Old 20 inch vs new 20 inch screen

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Channard, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Channard macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    Leaving aside the glossy/matte issue for a moment, I've heard that the new 20 inch screen is inferior to the previous generation. Is this true? I ask because I'm contemplating buying a new iMac and I'm stuck between picking the old gen 20 imac or getting a new 20 inch iMac. It seems to me the difference is that the old one is cheaper, but it has a worse graphics card than the current one, but a better screen. It's also two hundred quid cheaper where I'm thinking of buying one. Is the screen story true? Or is it just a case of people reporting the odd faulty screen as a major issue?
  2. darkanddivine macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    The old screen is a good quality panel, and the new one is a TN panel which seems to be worse, but also explains the lower price of the ne iMac. Perfectly usable but a touch annoying. I posted some pics of them side by side in an old thread here which shows to a certain extent the viewing angles on both.
  3. FatSweatyBlldog macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2007
    TN Panel = Laptop screen

    The difference between the new and old 20'' iMacs is different LCD panel types.

    The white 20'' iMac uses an S-IPS panel. This panel type is usually more expensive to produce, and is the type of panel graphic artists seek because of the extended viewing angles, among other features.

    The ALU 20'' iMac uses a TN panel, which is also found in almost all laptop screens. TN panels are literally cheaper than S-IPS, but it doesn't necessarily make them "worse" (as millions of laptop users, some even graphic designers, can attest to)--it depends what you're using you're computer to do. For instance, while TN panels have limited viewing angles in comparison to an S-IPS panel, the TN panels generally have better response times than S-IPS panels.

    In short, if you're not going lots of graphics work, you'll barely notice the difference, unless you shift your viewing angle frequenlty/it's pointed out to you in a forum like this. If you sit centered to your monitor, the TN panel will look excellent (been to an Apple store?)

    No LCD panel technology is perfect, they all have their pluses and minuses. The old 20'' had a more expensive LCD panel, but the new 20'' iMacs are cheaper. So, there's the trade-off--it's not like Apple is charging the same but using cheaper parts.

    Rest assured though, Apple is not foisting inferior panel technology just DIFFERENT panel technology, which helped them reduce the cost of the machines. The white 17'' iMac also used TN panels. So, that about sums it up ;)
  4. Channard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    Thanks for the clarification. The impression I got from reading the Apple Forums was 'Apple screwed us big time!'. I think I may wait for them to produce an Alu Imac with a matte option. If the difference isn't that great then I guess it's not worth buying the 17 inch and losing out on a better graphics card and bigger hard disk.
  5. mbcracken macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2006
    Thanks for all the input and discussion on this thread. Long time lurker, but I have been trying to narrow down which iMac to get. Well, I finally choose the 20" White 2.16G that is on the Apple Refurb list right now. I was kicking around the idea of the Alu 20" but with the cost of the Refurb-white one being $1099, I thought I would get that one instead. I'll use the extra savings towards Apple Care.

    Eventually, I'll get more ram from OWC as well. The bummer thing now is the wait...

  6. Channard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    Tunrs out there was a thread along these very lines on Apple's official forums. But it was deleted - way to foster discussion....

    But didn't the 17" previous gen iMacs also use TN screens?
  7. rowath macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2007
    For what it's worth, I went from a 17" C2D imac to one of the new 20" ones and didn't notice a difference in the screen quality (other than the glossiness). However, I do not use this computer for graphic design or any other professional element. I think that you should take a hard look at what you're going to be using the computer for before stressing out over things like this. Just my $0.02. :D

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