I recently upgraded my computer and decided that the nicest display I could get for my budget was an Apple Cinema Display. I found the refurbished model for $599 and have not been disappointed. However, I am a PC user running windows, and Apple clearly did not intend for PC users to buy this display.
In light of this, I will share what I’ve learned about running the display on a Windows PC. First, you need a compatible video card, because apparently the display does not work with all PC video cards. I am using a Sapphire ATI Radeon 4890 which is one of the few cards that is known to be compatible. I read elsewhere that cards using the newer ATI 5750 chipset (which I wanted to get) do not seem to work, though I haven’t tested this myself.
The next step in making this display compatible is dealing with the mini-Displayport connector that is not available on any PC video cards that I am aware of. The solution is a cheap adapter, the Mini Displayport Female to Displayport Male Adapter Cable.
Now the last part of the fun is the integrated Apple Isight camera. Apple doe not offer the PC/bootcamp drivers available for download directly from their website. Instead they offer packages of drivers that are in a format that only can be loaded on a Mac (thanks apple), however, if you have access to a Mac then this package of drivers can be burned to a PC compatible CD. From this CD, the file you need is the latest AppleiSightInstaller64.exe or AppleiSightInstaller.exe depending on whether you or running a 64-bit or 32-bit OS. In my case, the only version of this driver I could track down was slightly outdated and so I actually had to edit the INF file to make it work, however, if you don’t know what an INF file is, then you are probably better off finding a friend with a Mac to burn the latest driver CD for you and while you are at it you should have them update your display’s firmware.
Good luck to anyone else who is foolish enough to mix Apple hardware with a PC 🙂