Apple introduced a new line-up of high-resolution LCD screens during the keynote speech of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco – including "the largest high-resolution display ever created".
Ranging in size from 20 inches to a giant 30 inches, the new Apple Cinema Displays feature an all-new aluminium design with a thin bezel, suspended by an aluminium stand with an adjustable hinge that makes tilting the display almost effortless.
Apple has canned its proprietary Apple Display Connector (ADC) interface that has been standard issue on Apple's flat panel displays for several years – in favour of an industry-standard Digital Visual Interface (DVI). The 20-inch Cinema Display and the 23-inch Cinema HD Display are designed to work with DVI equipped Power Macs, PowerBooks and Windows-based computers.
Apple says that the advanced design of Apple’s breakthrough 30-inch Cinema HD Display requires the high-performance NVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL graphics card (£449, including VAT) and a Power Mac G5 professional desktop. The new 6800 Ultra delivers the industry’s first 16-pipe superscalar architecture and support for the world’s fastest DDR3 memory to raise the bar for 3D graphics performance, claims Apple.
Using over 220 million transistors it supports a 256-bit interface for an effective memory bandwidth of 35.2 GB per second, which delivers 600 million vertices, 6.4 billion textured pixels per second. The GPU is built on an AGP 8X board, and includes 256MB of DDR3 memory for use in demanding graphics applications. It is the first card available to support the DVI standard dual-link digital signal specification from the two DVI ports it features. This capability is required to drive the new 30-inch LCD, high resolution Apple Cinema HD display.
Due to size of the graphics card, the Power Mac G5's adjacent PCI or PCI-X slot will be blocked and cannot be used. This reduces the number of available PCI or PCI-X slots from three to two.
“Our gorgeous new 30-inch Cinema Display is the largest desktop canvas ever created, and you can even run two of them side-by-side to get 8 million jaw-dropping pixels,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Apple’s Cinema Displays have always set the bar for the industry’s highest quality displays, and our new 30-inch display is a giant leap forward for our pro customers.”
Dual USB 2.0 and dual FireWire 400 ports are standard. The new panel "works out of the box with your PowerBooks," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
The new displays support the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) mounting interface standard. Customers with the optional £19 Cinema Display VESA Mount Adapter kit can mount their display in locations most appropriate for their work environment. The Cinema Display VESA Mount Adapter allows your Apple flat panel display (anodized aluminum) to be used with a variety of alternate mounting solutions such as wall mounts and zero footprint articulating arms based on the VESA flat-panel mounting interface (FPMI). The new Apple flat panel family features a removable desktop stand. The Cinema Display VESA Mount Adapter Kit contains a tool that allows you to remove the desktop stand and to attach the VESA Mount Adapter to the display. The display is now ready to attach to any VESA compliant mounting solution that has a 100mm x 100 mm attachment.
A new 20-inch display (1,680-x-1,050-pixel resolution) featuring the same industrial design has also been introduced for £999 (including VAT). The previous 20-inch model cost £1,049. The 17-inch Studio Display is still available for £549. but not in the new aluminium styling.
The new 30-inch display (£2,549) boasts a 2,560-x-1,600-pixel resolution, and works only with the Power Mac G5. It requires a new $599 NVidia GeForce graphics card in order to work that features dual-link DVI interfaces.
The new 23-inch Cinema Display costs £1,549 – £50 cheaper than the previous model at that size. It has a 1,920-x-1,200 optimal resolution.
The 20-inch and 23-inch displays will be available in July. The 30-inch model will ship in August.