How good are the iMac displays really?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by xheathen, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. xheathen macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    I do graphic design work, about a 50/50 split between print and web design. I'm coming from a windows environment, and what I'm really looking forward to getting away from is the large tower and the heat and the noise. I even tried to make a small mini ITX windows box and it's still noisy as hell and heats up the whole room.

    So, I've got money in hand, and I'm ready to make some kind of purchase. Been going around and around in my head on this. One of my motivations that I've got to get a better display (using a TN monitor now).

    I've currently got a logitech wireless keyboard and mouse that I really like (I've got the solar powered thin keyboard) and I've got a web cam that's nice too. So I definitely have the accessories to go with the Mini if I go that way.

    The two different setups I'm looking at are:

    Mac Mini i5 2.5 with the dedicated GPU + buy a 23" LG or Dell IPS panel for about $300. Pair that with my existing accessories (keyboard, mouse, webcam). This setup will be about $1050.

    Get the base 21.5" iMac and pair it with my existing 24" TN monitor, and use the iMac panel to double check my colors and brightness prior to any printing. Clear advantages on this is it's far more powerful than the Mini, but I'll clearly be unable to buy another IPS panel until far down the road when I've got more money to spend on it. This setup looks like it'll be just the imac price @ $1125 (from BHphoto).

    My two fears with the iMac is that the workflow will be kind of weird using my less bright TN 24" panel primarily and the 2nd is that I'd rather use SL instead of Lion if I had the choice. I honestly just like the Spaces + Expose setup better than Launchpad. It's not a dealbreaker, but I just like it better.

    I'm kind of on a limited budget because I've got to buy a whole new Adobe Creative Suite as well... at least I can buy the upgrade for about $500 instead of brand new, but still it's killing my budget lol.

    Another consideration that's a distant third is since last year's 27" dual core i3's are relatively close to the Mac Mini in performance, it might be a good idea to try and find one for about $1100 that's still under applecare.

    So... why did I phrase the thread as I did? Mainly because I want to find out if the iMac displays will really be a sufficient replacement to going out and buying an IPS panel. If it's not as good or better, then it kind of makes the Mac Mini setup the more logical, right?

    Hopefully I can finally make a decision and stop moping around the forums haha.
  2. Qwaf macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2010
    Huh, Launchpad isn't the replacement for Spaces and Expose. They're for two different things.
  3. benjikan, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2012

    benjikan macrumors newbie


    Feb 15, 2009
    I love my Mid 2011 base model iMac i5 2.5 Ghz screen. As a pro photographer I depend on it.
  4. marsmissions macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2010
    Washington, US
    The iMac screen is phenomenal. Right up there in quality with top of the line IPS displays in it's size class.

    If you were going to buy a 21.5 inch IPS display with the same quality as the iMac display you will likely spend the difference in price between the mac mini and iMac on one.

    That being said, the iMac always comes with a display, when you want to upgrade in the future you have to buy a whole new iMac, thus a whole new display.

    With the mac mini, you lose power, but at the same time you have the ability to upgrade at half of the price of an iMac in the future.

    It is up to you really, personally, I love the all in one style of the iMac, that trumps the upgrade cost for me.
  5. xheathen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Did I misspeak - am I thinking of mission control? It's whatever Lion has that replaced Expose and Spaces...
  6. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    Yeah, mission control is the correct feature. :)
  7. Sjhonny macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2011
    The land of the cucumbers
    If they still ship the current 27" iMacs with the same panel as in the first gen, it contains a 10-bit H-IPS panel (same as in the ultrasharp u2711 ~500 bucks). The panel itself is not good, not bad in comparison to other IPS panels. It's waaaay better then any TN-panel, but the same goes for any IPS panel.

    If you want a reel quite computer, buy/build one that's water cooled. But the top of the line iMac (with the 2500k) is a quite decent pc in terms of bang for the buck, noise levels, aesthetics ...
  8. englishman macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    That would be the best value IMHO. Several sources of good used Macs.
  9. benjikan macrumors newbie


    Feb 15, 2009

    I totally Agree :)
  10. xheathen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Thanks for the link - seems that the screen will definitely do the job. I don't think the upgrades will be all that bad since the iMac's hold value so well.

    What I definitely DO like about the mini is the upgradability of adding SSD's and the like. But at the same time, the power of the iMac quad core trumps it pretty significantly.
  11. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth

    After spending 12-18 hours a day sitting in front of awful low cost LCDs at my day gig it's pure pleasure to sit in front of my 27" iMac LCD.

    I will say that I have an external 23" Acer LCD and it's very hard for it to beat the iMac screen - I generally have to dim the iMac screen to get it in the neighborhood but honestly this screen is wonderful.

    I have the worst eyeglass precription known to man and this really helps me.

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