choose between 17" and 20"

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I will get an iMac G5 as soon as they arrive the local store(we don't have Apple store here in Hong Kong).



But I'm considering which to get, either a 17" 1.8 or 20".



I got the money to get just enough for a 20" and extra 1GB of RAM. For the same amount of money, I can get a 17" 1.8G, 1 GB of RAM, AppleCare, and some extra gadgets such as a printer.



The different between 17" 1.8 and 20" is just the screen size ? Seems their hardware config are just the same. What I'm concern about is I will possibly start some DV editing works for my friends(althought not much), and some photo editing works as well(for hobby), so I'm think of getting a bigger screen which offer higher resolution will benefit to the video editing experience ? What is the major benefit of getting more pixels of a 20" in view of working around of applications I mentioned above?



Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    The 20" also sports a larger HD (160 G vs 80 G).



    The added screen space DOES pay-off when you start working with Photoshop, iMovie/DVD/FinalCut ... nice to be able to really stretch out the time-lines when editing.



    Even for web-surfing, with the 20", you can have two full-size web windows open side-by side ... sometimes a nice feature.



    ...but (in the US), is it worth $400 to you ?? ... it is to me. I'll be making a trip to Honolulu next month just to get the 20"-er.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    Yes, it's around US$400 different between the 17" and 20". This can do a lot. Is that really a great difference when using PS/FCE2/iMovie between 17" and 20" ?



    Another problem you out and I didn;t aware of is the double sized HDD(oh I just realize that is the different!), I don't tried video editing with iMovie/FCE2 before since I'm currently using 12" PB which is not capable for video editing(I tried but really slow that I cannot stand with it), what is the disk usage of video editing in practice ? Is a 160GB somewhat important compares with 80G ?



    Thanks for your help!
  • Reply 3 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally posted by copo

    Yes, it's around US$400 different between the 17" and 20". This can do a lot. Is that really a great difference when using PS/FCE2/iMovie between 17" and 20" ?



    Another problem you out and I didn;t aware of is the double sized HDD(oh I just realize that is the different!), I don't tried video editing with iMovie/FCE2 before since I'm currently using 12" PB which is not capable for video editing(I tried but really slow that I cannot stand with it), what is the disk usage of video editing in practice ? Is a 160GB somewhat important compares with 80G ?



    Thanks for your help!




    If you want to do video editing, you need the as much hard disk space as you can get. I am constantly forced to clear up my old video projects so that I can work on the new one. 80GB is barely enough. Disk usage runs to about 10GB for about 20mins. It varies a lot depending on what you are trying to do. With non-destructive editing, hard disk space takes a big hit. I recommend the 20-inch and saving up for Applecare and other gizmos.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    You can upgrade the HD in the 17" to 160 or 250GB. Certainly if you're getting 250GB it's cheaper to get it retail though.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    kalikali Posts: 634member
    GEEZ ! Why are you hesitating ? Just get the 20" !!



  • Reply 6 of 25
    kalikali Posts: 634member
    Screens are always too small



    Get the 20"
  • Reply 7 of 25
    I see.



    I have just phone the shop and they just got the machine. I will get there and have a look!
  • Reply 8 of 25
    I do most of my work on a 17" powerbook. It is a nice step up from my previous 15". The way I look at it is it is always a nice to have more screen real estate. But 400 bucks is 400 bucks.



    Some things to keep in mind...



    You have a year to purchase your Applecare. So if you can't afford it now you can add it on before your one year warranty expires.



    External Firewire hard drives are cheap (although not as elegant as the clean simple iMac, but they make a nice and easy back up.



    You should be able to find a store around where you can try one out for a while to see if you would actually use the extra space.
  • Reply 9 of 25
    Agreed.



    I have just back from the store have it touch and played for while. The one I tried was a 17" 1.8 with 256MB RAM.



    The first time to have it feel in person is -- it just right. The enclosure is really really well built. The angle of the display(where is the computer??) can be adjusted effortlessly.



    The display is really good, the screen area, compare to my existing 12" PB(my first Mac that make me switch from PC) is really fabulous. I have tried iMovie and I think it can fulfill my need (althought I didn't tried FCE2 and not sure if the interface of FCE2 will need more desktop space, any advice?).



    Since the box just got the default amount of RAM installed, which is 256MB, the speed is not really impressive and some lag when I open a few software such as MS Word, Excel, GarageBand, while doing a short movie effects in iMovie.



    They just got the 17" one display and no 20", so I will wait for a face to face compare if I need to extra pixels as I think the size of 17" can make me happy enough since I'm not doing heavy photo and video stuffs, mostly internet browsing , DVD watching and programming, as well as VPC running a software for studying.



    Thanks for the advice!
  • Reply 10 of 25
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by copo



    They just got the 17" one display and no 20", so I will wait for a face to face compare if I need to extra pixels as I think the size of 17" can make me happy enough since I'm not doing heavy photo and video stuffs, mostly internet browsing , DVD watching and programming, as well as VPC running a software for studying.




    It is not only the extra pixels; the 20" model has a much nicer display (of higher quality), especially in viewing angles.
  • Reply 11 of 25
    Thanks for the information PB, I just notice the specification of the iMac on Apple homepage which state that the different of the panel, I'm likely to stick with the 20", get a gig of RAM in it, and save a bit for the AppleCare before the first year expire.....



    # Typical viewing angle:



    * 17-inch models

    o 120° horizontal

    o 90° vertical

    * 20-inch model

    o 170° horizontal

    o 170° vertical



    # Typical brightness: 200 cd/m (17-inch models); 230 cd/m (20-inch model)
  • Reply 12 of 25
    20" no brainer, it is an AIO, so what you buy now you will be stuck with, you can upgrade everything else but the screen, so get what you can grow into, not what you are comfortable with now, trust me, I have gone the cheap route, and you just end up getting the bigger one anyway!



    External HD are fine, but when you are importing and editing it is HIGHLY recommended that your scratch disk be internal, so get the biggest HD internally you can afford, and use an external to back up projects to free up space on your scratch disk.



    Anything timeline oriented is better with the bigger screen period. 17" seems fine, but you will appreciate the 20" and be able to grow into it, and you won't second guess your purchase going that route. $400 bucks is a minimal price to pay for piece of mind.



    Hope that helps!
  • Reply 13 of 25
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by copo

    # Typical brightness: 200 cd/m (17-inch models); 230 cd/m (20-inch model)



    Keep in mind you'd rarely run any display at those levels of brightness since it's actually pretty bad for your eyes. You're more likely to operate in the 100 - 150 cd/m range.
  • Reply 14 of 25
    kcmackcmac Posts: 1,051member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Telomar

    Keep in mind you'd rarely run any display at those levels of brightness since it's actually pretty bad for your eyes. You're more likely to operate in the 100 - 150 cd/m range.



    I agree. I used to think my 12" PB screen was pretty bright. At full brightness the iMac screen is a lot brighter and much too bright when the surroundings are dark.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    What is the reason for those who have ordered and received your 17" 1.8 to choose 17" but not 20" ? I'm interested to hear from you. Thanks.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    if you can get the 20". i sqaw the 20" today and i must say it was breathtaking.... gorgeous display and you will love the extra space and resolution. go for it!
  • Reply 17 of 25
    hi tonton,

    you are from hk too ?



    hi earthoandy,



    I think I will possibly go for the 20" now and save bucks for the AppleCare later. I have been to a shop today and they are showing only the 17" 1.8, but this time they have installed 1GB or RAM, which is the amount of RAM I planned to get, I have run a lot of apps. and everything just runs great.



    Well, I still didn't make up my decision to take that home right the way(they got stock and I can get it), or just wait for the 20" for comparision. Then I have made up my mind to get a 20" by navigating the PowerMac with the new 20" cinema display next to the iMac.



    The screen space and resolution of the 20" cinema display is just same as the 20" iMac, I love the extra space, which can let me do a lot of thing without overlapping the windows, especially when I doing some programming with the terminal windows, browsing the internet, iPhotos..... which is a great experience. The experience of working with a 17" compares with a 20" is like.....freeing up your mind. I know the specification of the cinema display is better then the one on 20" iMac such as the brightness (230 cd/m2 and 250 cd/m2) and the contrast ratio(350:1 and 400:1), but the viewing angel and the screen resolution are just the same, yes, it is breathtaking.



    Hopefull they will have the stock next week, I will have the RAM ready for them!
  • Reply 18 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Telomar

    Keep in mind you'd rarely run any display at those levels of brightness since it's actually pretty bad for your eyes. You're more likely to operate in the 100 - 150 cd/m range.



    Yea, but it's nice to have that extra wiggle room when the backlight starts going dim.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    I think the posters here have just about convinced me to get the 20", I'll be getting it with 512Mb RAM but no BT or AP yet (I couldn't be bothered with charging/replacing batteries in a keyboard and mouse).



    Now I just hope I get that new job to help pay for it!



  • Reply 20 of 25
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    I have a G5 PowerMac and a 20" Cinema Display (the old non-aluminum kind). I would easily recommend the 20" iMac over the 17". While it may seem large if you're used to smaller screens, getting the larger screen will pay off in the long run. It's one of the few things you can't change and in a few years you'll wish you had a larger screen, even if you get the 20"!



    I've used both sizes and I think the 20" screen is the current sweet spot. I'm even thinking of replacing my 20" with an aluminum 23". The only time I wish for a smaller screen is when I play games because I can't run most of 'em at my native 1680x1050. (This with a 9800 Pro on a rev A Dual 2 GHz.)



    What do I do? Primarily all the normal stuff: Safari, iTunes, iPhoto, Word, ... But I'm also a coder. I'll run Xcode, BBEdit, and Omnigraffle through PhotoShop and Final Cut. Depending on what you do, the larger screen may or may not be worth the extra money. For me its a no brainer, but I'm a "Pro" user in various areas.



    If you can afford it, get the 20" iMac. You can buy AppleCare anytime within the first year. Get more RAM as soon as you can. Printers are surprisingly inexpensive. Combos (Photo Printer + Scanner) are cheap and uni-taskers are cheaper. Overall the downside is with the 20" you'll like the experience more and will end up spending more money on gadgets, and iPod or camera perhaps. With the 17" unit you'd be happy, but always thinking "what if?" with the 20's. You wouldn't be as happy but would probably save money since you wouldn't run out to get other cool gear.



    A note about iSight, which I love:

    iSight is viral... once everyone you care about has one it's killer! (A friend of mine just moved far away and we gave one to him as a going away gift. Recently, just talking to him face-to-face was worth the price and we can do this all the time!)



    And of course, an iPod Mini. Mine is awesome and I'd exercise less without it! My health is well worth it!





    *catches breath*
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