20" Aluminum iMac Owners - Experiences?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MBHockey, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    I'm thinking about selling my ~two year old MacBook Pro in favor of a 20" 2.66 Aluminum iMac. I really don't use the portability of the MBP, and it's way too hot (at idle the bottom enclosure is 95 degrees F!) to actually use on my lap so it really hasn't moved much from my desk in the last two years. I don't play games ever, so 3D performance is a non-issue in going to the iMac. However, I do look forward to the faster hard disk with the 3.5" SATA drives (as I perceive this to be a major bottleneck these days in notebook computers in real world tasks).

    But the thing I'm curious about is if there are any long-standing issues (minor as they might be) with the 20" model. I've had my share of issues (nothing major, but would have liked to know beforehand) with new Macs and just want to know what I'd be getting into.

    I read on these forums and the Apple boards about bands of horizontal lines appearing on the screens but that seemed endemic to the 24" model.

    Can any 20" iMac owners comment on their overall experience? Are the machines quiet? Any quirky things I should know about (for example, but friend's older 24" iMac makes this low-pitched buzzing sound whenever the screen brightness is not set to full brightness...kind of annoying at night when it's dark and quiet in his study).

    Thanks!
     
  2. johto macrumors 6502

    johto

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    24" is way better display(panel) than 20".
    Oh and no "noise" from the display. Of course there are lemons on every model :)
     
  3. MBHockey thread starter macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    The 24" is too large for my desk. I don't want it to feel like I'm sitting in front of an IMAX screen :)

    I checked out the 20" and 24" in the Apple Store the other day and didn't notice a difference in display quality (aside from viewing angle, which is largely unimportant to me).
     
  4. iSlave macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    #4
    I've had a 20'' 2.4ghz Alu iMac since it was launched, even with the stock 1gb ram it came with at the time, it was faultless in every respect. I've since upgraded to 4gb, but I can safely say I've had no issues with it whatsoever. It's whisper quiet and 100% reliable. :apple:
     
  5. nout72 macrumors regular

    nout72

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #5
    Apart from the necessity to calibrate the screen, because the default iMac color profile is dreadful and the infamous gradient issue (top of the screen is brighter than the bottom), the screen is great.

    The machine is quiet as well, let aside the occasional fan blowing when a CD or DVD is placed.
    I seriously don't understand why this causes the machine to alter his overall quiet behavior, but it appears to be common on Windows PC's as well.
     
  6. ayasinsk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #6
    lol it's funny because I have a 20" iMac Aluminum which I got a year ago, and I was thinking about switching to a macbook pro for portability. Anyways I love my iMac and I never had any problems with it.
     
  7. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    Have owned one almost exactly 12 months and love it. I bought the 20 inch because the 24 inch would have been too large for the space. It has been a great family computer.
     
  8. mannix87 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    in the southeast
    #8
    I've had mine for about 6 mos now. overall, it's great. minor issues on the fans not shutting off for some reason. Only happened once so far. The other issue I have is w/ itunes 8, it hangs. I'm not sure this is because of the iMac itself. must be some apps/install problem more than anything else.
     
  9. MBHockey thread starter macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    Thanks for all the replies. I am going to go back to the Apple Store in a week or so and check it out thoroughly just in case Black Friday brings some slashed prices for the 20" model :)
     
  10. albusseverus macrumors 6502a

    albusseverus

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #10
    You have been warned. DO NOT BUY A 20" iMac.

    No matter how 'big' the 24" seems right now, the 20" screen is fatally flawed with 3 distinct bands of colour as you move the same item lower down down the screen.

    EVERY model has this flaw. People have been complaining since its release in August 2007. I got mine in October 2007 without reading Apple's Discussion forums. And I've checked store display models regularly ever since.

    Apple has deleted the complaints from their Discussions, because they don't consider it a fault. Someone got a Genius to admit that 'well the screens aren't for professionals, that's just the screen used'. Apple denies the problem at phone support and unless you have an Apple Store that just exchanges things if you're not happy, or you just don't care if the colours on the screen aren't consistent - do not buy a 20"

    If you'd like to do the test for yourself in a shop - try this.
    • get your head at normal working height and look directly at the screen
    • note how dark the grey title portion of a window looks at the top of the screen
    • drag that part of the window down to the bottom of the screen
    • note the change in colour - on some screens, it goes from grey to almost white
    • and imagine trying to adjust your photos so they print properly when you can't tell how dark the colours are on the screen.

    If you can find a photo, note the colours at the top of the screen & drag the same portion of the photo to the bottom of the screen to see the colour change.

    It's the kind of thing that really only bothers you when you get it home, but if you can see these differences at all in the shop, imagine what they'll be like when you get it home in a less brightly lit location and look at it every day.

    If you just don't believe Apple would do something like that. As a long-time Apple owner, I couldn't believe it either. Until I bought one.
     
  11. MBHockey thread starter macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #11
    My MacBook Pro does the same thing. It really isn't much of an issue. I try to use my computer, not look at it from crooked angles to find flaws :)

    Besides I don't do any photo printing. It did used to bother me in the beginning on the MBP but since I stopped looking for it I haven't thought about it at all.
     
  12. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    #12
    Seriously? I hear if you use a mariner's sextant and stand on one foot, in a month with a R in it, preferably on the evening of the new moon, you can see tiny yellow bands on about 11% of the screen.

    ..Just being silly.

    Get the 20 inch iMac you will love, the screen is gorgeous.
     
  13. nidserz macrumors 6502a

    nidserz

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Dubai x Toronto
    #13
    I have the same iMac you are looking at, the 20" 2.66.
    It was my first Mac and I got it early in the summer. I have had zero problems so far, it runs really smoothly, and I think it has a great screen. I have only heard the fans a couple times and that is when I maxed out the ram and was encoding some videos.
    Currently its extremely quiet with Firefox running with 5 tabs, MSN, Photoshop cs4, and Crossover games with Steam.

    Just one thing to keep in mind, coming to these forums people will flame and say ohhh you should have gotten the 24", the screen sucks on the 20", upgrade to 4GB ram, etc.
    I didn't even notice the 20" and 24" used difference screens until I cam to this forum and ever since I went to the store, opened up 2 photos identical and viewed them side by side and noticed. When the 24" isn't infront of you with the same picture and you analyzing, the general public won't notice there is a difference especially if you aren't looking for something.
    For me personally the 24" is too big, and I couldn't have said it better, don't wanna be staring at an IMAX screen.

    Overall I love this computer and for your uses I think it will meet your needs perfectly.

    Hope this helps.
     
  14. jacobluecke macrumors member

    jacobluecke

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
    Jefferson City, MO
    #14
    Just a ditto on many of the replies here. I've had the 20 incher for about a year and it's been a great computer. I've used it for music writing, video editing and minor photo editing and it just works like a charm.
    I worried about the screen gradient issue before the purchase and when I got it I tested it and it does have that problem. But it has not been an issue for me, I really like the screen.
     
  15. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #15
    Ditto here as well. I've had my 20" iMac for almost a year. It runs just fine. The screen issues that everyone seems to be obsessing about are minor. I persoanlly never noticed them.

    I agree with you. For me, the 24" screen is too big for my desk.

    No matter what others say here on this forum, the 20" iMac is an excellent home computer and will serve you well.
     
  16. MBHockey thread starter macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #16
    I just got back from the store and I checked out the 20" model for a good 10-15 minutes. I compared it directly to the 24" one because are right next to each other.

    There is definitely a gradient as you go down the screen of the 20". It's not very noticeable, but if I put Safari at its normal position (toolbar touching menubar) the color is much different than when I drag it to the bottom of the screen and have the toolbar where the dock usually is. Other than that, I really couldn't tell a difference. I opened the same photos on each computer in iPhoto and they both looked the same to me. Maybe my eyes aren't well trained, or maybe I wasn't trying extremely hard to find something that wasn't there ;)
     
  17. andyblila macrumors 65816

    andyblila

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    On My iPhone, or my iPad?
    #17
    I also have the 20" iMac, and I love it. It is quiet and does everything I need it to. :apple:
     
  18. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000

    Drag'nGT

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #18
    I was dead set on a 20" until I saw the 24". I swore that the 24" would look out of place but once I got it home and set it up I loved it. About a month after owning it I was at BB and saw a 24" Samsung screen on the mini Dell they had there and I thought "that looks bigger than my 24in" so I went home and double checked the size. I had gotten so used to it that I didn't think it's all that big anymore.
     
  19. capps macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #19

    I have owned a 20" iMac since February 2008 and have not noticed this issue. I do a lot of picture related work on it, as well.
     
  20. mastershakess macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Bel Air, MD
    #20
    Quiet, Fast, Reliable, Awesome! That is my experience with mine.
     
  21. andyblila macrumors 65816

    andyblila

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    On My iPhone, or my iPad?
    #21
    I have owned a 20" iMac since May and have not noticed the above issue. If you do....that's what the warranty is for.
     
  22. MBHockey thread starter macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #22
    Thanks guys. I'm probably going to wait it out till Jan. to see if they get updated as I don't need a new desktop right now.
     

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