TWiT gets it wrong – monitors

Dell 2408WFP
The Dell 2408WFP

I couldn’t believe my ears on the recent
This Week in Tech
podcast when Leo and the gang trumpeted Apple’s monitor lineup.
There was much grousing about the quality of other LCD monitors.

Almost everyone i know has a Dell monitor because they are excellent quality and much less expensive.
Now they aren’t cheap — you get what you pay for in that respect — but they are loads less expensive than Apple’s.
We’re talking ones like
the Dell 2408WFP,
which costs $700 — hmm, it’s on sale for $600 at the moment.

On TWiT they talked about other monitors that cost $200-$300. Well duh!
If you buy cheap monitors you get what you pay for.
The only story there is that Apple doesn’t sell cheap monitors.
But if you compare apples to apples, as it were, you would see that the story changes.
Nobody in their right mind would buy an overpriced, underpowered Apple monitor, plain and simple.

Wow, this is almost an ad for the Dell monitor.
But hey, Iain, Jeff, John and I all have them.
So that’s a pretty resounding endorsement.

Mac: use a Windows ATi Radeon 4870 in your Mac Pro

The price for Windows 4870 cards is substantially lower than Apple’s.
The Canada Apple Store currently
lists one for $420,
whereas
Canada Computers has one for $210.
In
this MacRumors forum thread
people are discussing how to do this and what the pitfalls are.

Basically, download and flash the ROM from
RapidShare.

One person said:

I just tried it on my Sapphire HD4870 (the 1st gen one, based on
ATI’s ref design).

I flashed using freedos and the following command line:
atiflash.exe -p -fs -fp 0 4870.rom
note: -fs and -fp are used to ignore SSID and P/N mismatches

And it works!

EFI driver is initialized correctly, (I don’t have the leaked MacOSX
drivers for this card, so I can’t tell if this one works too), and
bootcamp stil works (currently writing from GNU/Linux on my 2006 Mac
Pro).

Only problem is : only one output is active, no dual-head, it seems
(at least using ATI’s linux driver)

I should note that doing this seems to make the analog output (SVGA) not work. DVI is fine, though one person reported the “top” port as only going up to 1024×768.

Be careful out there. Read the thread for info on which cards work, and what possible side effects there are.

YMMV.

Reid