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Run Two 30" Apple Cinema Displays on a PC

timothy posted about 9 years ago | from the eyestrain-city dept.

Displays 113

dealcatcher writes "For those blessed by the Apple gods and actually own two 30-inch Apple Cinema Displays, this guide explains how to hook two of them up to a PC. The guide includes which graphics cards will support this configuration and a step-by-step of how to get it all going."

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Price (5, Informative)

Sux2BU (20893) | about 9 years ago | (#12204930)

Each display costs $3000 from Apple's website.

Re:Price (3, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 9 years ago | (#12205444)

The shittiest thing about Apple monitors if you don't use Apple computers is that they don't give you the option of using Applecare to extend the warranty of the monitor above the 1 year it comes with even if you want to pay extra. However if you buy an apple computer and get the applecare then the display is covered for free. If you are planning on doing this it almost makes sense to buy 2 minis with your display, get the applecare, and then chuck the minis on ebay for close to what you paid for them. Seems a bit excessive though just to get a 3 year(industry standard really) warranty on your monitor....

Re:Price (1)

MikeXpop (614167) | about 9 years ago | (#12206030)

Are you sure they'd let you do that? It's pretty obvious that the 30" display isn't for the mini, simply for the fact that the mini doesn't have enough power to use the display.

Re:Price (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | about 9 years ago | (#12207844)

AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac mini: [apple.com] The AppleCare Protection Plan covers your Mac, as well as an AirPort Extreme Card, an AirPort Express or AirPort Extreme Base Station, and Apple RAM purchased for your Mac. Mac mini, Power Mac, and PowerBook customers can also enroll one Apple display for coverage, provided the Mac and display are purchased together

So, it indeed looks like you can have one monitor attached per mini; but the coverage does travel with the mini, so you couldn't sell it (although how would they know?).

Re:Price (3, Informative)

Yaztromo (655250) | about 9 years ago | (#12209527)

So, it indeed looks like you can have one monitor attached per mini

There is only one problem in this case -- you can't drive a 30" Cinema Display off a Mac mini, due to the need for the dual-link DVI out. You can only drive a 30" Cinema Display off a PowerMac.


Re:Price (1)

Yer Mom (78107) | about 9 years ago | (#12210051)

Also works on the latest rev of the 17" PowerBook, and is available as an option for the 15" version.

Don't think it lets you run two of them off one PB, though, and I don't have enough money to try this out and report back :(

Re:Price (1)

gerardrj (207690) | about 9 years ago | (#12209530)

The "rules" of AppleCare don't state that the monitor has to be able to work with the machine, just purchased at the same time. While it makes no sense, and Apple may re-word things in the future, the AppleCare agreement does indeed allow you to purchase a 30" display and cover it under the Mac Mini's AppleCare umbrella.
You are in essence paying $650 for a warranty on your Cinema Display, but then again one repair would allow you to recoup the entire cost.

Re:Price (5, Informative)

foo12 (585116) | about 9 years ago | (#12206056)

I don't think your solution will work --- AppleCare transfers with sale of equipment, meaning you'd lose the 'halo' protection afforded by listing the display with the Mini(s).

Re:Price (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12208711)

Seems a bit excessive though just to get a 3 year(industry standard really) warranty on your monitor....

I don't know how you can call it "industry standard" when nobody else offers a 30" display, much less with a 3 year warranty.

Re:Price (2, Informative)

jtshaw (398319) | about 9 years ago | (#12210870)

Standard 3 year warranty?!?

So far I've checked Samsung, Sony, ViewSonic, Dell, and Phillips and haven't found one yet that offers over a year standard... Dell, like apple, also only seams to allow you to add extra support if you are purchasing a computer.

Re:Price (2, Interesting)

Oculus Habent (562837) | about 9 years ago | (#12205761)

A related question to tax your financial limits...

If you used one of the newer motherboards capable of supporting two PCI-X cards (not in SLI mode), could you get four 30" Apple Cinema Displays out of it?

Not quite... (1)

mike518 (869465) | about 9 years ago | (#12209511)

Each display costs $3000 -- but dont forget the...

video card (approx $500)
tax ($150-500 est.)
Desktop space (4 feet gone)

On the plus side, youll be the envy of all the geeks on the block, aside from the crazy windows one that hates apple (despite having never tried one except for a quick second only to find it different than windows and therefore unacceptable).

or to sum it up (4, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#12205012)

1: buy two rather wonderfull but epensive monitors
2: buy expensive graphics card with duel dvi conectors and a framebuffer to support massive displays such as these
3: install graphics card(driver setup etc ) and then plug in new monitors ( if you buy one with conectors too close either, use an adaptor cable or slice up the one on your 3000 grand monitors... i know which i would do)
4: turn on system and configure your windowing system to use both monitors at a comfertable size .... in other words do exactly the same thing you would do(read:Should do) normaly

Re:or to sum it up (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12205109)

You sir, are clearly a Nazi recruitment tool. For the love of everything good, use a spell checker.

Re:or to sum it up (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12205154)

I have it on inside info that he just does this to annoy grammar trolls and looking at the ammount he gets it works shockingly well ;).

Wow. (5, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | about 9 years ago | (#12205039)

What a useful guide. You install the video card, plug in the displays, and it works. Gee, I never would have figured that out on my own.

Want to be helpful? Tell me how to get those two displays without selling both kidneys.

Re:Wow. (4, Funny)

putaro (235078) | about 9 years ago | (#12207730)

Sell your liver

Re:Wow. (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | about 9 years ago | (#12208433)

If you're buying a PC, you're likely already selling your soul to Bill Gates. If not him, then the Intel CEO.


Re:Wow. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12209404)

Wait. A long time. They will eventually drop in price. But then you will want the 50'' display. It's so hard being an electronics customer :-)

This is actually Part Two: (5, Funny)

sRev (846312) | about 9 years ago | (#12205040)

Part One was: "How to afford two 30" Apple Monitors."

Re:This is actually Part Two: (2, Funny)

burns210 (572621) | about 9 years ago | (#12205831)

"Part One was: "How to afford two 30" Apple Monitors.""

Step one: How to find a buying on the black market for your spare kidney.

Sweet... (1)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | about 9 years ago | (#12205053)

Such a setup is so insanely great! (except for the mutilation of the DVI connector, ouch...) If only this guy can also tell me how to find the insanely huge sum for two 30" Cinema HDs.

Re:Sweet... (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 9 years ago | (#12209073)

Hmm... I don't understand. Matrox already came out with multiple monitor support for PCs years ago. What's the big fuss, cause it has an Apple logo?

You can technically do that on windows having 2 present day video cards, running non-SLI in a ultra high resolution display.

Not multiple monitor support; but not much more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12209283)

It's not that multiple monitor support is a big deal -- the Mac's been doing that for ages, as have Windows PCs. The "big deal" is that these displays require dual-link DVI, which isn't all that common. The NVIDIA card driving it on Power Mac G5s is built by NV specifically for Apple (and NV's Mac cards don't run on x86) -- but really, the guy didn't do anything all that amazing.

"Hmm, if I can find a dual-link DVI card for x86... I could run a 30 inch Cinema Display!"

I'm sure that took a long, hard bit of thinking to determine. Or not.

I don't see the big deal either, other than "look at me! I can afford two $3000 displays and a video card to drive them!"

aargh (4, Funny)

toQDuj (806112) | about 9 years ago | (#12205073)

it is like a million voices all cried out at once and were suddenly silenced.

possibly heart attacks.

But seriously, I'd just have put the G5 behind some soundproofing walls and run virtual pc on them. VPC suffices for most scientific programs that would not run under a unix environment.


and as you click here... (5, Funny)

Beatbyte (163694) | about 9 years ago | (#12205078)

to see his desktop... [synapps.de]
you can SEE the silver spoon by which he is fed ;)

Re:and as you click here... (2, Insightful)

avalys (221114) | about 9 years ago | (#12205125)

http://www.synapps.de/synapps/bin/view/Main/Rafael Laguna

I don't know, the guy looks old enough to have paid for them himself.

I know you were joking, but there's quite a big difference between having mommy and daddy pay for your extravagances, and funding them yourself.

Re:and as you click here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12205795)

paying it for yourself.. yeah. that goes. hell, just getting them from anywhere is not bad in itself.

but fuck, making a stupid "article" on what basically is "I got a zillion dollars to spend on the desktop" with _no_ real content(everything done in it is obvious).

okay (3, Insightful)

Sebadude (680162) | about 9 years ago | (#12205095)

Who has enough desk space for two 30" displays, That's what I'd like to know.

How practical is it? You'd have to sit pretty far away from them to see all that there is to see, but if you have to sit far away, why not go with two smaller screens and sit closer?

Re:okay (1)

Echnin (607099) | about 9 years ago | (#12205227)

Resolution. Editing two huge pics at once in Photoshop. Most new DSLRS put out pics in 8 MP resolution, and one of these could only show you 4 of those, and in the wrong aspect at that (DSLR usually shoots at 3:2, not 4:3). Not that I'd buy one; I savor the day I'm going up from 1280x960 on a 17" CRT... Shit, the other day I bought a cheap lens for my camera that cost more than this crappy monitor.

Re:okay (2, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#12205357)

if you have the cash for two 30" monitors then im fairly sure you could find the deskspace .. Personaly my desk on which i sit right now is about 1.5M long and would have plenty of space for these to sit at the back(if i moved the clutter/ mess), It is a big desk but not much above average i would think.

Two big monitors are a pain in the arse (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12206017)

Two 30" monitors are a pain, one tends to center their attention on one monitor and place things that are always open on the other.

The constant head turning and sometimes scooting your chair over to use the other monitor is just plain wasteful.

I've even tried placing one large monitor over the other, this seemed to help cut down on the scooting and head turning as I just can use my eyes to look up.

The work involved dragging windows up to the other monitor just isn't worth the effort.

Since any window can easily be minimized or using Expose in Mac OS X kind of makes getting a second 30" Display a total waste of money. I've been happier since I got rid of the other monitor. BTW I sit about 4 feet from the 30" to take it all in. Wireless keyboard is neccessary.

Of course the other person was very happy to receive it. :)


Re:Two big monitors are a pain in the arse (2, Insightful)

Sebadude (680162) | about 9 years ago | (#12206878)

Yes, that's what I meant. For viewing images, photos, or film: great, obviously. My concern was with text apps. With two such large screens and their high resolution, you're either going to be doing a lot of leaning forward (& sideways) to read the screens, or you're going to be squinting like George Costanza when he's spotting pennies on the sidewalk.

Either way, it's not very healthy or productive. The point is that I think there's a limit to how large a desktop area can be, over that threshold it becomes unpractical and highly inefficient. Just my own 2 cents.

Re:Two big monitors are a pain in the arse (1)

pipingguy (566974) | about 9 years ago | (#12207403)

Two 30" monitors are a pain, one tends to center their attention on one monitor and place things that are always open on the other.

The constant head turning and sometimes scooting your chair over to use the other monitor is just plain wasteful.

I use two 19" CRTs at home and at work and while it's nice to have the extra screen area, it gets hard on the neck after a while. Using two 30" monitors must be very difficult unless the resolution is scaled down so you can sit far enough away (which kind of defeats the purpose, no?). I'll bet it looks really cool and impresses people, though.

Re:Two big monitors are a pain in the arse (1)

Oculus Habent (562837) | about 9 years ago | (#12208305)

I'll bet it looks really cool and impresses people, though.

Indeed. The most functional use that a pair of 30" screens connected to the same computer might find is some sort of demo or panel-style display program. Product showcases or somesuch.

Re:Two big monitors are a pain in the arse (1)

hey! (33014) | about 9 years ago | (#12207781)

You just have to practice Geek Yoga until you can focus each eye independently, one on the X session on monitor B, the other on the chatty text output on monitor A.

Re:Two big monitors are a pain in the arse (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 9 years ago | (#12208478)

Well, I think it depends on what you work and how you work.

Since I use two monitors I can not udnerstand that I once could live with only one.

The IDE on one monitor, the CASE system on the other (or the browser with API docs or /. )

Simply debugging is quite fancy with 2 monitors when your IDE/debuggger is on the main screen and the application you run on the other screen.

Especially when you work on web applications or any kind of applcation where the debuggee is opening several windows.

I can not udnerstand that turning your head troubles you or that "adjusting the sitting position" in your chair does.

Its rather healthy to move on the chair and to watch around and to adapt your eys on different distances.

OTOH one single 30" display might be even better, but I doubt it a bit, I think I will try to save money for getting 2 x 30" :D


Re:Two big monitors are a pain in the arse (1)

cowscows (103644) | about 9 years ago | (#12208796)

The issue is whether the second monitor is being used just as more space, as a separate space, or a combination of both. When I was using a 15" powerbook with 1024x768, I always used an external monitor as well if I could, because there just wasn't enough screen real estate.

Now I've got a powermac with a 23" screen, and I find that I don't miss the second screen all that much, except for in a few specific applications. Those applications are ones where the separate screens were a type of organization for me. All the palettes on the left screen, the working documents on the right. The majority of both screens was empty space, I didn't really need all those pixels, I just got used to that visual separation.

Now that I've got a bigger screen, I could probably fake that visual separation with a clever background pattern, but it's easier for me to just get used to a new way of working.

Out of curiosity one day, I set up a second monitor next to my 23". I measured out and moved it the appropriate distance away so that the far edges of each screen were approximately the same distance apart that two of the 30" dealies would be. That's a good bit of head turning. And mouse movement. I don't think it'd be all that comfortable to use for an extended period of time.

Re:Two big monitors are a pain in the arse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12209798)

I have four 19" LCD flat panels on my G4 tower. The screens measure roughly 62" wide. [4x1].

I've been using this configuration for 2 years now.

I'm extremely productive with this setup.

So... you're saying ... (1)

kiddailey (165202) | about 9 years ago | (#12210069)

... that what you want is THREE 30" displays so you can have one in the center as well as one each to the left and right so they wrap around you. Sounds good to me!

Anyone know of a mod for UT2004 so it'll display properly on all three monitors? :D

Silly (5, Insightful)

ed 'g3' (231005) | about 9 years ago | (#12205126)

This is all a bit daft - he has a G5 with these two massive monitors and chucks it all because of the fan noise.

So, in some bizarre attempt at making it better, he hooks them up to a pc.

Reminds me of the Volksagon adverts - It's a Mini adventure. Those were bloody stupid as well.

Re:Silly (1)

MindStalker (22827) | about 9 years ago | (#12205253)

Sounds like I need to come over as a consultant!
Pop in a couple of silent fans charge him a few grand and be off.
Of course they might not make custom fans for Macs, but I'd be willing to solder the connection to adapt it myself.

Re:Silly (1)

supabeast! (84658) | about 9 years ago | (#12206685)

Have you ever seen how massive the G5 CPU/heatsink combo is and felt the amount of heat it puts out? They put anything AMD and intel make to shame when it comes to ridiculous head output. Those fans are the closest thing to silent you're going to find that can effectively cool those things.

Re:Silly (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 9 years ago | (#12206227)

The funny part is that he's right back to square one with the annoying fan noise. I know if I had the money to be able to afford such a system, I'd also spend the extra $$ for longer cables and/or enclosure for the case to eliminate the noise.

just to get that straight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12205308)

what is so amazing about putting two very expensive monitors with two very expensive video cards onto one otherwise crappy computer?

Well it's all for show. Nothing to see here except some twit bragging that he's filthy rich.

The Guide Wasn't Much... (1)

kyle90 (827345) | about 9 years ago | (#12205530)

I'll admit, I only clicked on it to see the pictures of the dual 30" displays. Is it as beautiful as I expected? I think it was, only moreso. Now if only I could afford the cost (or the desk space).

Re:The Guide Wasn't Much... (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | about 9 years ago | (#12209516)

lol, yeah. My local computer store has an apple store in it. Whenever I go in I always take a few minutes to ogle the 2, 30" display steup they have to showcase the G5. I always sit there and say: "now if only I had 10grand to spend..." :-P.

The G5 is too loud? (2, Funny)

newrisejohn (517586) | about 9 years ago | (#12205692)

This person has supersensitive hearing.

He's probably a spy, which would explain being able to afford two of those displays.

Re:The G5 is too loud? (2, Interesting)

Mattintosh (758112) | about 9 years ago | (#12208463)

If it has a graphics card in it that can drive those displays, it's going to be loud. I'd be willing to bet his PC ended up with the same problem.

Blessed or heretical (2, Interesting)

martinX (672498) | about 9 years ago | (#12205717)

If he was truly blessed by the Apple gods he would be using a Mac. OK, a quiet one...

This just makes him a heretic.

The story behind the story. (4, Funny)

Yaztromo (655250) | about 9 years ago | (#12205747)

  1. User decides to ditch the Mac because the fans are too noisy.
  2. User slices up the connectors of two perfectly good, $3000 Apple Cinema 30" displays to get them to plug into some no-name video card with an nVidia chipset on their "silent" PC,
  3. User complains of the fan noise now coming from the PC video cards.

What a complete and total git. And this gets posted to /. for what reason?

(Remember: with great power comes great fan noise).


Re:The story behind the story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12206191)

No name card? Hell that card is very expensive and very well known for doing things people actually get paid for. That is a Wildcat used for CAD and 3d rendering.

Re:The story behind the story. (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 9 years ago | (#12206279)

What a complete and total git. And this gets posted to /. for what reason?

to show that some geeks have more money than brains?

Re:The story behind the story. (1)

daviddennis (10926) | about 9 years ago | (#12208814)

I'm actually a bit puzzled by this story. The author must have hypersensitive ears.

I'm a dual G5 owner, admittedly of the previous 2.0ghz dual processor model, and I happen to own a display card capable of driving the 30" display.

It's quiet as a mouse unless I'm using the two CPUs at full speed and even then it's not that bad. It's actually my external hard drives that make most of the noise in my system.

Of course if he really needs a way to deal with this problem, I recommend simply taking a high-quality stereo system and hooking it up to iTunes or an iPod. Crank it up and you won't notice any computer noise whatsoever.

Personally, I strongly recommend that solution.

If that's not possible - for instance, if he's doing professional sound recording and needs to listen to only what he's working on, I would just get some really long DVI cables and put the computer in the closet or a room next door.

As for switching to Windows, well, I'm sorry, that's the last thing I'd do in the world, particularly if his work is multimedia design/production.


Re:The story behind the story. (1)

Yaztromo (655250) | about 9 years ago | (#12209623)

I'm a dual G5 owner, admittedly of the previous 2.0ghz dual processor model, and I happen to own a display card capable of driving the 30" display.

It may be capable of driving the 30" display, but is it doing so?

GPUs can put out a lot of heat (indeed, on my PowerBook the GPU on it is the biggest single source of heat, particularily if I'm playing a 3D game or anything really graphics intensive). When you're running them at extremely high resolutions, and running TWO of them, they're going to pump out heat (indeed, because each display requires dual-link DVI, it's effectively the same as running FOUR displays, all off one video card).

This is why I think this guy is an idiot. I'm willing to bet that his PowerMac noice problem would have disappeared if he were running just that 20" display shown on his desktop. The problem is it's the driving of those two huge monitors at very high resolutions which is generating the heat that needs to be dissapated!. Moving them off a PowerMac and into a PC is only going to transfer the problem from one machine to another -- in effect, he's keeping the very problem he's trying to remove, and is chucking out the part that is working correctly!

I'm somewhat interested, however -- the guy is trying for a silent PC, but is driving what are effectively four displays off a single card. The PowerMac is designed to handle this thermal load. IIRC, the guy claims the PC is fanless. Will it be able to handle the thermal load with this configuration for very long, or is he just going to fry an otherwise perfectly good computer? It would look good on him somewhat -- he mangled two $3000 dollar monitors to get them to plug into his PC to try to have a quieter machine -- it would be a sort of twisted irony if it caused the PC to suffer from thermal damage/failure alongside him just creating a noisy PC.

My previous quote "With great power comes great fan noise" is intended to be funny, but if you want to be pushing the boundries of what modern technology can achieve, you're going to have to deal with the thermal issues, and will have to live with some of their drawbacks. Trying to pretend that thermal issues don't exist by putting a heat pump in a fanless box is just idiocy, and the guy clearly diserves to learn a very, very expensive lesson.


Re:The story behind the story. (1)

daviddennis (10926) | about 9 years ago | (#12211206)

You are correct. Tragically, all I can afford is the 23" previous generation Cinema Display I presently own :-(.

However, I've used Apple Motion on it, and a more brutal test of a graphics card has yet to be invented. I still haven't noticed much in the way of noise.

When I installed my Nvidia 6800 Ultra DDL card, which is this sprawling monster that takes over two slots, I noticed that you have a point. The fan ventilates into the case and so the case fans are still in charge of getting the air out.

Are there any drawbacks with my own proposed solution to run some long keyboard/monitor cables and put the computer in another room? With his obsessiveness, I think that's the only thing with a fighting chance of working. Would long cable runs cause a problem?


Re:The story behind the story. (1)

Yaztromo (655250) | about 9 years ago | (#12211329)

Are there any drawbacks with my own proposed solution to run some long keyboard/monitor cables and put the computer in another room?

I wouldn't even bother with long keyboard or mouse cables -- Bluetooth has an effective range of 10m, which should be more than enough to put the machine on the other side of a wall. Then you only need to run a single monitor cable.

The only downside I can think of is needing to go around the corner to put a CD/DVD in the drive. This can be mitigated by using a Firewire or USB CD/DVD drive, plugged into the Cinema display's USB/Firewire ports. As you know (but others reading this may not), the Firewire, USB, and Video are all contained in a single cable for the Cinema displays (although you may need to use seperate cables once you reach the Cinema Displayc cable length -- is there an all-in-one extension cable for this monitor?)


Re:The story behind the story. (1)

daviddennis (10926) | about 9 years ago | (#12212695)

I think most people would probably just use a DVI extension cable and get their USB and FireWire from elsewhere. Otherwise you'd need an extension to Apple's cable which would probably be pretty expensive.

Most of my peripherals are external hard drives which (obviously) don't need to be in the same room and in fact should be banished in this scenerio thanks to their own noise problems.

If you want a silent computer, you don't want to be in the same room as the optical drive, either :-).

But of course my keyboard and mouse do need to be extended somehow.

Sounds like a good idea to use Bluetooth if it's not bad at getting through walls. I've noticed that in my house AirPort signals have a pretty hard time getting through walls, although oddly enough they will get through the ceiling to the second floor very easily. Strange.


All I can say is- wow (1, Offtopic)

FuturePastNow (836765) | about 9 years ago | (#12205754)

I have to admit, I just can't understand people who complain about computer noise. I have a damn loud computer- two 40mm drive cooler fans,an 80mm case fan, a 120mm case fan, two PSU fans, a CPU fan, and a fan on the graphics card. It bothered me at first, but after a couple of days I got used to it. For fuck's sake, just listen to music or watch TV or something.

And advice for the guy who wrote the article- the Quadro 4000 is just a Geforce 6800; there are fanless coolers for it if the deafening noise of one fan bugs you so much.

Re:All I can say is- wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12205804)

One of the HP CEs here once told me that a lot of the guys who spend serious time in data centers evetually lose the ability to hear certain frequencies. I've heard this before, and while a G5 isn't quite as loud as a data center full of fans, it's something to keep in mind. At worst, you'll lose some hearing, and at best, it'll annoy the piss out of people with really sensitive ears.

Personally, I find the hum of the fans rather comforting.

I'd do it too (1)

Herbalizer (875218) | about 9 years ago | (#12205836)

I'd try the same thing if I was rich enough although I'd never hook them up to some POS pc. It might be too much monitor but it's still damn cool. Herbalizer

Blasphemy... or at least a poor decision (1)

aratuk (524269) | about 9 years ago | (#12205950)

Why would anyone want to do this? Why not just get one 30" display, a G5 Tower (say, the $2k one), and a copy of Virtual PC w/ Windows XP Professional, and save about $250? After all, do you really need almost NINE HUNDRED square inches of screen? If you do, isn't it kind of a waste to have it displaying the much shoddier Windows graphics (or, shoddier still, I'm sorry to say, those of certain more politically acceptable free operating systems), blown up to offend the eye all the more? (Yes, let's have the taskbar be an awful shade of blue, and contrast it with a Start button of an awful shade of green. Yum!) You can have a mere 450 square inches of screen showing you something much more pleasant to look at, and still have Windows if you need it.

Re:Blasphemy... or at least a poor decision (1)

sagekoala06 (786349) | about 9 years ago | (#12208838)

I was rather envious of his almost 900 square inches of screen ... until i realized I'm reading this in my theater which is projecting nearly 3400 square inches ... then i felt a little bit better about my self ... but then i realized he had 8,192,000 pixels of screen while i have just shy of a million ... any higher its just too damn hard to read. :-(

And next week we'll show you how to... (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | about 9 years ago | (#12206027)

...steal the money you need to afford this equipment. And the week after we'll be demonstrating a series of exercises you can use to relieve the pain from repeatedly craning your neck to view the far corners of your displays.

SIEG HEIL it's all in german! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12206438)

i mean if you are going to spend that much just get an apple computer.

I'm on fire!!!

a digusting crying shame (2, Informative)

cypherz (155664) | about 9 years ago | (#12208160)

to run that rig on Windows! KDE makes much better use of multi-monitor setups than does Windows.
mmmm xinerama!

Fan noise solution (2, Informative)

garote (682822) | about 9 years ago | (#12208291)

So he's chucking a G5 because of fan noise ... makes no sense. I've got a solution that you can apply to PC or Mac. I've been doing it for about six years now.

Buy four USB hubs and a really damn long monitor cable, and put the stupid machine in the closet. The closet of some other room, even. Or in the basement. Run the cables through a hole in the wall. The G5 even comes with Firewire 800 and optical audio jacks, both of which can support nice long cable lengths.

Presently I have a P4 in a closet, with all the cabling run through a hole in the floor, along the underside of the house, and up through another hole near the monitor and stereo. I watch movies, compose music, hack, et cetera, starting from COMPLETE SILENCE. If I had a G5 I'd do the same thing - though I might need a bigger closet. >:)

Re:Fan noise solution (1)

Bombcar (16057) | about 9 years ago | (#12208393)

Or maybe buy the new G5 that is water cooled?


Re:Fan noise solution (1)

garote (682822) | about 9 years ago | (#12209031)

It's water cooled in the sense that heat is conducted from the CPU via fluid exchange, but even the majestic G5 is not a silent machine when running full-throttle. Put the machine in a closet and you don't even have to listen to DVDs spinning in the drive while you watch a movie.

Re:Fan noise solution (1)

cd_serek (681446) | about 9 years ago | (#12211462)

Keeping the computer in your basement sounds like a great idea for reducing noise... until you have to switch to disc 2 of that DVD movie... then its a hike down to the basement.

Re:Fan noise solution (1)

garote (682822) | about 9 years ago | (#12215265)

Yeah, the basement is a bit far off ... If you find yourself swapping media a lot you can always get a USB2.0 external DVD drive -- but that brings noise back into the equation (yeech). I don't know what the best solution for that is ... buy two drives? Copy the DVD on beforehand so you only need to go downstairs once?

G5 tower... loud? (3, Informative)

Ballresin (398599) | about 9 years ago | (#12209125)

I've been around a number of G5 towers running 30" Cinema Displays, as I work at a retail store. The G5s only make any noise that is audible above a slight whisper when they are churning data really hard.... or are defective. It is not unheard of for a G5 to have a bad midplane. This guy aparently didn't have the sense to bring his $9000+ setup back to an Apple Store and have the Geniuses say "Yup... that's noisy" and fix it. That said... he is clearly not aware of the giant performance hit his "silent" PC is from his G5. Oh well. Feels like another under-appreciated waste of power.

Re:G5 tower... loud? (2, Funny)

Slashcrap (869349) | about 9 years ago | (#12210388)

I've been around a number of G5 towers running 30" Cinema Displays, as I work at a retail store.

It is not unheard of for a G5 to have a bad midplane.

It is unheard of. Macs do not have faults, only defective users.

You should be fired for suggesting otherwise. I hope you and your family starve.

Your type make me sick.

I know that all right-thinking Mac users will agree with me on this.

Challenge: Show me a mac running three 30" (2, Interesting)

ionsphere (644189) | about 9 years ago | (#12209291)

Two is not the ideal monitor configuration. 3 identical monitors provide a much more balanced desktop. Who wants to look at a seam in the dead center of a desktop?

What I want to see, is a MAC running THREE 30 inch displays at full resolution. I've been trying to configure this for some time but have not found a real solution. Anyone know of a mac PCI card that can push a 30 at native resolution?

I can't wait to play nethack on that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12209416)

Wizard of Yendor, here I come!

unwilling to sell my kidneys (1)

Sarin (112173) | about 9 years ago | (#12210081)

But in need of more desktop space, I've installed Desktop Manager, which allows me to use multiple virtual desktops (a la x-windows).
I setup my extra mouse buttons to switch forward and backward between the virtual screens, which is very fast and very handy. (with the help of gamepad companion, which is not free).
If you haven't tried free programs like Desktop Manager (or simular programs like Virtue), then I'd really recommend them to you. [macupdate.com]

Ego boosting news for single individual.... (1)

ghmh (73679) | about 9 years ago | (#12210512)

...news that matters? Absolutely not.

To summarise the article:

Buy monitors. Buy graphics card compatible with monitors. Plug in. Adjust plug to fit. Adapt OS to use screens at maximum resolution. Gloat on internet.

That being said, my wife (Graphic Designer) has recently bought a dual G5 and its whisper quiet. The only time it gets noisy is if you accidentally tell it to boot from a network server that isn't there - this will scare the pants off most people, especially if they're not expecting it (like I wasn't). So I don't know what this guy was doing to get that much noise out of it...

Anyway the G5 is so nice that I'd leave Windows for good if I could (but can't due to having to develop in MS-land - have been dulling the pain by using Cygwin and FreeBSD servers...).

So, let me get this straight... (1)

SnowDog74 (745848) | about 9 years ago | (#12213542)

1. Can't stand noise from the near-silent G5.

2. Get noisier PC.

3. Install two $3000 SWOP-certified monitors.

...and then... 4. Realize you're still running Windows, with font aliasing so bad it'll poke your eye out, and no ColorSync.

So, basically, you've just spent $6000 on monitors capable of displaying a level of clarity that Windows cannot, in even its greatest wet dreams, fully utilize... that is, unless this guy comes up with an equally-absurd, obscenely expensive, and Rube Goldbergian solution to make OS X run on an AMD or Intel chip.... which makes you wonder... why didn't he just buy a Mac.

With the kind of money this idiot likes to waste, maybe he should just rent time at Bell Labs' anechoic chamber... so he can listen to John Cage's 4'33" in all its tacit bliss. Obviously, he'll have to listen to it in his imagination, so he doesn't have to bear the sound of CD player spinning. Finally, he can enjoy 4 minutes and 33 seconds of absolute silence... not having to listen to anything except the sound of his circulatory and nervous systems operating... which will, undoubtedly, provoke him to write letters of complaint to Charles Darwin, who would be spinning in his grave... if it weren't for the fact that it would generate enough noise to provoke even further complaint from this pretentious, phonophobic ass.

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