Dell u2913WM Setup 3

A few images showing the final setup…

iMac extended desktop 2560 +1920 x 1080 pixels.

MacBook Pro extended desktop. I won’t usually use the MacBookPro’s display otherwise it would be better to raise it.

One of the USB ports on the back can be used for a web camera.

As I hope you can see, it is a beautiful display with good colors and a great selection of ports.

26 thoughts on “Dell u2913WM Setup 3

  1. Thank you for your amazing review.

    One question : Is this monitor works with Macbook Pro 13″ Mid 2012 too? (No Retina)
    If yes, what is the maximum resolution i able to get?

    Thanks.

  2. Hi,

    Based on the Apple tech specs you should have no problem getting the full 2560 by 1080 resolution provided by the display through a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable (one is supplied with the monitor). You can also drive a 27″ monitor at 2560 by 1440 (such as the Asus PB278Q) so think carefully about whether you need the extra height. I am enjoying the monitor still though and find it really takes up all of my peripheral vision so it feels immersive.

  3. Hi,

    i got this nice display on last weekend. I connectef it with the mini diplay port cable, witch came with the monitor to my 21″ iMac 2011 (thunderbold). The resolution is ok, but the fonts of the finder and in documents looks verry bad – as if the font smoothing doesn’t work properly.

    Then i connected the display to a macbook pro 2009 and all looks verry smooth.
    How did the display work on your iMac. Do you have a iMay with thunderbold or a previous modell with display port? Perhaps that port causes the issue with the monitor.

    Perhaps i should try an other dp cable or a mini dipsplayport to hdmi cable/adapter?

  4. Hi,

    Have you tried adjusting the sharpness settings? I have mine set to 50% sharpness (which is the the default I think) but my iMac is older (display port model) so if it looks bad at 50% try to reduce it to zero. That is what I have set for my 2012 MacBook Pro which uses Thunderbolt.

    Don’t bother with getting an HDMI adapter since HDMI is limited to 1920×1080 pixels. (The spec isn’t but the HDMI output on macs is). If you can find a mini-displayport – mini-displayPort cable, then you can use it to hook up both macs at once and then play around with the settings and/or switching cables. Please let me know how you get on. (I had the same experience with the fonts when I first hooked it up to so I think that adjusting the sharpness and/or the RGB settings will fix it.)

  5. Hi Darren,

    thank you for the quick response and im glad to tell, that you were right. Althougth i’ve benn fumbeling in the monitor settings for a while, i’ve overlooked the sharpness menue item. I adjusted it from 50% to 10% and everthing looks fine and i will keep the great display. I like the setup with the macbook pro most, so that i handed the iMac to my wife (for maintain the photos in iphoto).

    Thanks and greetings from germany

  6. How is the performance when playing games with this monitor? any lag? also where is the best price for it ? TIA

  7. Games seem OK although I don’t play myself. The wider screen give more peripheral vision for driving simulators and first-person shooting games. Here a few (randomly selected) YouTube links.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SOid5NIR4c
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40JgzGtSfuI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrZaGhv3hl4 (Not sure if this counts as a game..)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYisg0XT758

    Make sure that your computer has a DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort connection to get the full 2560×1080 resolution.

    Best price? I guess in Japan. I bought it for 40,000 yen (about US$450.00) new direct from Dell late last year but I have seen it advertised for $699.00 in the US. I don’t know why there is such a big price difference. (I just checked and it’s gone up to 50,000 yen now – around US$500).

    There is a detailed review here (including some info about Responsiveness and Gaming):
    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2913wm.htm

  8. Hi, I noticed you have a midi controller…. How is this monitor with a DAW… I could use the extra screen real estate in Ableton Live. (especially since Live doesn’t support dual monitors)

  9. Hi Thierry,

    I have been too busy to make music lately. I will try to take some screen shots of Logic/Digital Performer this weekend. BTW, It is an Alesis Micron – a small synth.

    One of the reasons I choose this monitor is for additional screen real estate for DAWs. I also have a Project Mix i/o and MOTU 828mk2 so I was/am planning to use the iMac for monitoring the mix and keep the sequencing/track windows on the Dell display.

  10. Hi Darren,

    I’ve got this monitor connected to my 15″ MBPr. Generally speaking I love it! I spent a long time going through the settings to improve the picture only to find that I’d arrived at the exact same configuration as your very good writeup.

    I’m having an issue with video playback though, any video I play works for a little while then gets a blue rectangular overlay on top of the area of screen where the video is playing. If I move the playback window on screen it redraws itself and the blue overlay will go away, but then returns a few seconds later. It’s a system wide behaviour it doesn’t matter if it is a video on youtube in any browser or a video playing in Quicktime or VLC.

    There is also the occasional blue overlay over the entire screen even when there is no video playing, but that usually only lasts for a few seconds and is very rare.

    I’m curious to know if you’ve heard of anyone having that same issue or if you’ve experienced it yourself?

    Regards,
    Adrian

  11. Hi Adrian,

    Thanks for the kind words. I haven’t experienced the problems with video playback you describe. I have seen an occasional blue flash over the whole screen. I also saw this on a Mac Mini using a different monitor (at my office) connected by HDMI and I have seen it on my Dell display at home hooked up by DisplayPort which leads me to suspect that this is an issue with the built in graphics in the newest Macs. Have you tried a different computer to see if the problem persists? (For me this blue flash is quite rare and doesn’t really bother me).

    Also, have you tried turning off the ‘Enable DisplayPort 1.2’ option? I suggest this as I bought a new MacMini for myself last week and when I plugged it into my Dell monitor I couldn’t get it to work. I was really frustrated for a while, tried 3 different cables, pulling the plug on the monitor etc. In the end I did a full factory reset on the monitor and it worked. I enabled the DisplayPort 1.2 and it stopped again so I turned it off and left it that way. It’s quite strange as the Mac Mini is the 2.3 Ghz i7 model which has the same processor/video as my MacBookPro…

    There’s also a DDC/CI option in Other Settings which is on by default but doesn’t seem necessary and might be worth turning it off to see if it has any effect. I also see an option called Smart Video Enhance in Display Settings. Sounds like it might be relevant if you are only experiencing issues with video playback. Did you try changing the settings for that? (Mine is set to Video – I guess it is the default).

    Darren

  12. Hi Darren,

    Thanks very much for the quick reply. I played with it a bit more and when I was cycling through the monitor’s colour options I found that “Game” colour mode doesn’t seem to produce the problem, I had previously left it set to “Standard”. Some of the colour modes like “Multimedia” immediately turned the whole screen blue and kept it blue, so definitely seems related to this part of the monitor’s firmware. If it starts playing up again I’ll try reverting that display port setting.

    Anyway, so far so good with the Game colour mode, I now really enjoy using the monitor for my everyday work, after looking at my reflection in the glass front of a 27″ cinema display for the past couple of years I’d forgotten how nice a matte screen is!

    Regards,
    Adrian

  13. Hi Adrian,

    Thanks so much for posting these comments. I’ve search the web far and wide to find someone who had this problem. Was just about to give up when I stumbled across your solution. Thank you so much. Problem solved here too.

    Cheers

    JT

  14. How does it work with the usb hub and your multiple computer setup? As far as Ican see, it only has one usb up so you have to choose the souce instead of it swtcing whenever you switch display input. Guess it really can’t be used for much?!

  15. Just wanted to say thanks for this site and everyone that left comments. I bought the monitor last week and was not very pleased. Everyone’s advice and tips have helped me set everything up so that I’m very happy with it now.

  16. Thanks for the positive feedback Dave. I am very glad that we could help.

  17. Thank you so much for posting this article on how to set it up. Just got that monitor and was not impressed with how it displayed via my mac mini. Now it is wonderful thanks to your steps outlined in this article. A big thank you from me, your time and effort has been much appreciated 🙂

  18. Hi!

    First of all, thanks for the great article. I got my screen today, but I was wondering. Everything works perfect, except for the USB ports.. I can’t connect a mouse or charge my phone with them or do anything of the sort. I am running a 2011 MBP trough mini display to the screen. Can it have anything to do with that perhaps? How did you hook up that webcam through the intergraded usb ports?

    Thanks again!

  19. Hi there,

    There is a USB cable that comes with the display – a thick, black one with the flat, normal USB connector on one end and the square shaped connector on the other. Plug the flat connector into one of your computer’s USB ports and the square one into the back of the monitor. The screen gets its USB connection (and power for it unfortunately) from your computer. Then you should be able to plug USB devices into the other USB ports on the left side of the display.

    I don’t recommend connecting your mouse/keyboard to the display however as you will probably have trouble waking up your computer if it is a notebook. Also you should unmount any external Hard Disks/media before disconnecting your computer or putting it to sleep, otherwise you will get an error that it was disconnected improperly. (It’s OK for webcams though). I have seen some criticisms of the way this monitor handles USB on Dell forums and I have to agree it could be better.

  20. Thank you for a very useful site and write-up. I originally set up my new Dell U2913WM monitor as discussed, (sharpening to 0), but still was not impressed.

    To get the fonts and everything looking great, I would follow use the script and follow the instructions here. I ran the script with my MacBook Pro Retina screen closed, then rebooted, made sure the settings were for RGB and not YPbPr and reset sharpening to 50 in the Dell Monitor menu and now everything looks great!

    http://www.ireckon.net/2013/03/force-rgb-mode-in-mac-os-x-to-fix-the-picture-quality-of-an-external-monitor

  21. I have the Dell u2913wm monitor with a 2008 mac pro and I had the problem with the blue tint overlay over my videos and also the screen blinking to a blue tint from time to time. I went to the settings on the u2913wm monitor and went to “display settings” and turned off “Smart Video Enhance.” This seems to have fixed the problem.

  22. Hi there,

    I took delivery of this today. I’m plugging 2 Macs into it – but not at the same time.

    One is a late 2013 2.6 GHz i5 MBPr, the other a Mind 2012 1.7 GHz i5 MB Air.

    The MBPr, having adjusted the sharpness down, looks great, but the MB Air not so. The problem appears to be with text – it all seems a bit translucent and bitmappy.

    Both are connecting using the supplied Mini Display Port to Display Port cable, and both Mac are running Mavericks.

    Any ideas as to what I need to change on the MB Air?

    Thanks

  23. Adrian (et al),
    I just acquired the Dell U2913WM widescreen monitor.
    Really, I’ve added this second monitor because I do a lot of data analysis and my 27″ iMac (2012) just didn’t have the screen space to make it work for me.
    I connected an Apple ThunderBolt cable from the iMac to the monitor. The monitor couldn’t find the computer (and vice versa).
    I used the included MDP to DP cable and the monitor discovered the computer and vice versa quite well.
    Your post regarding sharpness was huge.
    This monitor also has MDP 1.2 as an option and, when enabled, images got even crisper. (Not sure why, but there it is).
    Finally, once working, if I switch inputs, it tends to not discover the video signal and then immediately go into power save mode. Not sure why. I’ve learned to just leave it on and connected via DP input and life is grand.
    Thanks for providing a forum that pops up positive on the web and allowed me to solve my problem.
    Best Regards,
    Raja

  24. Hi there,
    I just got the U2913WM monitor. I am using it with my MacBookPro Retina Early 2015 connected thru Display Port !!! I would like to know if I can connect an external USB Keyboard and Mouse directly to the monitor ?!! Also since the monitor has 2 x USB ports on the side those can be used for External Drives or something ? Thank you

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