iMac comparisons: 17" vs 20"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by djkny, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. djkny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    #1
    Amazon's FINALLY shipping these out, I hear.
    I know the 20" iMac is a favorite, here, but after sifting through specs, I wanted to ask -- is the $400 leap from the 17" to the 20" worth it? Obviously, you gain the better/bigger screen, slightly bigger HD, etc. but $400 could also be put to use on a 20" external LCD, and upon finding a screen hack, you get 2.

    17" + iLugger also seems more of the "portable" option; but I'm thinking 6 months down the line in resale value. I'm only needing this to do short term video work until MacTel.

    Opinions?
     
  2. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #2
    I'm slightly biased as I have the new 17inch.

    You get slightly faster Processor, slightly better Video card, slightly bigger HD... but a bigger unit as well.

    I found that for day to day stuff the 17inch has plenty of screen space, Expose is a great way (I'm new to Mac) to find an open window on the smaller screen.

    However I also have a 19inch LCD monitor connected, which I find I'm using more and more. The 20inch would probably be too small on it's own for me, as I'm running iTunes, browser and IM clients on one screen and iPhoto, Gimp or iMovie on the main screen. I have external 300Gb and 60Gb drives connected for backup and movie footage, so the larger HD of the 20inch wasn't so much of a selling point.
     
  3. djkny thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 30, 2003
    #3
    Is there a "hack" released already for the latest iMacs to allow "screen spanning?" that might sway my decision --- I can go with a 17" iMac + Apple LCD 20".:)
     
  4. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #4
    Hi, I have the 17" iMac and while I'm happy with it I "have" found that the 20" iMac would have been my better choice. My reasons are: I use flash for my cartoons and the larger screen would be used to it's fullest (my 17" is as well) so the fact of more pixels/looks nicer and brighter (more pixels part).
    Often I have a sketch that I use but wish to leave it off to the side and not on my stage. This would work well for Word Docs., think two side by side or a doc. and a photo or another app for that matter.
    If you have ever seen a 17", 20", then 23" disply all in a row the difference is huge but consider this: 17" with another lcd means a span/hack and split the video card, 20" means you may be happier and not need said second lcd $$$
    You have a good idea of the extra cash involved but it does make sence to add the other stuff in as well (as you did). There are slight differences but overall the cost is more than justified with the 20" iMac, the HDD and screen take care of this.
    As always get what you can afford but if you can wait to get the 20" it would be well worth it in the end :)
     
  5. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #5
    I'm just using the existing 'screen spanning doctor' (google) hack - seems to work fine.

    This one - http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html

    Before I decided to use my spare 19" LCD on the Mac, I was considering the 20" iMac, however having used the 17inch iMac for the past week or so, I would have been better off with the 17inch and spent the $400 on another 19-20inch screen anyway, IMO two screens are just that little more conveniently laid out, than one large screen.

    ... gives your desk that "air traffic controller' feel as well :)
     
  6. nutmac macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #6
    The problem I have with screen spanning is that iMac has only analog VGA output. LCD hooked up to analog VGA, while sufficient for some, just doesn't look as crisp and accurate as DVI/HDMI connection.
     
  7. JDOG_ macrumors 6502a

    JDOG_

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Oakland
    #7
    Get the 17" & NO iLugger. TO me that product seems like a wierd solution to a problem worth just getting a laptop for.

    Save the $400 and get a nice mouse or set of external speakers. 3" extra inches of real estate isn't going to make a world of difference unless you're using some resolution dependant tasks.

    Either way you're going to have a rad machine buddy.
     
  8. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #8
    Agreed. There's a definate difference between the iMac's screen and my external screen. The LCD is a 19inch LG1920, which run's at 1280x1024 I believe.. it's not the best quality and it set aside for stuff running in the background. The iMac's main screen is used for Photo's, Movie editing and such stuff.
     
  9. djkny thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    #9

    Hmmm. Good point. Well, along with the basic tasks (iLife media-related stuff, web, word, etc) I am getting this primarily to cut a series of short (films) -- they're not too graphics intensive (although rendering would still be the main issue).

    Also, I'm getting this as more a 'transitional' unit for the video tasks above until next year, when, hopefully, my work will comp me a new Mactel powerbook, a (hopefully reduced price) 23" LCD, or Dual Core PowerMac.
    I've heard, though, that the 20" isn't just "bigger", but sharper resolution, etc. so that always helps. Man, this decision making is getting on my nerves!
     
  10. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #10
    I think most people go through the same thing - it's important to get what's good for your needs though, as you'll likely be 'stuck' with it for a while afterwards.
     
  11. budugu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #11
    I would say 17" unless you want a single large screen. It is also known that people are more productive when they use two screens instead of one large screen (ofcourse they are more productive when using a large screen instead of asingle smaller screen). On a side note 20" actually looks much more beautiful and 17" i have looks little oddly shaped.
     

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