Opinions: 17" iMac vs 20" iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kevin.rivers, May 23, 2006.

  1. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #1
    Hello hello. So, I have sold my Powerbook G4. Originally, to get a MacBook. However I am not impressed with them. So I am looking at the iMac.

    Before I went to look at the MB, I decided that it would be between the 17" iMac and the MB. So when I went to Apple Store that is about 50 miles from me. I only looked at the 17" iMac.

    So I have been browsing around and looking for ideas, then I noticed the massive discount on the 20" iMac Core Duo. It is in my price range for sure.

    So, I can't really visualize the difference between the two since I didn't really look at the 20" iMac in the store.

    I do photography, I run aperture, I also do web design and other random things. I definitely think the real estate on the 20" would be nice. However, if I buy the 20" I will have to wait to max out the RAM because I won't have the cash to do so.

    To make a long post short, is the difference between a 17" and a 20" iMac highy noticeable? Will the 20" promote better workflow? Thanks a lot! :)
     
  2. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    Dec 4, 2005
  3. arcsbite Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    #3
    take the 20"
    the speed difference isn't a big deal, but screen real estate is massive.
    I got the 17" thinking it would be fine for my needs, which it is, but I could've realllly done with more screen space!

    not so much a problem now as I have it hooked upto an external 24" monitor :D
    but if I had the choice again, I'd take the 20", you get so much extra.

    Edited to add : remeber to buy your RAM elsewhere, you can get it so much cheaper than from apple.
     
  4. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #4
    20" would be much better for what you do, so if you can afford one, get it. But once you start working on one, there's no going back to a smaller size. It would just be too cramped.

    Oh, and bumping threads is against the rules. If someone is going to respond, they will.
     
  5. backupdrummer macrumors regular

    backupdrummer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Location:
    Chi town
    #5
    I ended up wit ha 20" mainly because I knew if I didn't i would be kicking myself after a few months. Another plus for hte 20" is that there is more space for the heat to escape read in some forums that the 17"'s fans kick on more often.

    This isn't offical but just what I have been reading since the new form factor for the iMac came out.
     
  6. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #6
    Yeah, I figured the 20". I am going to add another 20" screen later.

    And yeah, 2GB from apple is rape. I will buying elsewhere.

    Sorry about the bump :rolleyes:
     
  7. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #7
    If you're planning on buying a 20-inch screen later, you could save quite a bit by just getting the 17-incher. Then you could spend the extra on nice things like RAM and a bigger HD.
     
  8. arcsbite Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    #8
    sounds like a great setup, you won't regret it.

    P.S. it wasn't me warning against bumps, I understand it, if no one answers a post within a few hours it can often get lost under all the macbook posts. :D
     
  9. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #9
    Why must you add more confusion!? You are right though. It will be a few months before I do it though, the 20" screen. So I'd rather have the real estate just in case I had to wait to get the screen.

    Plus, I don't know if i can pass up $1399.99 on the Refurshed iMac from the Apple store... I could never forgive myself.
     
  10. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #10
    I know it wasn't you. I just didn't want to reply to both posts. 2 for 1 :)
     
  11. arcsbite Guest

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    Jan 14, 2006
    #11

    think about it, 1 iMac & 1 monitor.
    means that when you decide in the future that you need a new mac, and you'd prefer a laptop, no need to worry, sell the iMac, buy the laptop..you now have a monitor for docking and using the lappie as a home computer :D
     
  12. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #12
    That's what I was thinking. It's a $400 difference between the 17 and the 20. Why not get the 17 and buy one of those dell 20 inchers that are going for about $368?

    I think that would be an awesome setup. Basically getting two displays for the price of one.
     
  13. iSee macrumors 68040

    iSee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #13
    You will need more than the 512MB that comes standard on either the 17" or 20", FOR SURE. (I have a 17", and until I bumped the RAM from 512 MB to 1.5 GB, it ran s...l...o...w.

    I think you'll really like the screen realestate the 20" gives you over the 17", but don't consider having less than 1 GB of RAM. If you get the 20", can you afford more RAM if you buy it from someone besides Apple?

    I see a 1GB PC2-5300 for 20" iMac Core Duo on 4allmemory.com for $115...

    http://www.4allmemory.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.memorySearch&model_id=-5899&model=iMac 20
     
  14. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    Dec 4, 2005
    #14
    what about the savings i am getting on the refurb?
     
  15. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    Dec 4, 2005
    #15
    I can pick up 1GB from newegg for under $90, i will more than likely do that. I just wanted to max it out, and have the same size in each bank. I will need the RAM for what I am doing. I just have to take a different path for the 20" than with the 17".

    I could probably pick up the 17" iMac, the 2007WFP from Dell, and max out the 17" and be in budget. Decisions Decisions.
     
  16. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

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    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #16
    I just checked, and it is still a $300 difference between the refurb 17 and 20, so still, I still think I'd go for the 17 and buy the dell display.

    ...but that's my opinion
     
  17. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #17
    True but I am saving $200 on the 20" over my edu discount.

    Maybe I should go back to the apple store. I think if i do that, i will be sold on the 20" though. Grrr... I hate buying sometimes. You have to make the perfect decision otherwise you will always have a slight buyers remorse.
     
  18. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #18
    Ok here is a cost breakdown:

    17" iMac Core Duo Refurb $1,167.69
    Dell 2007WFP LCD ~$390 likely to be less when i shop around or get coupons
    2GB DDR2 PC5300 ~$180 shopping around

    For a total of: ~$1737
    In this setup something will have to wait. My current budget is $1600, so I would be over. I could probably hold out on the monitor. And get it later.

    20" iMac Core Duo refurb $1486.44
    2GB DDR2 PC5300 ~$180

    Total: ~$1666.44

    So in the second the monitor would have to wait til the end of the year and I may have to do just 1GB for a while.

    I could probably sell the original 512MB and make some money there.

    The 17" option is nice, but for some reason the 20" is still pulling at me.
     
  19. MS bulldog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    #19
    Isn't there some rule about keeping the stock RAM in case you ever have to send it in for repairs. Basically Applecare people will blame your 3rd party RAM on whatever problems you might encounter, so if you send it in, take your added RAM and replace with the stock module. Double check this before taking it as truth.
     
  20. m-dogg macrumors 65816

    m-dogg

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #20
    I have an Eye TV 200 connected to my 20" iMac and it's great. I used to have a 17" iMac and those extra 3" made a bigger difference than I expected. I say go for the 20" !!!
     
  21. BadgerMac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    #21
    Of all you "20 inchers" (jokes aside) any of you get the larger VRAM?
     
  22. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #22
    I think I may go for the 20", I just got the payment from my Powerbook. He sent an echeck and i found out that for echeck paypal doesnt pull the 2.9% out! Just $5.00! Yeah yeah. So I will have a little extra to play around with.

    I can always add the 20" LCD later. It is a tough decision. I wish I had some apple store credit or something to help out... why apple can't you have coupon codes!
     
  23. deebster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Location:
    Olde Englande
    #23
    Having just done the exact same thing I'd say get the 20" refurb and just 1GB of RAM. Keep the stock 512MB in there.

    You won't regret getting the extra screen real state with the 20, but you may well regret not getting it with the 17. That's how I convinced myself anyway :)
     
  24. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    #24
    While your 17" setup looks like it would be nice, and I think that will be similar to what I get (I'm having the same problem as you; deciding between the 17" and 20" iMacs), but for you, it sounds like if you get the 20" iMac and the 2GB RAM you could always save up and buy a maybe 17" display instead and then still have dual displays, but for the time being have a nice 20" machine and still be in budget. :)
     
  25. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #25
    Exactly. I think I am going to get the 20". I think adding a 20" LCD to that setup later would make me a very happy man. While it would be nice to get the 17" iMac and 20" display, I think I will feel like I am missing something.

    The benefits to the 20" win it for me. Especially with the deal on the refub from Apple. Plus, I went on flickr and looked for 17" and 20" comparison photos. That didn't help either, it looks so much bigger! I think my decision is made.

    I am going to scour eBay for a week or so and see if i can find a good deal. If not I will be hitting up Apple. Please everyone else share their opinions.
     

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