G5 Imac, Displays, and "What to Buy"...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by coopdig, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. coopdig macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Well, I've been searching various sources around the internet - especially this forum - and haven't been able to glean exactly the information I'm looking for... Time to suck it up and ask you all a "what to buy" question!

    I'm looking to get either a 17" g5 imac or a mac mini w/ a new display. The most important consideration for me in making this purchase is the display - specifically, the quality with which it displays text.

    I really don't use computers for much beyond surfing the web, music (listening), and lots, lots, lots of typing and reading (hence the desire for excellent/outstanding text clarity - my eyes hurt!! :( )

    I've seen a lot of relatively cheap LCDs out there with specs that seem far superior to the 17" iMac's display and though at base I would like an iMac, if I can purchase a display with the mac mini that is noticeably superior to the imac's for around the same price I figure that I should do that... I know my eyes will thank me :p .

    Thanks in advance for the good advice!!

    (P.S. - New/Better displays in rev. B iMacs? I'm gonna be waiting till Tiger to make this purchase anyhow, so... Whaddaya think?)
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Forget the specs - numbers mean almost nothing to real world visual quality.

    go to PCWorld.com or other sites that do independent compatative reviews and look for their Text Quality rating. http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,117419,00.asp

    I have a Sharp 19" which I chose based on the highest combination text and graphic quality. The PCWorld review of the Sharp LL-172A-B 17":
    "Document and spreadsheet screens look remarkably crisp, earning this moderately priced unit the best text score of any monitor on the chart."

  3. sjpetry macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2004
    Tamarindo, Costa Rica
    I say go with the iMac and get the BT mouse and keyboard. :)
  4. coopdig thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Hmmm... yeah, I've tried looking at pcworld, macworld, pcmag, cnet and all that. Much of the reviews were helpful, but nothing really gave me a good idea of the quality of the iMac display vs. other displays.

    From what I've heard the 17"er has the old Apple 17" studio display in it... how can it be that good, especially when compared to NEW LCDs? That seems like pretty old technology, right? (He asks cluelessly :rolleyes: )
  5. Smileyguy macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    I too have been trying to find out recently whether the iMac displays are of sufficient quality for photographic work. There's a areal lack of info around. I did hear someone say that the current iMac screens are the same as the last generation of cinema displays, but I don't know if this is true.

    If you REALLY want a good screen and don't need the power of a G5, I'd say go for a mini and a really good diplay. (If you really want to splash out, go for the Apple Cinema Display. Formac and Dell also have some great cheaper alternatives) Your great display will keep your eyes healthy and work great for a long, long time. And you can buy a new mini every 18 months, which will give you plenty of power for what you want.

    Think about it like this. If you spend $1500 on an iMac, you're paying for a G5 chip you don't need. If you spend it on a mini and a great display, you're getting the perfect package. I'm not saying the iMac screens are bad, from what I've heard they're great. But the mini option seems to make more sense to me!

    But remember, buy what you want. And you know what you want, you just havw to figure it out!
  6. sjpetry macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2004
    Tamarindo, Costa Rica
    He is right. :)
  7. Smileyguy macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    And I thought I was going to be chastised by those of greater knowledge!
  8. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Do you have an Apple store or a CompUSA nearby? You can always go and just look at the iMac screen, along with some other ones. I think the 17" iMac's display is VERY nice. I wouldn't be suprised if it used the old 17" ACD panels.

    A lot of people prefer the old ACDs to the new ones, for reasons of quality. Don't ask me why, I'm not a professional designer or anything like that, and most displays look acceptable to my eyes. The 20" iMac is supposedly a great display, so that could be an option for you if you want to spend that kind of cash.

    The Dell 21" widescreen LCD gets great reviews from everyone, and has some really nice features in addition to good quality. Wait 'till those go on sale again, and combined with a loaded mini 1.42ghz you could potentially spend less than a comparible 17" iMac (but get a beautiful 21" display). If I recall, around Xmas time those Dell LCDs were arounf $630 shipped... they're about $750 normally.

    If you don't feel like you need the 'extras' the imac provides (better video subsystem, faster disk speeds, are among the main ones), then a fast mini and a nice monitor are the way to go. You can save the display when you get ready to upgrade computers, or get a new monitor if you decide that you want a better/bigger/whatever one, but the system itself is still adequate.

  9. coopdig thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Thanks for the replys everybody! Good advice all around.

    Unfortunately there isn't an Apple store anywhere around, and the big compusa types stores are all over 2 hrs away... I'll probably make it up there EVENTUALLY, but, if I do it won't be for quite a while.

    Any more thoughts? I think the thing that's sticking on my mind is that if the 17" iMac has fine text display - roughly equivalent to other 17"ers on the market - that I would rather just get the imac because it's so nice looking and a g5 to boot... Really, I guess the main question left for me is are there any 17" LCDs out there that are significantly better than the iMac's. :confused:

    Thanks again for all the advice! :)
  10. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Well, I can say this about the 17" iMac display or certain: it is BETTER than the standard Dell 17" LCDs, even with at just a quick glance. The colors are more vibrant, the pixel size seems smaller (less grainy looking anyways), and just all around better picture.

    I would considering the Dell LCDs to be on the good end of the LCD market. Their standard LCDs are about as good as any budget display will get. I haven't used one of the Ultrasharp LCDs from Dell yet, tho, so I can't make a comparison to their 'premium' line. It is very possible that these (the ultrasharps) are as good or better than the iMacs, and they are pretty cheap ($275).

  11. glennsan macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    San Diego
    iMac Display

    I freely admit that I work at an Apple Store and love their displays. The iMac has a very nice one that is the best part of the machine as far as I am concerned. I will also admit that I have heard good things about the Dell displays but have not seen one. Some cities have malls with kiosks that Dell is using, maybe one of yours as well?

  12. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Just want to make a comment the 17" in Imac isnt a true 17 its a little less then a 17. widescreen fools you into thinking its bigger just as the 20 isnt a 20 its a stretched 17.
  13. Benj macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2004
    I recently bought an iMac with the main screen concern being for photographic work. Uhmed and ahed (spelling? wrong I'm sure) about 17" or 20".

    The 20" definitely seems like a much better screen (and is the one I went for). Not just bigger, but actually seemingly much better quality, particularly when you are not dead in front.

    Now it is home and set up I am amazed at how good the quality is.

    Computing is an area full of "creative" tech specs, and I think those advertised for screens are the least informative or helpful of all. To top it off, shops are the worst place to judge screen quality, particularly the basically floodlit Apple Stores!
  14. coopdig thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Just found this info at Google Answers:

    "A much more determining
    factor is the 2D image quality produced by the graphics boards. The 2D
    image quality of high-end video cards is usually noticably better than
    that of lower end cards. Matrox cards for example produce an excellent
    2D image, both in sharpness, contrast, color balance and saturation.
    ATI is a close second and Nvidia boards usually come in third in this

    Too bad (for me) that the iMac has the NVIDIA and the mini has the ATI... I was leaning more and more towards the iMac but this seems like an important factor to consider... what do you think? Is the mini's ATI better for 2d graphics than the iMac's NVIDIA? I've read a lot of crap-talk here on the boards re. the NVIDIA, but is that just because it's bad for 3d gaming?

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