will require (MacOS specific) video card driver updates to remedy. So, if you are going to ask a company some questions about compatibility, I think you should most appropiately ask ATI and/or nVidia. It really is no one else's business but theirs whether or not this Dell monitor works with Apple computers that use ATI and nVidia graphics cards.

I think a major issue here might be psychological instead of technical. People tend to like to feel, when they shell out significant resources on major acquisitions, that they have gotten the very best. Some persons like to feel this much more than others. If they save money by getting something generic, there may be a continuous nagging doubt over whether they really got the very best. I saw Jurassic Park in a multiplex theater in the early nineties when digital sound was still a very new thing. The movie was playing on multiple screens and I mentioned to the stranger next to me -- while talking about Jurassic Park's technical innovations like digital sound -- that that particular multiplex only had one digital-sound screen, and that ours was not it. I think I might have ruined the movie for him, even though the sound -- to me -- was as excellent as I could imagine movie sound could be.

I think you're going to have to decide if your wife is going to be able to handle nagging maybe-didn't-get-the-very-best doubts or waiting-for-driver-updates issues. And I think you may not be able to rely on her explicit answers since she may not consciously know how things like that really affect her.

Personally, my policy is to not push people's buttons -- especially buttons they don't consciously know they have. And of course I don't know anything about your wife, but a big clue to me that a person leans toward spending extra to avoid stress-inducing hassles is an attraction to Apple computers. (If she drives a Honda, I would think that is another clue.) $800 might be cheap for the peace-of-mind an all-Apple system might be able give your wife. If, one the other hand, I was absolutely sure I was married to a practical-minded person who had a strong appreciation for resourcefulness over gilded-guarantees then I would lean toward the Dell monitor instead. 9. Apr 28, 2005 ### hitssquad Apple, Honda, and the gilded guarantee The compatibility answer the Dell rep gave you was a risk-minimization answer. I would not have been discouraged by that answer; but then I would not even have asked a compatibility question whose answer was not already loudly advertised on the product page. The cards might be same as the cards used in PC machines, but I think the drivers are OS specific. I believe any drivers supplied by Apple in their OS were provided by the video card manufacturers (meaning that they provide customized drivers for big customers like Apple, etc.). I think it will more than likely work when you plug it in, but that there is a smaller but still significant chance that little compatibility issues will come up that will require (MacOS specific) video card driver updates to remedy. So, if you are going to ask a company some questions about compatibility, I think you should most appropiately ask ATI and/or nVidia. It really is no one else's business but theirs whether or not this Dell monitor works with Apple computers that use ATI and nVidia graphics cards. I think a major issue here might be psychological instead of technical. People tend to like to feel, when they shell out significant resources on major acquisitions, that they have gotten the very best. Some persons like to feel this much more than others. If they save money by getting something generic, there may be a continuous nagging doubt over whether they really got the very best. I saw Jurassic Park in a multiplex theater in the early nineties when digital sound was still a very new thing. The movie was playing on multiple screens and I mentioned to the stranger next to me -- while talking about Jurassic Park's technical innovations like digital sound -- that that particular multiplex only had one digital-sound screen, and that ours was not it. I think I might have ruined the movie for him, even though the sound -- to me -- was as excellent as I could imagine movie sound could be. I think you're going to have to decide if your wife is going to be able to handle nagging maybe-didn't-get-the-very-best doubts or waiting-for-driver-updates issues. And I think you may not be able to rely on her explicit answers since she may not consciously know how things like that really affect her. Personally, my policy is to not push people's buttons -- especially buttons they don't consciously know they have. And of course I don't know anything about your wife, but a big clue to me that a person leans toward spending extra to avoid stress-inducing hassles is an attraction to Apple computers. (If she drives a Honda, I would think that is another clue.)$800 might be cheap for the peace-of-mind an all-Apple system might be able give your wife. If, one the other hand, I was absolutely sure I was married to a practical-minded person who had a strong appreciation for resourcefulness over gilded-guarantees then I would lean toward the Dell monitor instead.

10. Apr 29, 2005

### gnome

I don't give up that easily. I don't believe everything I read, nor everything that I am told. I take information from any reasonable source & then make my own evaluation. Usually, that works out well for me. In this case, I asked the question specifically because the information on the product page ["Compatibility: PC"] seemed incorrect. And since I didn't like the answer I got from Dell's sales dept., that evening I had a long conversation with one of their tech support people, who later got back to me stating that the monitor IS compatible with a Mac G5.

So yesterday morning I ordered one. Turns out that they were no longer offering the $999 sale price; it's now back up to$1199, but they sold it to me for \$999 anyway. And the salesman that I got this time said "Yeah, they told us it's not compatible with Macs, but one of my friends is using one with his Mac and he's had no problems." So, we'll see. Probably it'll be fine.

Of course, but the drivers you're referring to provide an interface between the OS and the video card. They're not monitor-specific. The video card should be able to work with a "generic" monitor as long as the interface, resolution, sync rate, etc, are compatible. This is why I was so unwilling to accept the incompatibility claim in the first place. If the monitor itself needed it's own driver software, that would normally be provided by the monitor manufacturer. So, I might be more reluctant to buy an Apple monitor to use with a non-Apple OS, on the theory that the monitor itself might depend on some software that's only available in Apple's OS. (I don't know that this is the case; I'm only offering it as a possibility.) I would not expect that to be the case with a Dell monitor.

Did you get all of this out of my one-liner about "if she hates it..."? That's certainly a hell of a lot to read into one little snide comment. This may be your issue; it's certainly not mine, or my wife's.

Seems to me that "pushing buttons" is exactly what most of your last post was about. And by the way, there are legitimate professional reasons for buying Apples; Apple users aren't all technophobes afraid of being stressed by their computers.