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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > imac 20" or 24", what should I buy?

imac 20" or 24", what should I buy?
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iPhony
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Jul 24, 2008, 11:49 AM
 
Is there still a screen quality difference? I've done a bit of web searching and found alot of concerns in 2006,2007 about the 20" (not bright enough, brighter areas, etc..). Is this resolved in the latest models?
Thanks.
     
MacNNUK
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Jul 24, 2008, 12:26 PM
 
I think there were visual quality issues, can't remember which was good, search may help

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mduell
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Jul 24, 2008, 01:34 PM
 
There's a huge difference in screen quality in the current Aluminum models. The 20" uses a poor quality TN panel while the 24" uses a decent PVA panel.
     
roller
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Jul 24, 2008, 02:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
There's a huge difference in screen quality in the current Aluminum models. The 20" uses a poor quality TN panel while the 24" uses a decent PVA panel.
This is true, I agree, but I would also argue that it really depends on what your usage requirement are. I have several of the 20' aluminum iMacs in my labs and have been very happy with them. That said, on my desk sits a MacPro with a Cinema display because of the graphic design work that occupies so much of my workday.

If you are just doing basic home use kinda stuff, it is not something that I would worry about, personally. But...if this is a day to day production machine for you, go with a better screen. And, well... frankly, if you simply want the 24' for whatever reason, why not?
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solofx7
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Jul 24, 2008, 02:38 PM
 
I have noticed a screen quality difference between the two.
I guess it depends on the configuration that you want.
     
mduell
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Jul 24, 2008, 05:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by roller View Post
This is true, I agree, but I would also argue that it really depends on what your usage requirement are. I have several of the 20' aluminum iMacs in my labs and have been very happy with them. That said, on my desk sits a MacPro with a Cinema display because of the graphic design work that occupies so much of my workday.
Even for everyday usage they're pretty poor. We have one in the front office and as soon as you get the slightest bit off-normal the giant drop shadows in OS X look like trash.
     
Ratm
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Jul 24, 2008, 06:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
There's a huge difference in screen quality in the current Aluminum models. The 20" uses a poor quality TN panel while the 24" uses a decent PVA panel.
What mduell said.

If its just for email/web/movies/games the 20" iMac. For home/work (photography, graphics) the 24".
     
iPhony  (op)
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Jul 24, 2008, 11:09 PM
 
thanks for the good info. it'll be a 24.

now why do they come with 2 x 1G ram and not 1 x 2G. frustrating..
     
mduell
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Jul 25, 2008, 05:19 PM
 
Saves about a dollar?
     
Etnier
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Jul 25, 2008, 07:35 PM
 
...and forces the upgrade path.
     
zerostar
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Jul 25, 2008, 08:42 PM
 
Do you have a local apple store? Go see the difference for yourself, using a 24" for graphic arts (and this LCD is head and shoulders above my older cinema display) the 24" is vastly superior. For home use, I don't really see a big problem, not like they are bargain basement LCDs just not as nice and even.
     
REVBCO
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Jul 29, 2008, 05:30 PM
 
Go for the 24 if you have the $ and the desk space. I had a 20 and now I have a 24. I would never go back.
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And.reg
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Aug 4, 2008, 06:54 PM
 
There's a Computer Connection store on campus that has had the 24" iMac Aluminum sitting there for a solid year. The damn screen has the color-shading quality of at least Apple's refurbished 15" LCD monitors, one of which remains absolutely flawless to this day (bought the damn thing back in 2002, I think, and it lasted over 3 years with my G4 Cube before I got my G5, now my parents use the G4). No seriously, the 24" I've seen in the store is extremely crisp. I can't say the same about my MacBook's color-depth or scales. Admittedly, they did not have a 20" in the store for comparison.
     
lenox
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Aug 12, 2008, 10:56 AM
 
Although I think it was poor of Apple to use such a cheap LCD in the 20" model, I guess I understand, considering the price point. I am ordering a 20" later this week, and will be using it mostly for audio work. As long as I can see the screen, it's good enough for me.
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solofx7
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Aug 13, 2008, 11:05 AM
 
Go big!!!
     
bpl323
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Aug 13, 2008, 01:08 PM
 
Bigger is always better... usually.
     
lenox
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Aug 14, 2008, 10:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by solofx7 View Post
Go big!!!
I want to...but let's just say that tomorrow's the last day that I can use my 25% discount...and this is all that I have saved up. It looks like, aside from a slight speed bump from the 2.66 to the 2.8 core 2 duo, the screen really IS the only difference between the two 'middle' models. If I find myself needing more screen space, I'll mount the current 20" monitor above the iMac or something

Also, I know this sounds dumb to most people, but since I do audio work, I have my monitor speakers placed very carefully on either side of my current 20" display. It should be a matter of just replacing the old display with the new iMac and I won't have to worry about adjusting the stereo imaging or my listening distance, which a 24" iMac might force me to do.

Of course, I'll still envy you 24" power users with the nvidia card and the 3.0+ghz procs!
( Last edited by lenox; Aug 14, 2008 at 10:37 AM. Reason: clarification and whatnot!)
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Veltliner
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Aug 15, 2008, 01:35 AM
 
I'd get the bigger and better screen.

If new is not in the cards (or in your wallet), try refurbished (from Apple with 1 year warranty). The white 24" is still a very good option.
     
dragonbong
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Aug 15, 2008, 01:35 PM
 
I'm in the same boat as you are with finances (just got married!) I'm picking up the 20", if I was going to go 24" I would have to get the upgraded video card or it really wouldn't make any sense (well for me anyways). That increase would be aprox $500, a bit more than I wanted to spend with so many expenses right now. The machine should be good for what you want and if you feel that the monitor is not holding up you said you have another monitor that you can use too (which is oddly enough exactly what I have as well).

Good luck.
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lenox
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Aug 17, 2008, 12:49 PM
 
Well, congrats on the marriage!

I'm sure the 20" will be fine, stats-wise. Some people have desk space to worry about!
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BreadRecipe
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Aug 17, 2008, 02:41 PM
 
I just recently bought a 24" with the Nvidia 8800 and at work there's a brand new 20" and so Friday, for fun, I ran a video production software call Watchout made by Dataton. (it's a free download and a meer $2000 per license) Anyway, it's designed for corporate and theatrical production to manage video output across any medium. So I ran the two with identical display output and found that HD video tears more noticeably on the 20" and is indeed a bit dimmer, but only scarcely. I love my 24", although, I am noticing dim spots in the bottom corners with output, and with LCD black being outputted they change to hotspots?! Curious, not really a problem but I heart protection plans and the fact that I live 20 minutes from the Apple store on fifth ave
/sudo apt-get upgrade checking account balance <enter>...?

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dragonbong
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Aug 18, 2008, 03:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by lenox View Post
Well, congrats on the marriage!

I'm sure the 20" will be fine, stats-wise. Some people have desk space to worry about!
Thanks! Got the iMac on Fri, love it. I can see where some people who are into very high end photo editing may find the screen a bit annoying, however for my amateur needs it definitely gets the job done! Great upgrade from my Macbook!
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bpl323
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Aug 20, 2008, 05:02 PM
 
I can't imagine how big that screen must be compared to the 13".
     
And.reg
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Aug 21, 2008, 05:22 PM
 
http://www.silvermac.com/2007/imac-colours-washed-out/



Heh sit back and enjoy your 24" beast.
     
0157988944
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Aug 21, 2008, 09:33 PM
 
24" If you can, 20" is tolerable if you can't afford bigger.
     
ginoledesma
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Aug 22, 2008, 01:12 AM
 
Or get a refurb 24". They tend to be cheaper, and often times are priced in the same range as the current 20".
     
solofx7
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Aug 22, 2008, 12:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by lenox View Post
I want to...but let's just say that tomorrow's the last day that I can use my 25% discount...and this is all that I have saved up. It looks like, aside from a slight speed bump from the 2.66 to the 2.8 core 2 duo, the screen really IS the only difference between the two 'middle' models. If I find myself needing more screen space, I'll mount the current 20" monitor above the iMac or something

Also, I know this sounds dumb to most people, but since I do audio work, I have my monitor speakers placed very carefully on either side of my current 20" display. It should be a matter of just replacing the old display with the new iMac and I won't have to worry about adjusting the stereo imaging or my listening distance, which a 24" iMac might force me to do.

Of course, I'll still envy you 24" power users with the nvidia card and the 3.0+ghz procs!
hmmm... envy.... that is a pretty laptop...
seriously don't envy, the computer made me flat broke.
as long as you have a mac, you are rockin'
I am looking for speakers too, the quality is good, but not good enough for me with the iMac.
what have you come up with speaker wise?
i have looked at the m-audio
     
lenox
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Aug 25, 2008, 12:20 PM
 
Well, I'm doing a lot of mixing and mastering, so I went with some Samson monitors with ribbon tweeters. They sound very detailed but one of them is having an issue that will probably be an expensive repair.

The Mackie HR series are considered to be 'the standard' and they have a new version out: http://www.mackie.com/products/hrmk2series/

Not sure if you have an extermal audio interface, but chances are you will need one to use studio monitors
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chichow
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Aug 25, 2008, 12:23 PM
 
24" if you can
     
solofx7
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Aug 25, 2008, 03:26 PM
 
after playing with mine more this weekend, you have to go 24inch 8800 gt
just kidding...
since you are not gaming, i know that part is not that important...
     
outaru
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Aug 25, 2008, 04:12 PM
 
colours on my 24" iMac is way better than my 23" ACD, that glossy finish makes the pics kinda feel like it pops out of the screen compared to the 23", thanks God no issues on my iMac..
     
macwall
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Aug 26, 2008, 01:41 AM
 
go as big as you can afford
     
   
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