Buying advice, Pro v. 24" iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CatharticFlux, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. CatharticFlux macrumors member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    #1
    Hello! Loooong time lurker and macophile, recent owner. I finally took the easy way out by buying my wife a Macbook and 'borrowing' it excessively, which inevitably made me want to rush out and get one of my own.

    So what are my needs? I'm big into photography--though I'm not a professional and will never be a profeesional. I have, however, spent an embarrassing amount of money on camera gear, lenses, etc. and I'm way past the point where Picasa + Photoshop are enough. I tried the Lightroom beta, but it was agonizingly slow, plus I prefer the Aperture GUI.

    So photoshop, aperture, dreamweaver performance is important, as is image quality. Snappiness is a must, though I understand that OS X snappiness has been an ongoing issue. I have a 24" Dell monitor (the 2405FPW) that has left me underwhelmed, but I keep just because of the sheer size and resolution. This originally made me think about getting the mac pro and using my existing monitor, but now I'm wondering if the 24" LCD in the iMac is better than my Dell. The 23" Monitor certainly is, but what about the 24"? Is it worth throwing away my current monitor?

    My current machine is a Athlon64 3500+, 2GB DDR400, 7800GT, 320GB SATA drive. On paper, the 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo + 2GB DDR2667 should punish my current machine, what about in praxis? Will I feel underwhelmed if I don't get the Mac Pro?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. PieMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    #2
    I sold my Macbook Pro and bought 24" iMac and I have to say, the screen on this thing is gorgeous and really does blow away any screen that I've worked with in the past (and this includes a 20" Apple studio display) and I, too, do a lot of photography...and am even starting to generate some income from a little freelance work :)
    That said, the 24" is a pure joy to work with when doing editing work and the like. The 15" screen on the Macbook Pro is gorgeous for it's size, but really can't compare.

    I hate to be without a laptop, though so I also have a black Macbook for my portable needs...which really are few and far between, to be honest...I just like the option to be moble.
     
  3. CatharticFlux thread starter macrumors member

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    Marietta, GA
    #3
    Well, I went to my local Apple store and played around with Aperture for a while on both the 24" iMac (2GB of RAM) and the Mac Pro (also with 2GB of RAM) and I have to say that the iMac, though plenty capable of running it, was OK, but less-than-spectacular on the snapiness/responsiveness side.

    So I suppose that the choice has been made for me and that I'll have to upgrade to the 30" monitor later and use my 24" Dell for now.

    Now, to find how to pay for the RAM... ;)
     
  4. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #4
    All I can say is that while the iMac is a much better deal now, in 2 years time, you'll be thanking yourself that you got the Mac Pro. Of course, both are great machines, but check that you iMac doesn't have a backlight that hums - I had two before I gave up and got a Mac Pro.

    David
     
  5. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #5
    Go with the Mac Pro. The standard configuration is priced very competitively. :)
     
  6. CatharticFlux thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    I think you're absolutely right. :)
     
  7. CatharticFlux thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    For a workstation, definitely. Still, getting 4GB of RAM, whether it's from a third-party or Apple is a painful financial experience.
     
  8. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #8
    I'll vote for the Mac Pro, with its long-term flexibility and greater performance potential.

    Either will probably fit the bill though.
     
  9. cmvsm macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    #9
    If you need the future expansion possibilities of the Mac Pro, then I'd head in that direction. If you don't, the 24" iMac with 7600GT and 2-3GB of RAM should be all that you will ever need.

    I'm an amatuer photog as well, and found that the Mac Pro and 24" iMac ran Aperature at roughly the same footing. I'm not sure why you had an adverse experience. Maybe try again with a different machine. Aperture was faster than my Dual 2.0 G5 on both machines. If you look at the Barefeats comparisons, the 24" iMac holds its own very nicely, even outperforming the Mac Pro in some areas.

    Not to mention, the 24" screen is incredible. Looks as if a higher grade panel was used in manufacturing as there is a clear difference between it and any other Mac monitor on the market...including the 30".

    Good luck!
     
  10. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #10
    I'm reasonably sure that the 24" iMac is using a Samsung HD screen.
     
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #11
    Not as painful as getting a pair of 4GB FB-DIMMs from Apple, 8GB of memory is :eek:
     
  12. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #12
    Would you please provide the source for that speculation?
     
  13. CatharticFlux thread starter macrumors member

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    Marietta, GA
    #13
    Having done a bit of introspection, yes, future expandability will be important (multiple internal drives, RAID, more powerful video cards down the road) , and I want more headroom than 3GB of RAM.

    I'm going to buy it tomorrow, albeit with 2GB of RAM. I'll have to cough up the cash for an extra 2GB later.

    Thanks to all of you for your help!
     
  14. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #14
    Just putting two and two together really.

    Samsung is pretty much the leading manufacturer of HD LCD panels and I know my
    Dell 24" uses a Samsung HD panel.

    Remember I'm talking about the actual screen panel not the entire display.
     
  15. freebooter macrumors 65816

    freebooter

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    Daegu, South Korea
    #15
    Someone took apart a 24" and found that they had an LG panel. It was posted last month, I believe, on a thread in the iMac/mac mini forum.

    I like my 24" iMac (no defects, fast), but I have to agree with those who have said the screen is a bit too bright. With the brightness turned all the way down, it's fine, but... I'm getting a Spyder2 calibrator soon and I hope that helps.
     
  16. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #16
    You may be right about the use of LG panels.

    I was really just guessing since it seemed that Samsung was the only one supplying 24" panels.
     

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