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Difference between DVI and Dual Link DVI


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#1 of 42 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 26 2009 - 12:46 AM

I am still sitting on the fence, despite warnings, to purchase
a 40" LCD television to use as a computer monitor.

There are a lot of people who are doing this and reporting
positive results.

Here is the display I am looking at

If any of you think this is an awful idea please continue to talk
me out of it.

Here's my question...

If I do this, I will need a DVI to HDMI adapter cable to hook up
my Mac Pro to the LCD TV.

The problem is, I am pretty sure I have TWO dual DVI connections
on the back of my Mac Pro.

Is there a difference between DVI and DUAL DVI?

I only have to use one of the two DUAL DVI ports?

What is the name of the cable I need? DVI TO HDMI or
DVI-D TO HDMI?


Thanks in advance

Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 42 DaveF

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Posted January 26 2009 - 01:21 AM

Choice of monitor is pretty personal; I used to favor maximum DPI but now prefer a balanced resolution. That is, in grad school I ran a 17" CRT at 1600x1200, to have maximum information density. Eventually, I found that tiresome and now thorougly appreciate the balance of 1440x900 on a 15" laptop or 1680x1050 on a 20" desktop. In both cases, I've got a lower pixel DPI than I did 10 years ago on a 17" CRT, but it's the right balance for in resolution and ease of reading for me.

I don't see the benefit it using 1920x1080 40" LCD over a 2560 x 1600 30" LCD, but if it suits you, enjoy.

Regarding Dual-Link DVI:
Quote:
All new Mac Pro systems support two Apple Cinema Displays, including dual-link DVI for one 30-inch model. Support for two 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays requires two dual-link DVI ports — available in configurations with either the ATI Radeon X1900 XT or the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 — or by installing an additional NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT card. Support for more than two displays requires installation of one or more additional NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT cards.
DVI drives "normal" resolutions, up to around 1920x1080. Dual-link DVI is required for the very high resolution of the 30". For this LCD, I think you'll only need one of your two DVI outputs.

As for the type of DVI cable, if nothing else, looking at a place like monoprice.com and sending them an email. These cables should be just what you need.

#3 of 42 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 26 2009 - 02:25 AM

Dave,

I respect your opinions and you are always helpful.

Help me understand why it is not a good idea going from a 30"
Dell Monitor to a 40" LCD television.

(You may want to look at the TV specs I provided in my first post)

What will I lose? Sharpness? Detail?

Ronald J Epstein
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#4 of 42 DaveF

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Posted January 26 2009 - 08:09 AM

You're losing resolution. The 40" LCD is 1920 x 1080; the 30" Cinema Display is 2560 x 1600. This is 2,073,600 vs 4,096,000 pixels. (or 2 mega-pixels vs 4 mega-pixels, if you will). You can have much larger spreadsheets on the 30" display; you can have many more windows, a larger dock, etc. (and if OS X ever gets resolution independence, this monitor will be the monitor to have; but that's still pie-in-the-sky). I'd kill to have this at work; it would probably be overkill for me at home.

Maybe this doesn't matter to you. You've lived with the 30" for a while and maybe it's overkill. My dad has a 20" laptop with the 1440x900 screen -- the same as my 15" MBP -- and he loves it. You might find a larger screen with lower resolution more comfortable to use.

I'm ignorant on the color quality, refresh rate, etc of the Cinema Display vs. a mid-range TV. I'd expect that Apple's former flag-ship monitor, used by creative professionals, would be higher quality than a bedroom TV, but I don't really know.

I guess I'd ask why you want to use a 40" TV as your computer monitor? Why will it be better for you?

#5 of 42 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 26 2009 - 09:17 AM

Dave,

What it all comes down to is grandeur.

If I could have a 100' computer monitor staring me in the
face I would do it in a heartbeat.

It's funny. I moved up the ladder to a 30" monitor, and really it
probably is the perfect and most safest size to go with.

However, the prospect of going 40" has become a real curiousity
for me. I love the idea of going up another 10" and being able
to open all my windows fully across the entire real estate I have
before me.

The problem is, I sit a mere 2ft feet away from the screen. I am
probably going to do some real eye strain with a 40" display.

I am really not sure what to do here. I can get a highly rated
Samsung 40" display for a good price. I have done extensive
reading on the Internet from people who use LCD dislays for
computer monitors and they seem to be very happy. However
I don't know what viewing distance they use. Is it a desktop piece
or is it a living room piece?

As I said, it would be friggin' amazing to have a 40" computer
monitor that I could open a multitude of windows upon across its
vast open space.

I would think anyone would find that compelling. I just really need
to know if there is a huge downside to it all.

Thanks, as always, for your input, Dave.

Ronald J Epstein
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#6 of 42 Keith Plucker

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Posted January 26 2009 - 12:53 PM

Wow...2 feet seems really close for a 40 inch display. I was under the impression that most of the people doing this were generally 3 to 4 feet back. Could you mount the TV on a wall to save a little desk space and move it back a bit?

I currently have my MacBook hooked up to my 50" Pioneer Kuro. My MacBook is on a computer cart with my printer, external HD, UPS, keyboard, mouse, etc. so it is easy to move around. Sometimes I use the MacBook's screen and sometimes I use the Kuro.

It is really nice to kick back on the sofa with a wireless keyboard and mouse to surf the web or watch Hulu or Netflix streaming content. Of course I am 8-10 feet away when using the Kuro.

And, like DaveF mentions, while the 40 inch display will be large, you will actually be seeing less information than on your 30 inch display because of its higher resolution.

Its a tough call. Can you return it if you decide you don't like it?

-Keith
As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. - Hunter S. Thompson, 1958, from cover letter he wrote for a newspaper job.


#7 of 42 nolesrule

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Posted January 26 2009 - 02:24 PM

Ron, at 40 inches you are more than exceeding your usable field of view, especially at that distance. Rather than getting a larger monitor, I would recommend a 2nd monitor if you feel you are in need of more screen real estate. That way you are expanding laterally only, and that fits better with the way the eyes, brain (heck, even your neck) work. Also, Dave's spot-on regarding resolutions, where TVs are designed to max out at HD resolutions. In order to get more screen real estate on a larger monitor and keep text/images the same size, you need a higher resolution.

Bigger isn't always better. It's all in how you plan to use it. Isn't that what we tell people in regards to home theater purchases? Posted Image

#8 of 42 DaveF

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Posted January 26 2009 - 02:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
Dave,

What it all comes down to is grandeur.
...

However, the prospect of going 40" has become a real curiousity
for me. I love the idea of going up another 10" and being able
to open all my windows fully across the entire real estate I have
before me.
Ironically, you'll have less real estate -- fewer open windows spread across the screen -- on that 40" than on your 30". For computers, "real estate" means pixels. The 40" has 50% the pixels of the 30" and thus can show 50% of the information.

The 40" may be a better display for you, but be clear: it's a substantial step back in usable computer desktop display space.

Now, with that Mac Pro, with two video cards, you can use both. If you prefer the TV, you're set. And you could sell the Apple display in a heartbeat, or make a friend/relative's year with a phenomenal gift. And if not, you've got a great bedroom TV Posted Image

To make a poor comparison, it's like hearing someone say they're replacing their 50" Kuro with a 60" Vizio LCD because it's bigger. It's not just about the diagonal inches... Posted Image

#9 of 42 Ken Chan

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Posted January 26 2009 - 07:32 PM

Ron, borrow a 24" monitor. Most have 1920x1200 pixels, about the same as that TV. Now imagine that screen stretched to 40" -- you don't see more, but everything is bigger. That's what you'd see. You can hook up both the 30" and 24" at the same time to compare.

If you can't borrow a 24", find some 1920x1200 wallpaper. Use it centered on the screen. Now move/resize all your windows so that they fit onto the wallpaper. You'll have to use your imagination for the menu bar and Dock (or find someone's screen capture of their 1920x1200 desktop, like this one). That's the difference in screen real estate.

Quote:
with that Mac Pro, with two video cards, you can use both
He has dual dual-DVI (commonly used to drive two 30"s): he shouldn't need another card.

#10 of 42 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 27 2009 - 09:35 PM

I had a talk with my business partner, Parker, last evening.

The most simplistic explanation he gave -- and I had to see it to
understand it -- was that I currently get 2560x1600 resolution on
my 30" monitor.

He said on the 40" LCD TV, I will not be able to get that resolution.

So, everything you guys said about larger icons and windows all
makes sense now.

It doesn't really look like the industry is interested in pushing monitors
above the 30" mark. I suppose the only alternative would be to get
two 20" monitors and run them together, as has been suggested. I
will certainly consider that option.

Do you guys think that buying two of the new Apple 24" displays
would do the trick? The only thing that bothers me is the cost factor
of doing this. I am sure those monitors are close to $1k each.

Ronald J Epstein
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#11 of 42 ErichH

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Posted January 28 2009 - 12:02 AM

A 2nd 30 makes for a nice setup Posted Image
The Apple 24s are way overpriced IMO. 2 Dell 2407s can be had for under 1000 new, and keep you in a respectable 1920 rez.

#12 of 42 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 28 2009 - 12:04 AM

Eric,

I absolutely agree that the Apple displays are overpriced. However,
they are glossy and LED backlit.

If you know of something comparable please let me know.

Thanks!

Ronald J Epstein
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#13 of 42 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 28 2009 - 01:43 AM

Looking at the new 24" Apple display I don't think this thing
even has a DVI hookup. It seems (and I may be wrong) it is
only made for the current Macbook and Mac Air.

The closest thing I could find is Dell's offering HERE

Ronald J Epstein
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#14 of 42 DaveF

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Posted January 28 2009 - 01:53 AM

Ron,
Everything you're considering is doable and can be a good solution for the appropriate problem. The question is what problem are you trying to solve? Posted Image How does the 30" hinder your personal and professional work?

Two 24" monitors is different from one 30" monitor, and I think the "right" decision depends on your usage. For my work, I have 2x20" and would like to have 2x24". Having tasks and applications separated on separated monitors feels right; even better would be a 3x24" setup. I really think that dual monitor, 24" setup, is great. But for personal (home) use, I'd prefer the single 30".

If it's about more computer bling, get a second 30". Nothing beats dual-30" LCDs. Screw the LCD backlighting and mini-display port, you need 2560x3200 pixels (~8 Mega-pixel display) Posted Image

There's the matter of how things look to you. I think you're a youngish guy, so you probably don't mind the smaller icons and buttons of higher resolution displays. But if things on the 30" seem too small, then 2x24" may feel better to you -- less eyestrain.

If "watching DVDs" is part of your professional work, having both a 30" LCD and a 40" TV might be appropriate for you. You can watch a proper 16x9 movie while doing computer work related to the movie (review, analysis, etc.)

You could even have a 30" flanked by two 24" monitors. Doesn't the Mac Pro support as many as four monitors? You can go nuts, depending your desires and budget.

#15 of 42 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 28 2009 - 02:02 AM

Oh, Dave, I'm not really certain why I am doing this.

Yes, the 30" is fine, but the REAL problem is that I want a
glossy display. There is no 30" glossy at the moment.

The Dell Monitor I referenced above may or may not be glossy
(I can't tell) but the reviews indicate it provides eye-popping colors
which is what I want.

My Mac Pro only supports two monitors. So, the best bet for me
would be 2x24. Two dual 30" monitors would be complete overkill
for my desk, and, I remind you about the lack of gloss.

At this point I am just looking at all my options.

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#16 of 42 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 28 2009 - 02:59 AM

Spent the last two hours researching 24" glossy displays.

The verdict is that there really aren't many, or any that match
the new Mac 24" display.

The Mac 24" display lacks DVI inputs. If there are adapters out
there I could use to hook it up, I would consider buying two.

However, one of the best rated glossy 24" displays is this
HP W2408H

Ronald J Epstein
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#17 of 42 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 28 2009 - 04:14 AM

Hey Dave (or anyone),

Another question...

You have experience with dual displays.

How is the continuity of the background screen and dock between
two displays when you have the interference of the two outer frames
that separate and connect the two monitors?

Do you really notice that separation/interference when looking at
both displays as one?

Ronald J Epstein
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#18 of 42 Christian Behrens

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Posted January 28 2009 - 04:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
How is the continuity of the background screen and dock between two displays when you have the interference of the two outer frames that separate and connect the two monitors?
One of the displays will be the "main" display which will show the show the menu bar and dock, the second (and third and fourth) display will just show the background picture you selected (and whatever icons you have dragged to it). So the dock and menu do not go over two displays, but are fixed to one display (which you can select and change as needed).

Putting another graphics card into your Mac Pro would allow you to drive more than two displays, btw. And sooner or later we'll see adapters that allow the use of the new Apple displays on DVI as well, I guess. But of course you're not exactly known as patient, Ron Posted Image.

-Christian
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Benjamin Franklin)

#19 of 42 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 28 2009 - 04:46 AM

Quote:
But of course you're not exactly known as patient, Ron

You guys know me too well. Posted Image

The decision I have made is to wait.

The HP Monitor looks exceptional. However, it is comprised of a lower
quality panel, and, the color adjustments can only be made through
Windows software.

I think....I think....I will wait for the price of the Apple 24" displays
to drop another $200 and an adapter that will permit me to hook them
up to my Mac Pro via DVI-D.

This will certainly be worth the wait as everything that I have researched
over the past few hours shows that no other manufacturer has a glossy
24" display that matches the quality of the Apple display.

....and there is always the hope of a 30" glossy display one day.

Thanks for all the assistance, guys.

Ronald J Epstein
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#20 of 42 DaveF

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Posted January 28 2009 - 07:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
Hey Dave (or anyone),

Another question...

You have experience with dual displays.

How is the continuity of the background screen and dock between
two displays when you have the interference of the two outer frames
that separate and connect the two monitors?

Do you really notice that separation/interference when looking at
both displays as one?
With my Mac, I have a 15" MBP and a 17" CRT; there is no continuity Posted Image It's akin to this picture.

My work setup is two identical 20" LCDs side by side. Same brightnes, color, resolution. They aren't side-by-side flush, but angled and tilted up slightly so there is a V-gap between them. It's a bit like this, but with identical monitors. Dual monitor always involves some compromise, but I really like it. I've done dual since grad school, where having one screen with analysis and another with my thesis was a dramatic breakthrough in efficiency.

Since glossy is the key, I see the particular value in 2x24", since there's no Apple glossy 30". But this is an awkward time with the new mini Display Port on the LCD and it's relatively high price. It's typical Apple, though, dead gorgeous and such a match to the new MBP line!


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