24" or 20" iMac - Graphic design student

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Noted, May 15, 2008.

  1. Noted macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2006
    Hi guys

    I'm a graphic design student and will be purchasing a new iMac. I'm struggling to decide whether I need the 3.06ghz 24" iMac or not. Or if I should go for the 2.66 20". I've got a 20 inch monitor right now hooked up to my older mac and it serves me well but a bigger one would be nicer. The only thing I'm worried about is the screen being too big and straining my eyes seeing as I use the computer a lot. Do I really need a 24 inch and will the 3.06ghz make that much of a difference from the 2.66? I will be boosting it to 4gb when I purchase it.

  2. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    24" is not too big. I work with a 23" ACD and a 19" at work. The 24" on the iMac is a great size. Go big.
  3. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020


    Aug 16, 2007
    24" for the lone reason that the screen is bigger and a bit better quality than the 20". You will appreciate the extra real estate when you have 3 million windows open (fyi - use spaces to combat this) and cannot see your desktop!
  4. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I agree, buy the 24" Imac as the additional desktop real estate is invaluable.
  5. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    I frequently work with both 24" and 20" iMacs, and whilst the 20 is still a nice machine I'd say without hesitation go for the 24" The screen is vastly superior quality.
  6. jciapara macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2008

    Go with the 24" You won't regret it, I purchased mine couple of months ago and I still love the size and being able to have multiple applications visible at the same time.
  7. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    If you are a graphic design student, wouldn't you be interested in something with a matte screen, that gives you a professional accurate color display vs. the glossy of an iMac?
    Sidenote: I am an industrial design student, I got a 2.4ghz MBP 15.4" and am planning on getting a monitor or hdtv for extra screen room. Having the laptop is great because I can take it with me to studio and am not tied down to working in one space all the time, especially if the weather is nice.:)
  8. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    Just to let the guy above me know, an HDTV Will probably be lower res than the MBP, and definitely lower than a 24" Display, so really, you will just be making the image bigger, not gaining any real estate.

    To the OP, Go big, the 24" is a joy to use, and you get loads of Pixels in there too!
  9. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    I'm fine with bigger image, but since I'm about 6 months off of making that purchase, I haven't really got my mind set on anything yet. The point was Graphic design major, professional adobe work, you can get a big glossy screen, your colors won't be accurate. But that's just if you care or not...
  10. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    24" LCD 1920 x 1200
    17" MBP 1920 x 1200
    1080 TV 1920 x 1080
    17" MBP 1680 x 1050
    12" MBP 1440 x 900
    720 TV 1280 x 720
    480 TV 852 x 480

    If he really wants to get a tv then as long as he gets a 1080 resolution he should be fine.
  11. macwall macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    Cupertino, CA
    If you're a graphic design student bigger is always better. Even working with photoshop and illustrator on a 30 inch screen I found myself wishing I had more screen real estate.
  12. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2006
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    Hi, don't even hesitate 1 second... GET the 24", you won't regret it. The screen is better than the 20's. True matte would be preferable, but the fact is it is not a current option, so.....

    Buy a external calibration device like the Spyder2, you will be able to calibrate the screen to a reasonable degree. I worked for years on glass tube monitors (high-end) and I was able to calibrate those as well. I think too much whining is done about the glossy screens (if I had my druthers I would pay extra for a matte option, but it simply doesn't exist).

    My 2 cents is don't listen to anyone who tells you you need a pro system to do pro work (it just isn't so). IF you are working in video... yes. But traditional print, imaging, and web work can be done quite well on the iMacs. Get the 24" for the real estate it offers, you will need it for all your work palettes and tools. You will be surprised how quickly the workspace fills up. The day they come out with a 30" iMac I will buy it, just like I bought the 24".

    BTW, I have a 24" iMac and run Quark, InDesign, CS Suite, etc.... with no problems at all. Max your ram out to 4gb, 3gb at a minimum. Buy ram third party if Apple is gouging (currrently I think they are not so high), there are plenty of ram resellers like crucial, ramjet etc. I produce entire publications, advertising, websites, billboards, and do high end retouching work for professional photographers... all from my little iMac (laughing all the way back from the bank with the money I saved).

    As to the extra clock speed, if you can swing it get it. But if you are tight on funds, don't skimp on the ram. If you opt for the 2.8ghz, I would get the video card bump (addl 150.00). I would choose ram & video over the little bump of speed (but would max it out if I could). Even maxed out the machine is a steal, considering a pro would run you about twice as much.

    Good luck with your purchase and with your design career.

  13. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    You don't need a powerful graphics card for that kind of work. Get 2.8 GHz, 4 GB RAM and you're set.

    Not to mention the entire OS is optimized far better for ATi cards. Core image and user interface run faster on radeon 2600 than on geforce 8800. The geforce is there for games only.
  14. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    The most important issue is that the 20" is a TN. You dont want a TN LCD for graphic design, its a terrible technology that distorts the colors by a significant margin. Youd be much better off with an older 20" white imac than the new one since the white 20" imacs had a great S-IPS screen inside them. The 24" does not have a TN, so it is a safe buy.

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