Friday, March 7, 2008

Adding a second display to a Mac Pro

Having almost completely decommissioned the P4 Wintel box on my other desk, I've now got a Samsung SyncMaster 193T† LCD display that's not really doing much. So tonight I dragged it over to meet the Mac Pro. Observations:
  1. After Googling ridiculous phrases like “when i connect a second display to a mac pro do i need to turn the machine off” and getting nowhere, I figured I'd just experiment. Result: it's sufficient to put the machine into sleep mode, connect the second display, and wake the machine. I have no idea if it's necessary.
  2. Mac OS X has a colour profile for the Samsung SyncMaster 193T. I've had this monitor for maybe four or five years—it's not new. I was impressed.
  3. I reset the monitor's display settings, and selected the provided profile. The results are not spectacular. Granted, it's an old monitor, but sitting next to my brand new Apple Cinema Display, white looks far from white on the Samsung. There may be some scope for adjusting its settings, but maybe it's just a crap monitor.
  4. Having a monitor that can rotate its display is actually quite cool—great for showing A4 documents, for example.
  5. While the monitor has a DVI input, I don't have a cable, so I'm using the DVI-to-VGA converter that came with the Mac Pro. I wonder whether a DVI cable would improve the image.
†: Yes, I'm pretty sure that's Swedish. It was the first hit for the search “samsung syncmaster 193T site:samsung.com”.

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