Thinking about buying iMac. Do I go 20 or 24

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cormeister7, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. cormeister7 macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    New York, NY
    What does everyone think about the difference between 20" and 24" iMac's? Im thinking about getting an iMac real soon. It appears that they are in the middle of their product cycle.
  2. andrew upstairs macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2009
    Downtown Los Angeles
    24" all the way. 20" is just too small for a desktop, IMO.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Definitely 24". I love mine! No reason to go for 20" over 24"
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Desk space should be the only consideration for the 20" these days. The 24" contains all the best options and has a beautiful screen.
  5. Sebby macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2008
    London, UK
    Definitely go for the 24". It seems ridiculously huge at first, but you'll soon adjust. :D
  6. AAPLaday Guest


    Aug 6, 2008
    Manchester UK
    I think the 20 inch iMac is plenty big enough, particularly if your coming from a macbook or any other laptop. If you can afford the 24 inch then go for that one but a 20inch iMac is by no means a bad thing :p
  7. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    20" is just fine for many people, though if I go the iMac route next time I think it'll be for a 24".

    What are you using it for? If you want to do any sort of real gaming (via bootcamp or whatever) then you really have no choice but the get a higher end 24", which is quite an annoyance.
  8. Gaelic2 macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2007
    Mountains of N. California
    I have had two 20" iMacs and recently decided to go for the 24". I am very pleased with the "24. The screen is beautiful and has lots of space for several programs. You would be kicking yourself down the line if you buy the 20":D
  9. TRAG macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2009
    Louisiana, USA
    I don't have an iMac, but if I did I'd choose the 24". I think it'd give you more a TV feeling if you ever decide to watch movies. They do seem huge at first. But why not go ahead and get the biggest.
  10. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    20" here.

    Advantages of 20"?

    Brightness can be turned down quite a bit more than 24". Great for nighttime computing. 24" brightness can be overwhelming at night.

    20" uses significantly less energy.

    Easier to transport. I move mine down to the kitchen table often.

    It's cheaper. And just as fast.

    Greater pixel density on the 20".

    Everything is more front and center with 20". 24" isn't quite big enough to get 2 webpages side by side either so the extra space is mostly wasted. And extra size can feel a bit too much.

    I had a 24" and went back to 20".

    Don't miss it except for the occasional movie I suppose. But most of that is done on my TV.
  11. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
  12. niuniu macrumors 68020


    Mar 29, 2009
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    Being a laptop user I'd go for 24 as it'd be nice to have a significantly bigger screen for a change.

    That said, I wouldn't knock the 20inch, it's plenty big and beautiful too. I'd be very happy with a 20inch iMac.
  13. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
    The 20" is plenty big for regular use, but the quality of the screen is shoddy. +1 for 24"
  14. durhamj macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Go 24"

    If you can afford, go for the 24".

    If plan on doing alot of photo editing with something other than iPhoto, go 24".

    As already mentioned the screen is bright at its lowest setting, but check out a software add-on called "screen shade" to turn down the brightness even more.

    If you are as old as me, (bi-focal age,:eek: ) plan on getting a new subscription, just for the big screen.
  15. crazycat macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    I have used both so i might be of some help here. I would recommend that you go for the 24" model for 3 main reasons.

    1- The both have about the same footprint, although the 24" is larger they will both fit in the same place on the desk.

    2- The 24" model will be faster.

    3- The extra screen space makes a big difference.
  16. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008

    1. Well they don't have the same footprint. The 24" is wider and taller. And thus the 20" can't fit into the same space. IT's not a 2 or 3x difference, but there is a significant difference. I also found that I wanted to push the 24" farther back on my desk because of its size.

    2. 24" isn't faster unless you step up to the $1799 pricepoint. $1499 24" iMac has same cpu and gpu as the 20" iMac.

    3. This isn't something that I've found. It does depend on what you do. My wife and I mostly surf or email or use iPhoto or play the occasional game. I do some home movie editing once in awhile. And use Office or iWork. I think folks that need a larger screen space know that they need it. Those who have to ask probably don't need it.
  17. kurzz macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2007
    Absolutely get the 24". I had one and it had an amazing screen (compared to the 20"). If you're in for a desktop machine,why not go all out and get the larger screen? It's not likely you'll carry that thing around much, in terms of weight/size.
  18. senseless macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I sampled both size Imacs and definitely preferred the 20" over the 24" model. I may have misused the big one by opening GIANT windows of each application. It might be better used to have multiple normal size windows open at the same time.
  19. atomicshark macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2007
    New York
    Exactly. If the 20" had the same quality (color gamut/viewing angle) as the 24" and the same processor/video options I would have gone with the 20" to save some money.

    Personally I love my 24" iMac. The screen is what kept me from buying a new Macbook Pro. Yes, it's that good!
  20. cz3ch macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2009
    I'd say go for the 24". But I'd honestly buy the 24" 2.8Ghz model in the Apple Refurb section. It's $1,199USD. Great deal on a smoking machine!
  21. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    If you have the room and money for the 24 inch that definitely the way to go.
  22. vw1300 macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2008
    I bought the base model 20" last year and am happy with it - then again the 24" models were a lot more expensive then. If your budget and space allows it, get the big screen.

    If I were buying a new one now, I'd still get a 20" screen - frankly, I don't need the 24" for light photo/video editing and the usual family stuff - but I would special order one with the bigger hard drive and number pad keyboard.

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