Alan, if the size isn't a major factor for you (and read what Jeff wrote about LR), I'd suggest the newer NEC is the best option and yes, they have improved over the years.
The problem with forums is that there are many self-proclaimed experts. Then there are the real experts, who publish in the field; work as full time consultants; or actually design software and hardware, and who are recognized
for their expertise. You are among those who can legitimately be referred to as experts, and I therefore welcome and am delighted that you chose to comment.
Andrew, I remember when you were involved with the Sony Artisan, one of the last old style monitors that was made specifically for photographers. I purchased one due to your strong recommendation for that product. So I have been following your recommendations for many years, and I'm sure you have influenced many of the photographers who read this forum over the years.
So if I may ask you another question, because I believe others will benefit from your response as well. This is related to the topic of this thread, namely why certain high end monitors may not be fully functional with an iMac -- but are they with the new Mac Pro? So this is related to which monitors are fully functional with the Mac Pro, or in this case, an iMac.
In the last year Wacom released the Cintiq 24HD Touch. At one point I looked into it, but ultimately rejected it due to its very large size and footprint. (At least, too large for my desk.) That unit produces 1.07 billion colors and 97% of Adobe RGB. (*** See footnote below.) Unless I misunderstood him, Wacom tech support said that to fully deliver this range of color and RGB coverage, the full sized displayport cable and output must be used -- and not DVI, which is also included. (The odd aspect of this statement is that DVI is what is provided for ease of use, and the back of the Wacom must be unscrewed to even access the Displayport cable.)
Tech support for Wacom told me that the unit could not deliver its full potential on an iMac, because that high video quality could only be delivered through the displayport output. And that the necessary displayport input is typically found on PCs with advanced graphics cards, and is not found on the iMac.
In addition, Wacom recommended connecting that 24HD display to the iMac using a DVI to mini displayport converter (specifically a Kanex Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter model IADAPTDVI). Which means the DVI output would be used, rather than the full sized displayport output and full sized displayport cable on the back of the Wacom. I later asked customer service at Wacom why they don't recommend a Mini DisplayPort to full size DisplayPort adapter instead, as this would presumably deliver the full billion colors and output on the Wacom 24HD display, since it would use the DisplayPort and not DVI. The guy in customer service didn't know for certain, and thought such an adapter might not work with temperamental iMacs, that are known to have problems driving large monitors. (The web is filled with hundreds of reports of Mac users trying countless adapters and converters to find the magic one that will drive large monitors.)
That led to another question -- is the problem that prevents the Wacom from displaying its full resolution on an iMac related to the video card in the iMac, or is it related to the mini displayport? I asked if the new Mac Pro, with its advanced video cards, had solved that problem. But the Mac Pro still uses mini displayports. (To be clear and fair to the guy at Wacom customer support, he didn't know that answer, and referred me to more senior tech support, who was not available on the day in question.)
So that is my question. When Wacom said that an iMac can't deliver on the full potential of its new 24HD display, is it referring to the video cards and processing in the iMac, or is it referring to the method of connection -- the minidisplay or thunderbolt port? ( I assume Wacom is referring to video cards and not the method of connection.) Because if it is the former, namely the video cards, has the new Mac Pro solved that? But if it is the latter, and the Mac Pro is still limited by the mini displayport, then why is it that the Mac Pro can drive 4k monitors but not a Wacom to its full potential?
Either way, does this limitation in the iMac adversely impact other high end displays, such as the top of the line NEC, when they are connected to an iMac?
A footnote on the above, with a request for more clarification, which again, I believe would be beneficial for many of us who read the forum:
*** The Wacom that is one step down, the 22HD Touch, produces 16.7 million colors, the same as the top of the line Apple Thunderbolt monitor. That is 16.7 million colors versus over 1 billion. And the 22HD produces "only" 72% of Adobe RGB. That is 72% versus 97%. (Apple does not publish the Adobe RGB spec for the Thunderbolt monitor, at least not that I could find.)
(1) But what do these statistics actually mean? For advanced amateurs, would we actually see a difference between 16.7 million colors versus 1 billion, and between 72% RGB coverage (the Wacom that costs "only" $2500) versus 97% coverage of Adobe RGB (the same level of coverage for the NEC or the Wacom 24HD)?
(2) And if there is a difference that can be actually seen, how does it manifest itself? As banding? How?
Assuming, of course, that we are using computers that can even reproduce this range of colors, which according to Wacom, can't be done on an external high end montor connected to an iMac -- either due to its internal video card, or its use of the mini displayport, or both. Your answer above should clarify which is the issue.
(3) And which of those can't be reproduced on an external monitor connected to an iMac -- the 1 billion colors or the 97% of RGB -- or both?
(4) And does either of these limitations affect the screen built into an iMac that was built in the 2011 (not retina) to 2013 timeframe? Can owners of iMacs see 97% of RGB on their own screens, let alone 1 billion colors?
Does it really matter, for advanced amateurs?
Rodney, many thanks in advance for your response.