to buy or not to buy which one is the question!

ashokc

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 10, 2007
88
0
Hey guys I am having a bit of a dilema here as to which imac to buy and am about to ask some seriously dumb questions as I am not exactly techy as it were.

Firstly how much of a performance difference do you think there will be between the two 20" aluminimum macs.

Secondly will i be able to play high definition video on these.

Lastly is it worth buying now or waiting a few months for them to niggle the bugs out of these. My only reason for an urgent buy right now is that my bro is about to quit being a student in the next month or so so i want to try and make the most out of the discount.
 

CBAviator

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2007
299
0
Nederland
Hey guys I am having a bit of a dilema here as to which imac to buy and am about to ask some seriously dumb questions as I am not exactly techy as it were.

Firstly how much of a performance difference do you think there will be between the two 20" aluminimum macs.

Secondly will i be able to play high definition video on these.

Lastly is it worth buying now or waiting a few months for them to niggle the bugs out of these. My only reason for an urgent buy right now is that my bro is about to quit being a student in the next month or so so i want to try and make the most out of the discount.
In terms of high definition, the 20" isn't TRUE HD. With that being said, the details of a computer screen are so much finer than a television. These new 20" iMacs, although not true HD, are beautiful when video is being played on them.
 

paetrick

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2007
193
0
How about on the 24" screens?
You asked if the computer can play 1080p, and it can, EASY, but no 20" tft screen got 1080p resolution - so if you really want to get "REAL hd" hock up the imac to a hdtv :) - i will use the imac as htpc as well as "normal computer" :p.

The 24" got a resolution that's 1080p tho.
 

CBAviator

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2007
299
0
Nederland
OK, here's the basic run-down with HD ability...

There are multiple levels of "High Definition." You've probably heard them referred to as 1080i, 1080p, etc. Although different resolutions of HD are available to the consumer, 1080p is often marketed as "Full HD Resolution." 1080p is 1920×1080 which equals 2,073,600 pixels. So anything at or above this is truely Full HD Resolution. Here's how the iMacs work out...

20" iMac - 1680 by 1050 pixels = 1,764,000 pixels (NOT FULL HD)
24" iMac - 1920 by 1200 pixels = 2,304,000 pixels (FULL HD)
 

RainCityMacFan

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2007
922
3
NC
OK, here's the basic run-down with HD ability...

There are multiple levels of "High Definition." You've probably heard them referred to as 1080i, 1080p, etc. Although different resolutions of HD are available to the consumer, 1080p is often marketed as "Full HD Resolution." 1080p is 1920×1080 which equals 2,073,600 pixels. So anything at or above this is truly Full HD Resolution. Here's how the iMacs work out...

20" iMac - 1680 by 1050 pixels = 1,764,000 pixels (NOT FULL HD)
24" iMac - 1920 by 1200 pixels = 2,304,000 pixels (FULL HD)
So if you have an external monitor that can do 1080p then is the iMac capable of outputting 1080p?

Oh and yeah you should get an iMac now, there isn't much bugs to it beside the whole dead pixel (which isn't Apple's fault).
 

paetrick

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2007
193
0
So if you have an external monitor that can do 1080p then is the iMac capable of outputting 1080p?

Oh and yeah you should get an iMac now, there isn't much bugs to it beside the whole dead pixel (which isn't Apple's fault).
Yea with iMac's specc it can handle 1080p on an external screen easily !
 

macjonny1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2006
535
46
This is where my HD knowledge hits a roadblock. Someone else will have to step up to the plate on this one and teach you and me :)!
The computer will output 1920 by 1200. Your TV is 1920 by 1080. So, there is some overscan that you will have on your computer. The next step is up to the TV. My computer hooked up to my 1080p TV (a sharp aquos) has a dot-by-dot mode that displays it perfectly. Without that setting, some of the dock on the bottom gets cut off.
 

ashokc

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 10, 2007
88
0
now i am swaying towards the 24" guys way over my budget though!!! Ah if only i won the lottery :) Other than the screen size though as a bog standard user will i notice much difference between the different specs. How well will vista handle on the entry level 20". I'm not really going to be using the mac for games but will the 2600 XT be able to handle something like half life 2 running under bootcamp in xp well?
 

RainCityMacFan

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2007
922
3
NC
But if you play mostly DVDs and since DVDs are only 720p?

So wont 1080p only matter if you are going to play HDDVD/Blu-Ray and/or HDTV (which I have no idea on how to get on an iMac)... Unless EyeTV lets you get TV channels in HD...

Correct me if I'm wrong...
 

ashokc

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 10, 2007
88
0
well i have been thinking about using it for hd digital camcorder playback
 

craigr577

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2007
42
0
U.S.
Thanks for all of the great information!
So wont 1080p only matter if you are going to play HDDVD/Blu-Ray and/or HDTV (which I have no idea on how to get on an iMac)... Unless EyeTV lets you get TV channels in HD...
• How common are HD-DVDs now? and in estimates for the future?
• I've assumed that EyeTV (Hybrid or 250 Plus) delivers HDTV to a Mac from a digital broadcast (for shows broadcast in HD from the station) or from digital cable. Is this correct?
• How much degradation in quality is there when showing 1080p with 1650x1050 rather than 1920x1200?
• And since HD is 1920x1080, is there just a narrow black strip for the 120 extra pixels (1200 - 1080) at the top & bottom of a 24" screen? Does this automatically occur for HDTV? for non-HD digital TV? and what does it look like with EyeTV for analog broadcasts or analog cable?

Craig

P.S. A few days ago, after returning from a long trip, I had planned to buy the cheapest 20" iMac, but the 20" screen isn't what it used to be (now it has color weirdness in all but a narrow viewing angle, like the old low-quality 17" rather than the old high-quality 20") and then I began thinking about the advantages of having true HD with the 24".
 

AlexisV

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2007
1,602
95
Manchester, UK
now i am swaying towards the 24" guys way over my budget though!!! Ah if only i won the lottery Other than the screen size though as a bog standard user will i notice much difference between the different specs. How well will vista handle on the entry level 20". I'm not really going to be using the mac for games but will the 2600 XT be able to handle something like half life 2 running under bootcamp in xp well?
The 2600XT can run Half Life 2 no problems at all.

Vista is nothing to a modern computer - only older machines with poor integrated graphics problems have problems. The iMac can run it on its head, in its sleep. Vista isn't actully demanding at all - there's one 3D feature in it which you probably won't use much at all (they just like to put a screenshot of Flip3D on PC monitors to try and sell them).

To be honest though, the 20" is a large enough monitor for anyone. The 24" is nice, but a bit overkill in my opinion.

How much degradation in quality is there when showing 1080p with 1650x1050 rather than 1920x1200?
You won't actually see any degradation. You'll only see reduced quality if you try and scale up a small image onto a big screen, but you're actually showing a larger image on a smaller screen. Yes, pixels are being discarded to fit it on the screen, but you won't notice any difference in quality.

Here's the theory:






Large image 800 x 600 pixels (imagine this is HD on 24" monitor)







Same image reduced to 600 x 450 pixels (imagine 20" monitor).
Image is smaller but quality is virtually the same.






Image enlarged from 600 x 450 to 800 x 600.
This is when degradation occurs, when enlarging. Imagine watching an HD DVD on a 60" monitor.

 

craigr577

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2007
42
0
U.S.
you should get an iMac now, there isn't much bugs to it beside the whole dead pixel (which isn't Apple's fault).
But the reputation of Apple depends on the quality of what they sell, so I assume they will "lean on" the manufacturers to have better quality control. If they do this and the quality improves, how long will it take for the improved displays to reach customers? (how long will current warehouse stocks last?) Or maybe it cannot be easily fixed?

In any case, you can't just say it "isn't Apple's fault" since they are responsible for who they make contracts with (for manufacturing) and the quality of what they sell.

Craig
 

craigr577

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2007
42
0
U.S.
You won't actually see any degradation. ... Yes, pixels are being discarded to fit it on the screen, but you won't notice any difference in quality. // You'll only see reduced quality if you try and scale up a small image onto a big screen
This makes sense, it's a basic principle of scaling graphics. A "perfect match" with the HD resolution (1920x1080) will produce the best results, but (as you explain) the results might be worse when "scaling up" from non-HD or 720-HD onto a 1080 screen (but I'm sure it will still look great due to the small size of the pixels on an iMac monitor, unlike the 60" monitor you mention) compared with "scaling down" from 1080-HD onto a smaller screen. Craig
 

daneoni

macrumors G4
Mar 24, 2006
10,803
79
But the reputation of Apple depends on the quality of what they sell, so I assume they will "lean on" the manufacturers to have better quality control. If they do this and the quality improves, how long will it take for the improved displays to reach customers? (how long will current warehouse stocks last?) Or maybe it cannot be easily fixed?

In any case, you can't just say it "isn't Apple's fault" since they are responsible for who they make contracts with (for manufacturing) and the quality of what they sell.

Craig
Dead pixels are an issue even the best of the best in the industry face so its nobody's fault except LCD display technology itself. The dead pixel rate in the iMacs seems to be pretty small.

Mine has no dead pixels or issues and i know i'm not the only one. Overall the units shipping out seem pretty good with only a few bad batches which Apple has been replacing with no questions....even when sometimes they should.

If you keep waiting for the "good" batch of shipments, you'll be waiting a long time because each batch will have bad eggs and good gems. If you get a good gem great, if not, Apple will replace your bad egg with a good gem. Just the way it is.
 

imacfreak85

macrumors newbie
Aug 26, 2007
19
0
Theres only one issue I havent seen addressed here. The iMac cant play HD DVDs or Blue Ray DVDs right out of the box, so it really doesnt matter if the screen is HD or not.
 

paetrick

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2007
193
0
Theres only one issue I havent seen addressed here. The iMac cant play HD DVDs or Blue Ray DVDs right out of the box, so it really doesnt matter if the screen is HD or not.
Ever heard of something called downloading? , Download a 1080p on your 20" imac and connect trough mini dvi to a FULL HD HDTV and watch the movies there ^^ (or on the mac :p )
 

imacfreak85

macrumors newbie
Aug 26, 2007
19
0
Ever heard of something called downloading? , Download a 1080p on your 20" imac and connect trough mini dvi to a FULL HD HDTV and watch the movies there ^^ (or on the mac :p )
Yeah, but I download stuff thats supposedly HD and it never looks that great on the Mac at fullscreen. And I have a 24".
 

craigr577

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2007
42
0
U.S.
the details of a computer screen are so much finer than a television. These new 20" iMacs, although not true HD, are beautiful when video is being played on them.
Yes, the pixel density for these monitors (99 dpi for 20", 94 dpi for 24") is MUCH higher than for TV sets, and at the Apple Store yesterday I looked at DVD-video on a 20" and 24", varying the size from full-screen to the minimum, and it looked good at all sizes, for reasons explained by AlexisV above. Craig