17" versus 20" iMac G5 (display advice)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Elan0204, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. Elan0204 macrumors 65816


    Apr 16, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I'm thinking about buying an iMac G5, and was looking for some advice on the quality of the display. The 17" display I believe is the same as in the old 17" iMac, and maybe also the same as in the 17" PowerBook, but I'm not sure. The 20" display seems to be the same as the old 20" plastic cinema display before the recent aluminum update.

    Anyways, here are the specs on the 2 screens:

    17" screen: Resolution of 1440x900, viewing angles of 120° horizontal and 90° vertical, brightness of 200 cd/m, and a contrast ratio of 350:1

    20" screen: Resolution of 1680x1050, viewing angles of 170° horizontal and 170° vertical, brightness of 230 cd/m, and a contrast ratio of 350:1

    What really stands out here to me is the low viewing angles on the 17", especially when compared to the viewing angles on the 20". I really do NOT need a 20" display, and would much prefer the 17". However, I am worried that the screen is not that good, and that maybe I should spend the extra $300 (after subtracting the cost of the upgrade to the 160GB drive) for the 20" display even though I don't need the extra real estate.

    So what is everyone's opinion on the matter? Since these screens have both been used in old products, can you comment on their quality? What should I buy?
  2. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    personally, I don't much care about viewing angle. I figure I am going ot be using it 99% of the time from right in front of it. The veritcal viewing angle is less than impressive to be sure, but you can easily adjust the tilt to find the proper view.

    However, if you can afford it, why not get hte bigger the screen. I think that you would be much happier in the long run. I use a 19" LCD at work and have really gotten used to the large space. I think that most people, once exposed to a larger screen area, will prefer it to the smaller after only a short period of time.
  3. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    The viewing angle will probably never matter to you. The 90" viewing angle essentially means that you'll be able to see the screen reasonably well if you are +/- 45° from the center point. That's a pretty large angle, unless you are constantly having people stare over your shoulder to look at something. So I would say don't make a decision based on viewing angle alone.

    However, the 20" has about 33% more screen area, which is nice. It's easy to think that you won't use the room, but once you have it, you won't want to go back. Personally, I also think that the larger screen gives a nicer proportion to the iMac (relative to the blank area under the screen).
  4. sebisworld macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2003
    The viewing angle of my 17" Powerbook is definitely better than 120°. It's like a picture on the wall.
  5. williamsonrg macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Size does matter...

    I've been having the same dilemma (although I'm a few months away from being able to afford my first Mac). The conclusion I've come to, is that bigger IS better, you just have to decide how much better it is, and that's different for every person. There's no denying that it's nice to have the biggest monitor availible, but that money could also buy a lot of software and accessories for your new iMac. The 17 inch is also a great monitor, so you can't go wrong, you just have to decide how to spend your money.
  6. toughboy macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Izmir, Turkey
    I'm standing at the same place.. What to buy? a upper-end 17" or 20"? The same "viewing angle" question comes to my mind too but I guess I made my mind to buy a 20.. as other friends said, bigger is better, and plus we dont have CTO here in Turkey, so, 80gb of harddisc is never enough for me...

    one more thing.. Are you aware of the fact that iMac G5 is VESA Mount capable... which means that I'll shut the lights and watch divx with my iMac hang on the wall, so I need bigger screen and better viewing angle to watch the movies from anywhere (even from my bed, which automatically needs better viewing angle from what iMac G5 17" offers...)

    These are my reasons for 20".. I hope they help you to make a decision..

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