Imac 20" with 4GB or 24" 2.66?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thatdarnfish, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. thatdarnfish macrumors regular

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    #1
    I'm considering purchasing a new iMac. However, I'm concerned that the graphics card in the low-end 24" won't be fast enough for me to watch HD television via eyetv in fullscreen. Would buying a 20" be less taxing on the graphics card? While I've seen some benchmark reports that have the 24"/2.66 faster than the 20"/2.66, they don't take into account whether this is just because the 24" has 2gb more ram. Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #2
    The 20" screen isn't quite full HD. Buy the 24" - you can always add RAM later, upsizing a screen isn't so easy.
     
  3. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    #3
    ...are you really going to sit in from of your 20 - 24 inch computer to watch HD movies or would you want to plug it into your 60 inch HDTV?
     
  4. thatdarnfish thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Thank you for your replies. To be more clear, I watch TV on my computer every day. Right now, my g5 17" imac stutters when trying to watch HD digital broadcasts. I want to ensure that this doesn't happen if I get the 24" model, due to the fact that the graphics card is not independent from the CPU. Thanks.
     
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #5
    Does it stutter because of the video adapter, or does it stutter because of bandwidth? Are you streaming video through the internet? If that's your bottleneck, a better video card won't help you.
     
  6. thatdarnfish thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    No, it stutters because my CPU is too slow. Elgato (who makes eyetv) even says that my cpu can't handle digital broadcasts. The only reason I asked my original question is because I remember when they announced the new imacs last month, there was some discussion on this board that the 24" 2.66 wouldn't be able to handle much in the way of graphics processing because of it's GPU. I was wondering if this would affect my TV watching, because if I have to deal with stuttering video with a new iMac, I won't be any better off than I am now!
     
  7. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

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    #7
    hi

    get a 24 you will be more satisfied with it in the long run so put up the extra $ to have something better
     
  8. Benguitar Guest

    Benguitar

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    #8
    In my opinion you should get the 24 inch, and if you really have to you can upgrade the RAM later. But like some members have already posted, upgrading screen size (on an iMac or any Apple Computer *excluding Mac Pros and Mac Minis*) isn't too easy.. :rolleyes:;)
     
  9. Kardashian macrumors 68020

    Kardashian

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    #9
    24".

    You can upgrade the RAM later, but you can't stick a few extra inches of LCD on the sides.
     
  10. kindablue09 macrumors regular

    kindablue09

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    #10
    My previous gen 3.06 handles Hulu HD very nicely; its a refurb and runs ~1600 usd. That may be a bit out of your price range, but the refurb store should still have a few.
     
  11. thatdarnfish thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    I guess another way of asking my question is, which has better graphics performance: a 20" 2.66 with 4gb ram or a 24" 2.66 with 4gb ram?
     
  12. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

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  13. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    #13
    They are going to be exactly the same in performance.

    The only reason the 24" costs more money is cause of the larger screen size, HD, and RAM.

    Given that, just spring for the 24", I am pretty sure it will be able to handle HD broadcasts. My GF's Dell 1405 with a 1.6 Core Duo and 2 GB of RAM (and Intel GMA graphics) handles HDTV broadcasts through one of those USB TV tuners just fine, so I have no doubt that any of the new iMac will.

    I say get the 24" because it will be a much nicer viewing experience. You can also do full 1080 HD on it since the resolution is 1920x1200 (1920x1080 is HD resolution). On the 20" you can only do 720 HD because the resolution is 1680x1050, 240 pixels short of full HD.

    I think that is what people were talking about earlier as you mentioned about the 20" not being able to handle HD. It wasn't a technical performance thing, it was more of a screen resolution thing.

    That said, the 24" panels are also of a higher quality than the 20", their colors do not wash out, and it has a very wide viewing angle. A much better experience overall.
     
  14. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #14
    If my 2006 MacBook with Intel GMA 950 (the most *****ty graphics known to man) can play H264 1080p with over 11 MBit/sec bitrate using only 50-60 % of CPU, then 24" iMac should do it even easier.

    Graphics card doesn't matter in this case, its basically all CPU-intensive.
     
  15. thatdarnfish thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Thank you for all of these helpful replies. The 24" certainly sounds better. From a practical perspective, however, I wonder if it would be uncomfortable to watch a tv show in fullscreen on a 24" from a distance far away enough to have a view of the entire screen, and then have to squint from that same distance to read web pages, check mail, etc. (At least with Word, I can magnify the page.) Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks in advance.
     
  16. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    #16
    I think the screen is large enough to comfortably view from a certain distance. I think watching from up close could give you more of a "home theater" experience anyway.

    If the Macbook Pro has a 1920x1200 resolution at 17", and it is perfectly readable and fine, then I am sure that same resolution over 24" is probably even more so over a longer distance.

    The best way to test it is head down to your local iMac-carrying store and see for yourself.
     
  17. The Hammer macrumors regular

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    #17
    They would be equal.
     
  18. thatdarnfish thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Thanks to all for your help. I made my way over to Best Buy today to take a look at the 24". I thought for sure it was going to be too big, but it took me all of 10 seconds to get used to it and the HD movie samples looked great. I think I'll be going the 24" route. Thanks again.
     
  19. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #19
    You'll love it :D Let us know how it turns out!
     

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