iMAC: 20" or 24"? Confused

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rgurup, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. rgurup macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2006
    Am a newbie to the Mac and to these maybe this q will sound bear with me. I am going to change over to a Mac (never used one before)...and have been waiting for the core 2 proc's to that they have...I am confused!

    I got 2 configurations:

    20" with 2GB RAM and a 256MB ATI Radeon with Apple Care for $1978


    24" with 1GB RAM and a 128MB NVidia GeForce with Apple Care for $1999.

    a) I plan to use the iMac for everyday use-photoblogs, personal website, music, movies, internet, sound mixing et al. So apart from the amazing screen I missing something when I think a loaded 20" is sufficient?

    b) How would one compare a ATI Radeon with not an avid gamer on the computer...but would like the vram to make a difference to the multimedia I intend to use this computer for...

    Thanks guys! :)
  2. apachie2k macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2006
    was MIAMI
    i would always go with more ram and what bad u want the extra 4"??
  3. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    On the 24", you can change the video card later if it proves inadequate. I'd go for that.
  4. sunfast macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2005
    This I didn't know. I'd definitely go with the 24" on that basis.
  5. rgurup thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2006
    @ apachie2k: I donno :confused: ...I am calling up my apple store soon and am probably gonna see the 24" alongside a 20" before I place an order.... (aah well...right now I have a 15" screen on my laptop!!!!!!!! so its giant step ahead... :D )
  6. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2006
    It is not known if the card will be upgradeable yet. My gut feeling is that since Apple does not say so, then it is not. But if it is, then it will be a third party hack affair.

    I'd go with the 24" one. You can upgrade the RAM at a later point but you cannot upgrade the screen or the graphics card, so I would get the best ones possible from the outset.
  7. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I agree, go to the Apple Store and see what you're looking at.

    Buy any additional RAM 3rd party through a reliable vendor.

    For the best performance, you'll want 2 GB RAM installed.

    Apple would charge $450.00 for that upgrade.

    You can buy Apple guaranteed DIMMS 2X 1GB third party for
    about $250.00

    Put those savings towards getting the fastest processor you can afford.
  8. CoMpX macrumors 65816


    Jun 29, 2005
    New Jersey
    Not to be nitpicky, buts its Mac and iMac. Not iMAC. ;)

    For my needs, 20" is plenty, so I would go for that one and be able to afford more RAM, etc. But that's just me.
  9. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    24'' Simple because its 24'' big..and its pretty upgrade friendly
  10. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    skunks right you can allways upgrade the other stuff..................later.
  11. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000


    Oct 31, 2005
    Twin Cities, MN
    Hm, based on his description of his knowledge of Macs (or lack there of), I think his ability to "upgrade his video card later" in an iMac is probably pretty lacking.
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I hadn't heard that in the rumor circle, but the NVIDIA in the 24" is described in exactly the same way as the ATI in the 20" so I would tend to doubt it.

    And agreed that even if it's possible, Apple learned their lesson with having end users open up iMacs in this form factor. I just don't see them wanting people poking around in there.
  13. rgurup thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2006
    @CoMpX: Woops...iMac it is! :)

    @Veritas&Equitas: a not really familiar with replacing a video card on a Mac...that def is something I am looking at even if I intend to upgrade...I might have to wait a (long?) while before I know what I am doing!

    For now, my local Apple store is expecting the 24" by Tue/ thats going to be the first step...

    Is there a way I could configure the RAM to be a 1 X 1Gig from Apple, instead of the advertised 2 x 512?
  14. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2006
    There are various posts and pictures of the 24" iMac only using the MXM standard for the graphics card, along with a huge snaking heatsink slapped onto it. SNAKES ON AN IMAC!

    It makes some sense for the 24" to have one motherboard, with Apple fitting whichever graphics option in where required. The other option would require anticipating which version would be more popular, making sufficient stock up, holding it all in storage till sale or shipping...
  15. BurtonCCC macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2005
    Wheaton/Normal, IL
    If you're serous about sound mixing, you want 2GB of RAM.

  16. keithbennis macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2006
    Coral Springs
    I love my 20".

    I do want the 24" though. Badly. :(
  17. Badandy macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    Take away AppleCare on the 24" and add a gig of memory.
  18. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Right now, DON'T base your purchase on the 24" iMac on upgradable video card. There are too many unknown, unproven variables in that. Right now it looks possible, but by no means certain.
  19. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
  20. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Adding your own RAM is REALLY easy, you just need to follow basic anti-static procedures and use careful but firm pressure.

    Go to or OWC ( for your extra RAM

    Right now 1 GB sticks are running about $125.00 each.

    Apple would charge you $90.00 just to add 512MB's

    The Apple store would charge you a rediculous fee to add 2 GB to your machine
    and you should add RAM in matched pairs unless you're loading her up with
    3 GB's .

    Also, if you qualify for the education discount, make sure to take your ID.

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