Tag Archives: hardware

In search of a 30" LCD

For a long time, I’ve been running a multi-monitor setup at home consisting of 2 LCDs, a 19″ Dell 1901FP and a 20″ widescreen 2007WFP. This setup was great for work I do at home, and also my general day-to-day usage. However, now that I’m doing so much photo processing at home, I really need more screen real estate since Photoshop and Lightroom really do a good job eating desktop space since they have so many toolbars.

I originally thought I was going to go with a slightly larger LCD and still run in a multi-mon configuration, but after researching LCDs and re-assessing my exact needs, I’ve decided that I’m going to be much better served by a single much larger 30″ LCD. Seeing as I can probably sell my current setup for at least $250, it makes the price-tag of a 30-incher a little easier to digest 🙂

Previously, I would just read some online reviews on LCDs and picked up the one that had the best price to performance ratio. Usually these ended up to be Dell LCDs since they seem to always find the right balance. However, this time around, I am ultra-discerning (read: picky) since i have to get an LCD that will color calibrate properly and also have unofrmity in the colors across the entire LCD. Preciseness in color reproduction is so important to me since I’m doing so much printing of my photographs these days.

In my quest to find reviews of 30″ LCDs, I was surprised to find a shortage of “good” reviews. The majority of reviews I’ve read, give very surface level information, often contradict each other, and end up not being very credible since the reviews approach from the perspective of video game playing, DVD watching or general desktop usage. They don’t measure color gamut or color accuracy which is what is important photographer (along with price 🙂 ). The best review site I’ve found is Prad.de which give unbelievably comprehensive reviews and touches on all the information that I was looking for. The only downside is that not all the monitors I’m looking at have been reviewed.

My 2 weeks worth of research has spit out this current short list:

  1. Dell 3007WFP-HC (30″)
  2. Hewlett-Packard (HP) LP3065 (30″)
  3. NEC LCD3090WQXi (30″)
  4. NEC LCD2690WQXi (26″)

(Note: I already ruled out the Dell 3008WFP since it’s nearly the same price as the NEC 30″ but has mixed reviews, so there is no reason to even consider it)

Of the LCDs on my short-list , the hands down winner is the NEC 30″. They definitely have graphics artists and photographers in mind when they created this LCD. Every review I’ve read confirms it and their tech specs are nothing short of unbelievably impressive. The only problem is the thing run about $1900! Ouch.

All the other LCDs run about $1100. The NEC 26″ is just as good as the NEC 30″ in terms of color reproduction but costs the same as the other 30″. Therein lies the problem. Should I go for:

a) the NEC 30″ and try to rationalize the extra $800 price difference?

b) the NEC 26″ LCD, sacrifice on size but know that the colors are going to be spot on?

c) settle for a more sub-par 30″ LCD (Dell or HP), get the size I want at a better price point but struggle with the colors?

If anyone has any input, I’m all ears.

Gigabit ethernet support for Mac Mini on Vista

The last few days I spent getting a Mac Mini running with Vista Ultimate to replace the PC running XP media center in my living room. The whole process was very enlightening, so I plan on writing up about the entire experience sometime soon. Stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, I’m trying to find a solution to a network problem I’ve been having. The one problem I’m having right now is getting gigabit ethernet to work on the Mac Mini. I have all the Cat5e or Cat 6 cabling and gigabit switches at home with other devices functioning properly. The Mac Mini refuses to connect to the switch at gigabit speeds. I’ve quadruple checked the cable, even trying the same cable on another device and it succesfully connects at gigabit speeds.

I posted up a question on the Apple Support forums here:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=5355039

However, no luck in finding a solution yet. Does anyone have this working?

Update (4/21/2008): My gigabit ethernet is now working on my Mac Mini after applying the latest Marvell driver.