The Dell 3007WFP 30” wide screen LCD display is one of the most, if not the most awesome, computer monitor on the market. Its native resolution is 2560×1600 which is about 4 Million pixels (4 Megapixel). In monitor real estate, that’s the equivalent to three 1280×1024 pixels 17” displays. The 3007WFP competes directly with Apple’s 30” Cinema Display and has several advantages over it: It has better brightness and contrast, weighs a bit less, has a warranty three times as long, and a slightly cheaper price. 4 Megapixel is cool but 8 Megapixel is twice as cool, right? We’ll tell you what we think of the Dell 3007 WFP and how we used it as the centerpiece of our 4960×1600 pixels windows desktop.
Dell 3007WFP Description
Obviously, this monitor is huge. Most people are surprised when they sit down and look at it for the first time. The display black bezels are less than one inch thick, which is not bad for a screen this size. The screen is supported by a 15.5” wide stand but also has VESA-compatible mounting holes in the back that can be used in conjunction to an arm. The display doesn’t really have any image processor, so the only buttons on the panel control the brightness and the power. The PC graphics processor (GPU) will control the image settings. This monitor has a laptop-style security lock that will let the user attach it to prevent theft, or at least make it harder or less tempting. Another interesting detail is that the 96-264V power supply (PSU) is integrated in the monitor. It connects directly to a wall outlet. That’s great because the desk is already crawling with power supplies. The small downside is that the monitor must be generating extra heat, but it’s not important as long as nothing fries. Finally, we were glad to see that there were no defective pixels (phew).
As expected for a monitor in that price range, the image quality is excellent. We have been comparing it with the Dell 2001FP that was already good, but the 3007WFP’s brightness and contrast are even better. By default, the 2001FP is set a bit too red. The 3007WFP on the contrary is a bit too blue/green. Colors and brightness uniformity is quite good and I have only been able to spot a small image distortion in the upper-right corner. I’m not sure if it is just this particular display… I’ll take a look at another one tomorrow. In theory, one can go in the graphics card’s properties and change the brightness, contrast and temperature, but in our case, it didn’t have much of an effect. I’ll need to dig into that.
To the impulsive buyers who might order the screen after the previous paragraph: check if your video card is compatible with the display. Talking to people around me, I noticed that there was a bit of confusion about what “Dual-Link” is. Many people are mixing up Dual-Link and Dual-DVI.
Dual DVI means that there are two DVI connectors on your graphics card. Each of these connector might be Dual-Link or not. Explained with plain words, the single-link DVI connection can carry enough information to build a 1920×1080 pixels image at 60hz. Dual-link DVI doubles the bandwidth and therefore allows a 2560×1600 image to be send from the computer at a frequency of 60hz (or 60 images per seconds).
A single dual-link DVI connector is required to use the maximum resolution of this screen. If a dual-link is not present, a 1280×1024 pixels image will be displayed. Make sure that you connect the monitor on the proper DVI connector as most dual-link cards have two DVI connectors, one of which is not dual-link capable. Note that it is possible to get a dual-dual-Link graphics card capable of driving two 3007WFP monitors (!).
One last point: we used a 7800GT. While all the 7800 chips are dual-link capable, it is something that’s enabled or not by the card manufacturer. Make sure that your card is dual-link capable.
With my eyes at 22 inches from the screen, I have to move my eyes or even my head quite a bit if I want to stare at a corner to read something. It’s not really a problem but it feels a little strange at first. It is very easy to get used to the extra space and soon enough it just became “normal”.
How is it compared to the Apple 30” Cinema Display?
The Dell 3007WFP has better specs compared to the 30” Apple Cinema Display. The word on the street is that Dell uses a more recent LG panel than Apple does. We did not take the monitor apart to verify that, but here are the highlights (Dell / Apple):
• Response time: 14 / 16
• Viewing angle: 178 / 170
• Contrast: 700:1 / 400:1
• Height: 18.5” / 21.3”
• Depth: 7.87” / 8.46”
• Weight: 25lbs / 27.5lbs
• Warranty: 36 mo / 12 mo
• USB ports: 4 / 2
Combine these specs with a lower price, and I really don’t see why someone would pay at least $200 more to get the Apple brand but may be that’s just me… We used the non-scientific method of running back and forth between our desk to the Apple Store in Palo Alto, and we found that the Dell 3007WFP has better brightness, but simply put, they both look very good.
4 Megapixel is good but 8 is better
To make this review a bit spicier we’ve added one Dell 2001FP 20” monitor on each side of this 30” LCD. Interestingly, once rotated by 90 degrees, the 2001FP has the exact same height than the 3007WFP. It is possible to put them side by side and have a very nice match.
Each 2001FP adds 1200×1600 pixels (1.92 million). This final setup has (1200+2560+1200)x1600 = 7.936 Million pixels! Windows recognizes this setup as one virtual 4960×1600 desktop and will let the user drag and stretch windows over the entire area.
It is possible to connect more screens by adding more graphics cards to the computer. I bumped into a few practical issues while evaluating if we should add more displays or not:
1/ I’m not a rabbit. The corners of each monitor on the side are near the edge of my peripheral vision.
2/ My motherboard can receive only one PCI-E graphics card and I don’t have a PCI dual-DVI card.
3/ The 58-inch wide desk could not fit even one more monitor.
We used a 7800GT video card along with a 6150 integrated (on the motherboard) graphics chip to connect all the displays. The 30” and one 20” monitor were connected to the 7800GT, while another 20” monitor was connected to the DVI output of the motherboard.
thing is perfect, not even the Dell 3007 WFP. The single biggest complaint that I heard about this screen is the single input. Lower-range Dell models have multiple analog input and one DVI. This effectively eliminates this screen as display for all analog devices. That’s a shame, because it could be used as a video monitor of some sort. Picture-In-Picture (PIP) would be really nice feature too. Note that no consumer electronic video device supports a native 2560×1600 resolution. I guess that this lack of input makes sense, because we said above that there was no image processing unit in this monitor. Secondly, the height is not adjustable enough. Sure, one can move the screen up and down, but in these photos the 3007WFP is as high as it can be and it’s not enough.
Some say that you should consider this only if you’re a professional or if you really need the extra resolution. I think that anyone who can afford this monitor should get one! The comfort provided by the 2560×1600 resolution is just incredible. If you think that the price is too steep, here’s the good news: This 30” displays is pushing prices of lesser models down: the 24” 2005FPW monitor can now be found for less than $900. The Dell 20” models for less than $500.