Apple Studio Display 17-inch (retro CRT ‘gaming’ monitor)


The 17″ Apple Studio Display (Graphite – CRT), was introduced by Apple in 1999. The monitor complemented the Power Macintosh G4/400 and the G4/500. It is a CRT monitor featuring a 17.0″ Diamondtron monitor with a 0.25 mm aperture grille pitch. 

Different CRT models (1999–2002)

Apple introduced various CRT-based Apple Studio Displays between 1999 and 2002. They came in two sizes. An 17-inch (43 cm) and 21-inch (53 cm) model were introduced in January 1999. Both with VGA connectors. These monitors came in the colors “blueberry” and white to match the Blue and White Power Macintosh G3. In August 1999, the exterior styling was changed to “graphite” and white to match the Power Mac G4.

In July 2000, the 21-inch model was dropped and the 17-inch changed to a clear enclosure with ADC connector. This clear version is considered to be one of the best CRT’s ever made with and ecstatically stunning. However, it has a big disadvantage. It does only work with Power Mac G4 with and ADC-compatible video card. Even the Apple ADC to DVI Adapter does not allow connecting this CRT to a source with DVI due to the power requirements of the CRT-monitor compared to the Apple LCD’s. 

Apple Studio Display ‘Clear’ with ADC

Apple stopped selling CRT displays in May 2002. LCDs were hip and happening, and introducing a new monitor gave Apple the possibility to implement a DVI connector on their monitors. 

Graphite in use

The image quality of the Graphite is nothing less than great. The Diamondtron picture tube provides high-contrast colors and a sharp image. What struck me most was the deep black levels that are only surpassed by my modern OLED TV. I had forgotten for a moment how good the CRTs of the past were compared to the early LCD monitors.

The single VGA connection limits the number of devices that can be connected to the ‘Graphite’. Nevertheless, with an HDMI to VGA adapter, it was effortless to get even my PlayStation 5 to work on the screen. The 1600×1200 resolution ensures beautiful images in games. My Dreamcast and Apple/Katz Pippin (see picture) already had a VGA port, so I could connect it without an adapter. They also provided stunning image quality. Other consoles, such as a Gamecube or SNES, can also be connected with the right adapter.


The 17-inch CRT Apple Studio Display is a great monitor for your Power Mac G4 or any other computer with a VGA connector. It is also a great monitor for consoles with a VGA connector. In fact, it’s a great monitor, albeit a bit small by modern standards, for a PS5 or Xbox Series X. The great colors and good black levels mean that even modern games look fantastic on the monitor. The somewhat older consoles such as the Gamecube or SNES can also be connected with special adapters, but have not led to good image quality in games for me personally.

Since the monitor was only on sale for a very short time, as it was soon followed by Apple’s first LCD monitors, the Apple Studio Display ‘Graphite’ is nowadays relatively hard to find.

NameApple Studio Display (Graphite)
TypeComputer monitor
Date of introduction31. August 1999
Date of discontinuation19. July 2000
GenerationPower Mac G4
Worth120 euro
Prices$499 US
Monitor typeCRT (Diamondtron)
Screen size17 inch (16 inch viewable)
Resolutions-640×480 (85Hz)
-800×600 (85Hz)
-832×624 (75Hz)
-1024×768 (85Hz)
-1152×870 (75Hz)
-1280×1024 (75Hz)
-1600×1200 (60Hz)
Refresh rate15 KHz
TVL count450
Inputsmini D-sub VGA
Dimensions38.0 × 34.0 × 43.0 cm
Weight11.9 kg (26.2 lb)

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