Are G5 iMac displays as crap as they seem?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by dogbone, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2005
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    I bought an eMac because that was all I could afford and I have been astounded with the quality of the display and calibration. I used the inbuilt software to calibrate it and I can take a digital shot of a painting which looks as near as dammit to what it should look like on my monitor.

    Then I can tweak it in photoshop and convert to CMYK and output to a Xerox commercial dotscreen laser from my local bureaux and it is as perfect as can be.

    I recently wanted to get another mac and thought about getting a G5 iMac. I checked them out at the local Mac dealer a few times but although I could not bring myself to buy it as everytime I looked at the monitor it just looked blocky. I could see all the indivdual pixels and type looked really bad.

    Is this because LCD's are generally no good for graphics or is it the the LCD's on the G5 iMacs particularly are not very good.

    The LCD monitors on the PC's in my local library are woeful but I thought that Mac used really good LCD's. But they seem really poor quality on the G5 iMac
  2. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I like the LCD on my iMac. I think it's probably more an issue of LCDs not being great for photography rather than iMac LCDs being particularly bad.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2005
    You're a little confused, The iMac's have great screens, the thing is, LCD's show more of what's really there, they give you every little detail that CRT's hide, in other words, great screen, so great, you see all the imperfections.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2004
    I thought LCDs had better graphics. I used to have a huge (I mean deep, it was just 15" wide) MultiScan CRT with my old beige G3, now I have a slim 17" LCD, and I could never go back to CRT, everything is so precise. As nightdweller said, LCDs show every detail, if you see blurred in a CRT, that isn't right.
  5. thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2005
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954

    I may have another appraisal then. Perhaps I should take some graphics and photos down and load them up to see how they look.
  6. macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Feb 20, 2004
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    I would, mine is just crisp with seriously good hi-res piccies.
  7. macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2005
    I agree with the rest, i have 2 friends, both professinal photographers and they swear by the iMac LCD's, as a matter a fact one takes his on location with a special carrying case to show clients instant proofs on screen!
    Im a film Director and my screen stands up to screens in online editing suites as well! - and they cost thousands of dollars!
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2005
    It might not be set on its native resolution. LCDs look horrid when they're not set on the resolution they're made for.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2004
    Northern Hemisphere (Norway)
    I bought an eMac for the same reason as you (lack of money), but after having used it for a month now I'm satisfied with it. My concern about the LCD screen in general is the cleaning. I have cleaned my eMac screen several times already and I don't think that the LCD would be as simple to clean. However, there should be nothing wrong with the quality of the iMac screen.
    Personally waiting for PB upgrades. I need a 12" for college. :)
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2005
    When it comes to CRTs everything, including type, looks smoother on the screen, however; the image on the LCD is a sharp. iMac LCDs are just great and you shouldn't hesitate to buy one. Stock monitor profile is good, but if you are planning on calibrating it, I would be more careful while using the built-in, do it by eye, calibrator.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    iMac LCDs have always looked nice to me . . .
  12. macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005

    Ditto: The eMacs are good machines for the price, but an iMac has a much better screen overall. I'm amazed at the difference even between my Powerbook and and iMac screen. The laptop gets blown away by it.
  13. thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2005
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    I had written off the iMac but in view of the comments here I will give it a serious test out and report back.
  14. macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2005
    I switched over from a CRT to LCD a couple months ago. I can't see myself going back. Just the thought of having to put up with the constant flicker CRTs produce justifies the price jump of an LCD. At least for me, I feel like my eyes are a lot more comfortable now with an LCD monitor. I can't speak for eMacs or iMacs since I don't own either but I'm assuming they're similar to standard LCDs and CRTs.
  15. macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2005
    Spring, Texas
    besides its speed, beauty, coolness, etc... my iMac G5's biggest selling point is its screen. Most people are so shocked by the clarity of my screen. Maybe you were looking at a demo model that has been messed up?

  16. macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    iMac G5 screens aren't top notch, but they are definitely high quality nonetheless.
  17. macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location
    Yes, the flickering, heat production, and size of CRTs are the only reasons not to get a CRT. When it comes to brightness and clarity and colour and such, CRTs are better than LCDs. I'm not saying that LCDs are crap or anything. I love LCDs and prefer to use one, but lets face it, everyone who says that LCDs produce great colour accuracy and such and such don't know much about CRTs. ;)

    If you're going to use your iMac LCD and still claim that its brightness, clarity, and colour is great, at least use SuperCal first and calibrate it. The default calibration on LCDs is generally crap.
  18. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I must be blind because I don't have problems with flicker on CRTs, and I don't have problems with blocky text on LCDs.

    I have noticed how much color varies between LCDs though - just go to a store that sells LCDs and look at how different the color comes out on the different panels.

    Since I'm not a graphic designer I'm not too worried about the color reproduction of the LCDs. To me, the LCD is better because of its small size and the fact that it won't go soft over time.

    Still, where I work we have some high-end CRTs that cost thousands of dollars and you can definitely see why.
  19. macrumors 6502


    Sep 14, 2005
    I recently upgraded to a Sony X-Black LCD, and the image quality is absolutely brilliant- so brilliant in fact that scans and pics off a digital camera that haven't been balanced or anything look amazing, when in reality they're flat and horrible! My problem therefore has been trying to adjust it so the contrast and brightness are low enough to make the image on the screen look anything like what it will actually print like. Detail-wise it's amazing too, and very revealing. I have managed to calibrate it to a reasonable degree now and have been using it for print and web design with success. I still do tend to check things on the Lacie monitors in my office before I send them off to proof though- for sheer print accuracy I still don't think you can beat a high-end CRT.

    If anyone else is having colour accuracy problems, I recommend trying a Gretag 'Macbeth' calibration spider. Costs about £150 and accurately measures the white on your screen and also accounts for ambient light as well, and then produces a very accurate profile for your monitor. You still need to calibrate your printer as well though, and Epson do this for a fairly reasonable price.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 22, 2005
    Try making sure that 20 inch is at 1680 by 1050. (not sure what the 17 inch's native resolution is at) Second of all, before I bought my iMac I was having second thoughts because of the screen brightness. Try turning the brightness up all the way or close to all the way. It seems the Apple store turns this setting down in system preferences. Anyway, the screen's great, and is one of the best LCD's I've ever used at any price.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2005
    I would just like to point out that the 20" iMac G5 has a MUCH MUCH better quality picture than a 17" iMac G5.


    Alex Price
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2005
    Forgot to mention that CRT's will flicker if the refresh rate is too low.
  23. macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2005
    Tucson AZ
    I noticed this too, in a few ways. Colors better on 20", contrast greater, and text and pictures scroll smoother too (they flash on/off when scrolling the 17").

    My question is why there is a difference. The graphics card is the same; the RAM is the same, the pixel pitch is the same. So from whence the difference?
  24. macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2005
    Tucson AZ
    Cheap CRTs may flicker a bit when still ("refresh rate"), whereas LCDs don't flicker when still but can flicker when scrolled ("pixel redraw rate"). But many CRTs have a smaller pixel pitch than the Imac LCDs. My ancient 2001 cheap Hitachi CRT for instance has a pixel pitch of .23mm, much more fine than the Imac's .269mm; so everything looks nicer on the CRT. I can actually see the pixels on the LCD!

    However, like many of you, I prefer the LCD because of its thinness.
  25. macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2005
    IMO, you can't really go wrong with an iMac. Apple wouldn't crank out a lemon that would potentially be used by professional graphic designers.

    Sorry to hijack a bit here, but does anyone know where I can find information on the width of LCD pixels in iBooks/PBs?

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