20" iMac with dual display or 24" iMac single display

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BlueZombie, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. BlueZombie macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2008
    I am considering getting my first Mac, and my two options come down to the following:

    1) iMac Alu 20" (2.4GHz) refurbished with a 20" ACD dual display setup (~$1900)

    2) iMac Alu 24" (2.4GHz) refurbished (~$1550)

    I plan to max out the RAM to 4GB (OWC or Crucial). I will mainly be using it for everyday stuff such as surfing the web, office applications, and also I use Photoshop quite a bit as well. In the future I plan to edit in FCP to make a DVD for my company. Will both of these setups work fine? If I do work in Photoshop and FCP, my main concern will be color saturation. For this reason, would the dual display (glossy iMac / matte ACD) be ok, or is going from a glossy screen (iMac) to matte screen (ACD) in dual display not the best? What are your thoughts? Is there anything else I should consider?
  2. pscoble macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2006
    I have the dual display one right now and love it (I also maxed out my ram and I recommend crucial greatly) I think having the entire 2nd display is better then having one even if it is a little bigger. The only issue I have with it is that the 20 inch cinema sits a little lower then the iMac but its not a big deal.
  3. BlueZombie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2008
    Yeah that was my other concern, although it's not too big of a deal if the ACD sits lower. I know the equivalent Dell monitor will raise up to the height of the iMac and it looks pretty nice, but i'd rather stick with all Apple you know. I even wondered if there was some sort of stand that was made just for this very reason. Do you do much graphics work and also do you notice any lag working with the dual setup? I think i'd much rather go with the dual as well.

  4. pscoble macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2006
    No I do not notice any lag while using games or video editing so I would say this is a very solid setup and gives you more over all screen space. I personally love the ACD so I'd say go for it. On a side note for graphic design or video editing two screens is almost necessary in my opinion.
  5. thepandamancan macrumors member


    Jul 24, 2007
    Burbank, CA
    Unless you plan on editing a lot, then don't get the dual displays. I'd go with the 24inch. I'm an Avid and FCP editor and I'm fine with my single 24 inch screen. The only thing the second monitor is good for is playback. I used to it cause I would multitask but if you use spaces properly, it's just like having multiple displays.

    The only good, I can think of, by having the cinema displays is the quality bump from the iMac screen
  6. El Phantasmo macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2005
    My opinion is that with exposé and spaces, you don't really need multiple displays.

    I do web design all day long on a 1440x900 screen and it works out great... its almost like having 4 monitors and you dont have to move your sight back and forth from one screen to the other...
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    A few things: (1) the 24" screen is, I believe, a better quality screen than that of the 20" (I might be misremembering); (2) you can always save up for a second screen, but you'd need to resell the 20" to increase the size of your main "monitor"; and (3) the 24" can, with an optional VESA mount, be wall mounted. Mine is, and I love it - folds close to the wall when not in use, extends out about 16" when it is.

    Just MHO.
  8. teleromeo macrumors 65816


    Dec 2, 2006
    kidnapped by aliens
    single 24.

    It's cheaper an it's already large. Also when you really need more room you can add a monitor.
  9. caf9128 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2007
    One of the bad things about the iMac from a shallow aesthetic standpoint is that there is no way to get a second monitor to match the first, built in monitor. I really miss the matching Viewsonic monitors I had with my previous HP/XP setup--looked really awesome. So I'd probably go with the single 24" screen by default.
  10. gazfocus macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    That's exactly my feeling. I would hate to have 2 monitors on my desk (side by side) that don't match. That's why I'm seriously considering paying a little extra and getting a Mac Pro.

    Initially, I won't be using dual monitors, but it's something I hope to progress to in the future, and I want to buy something as future proof as possible... It's a shame you can't use a 2nd iMac just as a display :p
  11. barijazz macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2007
    Raindesigninc.com makes stands for everything mac. I belive. go check em out.
  12. pscoble macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2006
    Wow well I like my setup just fine :rolleyes: Try both and get what you prefer I suppose I like to have two because I always have many different apps open and it helps at many times with my editing but if that doesn't apply to graphic as much go with what ever you want.
  13. BlueZombie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2008
    Well, I made the purchase today and went for the 2.4GHz 24" refurbished. It would be nice to work with dual displays, but I think once I get used to spaces i'll be fine. The other deciding factor was, of course, the price difference ($1550 as opposed to $2000+). Also, I maxed out the RAM with 4GB OWC as it was $40 cheaper than Crucial. Thanks everyone for your help and i'm proud to say that i'm officially a Mac owner. :apple:
  14. Yazmeen macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2009

    24"...its a huge display, plus with expose and spaces you really dont need dual displays. But its a matter of choice, I personally dont like the dual display!

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