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How About An Apple 30" Flat Panel for $1320?

April 11th, 2001
May 24, 2002 Updated "Developments Since This Article" and the Prices
Correction on CRT support
rob ART morgan, mad Mac scientist

My dream system has dual 22" Cinema Displays on a Dual G4/1000. But as the song says, "You can't always get what you want." So since the dual gigahertz G4 is still a dream and the 22" display is out of my price range (even at $2495), I did the next best thing. I ordered a Dual G4/533 with two refurbished Apple 15" flat panel Studio Displays. ($659 each from Small Dog Electronics.)

The tricky part was finding a way to run the second flat panel with Apple Display Connector (ADC). There's only one AGP slot. ProMax makes the DH-Max AGP card that runs two displays but the displays have to have VGA connectors. Apple will sell you a second graphics card (RAGE 128 Pro) but it doesn't have an ADC. There's no such thing as a PCI graphics card with ADC. (I could have ordered the older flat panel with DVI connector ($599 refurbished) but it didn't match the look and feel and screen height of the ADC version. Yes, I'm picky.)

Apple sells an ADC to DVI converter in the Displays section of Accessories on the Apple Online Store, but it only works to connect older DVI displays to new G4's with ADC graphics cards.

On January 30th, 2001, I was contacted by Linda Morgan of Bluesky Communications. She was sending out information regarding 330 foot extension for ADC and DVI displays for her client, a company called Gefen. I thought. Hmmm. If they have done that, maybe they are working on an ADC to DVI converter. The answer was "Yes!" Come April, they would be shipping a ExtendIt DVI to ADC Conversion Box.

Well it's April 10th and thanks to Gefen, I now have dual flat panel displays working on my dual G4/533 with the dual graphics cards. And I have dual internal Ultra ATA drives (one with OS 9.1 and one with OS X.) I even have a FireWire RAID (dual drives on dual channels).

I'm in "Dualie Heaven."

The above picture shows the small converter box sitting on top of the power supply (which appears to be the one used with the G4 Power Cube). Of course, I would hide all this behind or under the desk.

Needless to say, the ExtendIt DVI to ADC Conversion Box also works with Apple's $2999 22" Cinema Display with ADC.

REALITY CHECK: and second graphics card (ATI Radeon PCI $180 after rebate) bring the "true" cost of the two 15" flat panel displays to a total of $1797 ($2077 if you buy new displays). But that's still $1300 cheaper than the Cinema Display.


Apple has introduced a new 17" LCD Studio Display at $999, dropped the price of the 15" LCD Studio display to $599 ($449 refurbished), and dropped the price of Cinema display to $2499. Two 17" displays would give 1280 x1024 x 2 pixels -- way more total screen space than one Cinema display. In fact, I purchased dual 17's for my wife's Power Mac.

NOTE: None of the DVI to ADC adapters work with the Apple CRT's with ADC connector. In the original article, I stated they did but I was wrong.

2. Dr. Bott now has a DVI to ADC converter called the "DVIator" that sells for $149. It's a simpler, cleaner looking converter for half the price of the Gefen. However, it does require the same large power supply as the Gefen converter even though it is NOT shown in the picture at their web site.

3. Gefen has dropped the price on The ExtendIt DVI to ADC Conversion Box to $199.

4. Formac is the first third party to offer an Apple Display Connector (ADC) called the Formac gallery™ 1740 (17.4"). It's snazzy looking. Price: $899. You can also get it with a DVI connector.

5. Gefen has introduced a VGA to ADC converter. (See the Bare Feats article.)

6. Apple now has their own DVI to ADC converter. It uses a smaller power supply than the DVIator and Gefen converter. Price: $150. It was introduced the same day they rolled out the PowerBook G4/800 with DVI connector.


© 2001, 2002 Rob Art Morgan.

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