20 Replies Latest reply on May 16, 2013 1:03 PM by LindaColli

    Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer

    LindaColli

      Hi Hardware Forum,

      I have just bought a new Apple 27” LED Cinema Display for my Windows computer. In South Africa there appear to be no adapters available and the opinion that I have gained from the internet seems to be that changing my graphics card to one that has a “mini display port” to plug the monitor into is a better option than an adapter.

       

      You kindly helped me build my windows computer a year ago and my understanding at the time was that the configuration needs to be balanced. Would you mind helping me select a graphics card with a “mini display port” that would complement my configuration (or improve it) and at the same time have the necessary Mini display port for the Apple monitor. There is some confusing info on the internet implying that the Apple 27” monitor has other connection option, which I think may have been true in the past, but this latest one only has the mini display port.

       

      I use my computer primarily for video editing in Premiere Elements as well as stills editing in Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 4. At some future point I may upgrade to Premiere Pro.

       

      I was using an nVidia GTX 560Ti graphics card with a Dell US2711 27” monitor. I have had repeated problems of the screen crashing and recovering. Error message read something like “nVidia has detected a problem and needs to close”. It mostly didn’t crash the software program, just the screen. I have just had the graphics card drivers updated with a clean install and hope that this may have sorted out the problem as I plan to transfer the GTX 560Ti graphics card into another computer, however I feel anxious about the next graphics card purchase. Would there be any benefit in keeping the 560Ti graphics card in my computer as well as the new graphics card with the mini display port? I seem to recall that there is also an onboard graphics card in my configuration. I had wondered if the two graphics cards could have had compatibility problems.

       

      I have read that these very high resolution screens, 2560 x 1440 pixels, have given some people problems of slowing their computers down. Would this be a graphics card issue? I would rather err on the side of more power than less power as I spend a lot of time video editing. Very frustrating if the machine is slow or crashes.

       

      My Windows Computer:

      CPU: Sandy Bridge i7-2600K

      Motherboard: GA Z68XP – UD4

      RAM: 4x4 GB DDR3-1600

      PSU: Corsair Pro Gold AX850

      CPU Cooler: Cooler Master H212 EVO

      Windows 7

       

      The supplier says that he has the following Graphics cards that have mini display ports. When I asked about nVidia cards he said that he didn’t have any in stock. If any of the three below will work well, that would be easier for me, but if you have other suggestions that would be better, I would prefer to hunt further for the cards. I live in the country but can order from the city. Or would a  lower end card with mini display port as well as my old GTX 560Ti card be better?

       

      In stock at supplier:

      MSI R7950 Twinfrozr OC 3GB Ram

      ATI Radeon MSI R7870 OC 2GB Ram

      Radion HD 7850

       

      I would greatly appreciate your help again.

      Kind regards

      Linda Collison

       

       

        • 1. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
          Jim_Simon Level 9

          In South Africa there appear to be no adapters available

           

          The entire continent has no VGA to DP adapters?  I find that difficult to believe.  It's certainly the far cheaper option than buying a new graphics card.

          • 2. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
            LindaColli Level 1

            Hi Jim,

            It is not a “DisplayPor”t that is required. It is a “mini displayport” that is required on my computer as that is the only connection from the new Apple 27” Cinema Display.

            Regards

            Linda

            • 3. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
              Jim_Simon Level 9

              Still...

               

              VGA to Mini DisplayPort are all over the 'Net.  I'm finding them for about $10.  Even if you had to ship from the U.S. it'd be cheaper than a new card.

              • 4. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                LindaColli Level 1

                Hi Jim,

                I looked around the internet a lot before purchasing the Apple Monitor as an adapter would be an easier and cheaper solution. There seemed to be conflicting reports about whether this is possible. Apple in Cape Town said that there is no adapter so unless someone can tell me the name of an adapter that I can research I am stuck with the new graphics card option. I am hesitant about importing an adapter because of the conflicting reports. Some people said that they had used a display port to HDMI adapter which led me to the conclusion that Apple have changed the connection type to mini display port only. I can say for certain that the 27” Apple monitor that I have purchased only has a mini display port connection and not a display port connection. I am looking at is as I type.

                Regards

                Linda

                • 7. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                  LindaColli Level 1

                  Hi Jim,

                  Is this adapter going the right way? It says from a Mac computer to a standard monitor? I want to go from a Mac monitor to a windows computer. The Apple store produced an adapter that looked like the one you suggested but said that it went the wrong way and therefore wouldn't work. Are you sure that the one you suggested goes the right way, because if it does, I will import it. Will there be a loss of quality going from a mini display port to a VGA port? When I bought my Dell 2711 27” Monitor they recommended that I use the HDMI cable as they said that the other cable (VGA?) cable would not produce the same quality as the HDMI cable. Am I confused?

                  Regards

                  Linda

                  • 8. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                    Alex - DV411 Level 2

                    VGA won't support the monitor's native resolution.

                     

                    You need a dual-link-DVI-to-MiniDP adapter or cable, to support the full resolution of your monitor.  (Alternately, here is another one, and a bunch other through Google Search.  Look for ones that say specifically "dual-link-DVI-to-MiniDP", and not the other way around, i.e. not "MiniDP-to-anything".)

                     

                    Alternately, replace your GTX560Ti with any card that has a standard DisplayPort connector (such as GTX-660Ti), and order a DisplayPort-to-MiniDP adapter.  Again, it should say DisplayPort at the beginning and mention connecting computers with standard DP to MiniDP displays, and not the other way around.  Theoretically, any DP-to-MiniDP cable or adapter should work, but I wouldn't take my chances.  The reason to go that route: fewer chances of compatibility problems, and the adapter is much less expensive.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 9. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                      LindaColli Level 1

                       

                      Hi Alex and Jim and other forum members,

                       

                      Thank you for your advice. I have just read an interesting article about the difference in connections and the dangers of converters here:

                      http://superuser.com/questions/15884/hdmi-vs-component-vs-vga-vs-dvi-vs-displayportlt

                      It seems that it is advisable to avoid a mini display port converter if possible although it may work well. Display port to display port works well and is very stable but there is some indication that if both monitor and computer don’t have DP and need a converter, that this can be unstable in some situations. I have just paid a lot of money for the Apple 27" screen that I am hoping will be better and more stable than the Dell US2711 it is replacing. Given that Apple would not be in the least bit interested if it didn’t work, I would rather not take a risk on something that I don’t know enough about, and about which there is a lot of confusing contradictory information on the internet. I need an external graphics card in our other computer so my existing GTX 560 Ti will not be wasted if I replace it. It seems to me that if I replace it with a graphics card that has a mini display port then there is a better chance that I shouldn’t have problems with the screen. If I go the cheaper converter route I may save a few bucks but end up with years of headaches (or I may save the bucks and have no headaches - but I don’t want to gamble on that as I don’t have enough knowledge). Apple said that the monitor will work if I plug it into a mini display port. They said that it wouldn’t work with an adapter.

                       

                      I would therefore be very grateful if you could help me select a graphics card with a mini display port that would be compatible with my current configuration. It would need to be capable of running a high resolution screen and not crashing Premiere Elements, Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS5 (or possibly Premiere Pro which I may purchase later).

                       

                      Could anybody tell me if the three cards mentioned above, that the local supplier has in stock would work well with my configuration or if something else with a Mini DP would be better?

                       

                      I really value the advice of this forum and would not like to go against it. Alex mentioned possible compatibility problems. Is this with software or existing hardware? This is all rather confusing and I am a bit risk averseJ. This is made worse by the fact that I have to order most things over the internet and have them delivered to my village. I can’t just pop into a city shop and chat to the sales personnel. Every time I experience a problem with my computer I have a 250 kilometre round trip to my local computer shop!

                       

                      I greatly appreciate your help.

                       

                      Kind regards

                       

                      Linda

                       

                      • 10. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                        Alex - DV411 Level 2

                        I think it boils down to this:

                        I would therefore be very grateful if you could help me select a graphics card with a mini display port that would be compatible with my current configuration. It would need to be capable of running a high resolution screen and not crashing Premiere Elements, Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS5 (or possibly Premiere Pro which I may purchase later).

                        The best options are still NVidia cards with standard DP (like GTX-650Ti or 660Ti) with an adapter I mentioned above.  DP-to-MiniDP should not have any problems.

                         

                        Alternately: AMD Radeon HD 7750: some models are made with MiniDP.

                         

                        If you still prefer a card with MiniDP and GPU acceleration for Premiere Pro, it might bite: Quadro K2000D for around $400.

                        Alex mentioned possible compatibility problems. Is this with software or existing hardware? This is all rather confusing and I am a bit risk averseJ. This is made worse by the fact that I have to order most things over the internet and have them delivered to my village. I can’t just pop into a city shop and chat to the sales personnel. Every time I experience a problem with my computer I have a 250 kilometre round trip to my local computer shop!

                        I hear you Linda.  Now that I moved into the mountains in Topanga Canyon, I feel the same way - even though for me, it's only about 10 miles to the nearest computer shop or gas station - via a serpantine mountain road with no community transportation.  For you it's a day worth of an ordeal to visit a computer store, and lots of driving.

                         

                        Bottom line, you need a good card that'll drive your 27" Cinema display and be well-suited for your system and applications.  As of today, it's a GTX-650Ti with a good DP-to-MiniDP adapter.  Once CS-Next is released (sometimes next month, I hear), things may change, and the $110 Radeon HD 7750 might work well for Premiere Pro: Adobe said they'll support a much wider variety of cards for GPU acceleration in CS-Next.

                         

                        Ultimately the choice is up to you.  I recommend GTX-650Ti with an adapter.

                         

                        HTH.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 11. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                          LindaColli Level 1

                           

                          Hi Alex, Please be patient a bit longer.

                           

                          Going back to your original advice of the (nVidia, Geforce?) GTX 650 Ti with a display port to mini displayport adapter. Am I correct in thinking that the display port and the mini displayport are the same animal except the size of the connection? Would that mean that there is no conversion of any kind required except the physical plug size? That seems to leave less room for error than the dual link DVI to MiniDP converter which needs to change the nature of the beast? I read somewhere that there were bandwidth problems (whatever that means!)

                           

                          So GTX 650Ti with Displayport to mini Displayport connector.

                           

                          Neither the GTX 670, GTX 660Ti nor the GTX 650Ti are on the Premiere Elements list of supported products. Is this a potential problem? Do you prefer these cards over other cards of a similar price that may be on the supported products list for Premiere Elements?

                           

                          Harm mentioned elsewhere on the forum that the GTX 670 & GTX 680 are popular but I was uncertain on what configuration he meant. Would the extra cost be justified in my configuration? I think that the 670 is about 25% more expensive than the 660Ti, which in turn seems to be quite a lot more expensive than the 650 Ti.

                           

                          Still confused, and appreciating your help

                          Linda

                          • 12. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                            Alex - DV411 Level 2

                            Am I correct in thinking that the display port and the mini displayport are the same animal except the size of the connection?

                            For most video editing purposes and general display connectivity - yes.  (Don't believe any of the compatibility issues - minor as they are - apply to your case.)

                            That seems to leave less room for error than the dual link DVI to MiniDP converter which needs to change the nature of the beast?

                            That'd be my concern exactly, in addition to spending a good chunk of money on something that adds zero value.

                            Neither the GTX 670, GTX 660Ti nor the GTX 650Ti are on the Premiere Elements list of supported products. Is this a potential problem?

                            No. The list is outdated, most of the cards on it are discontinued.

                            Harm mentioned elsewhere on the forum that the GTX 670 & GTX 680 are popular but I was uncertain on what configuration he meant. Would the extra cost be justified in my configuration? I think that the 670 is about 25% more expensive than the 660Ti, which in turn seems to be quite a lot more expensive than the 650 Ti.

                            Harm, like most good engineers, advocates a balanced system, i.e. there's little point in buying a $400 GPU for a system with a $100 CPU. In that respect, a GTX-650Ti, or even the Radeon HD 7750 I mentioned above, are good matches for your current system, and might be well suited even if you upgrade it.

                             

                            HTH.

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 13. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                              Linda,

                               

                              With your i7-2600K, 16 GB memory and hopefully a good disk setup, I would suggest:

                               

                              • GTX 660 Ti if you overclock the system to around 4.2 GHz and have at least 4 disks
                              • GTX 660 if you overclock a bit
                              • GTX 650 Ti Boost if you have 3 or less disks and use the savings for an extra disk
                              • GTX 650 Ti if you do not overclock and have 3 or less disks AND you usually export to the same dimensions as your source material, so there is no scaling.

                               

                              If you regularly export to other frame dimensions, say from 1920 x 1080 to DVD and scaling is always present, then opt for the next better card, for instance instead of a GTX 650 Ti Boost, look at the GTX 660.

                               

                              As Alex said, it makes no sense to overspend on one component, when it is held down by other components. Hence these rough indications.

                               

                              I have been thinking about these kind of questions, since they pop up so much and I am collecting my thoughts about this to design a kind of decision chart, that allows people to select the basic system they are using, the nature of their source material, the kind of editing they do and the exports they need. The problem is however to make all these interrelated factors show up in a what-if simulation that makes sense to people. Remember, we are not Professor Eppes from Numb3rs, so ARIMA (auto-regressive integrated moving average) modelling with Cholesky decompositions are not feasible.

                              • 14. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                                LindaColli Level 1

                                 

                                Thank you Harm, Alex & Jim

                                I so appreciate all your help.

                                 

                                I do have 4 internal hard drives (6TB in total) and shortly need a 5th one. I also plug two external hard drives in at a time.

                                 

                                I always export to other frame dimensions as well as the full HD format.

                                Alex mentioned the GTX 650Ti & the GTX 660Ti. It would seem that the latter one would be most appropriate given Harm’s criteria. I don’t over clock as far as I know but the other two criteria seem to be enough to go with the GTX 660Ti over the GTX 660. I have just heard that my computer guy In Port Elizabeth can get a 660Ti from Cape Town, so I have ordered it.

                                 

                                Harm, I had to laugh out loud at your Epps reference. You are way better than Charlie. You are like Gibbs and Rabb rolled into one, sifting through the superfluous morass of confusing and conflicting information that is out there and helping us come up with something that makes sense. If you manage to put together a decision tree that would be so useful to so many people.

                                I really appreciate all the time and specialist input that the forum members so generously give to help lesser mortals find their way through.

                                 

                                “The Monster” (which is what my husband calls my computer) is about to take on a new lease of life with an Apple monitor.

                                Thank you so very much for helping me make that happen.

                                 

                                Kind regards

                                Linda

                                 

                                • 15. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                                  Daxman1965 Level 1

                                  hello Linda,

                                   

                                  please let us know the out come and is it worth it? I am in Cape town and if you need stuff give me a shout.

                                   

                                  Darren

                                  • 16. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                                    LindaColli Level 1

                                     

                                    Hi Darren,

                                     

                                    Thanks for your kind offer of help. I really appreciate it. I will certainly give feedback once everything is up and running. I am sure that an Apple monitor with a Windows PC is something that many people consider.

                                     

                                    I did a test yesterday of the same slide show playing simultaneously on my Dell 27" US2711 Monitor attached to my PC, and the Apple 27" Cinema Display attached to my MacBook Pro. Initially we felt that the Apple beat the Dell hands down, but then I adjusted the Dell to 100% brightness and 100% contrast and that made the two monitors more comparable, however the Apple was still better, but I was uncertain whether the cost differential was justified. I certainly can’t use the Dell on 100% brightness all the time as it is seriously hard on the eyes. I usually have the Dell set to 30% brightness and 40% contrast when working on a word doc whereas I have been working on the Apple as it came out the box and I have noticed no eyestrain. I do however work in a study with blinds so there is no reflection on either screen. Yesterday I worked on a slideshow for about five hours with the Dell at 100% brightness and ended up with a raging headache in the evening, but the headache could have had other causes.

                                     

                                    We are going fishing north of the Arctic Circle from the 21st May for a month. I will try and come to some useful conclusions before then and give feedback, but if not, I will give feedback on my return. If anyone has any specific questions please feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer.

                                     

                                    Kind regards

                                     

                                    Linda

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    • 18. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                                      LindaColli Level 1

                                      MY CONCLUSION:

                                      I have changed the graphics card and installed the connectors to make the Apple 27” LED Cinema Display Monitor work on my Windows computer. I am more than delighted with it.

                                       

                                      I changed my graphics card from the Nvidia GTX 560Ti to the Nvidia GTX 660Ti in order to get a DisplayPort  connection. (R4 620 = +- $515). I have experienced no problems at all with this new card.

                                       

                                      I used a DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort  cable adapter from the computer to the monitor (R230 = +/- $25)

                                       

                                      The cord on the Apple LED 27” Cinema Display Monitor is only 110cm long as it seems to be designed to plug into an Apple laptop. I purchased a Dr. Bott Mini DisplayPort Extension 11 with USB, 1 meter long which works perfectly for me. (Available in longer lengths). Some on the internet have had problems with the USB connection on the Dr Bott Mini DisplayPort  extension cords but mine works fine. If the USB portion eventually fails I will just get a 1 meter USB to USB extension cord to correct the failure but it is tidier to have the USB and Mini DisplayPort in the same cord. There is a third strand which is used to charge an apple laptop which is not needed when connecting to a Windows computer. (Dr Bott: 15 pounds (GBP) from Amazon excluding delivery).

                                       

                                      In South Africa the Dell Ultrasharp US2711 is R8 300 whereas the Apple is R14 000. With the additional cost of the upgraded graphics card the Apple cost me considerably more than the Dell which I have been using for the past year. I recently had a friend come and calibrate my Dell to try and make it look similar to the Apple. With the brightness and contrast jacked up quite high on the Dell they looked fairly similar on the face of it but with the brightness pushed up on the Dell I experienced a lot more eye strain. It is not hard to adjust the brightness and contrast on the Dell for different applications but it does seem a lot harder on the eyes than the Apple. I have only been using the Apple for about a month but I do much prefer it to my Dell because my HD video looks a bit better and it is less stressful on my eyes. For me the Apple is worth the extra money, primarily for the general eye comfort during long periods of editing. This is possibly due to the difference in LCD/Apple screen technology. You would need to assess the cost benefit ratio for yourself.

                                       

                                      Once again, thank you all so very much for your help. I am delighted with the end result.

                                       

                                      Kind regards

                                      Linda

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                      • 19. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                                        Daxman1965 Level 1

                                        Thanks Linda for the feed back. How was your trip?. I use 2 x 26" T260 Samsung and a 32" or 40" Sony TV via my Blackmagic Studio Pro. It works very well but the machine does not perform the same as it does without the 3rd party IO but that said I don't think you will get the true picture that you do get with it in the sense of what you see is what you get on "Final DVD/Bluray" with any monitor connected to the Graphics card.

                                         

                                        Darren

                                        • 20. Re: Graphics card for Apple 27" Cinema Display on Windows Computer
                                          LindaColli Level 1

                                          Hi Darren,

                                          I should have looked at the Samsung options before I bought the Dell but having been so disappointed with the Dell I didn't want to make another mistake, so went straight for the Apple option which I thought was safer. My husband has an old 27" Samsung which has very nice picture quality - Better than the 27" Dell. The smaller Dell's seem to be a lot better than the 27" for some reason.

                                           

                                          We only leave for Norway, Finland and Lapland on Tuesday so it is just about upon us. Very exciting.

                                          Kind regards.

                                          Linda