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GabenJr

Apple’s Pro Display XDR – A PC Guy’s Perspective

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Love it or hate it, Apple’s EXPENSIVE Pro Display XDR is here and ready for its close-up – How many blemishes will show through, and is it REALLY “pro”?

 

 

Buy a Pro Display XDR:
On Amazon (PAID LINK): https://geni.us/CtivByN
From Apple: https://lmg.gg/FcE2X

 

Buy a Pro Stand:
On Amazon (PAID LINK): https://geni.us/C65BM

 

Buy a VESA Mount Adapter:
On Amazon (PAID LINK): https://geni.us/eBh06

 

Buy an arm mount to go with the VESA Mount Adapter:
On Amazon (PAID LINK): https://geni.us/kSEAJ
On Newegg (PAID LINK): https://lmg.gg/RUGkZ

 

Purchases made through some store links may provide some compensation to Linus Media Group.


Anthony @ LINUS MEDIA GROUP             

I'm a handsome man with a charming personality. - Gabe Newell

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I've always believed that a content creator should use the monitor that the audience is using. And for the most part your audience is using phone screens and at most 200$ desktop screens and cheap hd tvs.

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Would love to get one, but out of budget.

 

Hope LG would make one similar quality that is PC friendly, for $2500.

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Oh thank god. 

I have to admit I was a bit concerned when I noticed that stand in the background of another video. A lot of youtubers criticized Apple for such a product or wrinkled their nose when it was announced. But I see a lot of them still having purchased one or even two of them. That to me goes against some of their credibility. Because it makes these products work. And stuff like that is not supposed to work. No other manufacturer should pick up on this. Don't go buy such things.

 

So thanks for having a calm look at it - and now lets forget about it ? (the only acceptable future for it would be if you use it to build a PC with it, as some sort of case)

 

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In regard to not being able to control the monitor's parameters on Windows due to the lacking OSD, have you tried using any DDC/CI software (such as ClickMonitorDDC) to control it? It seems that DDC is a standard developed by VESA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_Data_Channel) for the purpose of controlling monitors through software.

 

I control my monitors like this and I can adjust the varies colour profiles supported amongst other settings that are usually cumbersome to adjust through the OSD compared to using ClickMonitorDDC (which is what I use but there are others). 

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Given that there are projects out there to support the 5k Ultrafine LG monitor on windows/linux https://github.com/csujedihy/LG-Ultrafine-Brightness

 

48 minutes ago, Deli said:

Would love to get one, but out of budget.

 

Hope LG would make one similar quality that is PC friendly, for $2500.

Given the number of LCD layers that this display uses to `mask` the backlight I would not expect someone to pull off a much cheaper model at least not until we have microLED that does not need this multi layered approach.

 

30 minutes ago, wemu said:

(the only acceptable future for it would be if you use it to build a PC with it, as some sort of case)

 Of course the other use case would be LMG start to produce lots of HDR mastered content.

 

54 minutes ago, emosun said:

I've always believed that a content creator should use the monitor that the audience is using. And for the most part your audience is using phone screens and at most 200$ desktop screens and cheap hd tvs.

The point of a high end screen is that it can switch reference modes so with one screen you can preview how the content will look on many target devices rather than needing to render it out load it onto your phone then onto your tv then onto a better tv ..... 

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4 minutes ago, hishnash said:

render it out load it onto your phone then onto your tv then onto a better tv .....

ah 30k well spent then

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Props for rationalising that potential buyers of the display are just as likely to want to mount it on their own vesa stand, rather than go with the flow and take cheap pot shots at the whole $1000 stand meme. 

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The video should be updated with more info/testing with different PCs/Macs using different connection modes.

 

The XDR has a Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller which can accept Thunderbolt or USB-C with DisplayPort alt mode input (Thunderbolt is also an alt mode of USB-C). The XDR supports the following input modes:

  • 1440p HBR (good for booting)
  • 4K 10bpc HBR2
  • 5K 8bpc HBR3 (not sure about this one - needs testing with a DisplayPort 1.4 GPU that doesn't support DSC)
  • 5K 10bpc HBR2x2 Thunderbolt 3 (from Alpine Ridge) 
  • 6K 12bpc HBR2 DSC
  • 6K 12bpc? HBR3x2 Thunderbolt 3 (from Titan Ridge)

The XDR display is 10bpc but allows 12bpc input. The 4K, 5K, and 6K modes have timings for the following refresh rates (Hz): 47.95, 48.00, 50.00, 59.94, 60.00. I don't know if custom timings are supported. The 1440p mode is only 60Hz. The timings for the lower refresh rates are strange because only the vertical blanking is changed. The pixels are drawn at the same rate for each refresh rate (so the same bandwidth is required for all refresh rates). This means each frame is drawn in the same amount of time but lower refresh rates will show the frame for longer. Bandwidth is reduced for lower frame sizes though (so 5K and 4K don't use the same bandwidth as 6K).
 

For USB functionality, (brightness control, USB ports, presets):

A USB-C with DisplayPort alt mode connection includes USB 2.0 (4 lanes of DisplayPort leaves no lines available for USB 3.x).

A Thunderbolt connection uses PCIe tunnelling to the Titan Ridge USB 3.1 gen 2 controller of the XDR display's Titan Ridge controller. But HBR3x2 reduces bandwidth available to USB 2.0 speeds. The USB ports and devices are connected internally with a USB 3.0 hub. How is the USB speed limited? Is the hub connection reduced to USB 2.0 mode or is it only limited by the reduced available PCIe bandwidth? For example, a USB 3.1 gen 2 (10 Gbps) PCIe card can work fine (but with reduced bandwidth) in a PCIe 1.0 x1 slot (2 Gbps).


Nvidia RTX, AMD 5300M, 5500M, W5700, W5700X, 5700 XT support DSC. Until recently Intel graphics have been limited to DisplayPort 1.2. Now there are Intel CPUs (10th gen CPU, Gen 11 GPU, Ice Lake) that support DisplayPort 1.4 and DSC, so now the Surface Laptop 3 can support 6K.

 

RTX has a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort alt mode so it works with the XDR display. The USB-C port of the RTX also supports VirtualLink alt mode. Do any available VR headsets support VirtualLink? Anyway, the XDR does not use VirtualLink. The W5700 also has a USB-C port but I don't know how it works for macOS/Windows, or if it supports USB with DisplayPort alt mode.

 

For GPUs that don't have USB-C, a bidirectional USB-C to DisplayPort cable (such as the one sold by Moshi) will work but you'll be missing the USB features of the display. Maybe an app can set brightness using DDC/CI?


If the GPU doesn't support DSC, then you'll be limited to 5K or 4K unless the GPU has two DisplayPort HBR3 connections to a Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller. However, the firmware of the controller might limit one or both connections to HBR2 or HBR which makes 6K impossible (this requires more testing). There was a problem with the Blackmagic eGPU where it would only allow two HBR2 connections to the XDR display (supporting only 5K). They released a firmware update to fix that. With a GC-TITAN RIDGE, when I connect two HBR3 displays, one of them can only connect at HBR speed. In macOS, the AGDCDiagnose command is used to get connection information (DisplayPort lanes, speed, DSC, HDCP, MST, etc.). Even if you get dual HBR3 over Thunderbolt 3 to work, I haven't seen an EDID that includes the 3008x3384 timing that would be required to support the tiled mode but that might be just because I haven't seen the AGDCDiagnose output from this connection mode yet.

 

6K is a lot of pixels (more than dual 4K which is more than 5K). A card that supports DSC and has 6 DisplayPort outputs (such as the W5700) might not support six 6K displays. Apple's Mac Pro tech specs says the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II can only support two XDR displays instead of the expected 3 (only 3 because it doesn't support DSC). The Mac Pro tech specs and the support document for the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo MPX Module have conflicting number of supported XDR displays. Is there a problem with 6K transport from the MPX slot to the I/O card or top Thunderbolt 3 ports? I don't think so, since that is the only way for the MPX 580X to support 6K.

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7 hours ago, emosun said:

I've always believed that a content creator should use the monitor that the audience is using. And for the most part your audience is using phone screens and at most 200$ desktop screens and cheap hd tvs.

That is actually a very good reason to use a reference monitor for creating content. 

 

The manufacturers of displays aim to accurately reproduce colors as best they can, but between cost constraints and manufacturing variances not all displays show the same colors. Imagine measuring the color red on a 10 point scale, with 0 being white and 10 being a deep red. The display manufacturer aims for the display to show a 5 red as a 5, but a given display may show it as a 4, 5 or 6.

 

If a content creator used a random cheap display to edit a photo they will likely use a display that is slightly off. Maybe it is a -1, so a 5 red looks like a 4. The editor then boosts the red in the image file so it appears correct on their display; now the 5 red is saved in the file as a 6. Then a consumer looks at this image with another random cheap display; this one is a +1. Now the original 5 red appears as a 7 to the consumer. Far off from what the original creator intended.

 

If the content creator used a reference display where a 5 red is guaranteed to be a 5, there would be a maximum variance of +/−1, rather than +/−2.

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13 hours ago, emosun said:

I've always believed that a content creator should use the monitor that the audience is using. And for the most part your audience is using phone screens and at most 200$ desktop screens and cheap hd tvs.

Not possible to be a jack of all trades that way. Customers have many different displays. Thus the only way to "control" for colour/image/quality, is to have 1 really good and consistent display (or type of display) for the editors.

 

That way, even if customer A gets a different colour to customer B, you know *why*. Though yes, grading for HDR if no one has HDR ends up with rubbish results.

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Oh man, poor Taran.


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I see a few other solutions people have mentioned on here, but I'd just like to point out that you actually CAN install Bootcamp Assistant on non-apple hardware if you really need it (such as for this display's options).
Attached screenshot of my Thinkpad E450 running Bootcamp assistant (literally installed just for this comment).

Unsupported? Yes. Impossible? See Hackintosh

 

link to Apple's BootCamp download page

1. Download BootCamp Assistant from Apple's Download Center (see Bootcamp link)
2. Extract the zip file
3. Go to [name of extracted folder]\BootCamp\Drivers\Apple and copy "BootCamp.msi" to
	somewhere else that will be easily accessible with commands
	(this is so it won't install any Apple drivers, just BootCamp Assistant)
4. Open PowerShell as Administrator
5. Type cd [path to folder you copied BootCamp.msi to] and press Enter
6. Type .\BootCamp.msi

The BootCamp Installer should pop up.
After installing, you may need to reboot for it to appear in the status icons.

So I mean, if Taran really likes it that much ?

 

Annotation 2020-01-20 222102.png

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On 1/18/2020 at 3:13 PM, emosun said:

I've always believed that a content creator should use the monitor that the audience is using. And for the most part your audience is using phone screens and at most 200$ desktop screens and cheap hd tvs.

I would argue the complete opposite. While some may watch on their phones at times, it’s not as simple as one size fits all here. If their editors started using budget monitors with very little color accuracy their video quality would diminish substantially. What people need to do is take the time to actually tune their displays according to their environment. Everyone’s eyes are different. If you take a display out of a box, cheap or not, and do nothing to calibrate it you’re not going to get the best image it can produce. There are also other variables at play such as cameras used, lighting, color science, environment, etc.
 

On 1/19/2020 at 2:14 PM, Belgarathian said:

Oh man, poor Taran.

I believe Linus wanted to return the MacPro along with the XDR display within the 15 day return period. Now that they missed their window who knows what they’re actually planning to do with them. Funny enough I believe Taran started on Final Cut and then later moved over to the Adobe Creative Suite. 

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7 hours ago, Founders said:

What people need to do is take the time to actually tune their displays according to their environment

hear that planet earth...... get right on that

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On 1/21/2020 at 1:51 PM, Founders said:

 Funny enough I believe Taran started on Final Cut and then later moved over to the Adobe Creative Suite. 

Yeah..he mentioned that in the battle with iJustine (she went the other direction).

 

I'd actually bet that Apple does have Windows software for this in the works. While they like to drive people to the Apple ecosystem...they also rarely leave money on the table.


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On 1/21/2020 at 11:29 PM, emosun said:

hear that planet earth...... get right on that

I know I’m asking a lot. Exerting even the slightest bit of effort is difficult for some to muster.

8 hours ago, Video Beagle said:

Yeah..he mentioned that in the battle with iJustine (she went the other direction).

 

I'd actually bet that Apple does have Windows software for this in the works. While they like to drive people to the Apple ecosystem...they also rarely leave money on the table.

I don’t believe so but anything’s possible.

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On 1/18/2020 at 10:09 PM, hishnash said:

Of course the other use case would be LMG start to produce lots of HDR mastered content.

That would still work even without that stand ?

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We can see our reflections on monitors. Do you thing the nano textured pro display XDR can solve that problem?

 and any solution for that issue, other than siting in dark room.....

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