Dell u2913WM Display

About a month ago I bought a new MacBookPro with retina display. Until then I had been using a (late 2009) 21 inch iMac.

I wanted a display that would make use of the high video resolution of the MacBookPro (through the Mini DisplayPort compatible Thunderbolt port) and if possible use it as a second monitor to extend the desktop of the iMac which I still plan to use for music production.

I looked at the Apple Thunderbolt 27″ display but it is expensive and has only a USB2.0 hub. (On the other hand it does offer many other features such as an iSight camera, Firewire and Gigabit ethernet). I checked out other monitors, the one I liked best being the 27″ Asus PB278Q. It is about $300 cheaper, has good reviews but lacks the USB3.0 hub of its 24″ sibling. The 24″ (PA248Q) has the same ports, includes a USB3.0 hub, but its adjustable stand takes up 23.5cm of the depth of desk. I also looked at the LG IPS277L-BN monitor which had some good reviews and a thinnish bezel. It was cheap, light and had a narrow (non-height adjusting) stand but only 2 HDMI ports.

While researching the LG display I found out abut the ea83 and ea93 monitors.

Then Dell announced a new monitor using the LG ea93 display. The u2913WM has a 29″ hi-res (2560×1080 dpi) IPS display, adjustable height, swivel stand, 4-port USB 3.0 hub, as well as display port and mini-displayPort connections. Best of all it was only 40,000 yen (around US$500*) including tax and shipping. * For some reason the list price is higher in the US.

I placed an order and 5 days later it was delivered. While waiting for it to arrive I watched a couple of videos on uTube and found a Japanese blog which shows a lot of photos including the unboxing.

After flicking through the meagre documentation and snapping in the stand I plugged in the DisplayPort cable that came with the display and turned it on, whereupon I was greeted, not with a stunning super-widescreen view of the Mac OS X desktop, but with a black bouncing box saying “No DisplayPort cable found”. Oh well I thought, I’ll try the HDMI cable. Yay, a picture! Woah, it looks terrible. A quick google search turned up a lot of issues with the HDMI output on MacBook Airs and Pros.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4042652?start=0&tstart=0
https://discussions.apple.com/message/18958758#18958758

I tried unplugging the displayPort cable, and went through all the settings looking for something that might make the DisplayPort work. I tried the CD that came with the monitor but it was only for Windows. I figured it must be the cable and ordered a new one online. The next day I bought a cheap mini-DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort cable and when I plugged it in the MacBookPro’s desktop appeared in full width. Success! The text looked jaggy at first but turning the sharpness all the way to zero fixed that.

I plugged the mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable into the iMac and switched to the DisplayPort. Nothing again. Now I thought it must be the monitor. I wondered whether I should put up with it or send it back. The next day while browsing Dell’s web site looking for support I remembered something important. The display has a second display port for daisy chaining a second monitor. It suddenly clicked. I had been plugging the cable into this second connection. So, back home and the third try is the charm. The iMac and MacBook Pro are both connected and the display looks amazing.

This morning a took these photos and wrote this to help others avoid my mistake and show what a nice monitor this is for Macs and PCs. (I also tried connecting my Acer laptop via HDMI and the colors look very good but there is a black border on both sides of the screen due to the 1920×1080 pixel resolution).

Next page, Setting up the display

11 thoughts on “Dell u2913WM Display

  1. I have 2 Dell 2913′s and a Macbook Pro.

    I have a mini DP going from the Macbook to a DP into the Dell monitor.

    From there I am using the DP out to DP in to the other Del 2913.

    How do I extend the monitor to use both monitors instead of mirroring them?

    I can’t get it to work.

    Stephen

  2. Hi Stephen,

    I don’t have another monitor to test but the first thing that comes to mind is that the DisplayPort out only passes the signal from the DisplayPort in (not the mini-DisplayPort in). It’s unlikely but easy to check by using the mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable. There is also setting in the on screen display to enable DisplayPort 1.2. It seems that DaisyChaining requires this and the monitor is set to 1.1 by default. (At least mine was). You can see the setting on this page:

    http://thinklightly.com/wordpress/tech/dell-u2913wm-setup-2/

    I found the links below. I hope they help.

    http://www.displayport.org/faq/
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4721031?start=0&tstart=0
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4740489?start=0&tstart=0
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3947683?start=0&tstart=0

  3. Thanks. I’ve seen those and they don’t tell me anything. Essentially, I want to extend my desktop either my display port or mini display port. I can mirror them and that is not an issue. I want to extend them that is my problem.

  4. Thanks to your review I decided to get this display and I love it. Dell should fix you with some $ for the sale ! In my case it worked perfectly out of the box with my Macbook Pro 2012 using the included display – mini display cable.

    Cheers!,
    Roberto

  5. Thank you! You’ve made my day. I didn’t even see that port. It’s stuck behind the stand.

  6. I called the customer support center of dell.co.jp. And I solved the problem a little bit.
    Menu > Settings > Other settings > Display port 1.2 disabled –> enabled.
    Now I can see full resolution screen through the display port. But, through DIV, I can only see the 1920 x 1200 hd screen.
    I hope this will help you.

  7. Thank you. You just saved me buckets of frustration – was going through the same process of wondering if my cable was at fault, or the monitor….completely overlooked the hidden main display port…muchos gracias for posting

  8. Hi,
    I probably got your same initial problem connecting a MacBookPro 15″ (june 2012) to the Dell U2913. But maybe I do miss something… by watching your picture I see you got simultaneously connected 3 cables (!!! Is that right?):
    - Display
    - Minidisplay
    - USB
    I don’t understand. Do you need to connect both Display and Minidisplay?
    If yes, how can you do it, since you got only one minidisplay (thunderbolt) port on the Macbook?
    Or maybe it was just a demonstrative picture to show the possible connections?
    If yes I suppose I just need to buy the minidisplay cable… is it that way?
    Sorry for the confusion, I don’t speak very well english…
    would you make it clear once more for me? :))))
    THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
    Federico

  9. Hi Frederico,

    I am sharing the monitor between two Macs (a MacBook Pro and and iMac) so I use both Display and Mini Disport ports. If you just have one computer you only need one cable.

    Darren

  10. Thanks man. I was getting frustrated and stumbled upon your blog post. I think that’s the glitch when having a device with too many sources :).

  11. Stumbled upon this while googling trying to figure out why my retina Macbook Pro looked like crap with this display connected via DP to mini DP. Thankfully I saw the advice to turn the sharpness setting down to 0!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>