Calibrating a Dell on a Mac

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I am in the research stage of replacing my long-in-the-tooth 2007 iMac. I use my computer to satisfy my enthusiastic hobbyist photography work. I’m leaning toward going with a Mac Mini; which leaves me with the “what monitor should I get” question. I’m in the <$600, >27”, IPS market…so please try to control your urges to tell me to go with Eizo or NEC. My $600/27”/IPS web-based research led me to the

Dell U2713HM.

While I have always had wonderful plug-n-play experiences with Macs, I’m concerned about calibrating. I have drunk the hardware-calibration-is-essential Kool Aid so want to be assured that I can calibrate this monitor with a hardware device. I’ve been using a Spyder II up until the last Apple OS upgrade on my iMac didn’t support it.

My research suggests that with Dell you can use only the X-Rite i1Display Pro hardware AND proprietary software that Dell provides on their support website. On Dell's website I couldn’t find the calibrating software; I think you may have to register a product to get full search functionality. But all indications are that their website includes no choices for non-Windows operating systems.

So, the BIG QUESTION:
Would I be able to calibrate the Dell U2713HM with the X-Rite i1Display Pro on a Mac operating system?

Thank you.
 

Growltiger

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I don't know.

But why not buy a monitor you can calibrate using an ordinary calibration device, with software that will certainly run on both PC and Mac. The ones with built-in hardware to do it are a luxury you don't really need. There are several excellent calibration devices that you could choose from. I use the X-Rite Colormunki Photo which also calibrates printers.

And when you eventually change monitors or get a second one or get a laptop, your calibration device will still work as it is not part of one monitor, so you still have the value of it. Mine is used to calibrate 5 different displays, including even a laptop with a not very good display which is greatly improved by it.
 

Growltiger

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PS. Perhaps I misunderstood your question. That monitor doesn't seem to come with a hardware calibration device. Those monitors are a lot more expensive I think.

So now I'm not sure what you mean. You seem to say that only one specific device can be used to calibrate a Dell monitor. That is nonsense. I calibrate a Dell monitor with my device with no problem.
 
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I hope I am wrong (PC user!) but I believe that Dell do not produce the required software for Mac OS. This seemed to be the standard in the past with them not touching Apple hardware or software.

I would contact Dell support for confirmation just in case

It is very useful to have a hardware calibration enabled monitor (usually the preserve of NEC and Eizo) due to the fact that the hardware software combination adjusts the monitors LUT directly allowing a much wider range of adjustment with more accuracy than adjusting either monitor manual buttons or graphic card control
 
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Eizo or NEC; only in my dreams, since I don't even play the lottery:) Nonetheless, hardware calibration, even at 'just' the graphic card level, has been satisfactory for my needs over the years and has always seemed intuitively vastly superior to manually eyeballing it. Maybe someone has personal experience with my question will reply, I'll contact Dell, or I'll go with another brand that doesn't require proprietary hardware/software while snubbing Mac users. The Asus PB278Q appears to fall within my $600/27”/IPS sweet spot. Thank you for your reply.
 

Growltiger

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OK I think I understand now. These specific monitors contain special hardware, a 10 bit LUT, that can only be programmed with special software that doesn't run on a Mac.
10 bit LUT is more accurate than the 8 bit LUT in a graphics card.

You have three options.
1. Use any normal calibration device that works with a Mac. The X-Rite products such as the ColorMunki do. That will calibrate via your graphics card. You won't get the extra accuracy from the 10 bit LUT in the monitor.

2. Pay for the Eizo or NEC with full hardware calibration built in.

3. Buy a nice powerful PC to go with your new Dell monitor.

I think you should ask yourself if you will be able to see any difference between the results of normal calibration vs the 10 bit LUT. Joining the exclusive club with more accurate calibration seems a very expensive step.
 
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Thank you for your replies. It seems like perhaps Dell has “proprietary-ized” themselves right out of my wallet. Or, Doug, are you saying I can calibrate the U2713HM with a device but that I’d be doing it at the graphics card level rather than the ‘more accurate’ monitor LUT level? Or, am I just outta luck with any hardware calibration on the Dell on the Mac platform? In my ignorance, I’m guessing that I’ve been calibrating my iMac at the graphics card level all these years; and as I said, I’m satisfied with my results.
 
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You can calibrate the Dell with any suitable device X rite or Spyder using the supplied software but you will be doing it through the graphic card or monitor controls not the internal monitor LUT.

For me this would raise the questions
1. Is the Dell monitor still worth considering over other perhaps less costly monitors?
2. As I cannot calibrate the internal LUT do I really need the i1 Display or should I save money and go for either Colormunki Display or Spyder 5
 
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I hear ya talkin' Tony. So does my wallet. What's the big roadblock to easier access to internal monitor LUTs or do many monitors not even have them and depend on the computer's graphics card? Probably some highly esoteric technical explanation that would get my head spinning. As long as the results meet my needs, ignorance is bliss. I leaned toward Dell because many users seemed to value their 3-year warranty (if you could get through the corporate quagmire to take advantage of it if needed).
 

Growltiger

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The Dell monitors are good, by all means buy one. I have a Dell and an NEC and they are very similar (after accurate calibration).

You would probably be very happy with a ColorMunki Display or a new Spyder. I have the ColorMunki Photo because it also does printers but it costs a lot more.

If you want some other suggestions for improving accuracy, think about your working environment. This should be higher priority than a fancy 10bit LUT!

Do you have neutral colours throughout, e.g. white ceiling, grey walls. You should have no colours other than white, grey and black anywhere near your monitor and you should not even be able to look at those colours when sitting at it, as it will affect your colour judgement.

Do you have any lighting that reflects off the monitor surface? You might need to install blinds or shutters.

Do you have subdued lighting? No bright lights, let alone sunlight, should be allowed.

If you view prints then you should have a proper print viewing booth which includes standard lighting. This is not cheap!

So a pot of paint might be a good investment.
 
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Thanks for your input Richard. I have a good color-neutral viewing environment, have always run my hardware calibration & finalized photo edits at night with lights out, and view my prints under a (supposedly) full spectrum OTT-LITE (and replace the bulbs ~once a year or so). I really don't care to go so far as developing personalized color profiles for each paper I use; the manufacturer's profiles work well enough for me. I can picture some people developing a new set of color profiles every time they replace an empty ink tank, since there is obviously some level of variation inherent in the ink manufacturing process. It takes all kinds to make a world.:confused:

Again, thanks for taking the time to help.
 

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