1 Reply Latest reply: Nov 14, 2012 5:49 AM by Anders O
ima747s Level 1 (0 points)

I'm looking at some major screen upgrades and I've narrowed it down to the Apple Cinema Display 27" refurb or the HP ZR30w with some rebates and discounts. Looking for pros-cons I may have missed.


I need to run 3 of whichever I choose off a 5770 in a mac pro.

looking to spend an absolute maximum of 1k per display, since there's 3 savings add up fast...

I don't need flawless color reproduction, or anything else super specific.

I would like to do some gaming on them.

I don't care if they're glossy or not so long as they're clear (reflections aren't an issue in my space).

I tend to prefer 16:10 to 16:9, but it's really not a big deal either way so long as the pixel count is high.

I intend to run them at native res only, no other devices connected.


So here's my findings so far:

ACD 27" pros:

If I go with refurbs they're about $70 cheaper

Apple branded which is always nice for pairing with a mac

LED back light (and lower power draw as a result)

Better color accuracy

Includes speakers and iSight (both include USB hub)


ACD 27" notable cons (besides spec differences such as size):

I need to get a second video card or a DVI-D to MDP adapter (about $70) to plug in 3

I need extenders for the MDP and USB connectors to reach the computer


ZR30w pros:

more pixels and more physical space at 16:10 (that's what a big screen is for afterall...)

much lower response time

MDP and DVI-D connectors so no need for adapters or extenders



No monitor is perfect, wondering specifically if anyone has experience with both displays and would care to share their thoughts. Am I missing anything specific in regards to config (if you put 3 ZR30w in a room they fight and break tables and chairs while you sleep? or more realistically the 5770 can't push native res to all 3 at once, or something along those lines). In a multihead array the thickness of the border on the screens starts to matter, is the border on either excessively wide? etc.

Mac Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1)
  • Anders O Level 1 (0 points)

    For what is it worth I am having the exact same considerations and just ordered the HP.



    • Prefer 16:10 over 16:9
    • Prefer 30" over 27" even if it just means that the pixels are slightly bigger (101 PPI vs 109 PPI) since horizontal resolution is identical. 2560 is a high horizontal resolution, so it's actually nice to stretch that just a little wider. Squeezing it in on a 27" is a little similar to users not really getting that much benefit from the iPad 3 and 4's high retina resolutions.
    • No reflection issues (which are quite serious in most environments)
    • Because it annoys me that Apple didn't just add a MiniDisplay-port to the Thunderbolt display and instead made them two different monitors. I would have liked a monitor that I could use both with my PC and with a Thunderbolt Mac.


    I much prefer the design of the Apple Display and this was a major issue for me. But in the end it wasn't enough to sway me.


    I am used to working with two 30" Samsungs side-by-side and the thickness of the border is about the same as the HP. Not a problem, really. From my visits in the Apple Store, I would say that the border on the Apple Display is actually a bit wider, but not excessively so, so not a major concern.