Going to buy an iMac, which one?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dwd3885, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #1
    So I decided laptops aren't for me. I'm going to buy an iMac. Now 1399 is pretty much the MOST I can spend. Would like to spend a little less, but I think the 2.4 ghz C2D is a perfect option.

    BUT there are closeout sales on the previous gen iMac. so for the same price I could get a 24'' imac, but a little less powerful. I'd like to keep this computer for at least 2-3 years. I do some video editing, photoshop work, music editing/playing, and the usual web surfing, mail, blah, blah, etc. None of this is for professional use though.

    Which one should I get?

    white iMac----
    24'' widescreen LCD
    1920x1200 resolution
    2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
    4MB shared L2 cache
    1GB DDR2 SDRAM
    250GB Serial ATA hard drive
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD+R DL, DVD±RW, CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT with 128MB GDDR3 memory
    Apple Remote
    Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard

    $1399

    Al iMac----
    20'' glossy widescreen display
    1680x1050 resolution
    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4MB shared L2 cache
    1GB DDR2 SDRAM
    320GB SATA 7200rpm hard drive
    8x slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-ROM)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro with 256MB GDDR3 memory
    5 USB 2.0 ports, 1 Firewire 400 port and 1 Firewire 800 port
    Includes infrared remote with Front Row
    Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard

    $1399
     
  2. ajhaji macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #2
    I would probably take the 24" model. You'll thank yourself for having more screen real estate. The difference in the CPU is really negligible.
     
  3. -Noodles macrumors regular

    -Noodles

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    #3
    i agree the 24" would be better, easier on the eyes if you're spending a lot of time in front of it and so on.

    If possible the newer aluminum 1799 24" iMac might be worth the little extra for the bump in specs and slightly longer life. You'll probably be a little quicker with the larger apps (music, etc) too.

    If you're a student or teacher then I imagine the difference would be only 200 or 300 instead of the 400 increase in price from the 1400 you're working with.
     
  4. signatus macrumors member

    signatus

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Andalucía, Spain
    #4
    If you can, wait for a short while. iMac updates are expected soon, though nobody knows for sure if it'll be in 2 week's or 2 month's time. My guess is that it'll be 2-3 weeks after MBPs update, and this will be soon.... hopefully.
     
  5. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #5
    The 24-inch Al iMac refurb is just $1549, a little out of my price range though. But the 24 vs 20 inch Al iMac are exactly the same specs, just different screen sizes.

    I think i'm going to wait until the 20-inch 2.4ghz is up on refurb. i think it was $1299 when it was on refurb before.
     
  6. blipstutter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #6
    In terms of video editing, both machines will be plenty, but it's usually a safer bet to go with the newer models just so you're assured they'll handle FCP updates well. I know some of the old Imacs had options on the graphic cards, which were superior, so it's worth making sure you get one of those rather then the stock card.

    As for screen real estate, and editing, you can get a cheapie 20" monitor like the pros do one day. People edit on powerbooks with far less screen space and function pretty well.
     
  7. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #7
    Well the 2.4ghz Al iMac refurbs were up this morning for 1299. Ordered it as soon as I could!!
     
  8. -Noodles macrumors regular

    -Noodles

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    #8
    my gf has the 24" al iMac and the screen size is definitely worth the extra coin if you can get it. It's a pleasure having the extra space if you're going to spend long hours in front of it as she does. If you've already ordered maybe consider canceling but if you're confident with 20" enjoy. Either one will look and work great. cheers
     
  9. Poseidon macrumors regular

    Poseidon

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    Coralville, IA
    #9

    Darnit!! Don't say that! :( I've been planning on buying an Imac for literally months now and everytime I'm about to pull the trigger someone mentions that upgrades or changes are due to come out soon and then I hold off again.

    In all seriousness is this something official you've read or just based on past experience?
     
  10. MST macrumors 6502

    MST

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #10
    Welcome to the world of Mac.
     
  11. signatus macrumors member

    signatus

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Andalucía, Spain
    #11
    Well, never take rumors for granted. Rumors are just that. And there will ALWAYS be an update round the corner, at least every 5-6 months. So, buy the iMac when you need it. If the one that is now on the market suits your needs, go for it.
    With that in mind, there are rumors that iMacs will be updated in maximum 2-3 months. It will be a minor update: the new Penryn processors (some higher CPU speed and less heat) and hopefully a better graphic card (that is more doubtful). Why this time span for the update? Because the MBP are going to be updated in February (the rumor is in the air :p), and iMacs use laptop technology.
    But, don't worry, before 2008 ends, there will be another update with Montevina processors. That's why I said that you can never wait for the last update, because there will never be a last update. Buy when you need and what there is in the market suits your needs (technologically and economically speaking).
    Hope this helps.
     
  12. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #12
    i just ordered the 20-inch. i don't think the 24-inch screen is worth the extra $300 for me to spend on it, especially with the systems specs exactly the same.

    Thanks all for helping with the decision. I'll let you know when it arrives!
     
  13. PcBgone macrumors 6502

    PcBgone

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #13
    Im planning on purchasing the 2.4ghz iMac in about 2 months, have the screens on the 20 inch been fixed or should I go with the 24 inch..Id rather have the 20 inch but if the screen is jacked up still then I may just splurge for the 24 inch..
     
  14. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #14
    Get the biggest screen you can afford. You will nover regret it.

    BTW, whats to be fixed with 20"? :confused:
     
  15. PcBgone macrumors 6502

    PcBgone

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #15
    If you search through the iMac threads, many have recieved 20" screens with gradient problems, I was wandering if this had been fixed. At the time everyone was recommending avoiding the 20" and go with the 24".
     
  16. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #16
    Oh sorry I didn;t know about this issue...

    All 20" Alu iMacs I've seen in person (about 15) were all defect-free.
     
  17. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #17
    This is always an issue on forums. It's not really a problem. Sure some computers have defects, take them back. Problems always seem bigger when you're on message boards. In all honesty, the problem isn't as big as what some people make it out to be, but they are always the most vocal
     
  18. Dalriada macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Moorlough Shore
    #18
    As I'm also shopping to put my beloved PowerBook in semi retirement, I've been recently to several Apple resellers in my area and every 20" iMac on display had the gradient issue. You only need to change to desktop to a single colour to notice immediately.

    :apple:Dal
     
  19. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #19
    Are you sure it wasn't just a poor viewing angle?
     
  20. Dalriada macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Moorlough Shore
    #20
    Nope. Viewing angle for sure reduces a little the effect but whether you're standing or sitting down it is still obvious, to me at least. Of course these display models may not have had proper calibration but I'm not an expert.

    :apple:Dal
     
  21. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #21
    if there's a problem with mine, i'll take it in. but i've never had a problem with anything in my past dealing with macs. all the problems seem to be relegated to a few people and it just appears like a ton because they are vocal about it
     
  22. PaulMoore macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    #22
    I bought a 20" full price when the aluminum models first came out and did temporarily wish I'd spent the extra on a bigger screen but six months later it doesn't seem tiny at all. I find it big enough to run Final Cut with no real problems- and of course $300 is a lot even over the lifetime of an iMac.
     
  23. bguillemette6 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Location:
    BEANTOWN...YA KNOW MA
    #23
    Just some help for you. I bought a 20" iMac 2.4 GHz from my local Apple retails store on Jan 28 and grabbed a 4G Ram kit from Crucial for $107.00 Shipped (seach for a coupon code as they are out there).....

    well.........there was a viewing angle issue but not as much of a big deal but it's there..

    I went back to the retail store on Feb 5 because I have a 1.8 GHz 80HD Macbook Air on order and wanted to check it out (Due 2/12) and while there....... I decided to switch to a 24" iMac and I did :) (Amazon 1694.00 ; -$100.00 rebate + $3.99 Shipping no tax as prime member)


    This is my third day w/ the 24" and I would say it was WELL worth the $300 bucks.... Same specs 2.4 GHz and I just swapped the RAM.

    The Rez is better more real estate.....my suggestion is use "Bill me later" and get the 24".....you'll be VERY happy later. :)


    ...It cost me $153.00 to trade in the 20" but I didn't care....I only buy new desk tops at home every 3-4 years so I took the hit... both where nice..I had them here at the same time for about a day and there isn't much of a "space" issue on a home office space<--I read this on here but it's really not the case.


    Good luck....hope this helps, I'd hate for you to switch like I did.
     
  24. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #24
    The resolution isn't a big deal for me. 20'' screen is better than the 13'' screen my macbook has!

    This viewing angle thing you all are talking about, I don't get it. Why would I want to look at a computer from the side or something? I'm at the computer, I'm looking at it straight on anyway! Sure, the matte screen kicks butt and is better than anything else, but the old 24'' isn't as good spec wise for me. I have a macbook now and the glossy screen doesn't bother me.

    All the iMacs I've seen at my campus store seem to be just fine.
     
  25. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a

    DesignerOnMac

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #25
    Don't think the specs are the same.....

    I am not sure, but I thought the white iMacs only were upgradable to 3GB's of RAM??
     

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