View Full Version : Twin 23" are One 30"--what is best value?

2005-10-28, 06:55
Given the current Apple Cinema prices (or if you prefer, Dell monitors), I am curious given that 2 23" cost about the same as one 30", what is 'better value'? I am using it for business/home use which includes:

1. Large Excel spreadsheets for work and very large PPT presentations (often bigger than 10 MBs.) I often need to display several at the same time.
2. Lot's of different Aps open at any one time necessating a lot of real estate.
3. FCE as I analyze a lot of film for sports teams I coach
4. VPC. . .need to connect to my home server and run Quicken 2003 in Windows given how complex my Quicken data is and cannot convert it to Mac version as it is not powerful enough.
5. EyeTV (just got this and I am really impressed--Apple should buy this company.)

For shear real estate, seems like twin 23" is best as I can display more but I admit I am intriqued by just having one screen on my desk.

I am curious if others have analayzed this same issue.

Also, if I opt for the 30", is there another vendor I should consider (could not find a Dell option.)

2005-10-28, 07:05
It depends on what kind of computer you're using to drive it.

30" = 2560x1600 or about 4 megapixels

23"x2 = 1920x1200x2 or about 4.6 megapixels.

You have slightly more pixels, spread across a larger area with the 2 display setup. I think it's more convenient, however, to look at just one display. But can your video card drive the 30" ?

Best deal is probably a Dell 23" however. I would be tempted to start with one 23" display. I think spreadsheets will easily be lost amidst the vastness of the 30"

2005-10-28, 07:10
New Quad with 6600 and 4 GB of RAM. Not sure driving it will be a problem.

2005-10-28, 08:15
It's kinda like deciding if you want to partition a hard drive. It depends how you intend to use it.

Think of the 30" display with a big two inch unusable stripe down the middle. Would you want to do everything on either side of the stripe? Personally, if I could afford it, I'd go for the 30" so I could display 5-megapixel photos at their native resolution. I've had dual displays before and prefer one big one instead. You might prefer to use one display for work and the other for play, or something like that.

2005-10-28, 08:35
When the difference is so small as 4 megapixels vs 4.6 megapixels, single big screen all the way.

Of course the Apple 23":s are pretty awful, so you might want to compare the 30" to better smaller screens. People have been posting $800 special offers for the Dell 24", so if you can take advantage on one of those, that makes it $1600 for dual quality 24", whereas the 30" was $2500 right?

2005-10-28, 08:42
It's a similar choice between 2x 20" and 1x 23". I went for 2x 20" as two screens suits my style of working better. I may add a 7800 and a 23" later. Now that would be a beast of a machine!

2005-10-28, 12:51
2xDell24" my friend !

2005-10-28, 14:09
Are the "pink hue" problems with the 23" fixed with this new update?? I'd say get the 30" because it takes up less space than two 23", the image quality is better and because not many people have one ;)

Apple Corps
2005-10-28, 14:17
Good comments already made. In addition to those, look at screen area per $$. I went with two 20" displays versus a single 23" - and added another card to drive my "original" ACD 22" - more area for the $$.

Also, my "smaller" screens are free from dead pixels - may be a higher risk for dead pixels as you move to a single larger screen.

I think the best answer for you must be based on your preferences / use.

Franz Josef
2005-10-28, 15:27
EyeTV (just got this and I am really impressed--Apple should buy this company.)Agreed - Elgato are a great bunch of guys. They're a German outfit and Apple have done just the next best thing - the Elgato CEO has just left to head up Apple Germany. I'm sure we can expect more good things.

2005-10-29, 14:28
I'd like the 30" display to be able to be "partitioned" so that software would recognize it as two monitors - say a 20" main monitor and a 10" pallette's monitor. I don't like it when an image is maximized, say, in Photoshop and it takes up the whole 30" screen, covering the pallettes.

My solution was to get a 30" and a 20" screen. I'm going to feel like Captain Kirk!

2005-10-29, 14:48
Im getting one Dell 24"
Sounds like you would be fine with one 30"..
if you were doing dual screen apps such as final cut pro, maya, after effects I'd see more reason to dual monitors..

2005-10-30, 00:49
it depends a lot on how you're going to use it. for me, i use a lot of adobe apps and they are very pallette heavy (as are dreamweaver and flash). i personally prefer two screens so i can have a very visually distinct seperation between the content and the applications pallettes. this is especially important in photoshop (where i do a lot of my work). because if you use the fullscreen views of photoshop, no matter how big the screen is, the pallettes will overlap the image to some degree. i really dislike having the pallettes all over the image. it just looks cluttered to me and it makes it harder for me to target the pallettes when i need them.

also, any time you watch video, it's very nice to be able to "full screen" view the video on one screen while you continue to work on the other. that's a huge difference to me as well. that's why i have a sony 24" hooked up to my powerbook and another sony 24" in the mail right now for when i get my new powermac.

2005-10-30, 23:56
Last week I got 2 dell 24"s, for not much more than one Apple 23" and it was a lot less than the Apple 30". They both look great and have 3 year warranty. The 30" is impressive but not worth the extra cash I can get ram with! It was well worth going with the dell... I love apple but the 35% dell discount was to good to pass up!

check www.barefeats.com for more info!

2005-10-31, 07:55
Seems that Dell discount isn't there anymore. :( Did I just miss it?

2005-10-31, 11:36

The 35% off special is back on with the Dell 24" Wide Aspect LCD Flat Panel Display. Support Bare Feats by clicking OUR DELL LINK then add coupon code 69$8KC79D53S2H after you put it in your shopping cart. Your net cost will about about $779. (Meanwhile, Apple has dropped the price on the 23" Cinema to $1299 and the 30" Cinema to $2499.)

use there dell link!


2005-10-31, 12:11
I cannot get the webpage to load. Is there a problem?

2005-10-31, 12:11
Works for me.

2005-10-31, 12:24
Works for me.

I get to the area to put the coupon in, put it in (cut and paste) but it does not change the price.


2005-10-31, 14:18
i called in the order to them to make sure it would work on 2 monitors...


2005-10-31, 14:24
i called in the order to them to make sure it would work on 2 monitors...


I jsut called Dell now and they told me the deal expired on Oct. 27th ?????

2005-10-31, 14:32
I jsut called Dell now and they told me the deal expired on Oct. 27th ?????

There's deals like that one floating around all the time. Dell tries to give stuff away like it's going out of style. Wait a few weeks (days?) and you'll find another deal, especially with the Christmas shopping season coming up. Also, check DealMac (http://www.dealmac.com) every day for stuff like this. They frequently have deals for the Dell line of monitors available.

2005-10-31, 16:36
The Dell link doesn't work for me either. I am thinking it might have something to do with my "hosts" file edited to send junk to on my Mac....

2005-10-31, 17:43
The Dell link doesn't work for me either. I am thinking it might have something to do with my "hosts" file edited to send junk to on my Mac....

No. . .see my earlier post. The deal expired on 10/27.

2005-10-31, 18:39
No. . .see my earlier post. The deal expired on 10/27.
Wow, missed that one...Well that would explain it. :\

2005-11-01, 12:08
Actually, I've had that happen to me too. I've probably got the same or very similar hosts list as you have and sometimes clicking on a link will shortly redirect me to an advertiser's page (presumably so they can gather more hits and make more money off the advertiser). So sometimes I get stuck in the middle and I have to find a way around it.

But like I said, these deals are the rule, not the exception. You should never have to pay full price for a Dell display. If there's no deal going on right now, wait a week or so and it'll be back. As I said before, check DealMac (http://www.dealmac.com) frequently and you'll find a ton of deals.

2005-11-03, 19:32
I have been analyzing the same problem for a few months, and this is what I have discovered:

The Apple 30" monitor is a "no-compromises" monitor -- developed for those who want maximum productivity with one display. The best reason to purchase the 30" display is that it provides 1600 lines of horizontal resolution without rotating it. Productivity will increase because resizing and scrolling are irrelevant with this monitor -- you can view everything at 100% or better. You could have a similar amount of work area by rotating two 1600x1200 monitors (2400x1600), or two 1920x1200 units (2400x1920), but the compromise is the gap between the displays. If you can live with the space between the monitors, consider two HP L2035 displays. Retail is $799 on the business site of hp.com. The bezel design of the HP display is similar to Apple's and the price is similar to Dell's. If you must have the 23", no monitor beats the Dell 24" because in addition to rotating, it has a wealth of inputs and the multi-card reader on the side of the monitor. HP has a 23" monitor, too -- the L2335.

For reference -- http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/monitors/tft/index.html

When evaluating monitors, I took into account that I view a lot of PDF's and end up printing them because they are too frustrating to read on displays below 1600x1200. Too much scrolling and resizing. When I rotated the monitors to 1200x1600, I was in heaven. I could view PDF's just as well as a printed sheet of paper, and the amount of scrolling needed for most websites I view was eliminated. I thought I found my answer. But, I had to give up the fantastic width of 1600 vertical lines. With a pivoting 1920x1200 monitor, the same 1200-line limitation will manifest, but you will have 1920 horizontal lines when pivoted.

If you want to run the 30" on a PC, I have found only two dual link DVI cards that can drive the monitor at 2560x1600 -- the ATI Radeon 9600 Pro PC & Mac Edition (AGP 8x, about $199) and the Matrox Parhelia DL256 PCI graphics card. The Matrox is significant because it works in any PCI or PCI-X equipped PC and will run the 30" at full digital resolution. But, it costs $699. ATI and NVIDIA want similar money for their Mac cards, so it all depends on if you want to run the monitor on a PC or a Mac (or both). You may find a good deal through PriceGrabber.com or PriceWatch.com.

If you want to run dedicated systems and VirtualPC is not viable for you, I located a KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch that can switch a dual link DVI monitor between two systems. The Gefen Dual Link DVI + USB KVM. A review for that device is here -- http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2573.

After writing all that, you just helped me make my decision. You could:

Get a Mac with a 30" and run VirtualPC on it. (My decision)

Get the 30" with either the ATI or Matrox card and run it on the PC. Enjoy the monitor without buying a PowerMac.

Get two 20" HP or Dell 1600x1200 monitors, rotate them and live with the gap and money saved

Get two 23" HP or 24" Dell 1920x1200 monitors, rotate them and live with the gap.

I hope some of that helps.

ALSO -- if you want to get the Apple 30" display for $2299 instead of $2499, get cozy with a local, state or federal employee and have that person sponsor your purchase through apple.com or 800-MY APPLE.