20 inch vs 24 inch iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Roy Hobbs, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    Besides the obvious screen size and the video card are there any other differences in the 20 and 24 inch iMacs??

    A friend of mine wants to buy an iMac (after Macworld) but is having a hard time deciding between the two.

    $500 seems like a lot for 4 inches of screen and a different video card. She is going to be using the Mac for Photoshop, Aperture and some light video work using Final Cut Express.

    Is the 24 worth the extra $$ for her?? Any suggestions?
  2. NotFound macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2006
    If she is aware of the physical and technical differences between the two then she is the only who can say whether it is or is not worth the extra money.
  3. polevault139 macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2006
    I think the only reason for the 24" is the real estate.
  4. Roy Hobbs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    The physical differences are obvious. Neither of us are extrememly technical especially in regards to video cards. My questions are basically is there any thing else different between the 2 models that I am not seeing??? Is the 20 inch iMac's video card sufficient for the task listed in the original post?
  5. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    Since she'll be using applications that can benefit from an external 'scratch' drive and certainly additional storage capacity - she may benefit from the FW800 port, that's available on the iMac 24-inch, but not the 20-inch.
  6. Spinnetti macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2005
    You really know the answer already I think...
    The changes aren't enough to warrant the 24" unless you want the real estate.

    I have a maxxed out 20" (optional video card and 2 gig of memory) and plan to get the 24. Why? because of the real estate and video card! Especially for photo work, I think bigger is better, but budget and physical size may play a factor.

    I am reasonably tech savvy, and neither of the imac video cards is anything special, but for the intended usage, they don't need to be anyway.
    For photo and video work, lots of memory and a fast hard drive are much more important.

    Why not look for a used or refurb 24"? best of both worlds if you can accept a bit of risk from that route.
  7. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    In all honesty all you're getting for the extra money is an extra 4" and 540,000 pixels. That said, those extra pixels are worth every penny to a lot of people. If your friend is using a small monitor now the step up to a 20" display may be satisfactory for her. If she's already using a 20" it may make more sense to step up. I guess the only way for her to really know would be to go to an apple store and try them both out. Also, the refurb shop usually has them for $1,699 which takes some of the sting out of the price.

    EDIT: Your friend could also purchase a 20" imac and an external 20" display for huge amounts of real estate. You can easily get a 20" dell for around $300
  8. Roy Hobbs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    We looked at the refurbs (before they sold out) but they only offer the base model video card.
  9. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    You get more than just four inches, dude.

    You get the extra FW800 port for starters and a larger hard drive plus video card if needed.
  10. cbrain macrumors 65816


    Dec 9, 2006
    North-East, UK
    Bigger Screen, better graphics card and the 24 inch has 24 watt speakers, whereas the 20 and 17 inch have 12 watt speakers. ;)
  11. Roy Hobbs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    Standard hard drives are the same size 250 gig, and the optional drives are the same as well.

    Looks like its screen, video card, FW800 port and some bigger speakers.
  12. zerolight macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2006
    I couldn't live without the real estate anymore.
  13. joshwest macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005
    I've owned both a 20 incher and now the 24" incher and trust me you can feel the real estate after a while you get use to it but then when you go back to such a smaller screen like my 17" LCD at work its night and day. The Real Esate is a very good selling point. But i opted to spend the rest of the money on the upgrades to the ram, video card, and HD size. But if I was your friend i would save about 800$ and get the refurbished for 1699$
  14. hanschien macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Don't forget that the 24" is VESA mountable!!
  15. Roy Hobbs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    We are leaning toward the refurb, but I am leary about getting a video card with on 128 mg of RAM.....plus with the refurb you only get the 250 gig HDD
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Whether or not she ends up getting the 24", and whether or not FW800 is necessary, especially if Aperture is coming into play, pairing a big internal hard drive with a second big drive externally is probably going to be really important... does her budget include a second drive, or is she planning to get that later on an as-needed basis?
  17. Roy Hobbs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    She has plenty of external HDD space....her former setup had a 250 gig that was backed up to 2 seperate external drives each night with SuperDuper and she had an additional 200 gig drive that was used for Scratch

    FW800 isnt a deciding factor she has nothing that utilizes that connection.

    The ideal setup would be a larger internal drive (500 gig) backing up to 2 external drives nightly and then a scratch drive. But that really doesnt help with her decision.

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