Panel Question imac 20'' (2009)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tms568, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. tms568 macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2009
    Hi all.
    After selling my apple cube i am on the way to order the new imac (20'', 640 GB ATA, 4 GB DDR3, Wireless Mighty Mouse). Normally the 24'' display to me is, refering the size, a little "to much". The 20'' size would fit perfect. As i know from the 2008 imac's there was a big difference between the screens of the 20'' and the 24'' panel - the 20'' version a lot of user had critizised. In this forum some members wrote, that there was no change in the displays at all, others in contrast to that stated, that the 20'' panel is new. Is there anybody who can provide me with valid information, if the 20'' imac is a bad deal? Thanx for Feedback!
  2. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007

    The Panel is new from the 2008 model. I recently had a 2008 model, a month ago. Traded it in on a 20' 2009 model. I also own for work a 24' 2009 model. The 2009 20' is fantastic, just as good looking as the 24' only smaller. Do a search on my username, and I explain in detail what the differences are. I went over this topic too many times.

    The 20' panel is made by AUOptronics and is model number M302EW02. This is a new panel altogether from the 2008 model. I called the company, got some details. I don't see how you want somebody to provide you with 'valid information' if the 20' is a bad deal or not. Sounds like to me that you want to be convinced that one way or the other if the 20 is a good deal or not. Which no one but yourself can do but yourself. Most people on here are saying the panel is the same without ever seeing or briefly seeing a 2009 panel, totally disregarding the fact the new 2009 20' has a new panel from it's 2008 version, they are implying that the 2008 panel is carried over to 2009 which is not the case. I recently had a late 2008 model, and now own new 20' and 24' 2009 models. I lived with the computers hours on end and researched it to a point of absurdity. I even went so far as to call the company that makes the panels.

    So I don't know how much more info you need to make a decision.

    Just do a search all the answers are there for you.
  3. tms568 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2009
    Thank you iamthedudeman. I've read your discussion on that topic as well - but there were several guys who said the opposite of you. So i was a little confused about the truth. Even the apple support does either not know that the panel is new or the denied you opinion of a brand new 20'' panel.

    BTW: It is just the other way around ;) i WANT to buy the 20'' imac BUT if possible with the certainty to get a panel with better quality :)
  4. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    I was being factious. I know what you meant. I am not trying to convince you but I was in your shoes just three weeks ago.

    I know what you mean, but how many of them who said the opposite of me actually owned a late 2008 model recently, and now own a 2009 model and a 24 model for comparisons, not many. Or called the company who makes the panels. Do i have OCD or what?:eek:

    There is no mistake on if the panel is new or not, it is a AU Optronics (AUO) part M302EW02, per I called the company and they would not speak on the panel in question. Would not even acknowledge it even exists.

    Point being that you have to find out for yourself, and go look at one(2009 20') and don't take anyone's word for it, even mine. I did more than my share of homework, and once I checked it out for my self backed up my theories on what i checked out. I sit in front of my 24' 2009 model eight hours a day, and when I sit in front of my 2009 20' I cannot tell the difference in screen quality. That does not mean that there isn't any difference, just I cannot see it.

    What does that mean, who knows, maybe it means that the 20 2009 model is a better screen, or that the 24 2009 model is a lesser screen.

    I will tell you one thing for a fact, that the 2009 20' is much brighter, and sharper.

    Do yourself a favor and go look at a 20 2009 model, that will tell the tale, and make the decision for you. After all your spending the money, and a opinion is just that a opinion, not enough to make up for seeing it for yourself.
  5. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    iamthedudeman: I appreciate the thoroughness you have put into figuring this out, and your willingness to provide this information to the forum. I think one of the reasons that you may have some "hecklers" doubting your analysis is that Apple still has the old specs listed for the 20"; being the lower viewing angle and dimmer display for the 20" compared to the 24". That would suggest that the 20" is NOT just a scaled-down version of the 24", but possibly using a different display technology. However, most on here would also agree that Apple sometimes takes the specs as "minimums", in that the actual performance may exceed the specs (like in the ATI 2600PRO versus ATI 2600XT downclocked debate).

    To support your argument - I have both a 2008 24" for me, and a 2008 20" for my kids. The display quality differences are easily apparent to me. Not that the 20" is BAD (it's better than any LCD I have owned to date), it's just that the 24" is so much BETTER. My point is, the differences between the two are obvious even without putting the displays side-by-side; you can't miss it. You too were able to tell the differences, and if you CAN'T see the differences between the two current models, than something has indeed changed. I'm not suggesting that they are the same display technology, but am suggesting that the differences may no longer be a point of differentiation, because the differences in the 2008 are obvious.

    Disclaimer - I shoot lots of video and images, and have developed a keen eye over the years. My kids can't tell the differences, and neither can my wife, between the 20" and 24" 2008. I can even convince myself that I can see the slight improvement in the contrast ratio of the 2008 20" over the 2008 24". A fair amount of users won't, unless the displays are side-by-side.
  6. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    Agreed. It may be they're using a much better quality TN film panel in the 2009 20", just like how the MBA screen blows away MB screen despite being the same panel type.

    I think we would have seen a few more threads on this subject if they actually went back to using IPS in the new 20" (given the uproar and lawsuit when they downgraded the panel going from white 20" to alu 20"), as well as if they started using TN film in the 24".
  7. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007

    I don't consider any doubters "hecklers'. Lol. :D

    I know that the 20' is probably not a scaled down version of the 24". Is the 24' a superior panel, most likely. Is the 24' 2009 model a IPS panel and the 2009 20' a different display technology most likely. Is it a TN panel not necessarily I am just saying after extensive research, bordering on the insane, the 20' panel is a different panel from it's 2008 counterpart and it is much improved. As far as it being a different panel, that was confirmed by

    Just what that panel is or the 'real' specs only Apple and AUO knows. What we do know is that the panel in the 2009 model differs from the 2008 model by their model numbers. That much is known.

    Now that being said. I don't think the panel in the 2009 model is a TN panel. If it is it's a damn good one.

    When I called AUO, I asked for info on model number AU Optronics M302EW02 and they would not even recognize that the panel even exists. They only said that their 2009 panels use true 16.7 colors and not "dithering'.

    That says to me that since the model AU Optronics M302EW02 is a 2009 model, does the claim also apply to model number AU Optronics M302EW02 since it is a 2009 model. I think it does. And the last time I checked TN panels dont do true 16.7 million colors and use only dithering. This says to me that the model AU Optronics M302EW02 either uses newer TN technology or that it does not use a TN panel or that I just got bad info. I am can only hope that the first and second reasons apply.

    So the only info I have to go on is my first hand knowledge of owning recently the 2008 20' and a 2009 20' and a 2009 24'.

    I got the late 2008 model is Feb of 09. One week later I ordered a 24' 2009 model for work and a 20' 2009 model for home and sent back the late 2008 model.

    I can tell a big difference in the color saturation between the 2008 and 2009 models especially the brightness and color representation. Comparing the 2008 20 to the 2009 20' is like night and day and not unlike the comparison from the 20' to the 24' 2008 models both of which I have seen up close and personal.

    Why hasn't Apple updated the specs on their website when we know that the panel in the 2009 model differs from the 2008 model, who knows. Maybe they are using a different manufacturer other than AUO.
  8. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    In one of the big threads last year on the lawsuit over the 16.7 million colors claim in the 20", someone mentioned that not all TN panels are 6-bit per channel and that the panel type and the digital to analog converter are independent parts. So apparently some TN panels do display true 16.7 million colors without dithering.
  9. tms568 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2009
    Hi guys.
    Today I went to a local apple partner und looked at the display of the new imacs. Unfortunatly they didn't have the imac 20'' 2008 in place any more. Nevertheless if you compare the 20 '' with the 24'' panel you see a slight difference. I thought that the contrast is a little bit lower at the 20'' -settings had been equal. BUT for me there was no fundamentadifference comparing the two panels to each other. So, I think I will take the 20'' imac an pimp it up with 4 GB RAM and a 600er ATA. That should be a good package for the next years and snow leo ;)
  10. MacAlpha macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2008
    Great White North
    Looks like you have made up your mind. I have to say that I agree with the others here. I bought my son a 2009 20" iMac and the screen quality is great. He uses it mostly for playing games, watching movies and surfing the internet and it has a really clear, high contrast picture. I would not hesitate to recommend it. I have not set it beside a new 24" iMac (and in the Apple store near where I live, the don't put the 20" and 24" side by side so a direct comparison is a little difficult, but when walking back and forth between them I could not tell the difference.

    Of the displays that we have currently have in our "arsenal", I would say it would come in a clear second, behind my 24" ACD. Third would be my MBP and then last, my wife's MB.
  11. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    I had a previous gen 20" iMac and I thought the screen was quite nice.

    It wasn't perfect. It did have that contrast change from top to bottom, but it is not something that is easy to take in all at once and so you don't notice it unless you are doing comparisons top to bottom.

    I did sell my 20" iMac last week, but only because I could. And I upgraded to the 24".

    I don't notice that great of a difference between the screens. The 24" is bigger of course and that is most noticeable. The color though doesn't seem much better. It is a bit more vibrant to me after a few days use, but my wife said she really can't tell without a side by side comparison.

    So I think the 20" iMac screen is very good and certainly much better than the Macbook's screen. The 24" perhaps reaches into the excellent category although the difference will be lost on many. That's how good the 20" is despite its flaws.
  12. jajo macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2007
    The latest 2009 iMac 20" still use a TN-panel. I checked it out yesterday in a store and it looked exactly like a 2008 20". I don't know if it is exactly the same panel, but the performance is surely much lower than of a 24" with H-IPS-panel.

    If only Apple had an H-IPS with A-TW polarizer...

    / Jacob
  13. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    I guess the biggest variable is the brain, for some people cannot tell the difference between H-IPS and TN film, whereas others can notice the difference between 2009 20" TN panel and 2008 20" TN panel.
  14. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    Really? How do you know the 2009 model is a TN? Where did you get your info? Do you have a link?

    Checking it out yesterday in a store and owning them are quite a different thing. Of coarse everyone is going to have a opinion on how each screen looks.

    No the 2009 is a completely different panel from the 2008 model. That is a fact. Weather it is a TN panel or not that much is not known. Does it show 16.7 million colors, according to AUO it does, regardless of weather it's a TN or not.

    Now who's to say that AUO makes all the panels for the 20' imacs. I looked it up and that seems to not be the case. I checked my model number and it is indeed a AUO Panel. The one you looked at may not have been manufactured by AUO.

    I previously owned a 2008 20 late model a month ago and now own a 2009' 20 and a 2009 24' and I cannot tell the difference other than the size.

    And that is not looking at them at the "store' that is spending hours on them a day. Day in and day out.
  15. kurosov macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2009
    My 20" '09 panel is great. The viewing angle doesn't seem to be as good as some screens but it is still one of the best i have worked with.

    If you want looks just be sure to recalibrate your gamma settings to 2.2
  16. tms568 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2009
    Comming to an end I ordered the 20'' imac today. After reading all the stuff here and comparing the displays in an reseller store, I hope this system fits und works well for the next years. My last concerns refere now on dead pixels ;-)
  17. Sebby macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2008
    London, UK
    The ifixit team took one apart and found that it's this panel.
  18. Canadian Bacon macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2007
    On the Baltic Sea
    Precisely! And iamthedudeman should know that, because he responded to the thread I started on this topic "2009 20" iMac panel vs. 2008 20" iMac panel" about two weeks ago.
  19. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    Well, Sebby. CB. Hate to break it to you, just provided a link to the "old' panel for reference. Like I said I called the company, and inquired about the panel in question and they would not even acknowledge it even existed, "did you guys miss the whole thread? This topic has been beaten to death, and with very little searching on this site, most can be made of what is what regarding the panels. said so as much, the model number they found was for the AU Optronics M302EW02. They provided a "link' to the old model the AUO M201EW02 V8. As there is no reference to a AU Optronics M302EW02 as they were not revealed by AUO or Apple. Only by tearing down a 2009 imac was this little tidbit of info made known to the public. The specs for the panel they found in the 20" 2009 imac the AU Optronics M302EW02 are not currently known. We don't know if it is a TN panel, or not a TN panel. The only ones who know is Apple and AUO. What we do know is that the panels are different from the 2008 imacs to the 2009 imacs.

    Check the site again and you will see that the panel that they provided a link to is the M201EW02, which is the panel on the 2008 imacs, which was confirmed by by the imac 2009 teardown.

    You guys need to follow along a little better. ;)
  20. Sebby macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2008
    London, UK
    Sorry, I missed that, but you need to chill. ;)

    But come on, it's going to be a TN with such a similar product number...
  21. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck....
  22. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    From fixit:

    "The second one is the LCD itself. It is an AU Optronics (AUO) part M302EW02 that was manufactured on ‘09/04′. iFixit is guessing that it means that the LCD was manufactured in the 4th week of 2009. Unfortunately, the AUO part is a TN (Twisted Nematic) LCD with a viewing angle of just 170/160. Not so good in my book. But since the iMac is targeted toward consumers and not design professionals, maybe this cost-cutting decision can be somewhat understood."
  23. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007

    Sorry, that is not from

    I don't know how you think that is from, or why you would think that it is or imply that it is.

    That is from this web blog:

    Here is what they do:

    It's just someones opinion, that has no basis whatsoever on what type of panel it is. He is just stating his opinion based upon the linked website that provided which as mentioned earlier was to the "old' model of panel that was used in the 2008 version. Not the new panel.

    Here is the original blog:

    Has nothing to do with

    If it is a TN it's a better one than the 2008 model.

    Looking from the side I can clearly see the screen, sitting on the floor looking up at the screen i can still see the screen clear as day.

    Comparing the 2008 model panel to the 2009 panel is like night and day. I also own a 2009 24' and the only difference that I can tell from the 2009 20' and the 2009 24' is the size, that's it.

    Not so with the 2008 model. Looking from the side, the screen was not even visible, from the floor the screen was hardly visible.

    Like I said before, we don't know yet what the specs are other than that the screen models are different.

    Lets keep in mind that the 20's screens are being manufactured by companies other than AUO.
  24. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    That's just the problem, it doesn't look like like a duck, walk like a duck, or quack like a duck, hence the confusion. :confused:
  25. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007

    I personally don't think that it is.

    Judging from "owning' recently the 2008 late model 20' imac, and owning the 2009 20' imac and a 2009 24' imac and the viewing angles alone suggest to me that the 2008 model was and is far "inferior' to the 2009 20 and 24 models I presently own.

    Secondly, AUO stating to me that they "don't use dithering in any of our 2009 panels' and that "all our 2009 panels use "millions of colors'. And we know that the model in question was a 2009 model.

    Thirdly, AUO is switching all their models to "MVA (multi-domain vertical alignment) panels for all their panels.

    Here is some info:

    "There are several "next-generation" technologies based on MVA, including AU Optronics' P-MVA and A-MVA, as well as Chi Mei Optoelectronics' S-MVA."


    Lastly. If I look at a angle my 2009' 20. Standing directly from the side, If I peek between six inches and a foot I can see the screen clearly, which is about a 178 degree angle. If I look at my 2009 24 the angle is about the same.

    If you got a 2009 try it out you will see what I mean for yourself. Now like I said, AUO is not the only manufacturer of the 2009 20' model as far as the panels are concerned. So we have to keep that in mind.

    Now if I were to try that on my previous 2008 model, the screen would be just a washout, totally.

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