17" or 20" iMac for Dorm Room?

SeenAndNotSeen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 22, 2005
11
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I'm going to the Apple store tomorrow to buy a new iMac for when I go off to college in the fall. Should I buy the 17 or 20 inch? Either is in my price range and the screen space on the 20 is tempting for movie watching, etc. I also do some film and audio work in my free time which obviously would be easier on the larger screen. My main concern about getting the 20 is whether or not it will be too big for a dorm room desk? Thoughts? Feelings? ...
 

andrewag

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2005
308
0
Australia
may as well get a 20". The screen realestate is much better. I have no idea what a dorm room size is (aussie here :p) but the 20" isn't that big anyway. Much smaller than the PC's everyone would have!
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
1
SeenAndNotSeen said:
My main concern about getting the 20 is whether or not it will be too big for a dorm room desk? Thoughts? Feelings? ...
I highly doubt that that would ever ever be possible.

My first year, I was in a triple (meaning three women) in one tiny-ass room in what is notoriously known to be a tiny roomed dorm at UC Berkeley. You'll be fine w/ a 20" iMac. *drool* Wish I had such a beast when I was in the dorms. Hehe.
 

briansolomon

macrumors 6502
Apr 1, 2005
382
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Murfreesboro, TN
Go for the 20

Just be sure to get a wireless keyboard/mouse set cause when you actually want to get down to work it'll be much easier to stick out of the way without wires....and as far as that goes...try to be as wireless as possible. You have so many freakin wires in your dorm room especially around your computer it'll drive you crazy...especially if you're doing video work like you said. You did say that didn't you?
 

macgeek2005

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2006
1,098
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devilot said:
I highly doubt that that would ever ever be possible.

My first year, I was in a triple (meaning three women) in one tiny-ass room in what is notoriously known to be a tiny roomed dorm at UC Berkeley. You'll be fine w/ a 20" iMac. *drool* Wish I had such a beast when I was in the dorms. Hehe.
Do you know Dan Millman?
 

it5five

macrumors 65816
May 31, 2006
1,219
1
New York
Honestly, you'd be okay with the 17". You might just wanna go take a look at them both, because it's going to come down to personal preference.
 

trpt192

macrumors newbie
May 4, 2006
14
0
Heart of Illinois
I personally live in a dormitory and I'm going to buy a 17" iMac in the next week for when I go back to school for my second year. Mind you, I also have a ThinkPad occupying the other empty spot on my desk (CS program here prefers windows and I didn't want to compile my programs via VirtualPC). I'd say if you're only going to have one computer, no external monitor, etc... go with the 20".
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
1
Before I got my 20" iMac, I thought there was no way in heck, I'd ever get used to such a monstrously huge display (coming from a 12" PowerBook), but lo and behold, after three days, I couldn't bear to use any display other than my big beautiful 20". It really doesn't seem that big after a bit ;)
 

T-Stex

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2006
470
1
Pennsylvania
Definitely go with the 20". I was also in a triple my freshman year and could have fit the 20" on my desk. You'll be fine as far as desk space goes, but I'd agree with the post saying to go with the wireless keyboard and mouse. I think you'll appreciate the screen space, and you shouldn't worry about the desk space. At one point in my dorm room this year I had my Dell 20" monitor, a 15" PowerBook, keyboard and mouse, and an old school Macintosh Plus with keyboard and mouse on my desk. I'd imagine an iMac will fit just fine.
 

m-dogg

macrumors 65816
Mar 15, 2004
1,338
0
Connecticut
If you can afford it right now, do it. You'll never regret buying the bigger size and it's not like it's something you can upgrade down the road...
 

lasuther

macrumors 6502a
Feb 13, 2004
670
0
Grand Haven, Michigan
So the question is whether to get the 20 or 17 inch and price doesn't matter? With desktop screens size does matter, and bigger is better.

Get 2 gigs of ram while you're at it.
 

Chrispy

macrumors 68020
Dec 27, 2004
2,126
1
Indiana
I have been thinking about getting an iMac as well... now you really have me evaluating if I should get a 17" or 20" haha.
 

Stridder44

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2003
3,971
138
California
SeenAndNotSeen said:
I'm going to the Apple store tomorrow to buy a new iMac for when I go off to college in the fall. Should I buy the 17 or 20 inch? Either is in my price range and the screen space on the 20 is tempting for movie watching, etc. I also do some film and audio work in my free time which obviously would be easier on the larger screen. My main concern about getting the 20 is whether or not it will be too big for a dorm room desk? Thoughts? Feelings? ...

It's not as big as you might think it to be. I've had a 17" iMac for a long time and now that Im using a 20" iMac it feels just right. Not too big at all. In fact, the 17" seems tiny to me.
 

ImNoSuperMan

macrumors 65816
Dec 1, 2005
1,218
31
Another vote for the 20" coz you can afford it. Also you`ll have the option of a better GPU with the 20" in case you are interested. And as some other posters have already said, get bluetooth keyb,mouse and get atleast 1GB RAM.
 

Timepass

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2005
1,051
0
andrewag said:
may as well get a 20". The screen realestate is much better. I have no idea what a dorm room size is (aussie here :p) but the 20" isn't that big anyway. Much smaller than the PC's everyone would have!

well minus the fact that the PC most people PC eat up is not deskspace and are going to be in a location that really matter for it he has a point.

You learn really quick how imporant desk space is. And where things are located. the iMac it self is pretty thin and so you still have the room to work at your desk. Just move the keyboard out of the way. Wireless for that is nice because you can just put it in to a draw or out of the way. but even wired it mostly just going to be putting it on end next to the monitor to get that room back.

I would say go with the 20 in because the amount of extra very viable desk space it eats up is very small and it going to mostly be at the back of it so you will not notic the lose.
Be more worried about all the extra stuff you are going to bring. Bring as little as possible the first year. There is a thread that list a lot of good thing I made a few months ago. I been meaning to bump it back up for a while now. But really freshman bring to much stuff to school.

Plus you will like the extra screen space more and the trade off is a good trade.
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,038
30
Salt Lake City, UT
I was debating the same thing a couple weeks ago. I had planned to get the 17" model, but I got to thinking about it, and I decided to save a little extra money and spring for the 20". I'm planning to buy it at the Apple Store tomorrow. Having used a 12" PowerBook as my main machine for a couple years now, I know I can get by with the smaller screen. However, I can't put a bigger screen in the 17" model, and it'll be nice to have all the screen space I can get for web design, programming, video editing, etc. If you have the money, go for the 20".
 

SeenAndNotSeen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 22, 2005
11
0
Thanks

Thanks everyone. I opted for the 20" and I'm not sorry. I really like the size and have a feeling that it'll be excellent in my dorm come fall.