HDMI & MiniDisplayPort versions

MWhite

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Mike
I have a gracefully aging mid-2010 PowerMac (the cheese grater; 24GB). It runs OS 10.14 well. It also does a good job editing with LR, PS, and Affinity. Last year the graphics card died and I replaced it with a Sapphire HD 7950 3GB card. The card has an HDMI port (v 1.4), two mini DisplayPorts (v1.2), and a DVI port. My main monitor is an Apple Cinema HD Display which I bought used - I think it is probably 10-15 years old. So far, so good except that a replacement for the system is going to be needed sooner or later; it will not run the 10.15 OS - no big loss, IMHO. I also have an even older NEC LCD monitor running on this system. (I really like the extra real estate!)

Last week I got my ColorMunki (i1) colorimeter out and decided to calibrate the two monitors. The problem is that even after much gnashing of teeth, downloading i1's new software, the Apple monitor's color does not match the NEC. Or perhaps the NEC doesn't match the Apple's. I can't decide which is more accurate. (The Apple monitor is more yellow than the NEC's bluer tones.) So, I started pondering a new monitor (i.e., a BenQ). The BenQ has HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C input. BUT it has the newer and faster versions of HDMI (i.e., v2.0) and DisplayPort (i.e., v1.4).

This prompts two questions:
1. The graphics card output will be slower than the monitor can accept. The monitor will probably work fine just not as fast. Given that I don't play video games this shouldn't be a problem, I think. Right? Or will I notice?

2. The other is a more digitally existential question. If I get the monitor, I'll want to use it with a future computer. But there is absolutely no way that I'll get a new PowerMac. Their estimated prices are not to be believed. I could use it with a PC, but I haven't used one of those for a long, long time and some of my software would have to be replaced. Are those of you with all in one iMacs happy with them? How well do their screens calibrate? Do any of you use a second monitor with your iMacs? Part of the reason I've always liked the PowerMac is that if something breaks or needs upgrading it was very easy to do. It seems to have been produced when Apple still cared about sustainability and product longevity.
 

bdbits

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Bob
Disclaimer: I am a Windows guy, though I have used Macs.

I knew a guy who had your same Mac Pro (assume you meant that as I don't believe PowerMacs were available in 2010). I helped him with a few things on it. Beast of a machine, great hardware, not surprised it has carried you this far. It probably has set your expectations pretty high for whatever you get next. To your points:

1. Monitor "speed" is mostly about refresh rates, and incoming data (to the monitor) that is slower than what it can handle is not going to be an issue for the monitor. If anything, it may be that your older monitor is already limiting your optimal output.And perhaps obviously, if whatever you get has a new graphics card it may benefit from a newer monitor. It is hard to make a sure call here as it all depends on the specs.

2. Standards are there in part to avoid vendor lock-in. Apple sometimes does proprietary things, but I don't think they do that with monitors any more. So any stand-alone monitor you buy is likely to work cross-platform; PC, Mac, Linux, whatever as long as the graphics port you need is present.

For what it's worth, Windows has come a long way since you probably used it last, as long as you buy decent hardware. Very stable, futzing with settings is almost never needed for most people, in my opinion. (I do sometimes because I do computer stuff for a living and like to tinker.) Quality PC hardware is also easy to upgrade. These days, most everything is already integrated, and about all people update or replace anymore is memory and graphics cards, and maybe storage (though plug-n-play USB external is increasingly popular). These upgrades are easy to do now, you often don't need any tools to open or install your item. And other than some GPUs and higher-end printers, any drivers are almost always already present. With all the money you'd save over a Mac Pro, you could buy lots more lenses (but maybe not versus an iMac). :)
 

MWhite

TalkEmount Regular
Joined
Apr 24, 2019
Messages
127
Location
Indiana
Real Name
Mike
Bob, You're right, of course. It is a Mac Pro. I also had the older G5 PowerMac and still think of it in those terms. I would agree about Windows; it is worlds better than it was when I threw up my hands and switched to Apple. We have a Dell XPS laptop and I like it quite a lot, so maybe I'll go that way. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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