Earlier this year we saw the announcement of Apple’s new studio display monitor. It looks like an awesome display with a 5k retina panel and deep color gamut. But it also came with a hefty price tag, which only got more ridiculous if you wanted to adjust its height.
That’s what prompted YouTuber Luke Miani (Via 9To5Mac) to try making their own using an old iMac. The new studio display is quite similar to some of these older models, so it makes sense that some people would wonder why spend the money to upgrade.
“Apple’s new Studio Display is quite an interesting product, but at $1,599 it’s arguably bad value. But since there are so few other displays that offer 5K resolution at 27 inches, for some it’s the only option. Until today. If you don’t feel like spending $1600 on the Apple Studio Display, you can make your own!” Miani explains.
This project requires an old iMac to get started, but you can buy them used much cheaper than Apple’s new screen. Miani spent a total of $829 on the build, which is still significantly cheaper than the $1,600 base price for Apple’s latest display. At nearly half the price, this project will sacrifice some features like the P3 color gamut, but that’s more than offset by the benefit of taking something apart piece by piece and not giving Apple any more money.
For the screen to work, a special conversion board was needed to turn the panel into a plug and play monitor. To do this, you need to match the monitor number to a compatible card, which can be quite difficult to find. Luckily Miani has also linked the used ones, but it’s probably a good idea to watch the full video and check your panel number if you’re going for this project.
What’s left for Miani in the end is a pretty impressive monitor, especially for the price. The 5k panel still looks great and comes with USB-C connectivity, and it retains the use of the older iMac’s built-in webcam. Again, for those who need all the functionality of a studio monitor, you might still have to shell out a lot of cash, but for those looking for a fun project for a 5k display, this seems like a good one project to try.