24-inch iMac: Worth the price?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
So, I'd like to get a few responses on this, because I'm still unsure of the general consensus. In everyone's opinion, is the 24" iMac really worth the price jump when compared to it's 20" cousin? The only differences, aside form the obvious screen real-estate increase, are the addition of a FireWire 800 port and an nVidia 7300GT graphics card, rather than an ATI Radeon X1600. Both have the same functional specifications, the same upgrade costs and options, etc. So the question I pose is: is 4 inches of LCD really worth $500?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karelia View Post


    So, I'd like to get a few responses on this, because I'm still unsure of the general consensus. In everyone's opinion, is the 24" iMac really worth the price jump when compared to it's 20" cousin? The only differences, aside form the obvious screen real-estate increase, are the addition of a FireWire 800 port and an nVidia 7300GT graphics card, rather than an ATI Radeon X1600. Both have the same functional specifications, the same upgrade costs and options, etc. So the question I pose is: is 4 inches of LCD really worth $500?





    No it is not worth the price tag. Maybe if Apple would have put in an Express card slot for some sort of future expandability, I may have a different opinion.



    Dave
  • Reply 2 of 36
    mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    If you want a 4" larger screen, better video, and FW800, then it's worth it. Otherwise it's not...



    Ultimately, isn't the decision yours?
  • Reply 3 of 36
    kishankishan Posts: 732member
    In my 24" iMac I have my main Mac for the next 3 to 4 years and a pretty decent windows game machine for the types of games I like to play (I'm don't care for 3D 1st person shooters). With FireWire drives I have expanded my hard drive space to 1 TB. It runs all the consumer software I want. I don't regret my decision one bit. I cannot emphasize enough how awesome the giant screen is. While I am sure the computer has its limitations, I haven't run into them yet. My advice would be to buy the best computer you can afford, because you can be sure that in 3-6 months, there will be something better.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    FWIW, it's the only iMac with a 1080P display.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    imacfpimacfp Posts: 750member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karelia View Post


    So, I'd like to get a few responses on this, because I'm still unsure of the general consensus. In everyone's opinion, is the 24" iMac really worth the price jump when compared to it's 20" cousin? The only differences, aside form the obvious screen real-estate increase, are the addition of a FireWire 800 port and an nVidia 7300GT graphics card, rather than an ATI Radeon X1600. Both have the same functional specifications, the same upgrade costs and options, etc. So the question I pose is: is 4 inches of LCD really worth $500?



    I had to make the same choice since I recently bought a 20". For me it came down to money issue. My wife put me on a budget. I love my iMac, and honestly I had to get used to the larger screen. It was a big change going from a 15" screen to a 20". The 24" didn't seem worth the money, but I do miss having the faster FW 800 port. I also regret not getting the largest size hard drive. If you have the money, and you're willing to spend it, get the 24". Otherwise the 20", maxed out, is a great machine. However, I have to admit that I have a bit of envy when I go into the local Apple Store and see the 24" sitting there.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    kareliakarelia Posts: 525member
    True. I've really got my eye on the 20, just because it's so much cheaper with, really, no performance decrease. Not to mention I consider the screen on a 17" PowerBook huge, so I can just imagine the 20"...



    Although I would love the bigger screen, since I plan on using it as a TV as well by tossing a Miglia TVMicro into the pot, I like the idea of an ATI video card rather than an nVidia. I've just always had more luck with ATI.



    Quote:

    FWIW, it's the only iMac with a 1080P display.



    Actually, it's regrettably not an HD display.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karelia View Post


    Actually, it's regrettably not an HD display.



    I'm not quite sure how a display with a resolution of 1920x1200 (therefore, more than 1920x1080, i.e. 1080p) doesn't qualify as HD.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    imacfpimacfp Posts: 750member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karelia View Post


    True. I've really got my eye on the 20, just because it's so much cheaper with, really, no performance decrease. Not to mention I consider the screen on a 17" PowerBook huge, so I can just imagine the 20"...



    Although I would love the bigger screen, since I plan on using it as a TV as well by tossing a Miglia TVMicro into the pot, I like the idea of an ATI video card rather than an nVidia. I've just always had more luck with ATI.







    Actually, it's regrettably not an HD display.



    The 24" video card is better, but I've honestly not felt that I've lost anything by not having it and I push my 20" to the limit or try to. I honestly had to get used to the larger screen and for me it's large enough. Like I said, I do miss the larger 500 GB, although I have an external hard drive where I store my videos and iDVD files. I should have gotten it. If the FW 800 were offered I'd have gotten it. It's a shame it was not a BTO.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    kareliakarelia Posts: 525member
    You can always have the hard drive upgraded, as well. Snag a 320, 400, or even 500GB drive off some PC parts website or store and it will work. That's the nice thing about universal parts.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker View Post


    I'm not quite sure how a display with a resolution of 1920x1200 (therefore, more than 1920x1080, i.e. 1080p) doesn't qualify as HD.



    Yes, please explain! I'm dying to hear this...
  • Reply 11 of 36
    atlasatlas Posts: 90member
    I bought my 24" iMac with no upgrades at the end of last month. I don't believe the extra real estate space is too worth it. It makes watching movies fun, it makes PhotoShop WAY easier and working with multiple windows (Finder windows, Safari windows, etc.) is not a pain in the butt anymore. I always hated having more then 1-2 windows open, but now I can multitask better.



    With games and just internet browsing, I feel like I might have made a mistake. I don't believe you'll even care about the extra space. I just got into Age Of Empires III and I could play it on a 20" and not care.



    Was it worth it? Oh heck yes. The extra real estate is nice if your going to use it. The better video card is not only faster, but it is also brighter. Go into an Apple store and put both the 20" and 24" on its brightest setting and there is a NOTICABLE difference. That was pretty much the kicker for me.



    -kk
  • Reply 12 of 36
    kareliakarelia Posts: 525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    FWIW, it's the only iMac with a 1080P display.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mikef View Post


    Yes, please explain! I'm dying to hear this...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker View Post


    I'm not quite sure how a display with a resolution of 1920x1200 (therefore, more than 1920x1080, i.e. 1080p) doesn't qualify as HD.



    Because 1920x1200 is just that, 1920 pixels by 1200 pixels. It doesn't take into account the progressive scan function of 1080p. The 24" iMac may have the pixel rating to run HD, but it doesn't do progressive scan.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karelia View Post


    Because 1920x1200 is just that, 1920 pixels by 1200 pixels. It doesn't take into account the progressive scan function of 1080p. The 24" iMac may have the pixel rating to run HD, but it doesn't do progressive scan.





    Um...LCD displays are by their nature progressive vs interlaced...



    Personally, I'd get the 20" and debate getting a Dell 24" WS for $600 more if I wanted the extra screen real-estate or a 23" HDTV (probably from Costcos or BJs) if I wanted a HDMI/HDCP support for around $500 and tack on an Apple TV.



    Vinea
  • Reply 14 of 36
    kareliakarelia Posts: 525member
    I worded it wrong, that didn't help much. The standard-definition signal is compressed to about a fifth of the bandwidth, so it's less taxing on the video card (or in the case of an TV broadcast, they can send more channels through one transmission). I'm no pro at HDTV trivia, but I am 100% sure that the only HD displays in Apple's arsenal as of now are the 23" and 30" Cinemas. That much I know from the specifications.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karelia View Post


    I worded it wrong, that didn't help much. The standard-definition signal is compressed to about a fifth of the bandwidth, so it's less taxing on the video card (or in the case of an TV broadcast, they can send more channels through one transmission). I'm no pro at HDTV trivia, but I am 100% sure that the only HD displays in Apple's arsenal as of now are the 23" and 30" Cinemas. That much I know from the specifications.



    ????? well according to
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karelia View Post


    Because 1920x1200 is just that, 1920 pixels by 1200 pixels. It doesn't take into account the progressive scan function of 1080p. The 24" iMac may have the pixel rating to run HD, but it doesn't do progressive scan.



    23-inch (viewable)

    1920 x 1200 optimal resolution wouldnt be HD either



    nor would



    30-inch (29.7-inch viewable)

    2560 x 1600 optimal resolution





    i think in this case... comparing the resolution on the 20" to the 24" the 24" is the only screen capable of displaying HDs necessary 1920x1080, where as the 20" display IS NOT capable of displaying the 1080 part.... or for that matter the 1920... being as it is "only" 1680 x 1050
  • Reply 16 of 36
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    It is the best computer for the money I ever owned. The screen size is more than worth the scratch. put 2GB ram and that puppy and you will chuckle at the notion of comparing it to the 20'. You will never regret that purchase.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    I'd go for the 20" personally. I think the 24" is too big. It is brighter and has a better GPU but if you don't need it, don't spend the money on it. Even with the screen being HD resolution, that only really matters if you are editing HD. Watching HD will be fine because it's scaling it down not up so you won't lose out much at all.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    kareliakarelia Posts: 525member
    I won't lie here, I have very little idea what the true definition and requisites for HD are, but I can assure you, the 24" is NOT an HD display. I have seen the difference, we hooked a 23" HD Cinema to a 24" in extended desktop mode. Playing a piece of HD content, we saw a noticble, albeit small (HD's not that much better) decrease when we moved the content from the 23" to the main 24". Even though the resolution sounds like it fits into the definition of HD, it's not. I've had multiple people tell me this as well. People have bought 24-inchers, assuming it was because it was bigger than the 23", but came back saying it was not HD quality. They still loved thair machines, nonetheless, but were a bit dispayed to find that out.



    Of course, to most people, whether it's HD or not will not matter or even be very noticiable. I'm just trying to warn those out there that are considering getting the 24" over the 20" specifically for the HD screen, it's not HD. Besides, if it was, you'd think Apple would mention it at lease once in the specs and boasts of the iMac, at least somewhere on their website.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karelia View Post


    I won't lie here, I have very little idea what the true definition and requisites for HD are, but I can assure you, the 24" is NOT an HD display. I have seen the difference, we hooked a 23" HD Cinema to a 24" in extended desktop mode. Playing a piece of HD content, we saw a noticble, albeit small (HD's not that much better) decrease when we moved the content from the 23" to the main 24". Even though the resolution sounds like it fits into the definition of HD, it's not. I've had multiple people tell me this as well. People have bought 24-inchers, assuming it was because it was bigger than the 23", but came back saying it was not HD quality. They still loved thair machines, nonetheless, but were a bit dispayed to find that out.



    It is HD. The quality difference can be a number of things. I hooked up an old CRT in extended mode next to the iMac screen and the CRT was visibly better quality with far better colors. All this means is that the iMac screens are not very good quality and it's one big reason why I don't own one.



    I still think Apple should get rid of the iMac and replace it with a mini + Cinema Display. They just have to make the mini good value and they'd cost the same.



    Top Mini = £529, 23" Cinema = £779, total = £1308

    24" iMac = £1349



    So add a £50 GPU to the Mini and give it Core 2 Duo CPUs.



    Of course few people would buy Apple's displays at that price so it won't happen.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karelia View Post


    I won't lie here, I have very little idea what the true definition and requisites for HD are....



    that sort of says it all



    HD SPEC. has nothing to do with QUALITY... quality is subjective, spec is a REQUIREMNET and that requirment is the ability to playback "movies" at a rez of 1920 x 1080 which the 24"iMac CAN do and the 20" iMac CANT do....



    THAT is the point we were making, which you seem unable to understand...



    im not saying i know much more than you, but its not THAT hard to grasp
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