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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - iMac 20" display - Do problems still persist?


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syiem

 
Member Since: Aug 25, 2008
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been a lifelong PC user and am finally getting around to make the switch.. had my eyes firmly on the 20" iMac, 2.66 Ghz, 2 GB RAM and 320 GB hard disk. Wife loved the size (she thought the 24" is too big) and we were all set to pick it up..

spent some time doing research and came across this great forum.. read about problems - colour gradations; contrast shifts; faded colours on the 20" iMac displays.. However, these seemed to be particularly bad last year..

Has Apple gotten around to fixing this or are the current batch of 20" iMacs still affected?

I don't really want to spring for the 24" unless I have to..

switching to Mac mainly for image editing work.. I'm no professional and its just a hobby for me.. shoot in RAW and process with Photoshop, Capture NX...

Will the 20" work for me or do I really need to sping the extra US$ 300 for the 24"?

any feedback will be hugely appreciated!!!

p.s. I have 2 days to decide as the store is running a promo where I can pick up a Mac with 0% interest for 12 months...
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rogerinlondon

 
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Get the biggest screen you can afford or you will just regret it later.
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syiem

 
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Thanks Roger.. While helpful, that suggestion is still enigmatic..

why would I regret it later? I do not plan to spend hours before the screen on a daily basis... i would like a system that supports my hobby over the next couple of years and lets me process my photographs quickly and efficiently... something to relieve the stress from my day job.. which involves sitting at a desk and staring at a monitor

cheers!
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petenick

 
Member Since: May 19, 2006
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Hi, the 20 inch iMac still uses a TN or twisted nematic display that can only show 262,000 colors. The other "millions" are shown thru dithering. That swayed me from a newer aluminum 20" iMac. The older 20" white ones used a non-TN display. However, I ordered an aluminum 24" iMac for photography work , they have an excellent (S-IPS?) display with much better viewing angles and can truly show millions of colors. When mine came I was devastated. The display is blindingly bright and for color calibration the brightness needs to be turned down almost all the way, where you can see problems begin. The display was much brighter on the left side than the right, and it had unacceptable "backlight bleed" which is where the sides and corners of the displays let light in. After searching on this problem, it seems mostly iMacs made in China (like mine was) have this problem. I went to an Apple store near me and all 5 iMacs I had them open and try for me had this color gradient and backlight bleed. The older white iMacs that are still Intel don't have this issue, and I'm sure lots of people don't have this problem, but the six total 24" iMacs I laid eyes on did. I promptly called and returned mine. If color accuracy and uniform display color is important to what you do, make sure the display is alright before buying. Currently I am looking for a white Intel iMac, as they seem to have no display issues whatsoever.
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Alexis

 
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I use a 20" alumnium iMac at home (bought on the day of release) and a 20" white iMac at work.

The aluminium has more vibrant colours, but there is a slight colour shift between the top and bottom of the screen due to the lesser viewing angle. You don't notice it after a couple of days though.
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syiem

 
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Wow.. This is getting more and more mysterious.. The problem is that stores here in Dubai don't let you test the model you buy at the store before you pay for it. They have a display model which you can check out before making your purchase, but not the actual model you end up buying..

Sucks big time!!!

So if there's a problem, then you can only try and rectify it under the warranty..

I like the Macs and am willing to put down the 2 grand required.. But I want to make sure its money well spent and I don't regret it later..

Man!!!
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syiem

 
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Wow.. This is getting more and more mysterious.. The problem is that stores here in Dubai don't let you test the model you buy at the store before you pay for it. They have a display model which you can check out before making your purchase, but not the actual model you end up buying..

Sucks big time!!!

So if there's a problem, then you can only try and rectify it under the warranty..

I like the Macs and am willing to put down the 2 grand required.. But I want to make sure its money well spent and I don't regret it later..

Man!!!
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petenick

 
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Try going to the store and on the display model set the brightness all the way to zero, as thats where it'll likely be for realistic colors in photos. Then set it to a white background. If the color gradient problem is there, you will see the left side of the display is brighter than the right side on a 24" iMac. Just ask them if you can exchange it if the display isn't up to snuff. Serial numbers that start in W8 were made in China, and seem to have more issues than ones put together elsewhere. So perhaps you could ask them to get you a box that has a serial number not starting with W8. You can also try the 20" one, but for me it wasn't an option. The world has far more than 262,000 colors in it, and I would like to see most of them in my photographs if they happen to be there!
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syiem

 
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Alexis, do you use your 20" for any photo editing work and do you print your pics after that? Are the prints reasonably close to the screen colours? Any experiences on that front?

cheers!
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syiem

 
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Pete, you're spot on.. Went back to the store and ran the checks as you suggested.. The 20" displays are washed out towards the bottom of the screen.. And the 24" displays are brighter on one side of the screen.. Not just the W8 serial nos. but I even went to another store and ran the checks on a 24" VM serial number iMac.. Same problem with a white screen.. One side brighter than the other...

So guess the iMac is out for.now...

Looked at the MacBook.. 2.4Ghz with 2GB RAM... I can hook up and external display (?) and get an external hard drive.. Question is will it run Aperture 2 and Capture NX2 effortlessly and sppedily?

If it does, I might just go down that route...

Any thoughts???
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petenick

 
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Using a MacBook 1.83 with 2gb RAM with the first version of Aperture and Photoshop CS3 I have found it to be quick when editing my 6.1mp images from my K100DS. The K10 you have I think puts out 10mp images, but with that bump in processor speed to 2.4 you should be just as fast if not faster than mine. I have never used CaptureNX2, so I cannot comment on that. I have a 250gb Deskhammer external drive I connect thru firewire. I have thought about an external display, but with the MacBooks 64mb of VRAM, I am unsure how large a display can be used without problems. Currently I am looking at the 24" Dell 2408WFP monitor, as I read it uses a S-PVA panel and can show accurate colors. The first revision of this monitor had a few problems, but I spoke with Dell and they are shipping out the new A01 firmware versions, with better sharpness adjustment among other things. I may buy a used Mac Pro to use with it, I am still undecided.
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