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  1. #1

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    27" iMac vs. 30" Apple Cinema Display
    I know that a lot of folks are very excited about the new 27" iMac...especially because of the humongous display! I'm not sure if anyone has made any comparisons yet here on the forum...and since I was curious I looked into it.

    The resolution on each display is:

    - 27" iMac 2560 x 1440
    - 30" Cinema Display 2560 x 1600

    Brightness on each display:

    - 27" iMac 375 cd/m2
    - 30" Cinema Display 400 cd/m2

    One of the downsides to the 30" Apple Cinema display is it's response time. Response time is one of those specs which can be important to some folks...especially those that prefer smooth action when playing games, watching videos, or viewing DVD's.

    Since the 30" Apple Cinema display was first released in 2004...it's response time of 16ms (milliseconds) is kind of slow...compared to most LCD display's today, which are usually around 5ms.

    Response times for Apple displays are not always the easiest to find (since Apple does not publish them). So getting one on the new 27" iMac is tough to find since it is still a very new item. I search & searched, and couldn't find a spec. on it. But...since it's such a new computer...I'm going to guess that the response time for the 27" iMac monitor is going to be better than the 16ms for the 30" Apple Cinema Display.

    Response time:

    - 27" iMac TBD (to be determined)
    - 30" Apple Cinema Display 16ms

    In my searching I came across an interesting article...which mentioned that both the 30" Apple Cinema Display & the 27" iMac display are made from "IPS" panels which are supposed to be the best panel type for:

    "giving the best viewing angle and the least color- and brightness-shifting as the angle increases in any direction.

    Here's the full article:

    The curious pricing of the 27" iMac

    ...versus "TN" type display panels which are less expensive than IPS panels...but TN panels have faster response times.

    Here's an link explaining the different types of display panels used in LCD displays:

    LCD Panel Technology Explained - S-IPS, H-IPS, S-PVA, MVA and TN

    Cost:

    - 27" iMac $1699 (low end model)
    - 30" Apple Cinema Display $1799

    The bottom line is the 27" iMac with a screen resolution of 2560 x 1440 vs. the 30" Apple Cinema Display at 2560 x 1600 has the same amount of pixels horizontally, and only 160 pixels less vertically...thus it works out that the 27" iMac has 90% of the pixels (or screen real estate) of the 30" display!

    And at only $100 less than the 30" display (the low end 27" iMac)...you get a "kick butt" fully operational computer...plus a keyboard, mouse, and remote control!!!

    Seems like you get quite a "bang for the buck" with the 27" iMac vs. the 30" Apple Cinema Display!

    Maybe this will force a price reduction for the 30" Apple Cinema Display!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  2. #2

    Sur3Mac's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 03, 2009
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    Late 2011 MBP 13" i5/16GB RAM,Early 2007 MB white 13", 2x TV 3rd Gen, ᣦ
    I just read that the 2006 model of the 24" iMac had a response time of 6ms,
    so it has to be the same or better.

    Loved reading your post Nick

  3. #3

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    U.S.
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    35,381
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sur3Mac View Post
    I just read that the 2006 model of the 24" iMac had a response time of 6ms,
    so it has to be the same or better.
    Hey thanks for adding that detail! That would certainly be a reasonable benchmark for the 27" iMac to follow!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jul 14, 2008
    Location
    Scotland, UK
    Posts
    675
    Specs:
    nMP 6-core/32Gb/D700/512Gb: rMBP 15" 2.3GHz/16Gb/512Gb: iPhone 6 128Gb: iPad Air 2 128Gb: NEC PA322U
    The iMac also uses LED technology which is also better than the CCFL found in the 20,23 & 30" ACDs.

    Just wish the 27" iMac was available when I bought my Mac Pro and 30" ACD. Would've been a much better choice.

    The only apps I use on my MP are; Firefox, iTunes, eyeTV 3, Spotify, Aperture and Photoshop (trying to learn Dw & Fl) - hardly demanding for the spec of either machines...

  5. #5

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
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    35,381
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by martyp View Post
    Just wish the 27" iMac was available when I bought my Mac Pro and 30" ACD. Would've been a much better choice.
    Yeah...the price tag on your Mac Pro & 30" ACD was probably a lot higher than a dual-core or quad-core 27" iMac.

    But hey...you still have one heck of a nice setup there!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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