How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?

Started Jun 30, 2013 | Discussions
Greg Eddinger
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How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
Jun 30, 2013

Objective is to upgrade to decrease processing time using, Lightroom, Photoshop, Photomatix and possibly light video editing.

My old 15" MBP 2.8 doesn't fit the bill processing raw bracketed images into HDR. Way to slow.

Are the new iMacs screens calibration worthy. My 2009 15" MBPs screen "glossy" is ball park. I have a Lacie 321 for critical color rendering.

So, how does the new iMacs screen compare to my old MBP for calibrated accuracy?

The goal is to get a budget effective computer thats going to have a substantial reduction in processing time.

I don't even know if a mac mini might pull the load?

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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Greg Eddinger, Jun 30, 2013

Greg Eddinger wrote:

Objective is to upgrade to decrease processing time using, Lightroom, Photoshop, Photomatix and possibly light video editing.

My old 15" MBP 2.8 doesn't fit the bill processing raw bracketed images into HDR. Way to slow.

Are the new iMacs screens calibration worthy. My 2009 15" MBPs screen "glossy" is ball park. I have a Lacie 321 for critical color rendering.

So, how does the new iMacs screen compare to my old MBP for calibrated accuracy?

The goal is to get a budget effective computer thats going to have a substantial reduction in processing time.

I don't even know if a mac mini might pull the load?

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Gregory Eddinger
Those that believe they can, CAN, because they BELIEVE!

The highest configured Mac minis (2.3Ghz or 2.6Ghz i7 models with SSD or Fusion Drive) will kick the living daylights out of your old MBP. No contest. The difference in performance will be dramatic.

The highest configured iMac 3.4Ghz will perform better, obviously, but it will also benefit from the dedicated graphics card, especially when using Photoshop which uses your graphics card for better performance. Lightroom doesn't.

The difference between the screen on your old MBP and the newest iMac is night and day. The new iMac displays are gorgeous. The screens are also factory calibrated but you can also calibrate it yourself. For most situations and most people the iMac displays are more than good enough for photo work.

If I recall correctly your Lacie is an old model and I believe the latest iMac displays have a wider color gamut than your old Lacie. It will certainly be higher resolution, much brighter and have a much better contrast ratio.

If your budget is limited then go for the Mac mini. I did initially, and I bought the latest i7 mini but I ran into trouble finding a worthy and economical display that could approach the quality of the iMacs so I returned it and went all the way with a fully configured 27" iMac. I'm glad I did. The Mac mini would have made sense to me if only I could find a high quality display at a reasonable price or if I already owned a display I was happy with. The Mac mini is an awesome little computer and I still felt bad returning it.

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Greg Eddinger
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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Basalite, Jun 30, 2013

First, thanks for the consise reply. I wasn't sure if my post was worded correctly. Clearly you faced a similar dilemma and understood exactly what I was asking.

Yes the Lacie 321 is older, around 2005. It has a tendency to slow down my current 15" MBP and and was much worse on my old 2006 15' MBP but I'd guess that it could be used on a Mac Mini.

I had no idea about a wider gamut on the new iMacs. Our 2008 24" is too bright and constrasty for accurate calibration. My guess is that if I go the new iMac route that my older 2009 blue eye pro won't work well on the new iMac monitor.

One thing I didn't mention is that I also do audio voice over work and computer noise can be an issue. Any thoughts between fan noise Mac Mini and iMac?

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Howard Moftich
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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Greg Eddinger, Jun 30, 2013

the 2008's high brightness/contrast can be handled by BasICColor Display calibration software (I have a 2009 w/ the same problem).

There is effectively no noise from an iMac or Mini

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Greg Eddinger
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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Howard Moftich, Jun 30, 2013

Howard Moftich wrote:

the 2008's high brightness/contrast can be handled by BasICColor Display calibration software (I have a 2009 w/ the same problem).

There is effectively no noise from an iMac or Mini

Thanks Howard, I should have also mentioned that I have a 2008 24 iMac 3.06 and I'll see if BasICColor will do the trick.

From what I can gather from the previous post, the iMac will not only have a modest speed increase over a current Mac Mini, it also has a better screen not to mention a larger one than the 21" Lacie.

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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Greg Eddinger, Jul 1, 2013

Greg Eddinger wrote:

First, thanks for the consise reply. I wasn't sure if my post was worded correctly. Clearly you faced a similar dilemma and understood exactly what I was asking.

Yes the Lacie 321 is older, around 2005. It has a tendency to slow down my current 15" MBP and and was much worse on my old 2006 15' MBP but I'd guess that it could be used on a Mac Mini.

I had no idea about a wider gamut on the new iMacs. Our 2008 24" is too bright and constrasty for accurate calibration. My guess is that if I go the new iMac route that my older 2009 blue eye pro won't work well on the new iMac monitor.

I have no idea about that.

One thing I didn't mention is that I also do audio voice over work and computer noise can be an issue. Any thoughts between fan noise Mac Mini and iMac?

Most times I don't notice my current model iMacs fan running and I have checked it on a number of occasions to be sure it was even running as it was that quiet, but of course that depends on how much of a load you are putting on the computer and for how long. It has never sped up when processing my photos.

The current model Mac mini (I had the 2.3 i7 version) is essentially silent and stayed that way even when I was using it to process my photos in Lightroom. The only way I could hear the fan was to put my head to the rear of the mini, just like my 2010 Mac mini. I don't think you can find a quieter computer on the market with that combination of small size and power. The fact that you can also position the mini much further away than you would an iMac would make fan noise even less of an issue. It's an awesome little computer.

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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Greg Eddinger, Jul 1, 2013

Greg Eddinger wrote:

Howard Moftich wrote:

the 2008's high brightness/contrast can be handled by BasICColor Display calibration software (I have a 2009 w/ the same problem).

There is effectively no noise from an iMac or Mini

Thanks Howard, I should have also mentioned that I have a 2008 24 iMac 3.06 and I'll see if BasICColor will do the trick.

From what I can gather from the previous post, the iMac will not only have a modest speed increase over a current Mac Mini, it also has a better screen not to mention a larger one than the 21" Lacie.

The iMac also has considerably more powerful graphics, which programs like Photoshop takes advantage of. The 27" iMac can also be configured to 32 gigs while the Mac mini is limited to 16 gigs of ram, although it is possible that either could support more, as if often the case with Macs.

It is an absolute pleasure editing my photos on my 27" iMac's screen. I will never go back to something smaller and with less resolution. I would take my time and try them out at an Apple store or any other store that has them.

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Greg Eddinger
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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Basalite, Jul 1, 2013

Basalite wrote:

From what I can gather from the previous post, the iMac will not only have a modest speed increase over a current Mac Mini, it also has a better screen not to mention a larger one than the 21" Lacie.

The iMac also has considerably more powerful graphics, which programs like Photoshop takes advantage of. The 27" iMac can also be configured to 32 gigs while the Mac mini is limited to 16 gigs of ram, although it is possible that either could support more, as if often the case with Macs.

It is an absolute pleasure editing my photos on my 27" iMac's screen. I will never go back to something smaller and with less resolution. I would take my time and try them out at an Apple store or any other store that has them.

The graphics card on the 27" could play a role for someone that uses a select group of it's tools, I don't use them often enough for that to be a benefit.

Heres a list of tools that use the graphics card. http://forums.adobe.com/message/4289204

Here's a link to some recent benchmarks for the Mac lines. That little Mac mini sure packs a punch. http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

At this point I'm leaning toward the mini due to it's value and ability to be placed away from a microphone but an iMac with iOS 7 might tip me the other way. At this point the only variables that are keeping me from a final decision is will my Lacie 321 drivers work with the mini and if not can I get a good large monitor for under $500?

Thanks for the great advice. It's great to see there's still some great members in this forum.

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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Greg Eddinger, Jul 2, 2013

Greg Eddinger wrote:

Basalite wrote:

From what I can gather from the previous post, the iMac will not only have a modest speed increase over a current Mac Mini, it also has a better screen not to mention a larger one than the 21" Lacie.

The iMac also has considerably more powerful graphics, which programs like Photoshop takes advantage of. The 27" iMac can also be configured to 32 gigs while the Mac mini is limited to 16 gigs of ram, although it is possible that either could support more, as if often the case with Macs.

It is an absolute pleasure editing my photos on my 27" iMac's screen. I will never go back to something smaller and with less resolution. I would take my time and try them out at an Apple store or any other store that has them.

The graphics card on the 27" could play a role for someone that uses a select group of it's tools, I don't use them often enough for that to be a benefit.

Heres a list of tools that use the graphics card. http://forums.adobe.com/message/4289204

Here's a link to some recent benchmarks for the Mac lines. That little Mac mini sure packs a punch. http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

Thanks, but I'm familiar with all that infornation. I also owned the latest i7 Mac mini for a short time before getting my iMac and yes it was very powerful.

At this point I'm leaning toward the mini due to it's value and ability to be placed away from a microphone but an iMac with iOS 7 might tip me the other way.

What does iOS 7 have to do with your decision on a Mac?

At this point the only variables that are keeping me from a final decision is will my Lacie 321 drivers work with the mini and if not can I get a good large monitor for under $500?

This is why I ended up getting the 27" iMac because the bill was starting to add up really quick as I was looking for a suitable display to add to the Mac mini. In the end, I said the heck with it and bought the iMac and returned the mini. There are good third party displays out there but I really like the glass display on the iMac and I hate matte displays, plus I like the all in one type of computer.

Thanks for the great advice. It's great to see there's still some great members in this forum.

Glad I could help.

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Greg Eddinger
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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Basalite, Jul 2, 2013

Basalite wrote:

Greg Eddinger wrote:

At this point I'm leaning toward the mini due to it's value and ability to be placed away from a microphone but an iMac with iOS 7 might tip me the other way.

What does iOS 7 have to do with your decision on a Mac?

Until today (after I posted) I didn't know that you could upgrade the iMac from IOS5 to IOS7. Now that I do I'm confident the iMac will be faster than the mini and now it's just a matter of how much am I willing to spend to get what I need?

At this point the only variables that are keeping me from a final decision is will my Lacie 321 drivers work with the mini and if not can I get a good large monitor for under $500?

This is why I ended up getting the 27" iMac because the bill was starting to add up really quick as I was looking for a suitable display to add to the Mac mini. In the end, I said the heck with it and bought the iMac and returned the mini. There are good third party displays out there but I really like the glass display on the iMac and I hate matte displays, plus I like the all in one type of computer.

And yes, that's where I'm at now.

Sometimes its better to follow in someone else's track than make your own.

Gregory Eddinger

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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Greg Eddinger, Jul 2, 2013

Sometimes its better to follow in someone else's track than make your own.

We learned that walking through rice paddies

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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Greg Eddinger, Jul 2, 2013

Greg Eddinger wrote:

Basalite wrote:

Greg Eddinger wrote:

At this point I'm leaning toward the mini due to it's value and ability to be placed away from a microphone but an iMac with iOS 7 might tip me the other way.

What does iOS 7 have to do with your decision on a Mac?

Until today (after I posted) I didn't know that you could upgrade the iMac from IOS5 to IOS7. Now that I do I'm confident the iMac will be faster than the mini and now it's just a matter of how much am I willing to spend to get what I need?

iOS is Apple's mobile operating system. OS X is Apple's Mac operating system. The mini and the iMac both use OS X.

At this point the only variables that are keeping me from a final decision is will my Lacie 321 drivers work with the mini and if not can I get a good large monitor for under $500?

This is why I ended up getting the 27" iMac because the bill was starting to add up really quick as I was looking for a suitable display to add to the Mac mini. In the end, I said the heck with it and bought the iMac and returned the mini. There are good third party displays out there but I really like the glass display on the iMac and I hate matte displays, plus I like the all in one type of computer.

And yes, that's where I'm at now.

Sometimes its better to follow in someone else's track than make your own.

Gregory Eddinger

Those that believe they can, CAN, because they BELIEVE!

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Tom_N
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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Basalite, Jul 2, 2013

Basalite wrote:

Greg Eddinger wrote:

Basalite wrote:

What does iOS 7 have to do with your decision on a Mac?

Until today (after I posted) I didn't know that you could upgrade the iMac from IOS5 to IOS7. Now that I do I'm confident the iMac will be faster than the mini and now it's just a matter of how much am I willing to spend to get what I need?

iOS is Apple's mobile operating system. OS X is Apple's Mac operating system. The mini and the iMac both use OS X.

iOS (iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad) versions are numbers.  iOS 6 is current.  iOS 7 is the announced-but-not-shipping version.

Mac OS X versions have had associated "big cat" names:  10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), and 10.8 (Mountain Lion).  Apple seems to have run out of big cat names.  Instead of going with 10.9 (House Cat - ".9 for 9 lives"), they went with 10.9 (Mavericks) (UGH!) for the announced-but-not-shipping version.

It is quite likely that at the source code level, many components are shared by Mac OS X and iOS.  But they are not binary-compatible.  Mac OS X is tailored for desktop computers that have keyboards, mice, large screens, lots of RAM, and lots of storage.  iOS is tailored for mobile devices that have no keyboards, no mice, small touch screens, small amounts of RAM, and small amounts of storage.  (And of course there is the CPU instruction set difference.)

If you are talking about upgrading a Mac from Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) to Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), that might be a bit hard, mainly because Apple has stopped selling Lion.  But if the machine meets the requirements to run Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), you could upgrade to 10.6 (Snow Leopard) (using the boxed kit available from Apple) and then to 10.8 (by electronic purchase from the Mac App Store).

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noirdesir
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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to Greg Eddinger, Jul 2, 2013

Greg Eddinger wrote:

Basalite wrote:

Greg Eddinger wrote:

At this point I'm leaning toward the mini due to it's value and ability to be placed away from a microphone but an iMac with iOS 7 might tip me the other way.

What does iOS 7 have to do with your decision on a Mac?

Until today (after I posted) I didn't know that you could upgrade the iMac from IOS5 to IOS7. Now that I do I'm confident the iMac will be faster than the mini and now it's just a matter of how much am I willing to spend to get what I need?

Greg,

I think you mean Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 as the processor choice where custom orders of the iMac can be order with the i7 instead of the i5 in the stock configurations.

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Greg Eddinger
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Re: How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?
In reply to noirdesir, Jul 2, 2013

noirdesir wrote:

Greg Eddinger wrote:

Greg,

I think you mean Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 as the processor choice where custom orders of the iMac can be order with the i7 instead of the i5 in the stock configurations.

LOL @ me, that's exactly what I meant.

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Jacques Cornell
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iMac for glossy, mini + NEC for matte
In reply to Greg Eddinger, Jul 2, 2013

Greg Eddinger wrote:

At this point I'm leaning toward the mini due to it's value and ability to be placed away from a microphone but an iMac with iOS 7 might tip me the other way. At this point the only variables that are keeping me from a final decision is will my Lacie 321 drivers work with the mini and if not can I get a good large monitor for under $500?

A refurbished NEC 24" EA244 with IPS panel is currently available direct from NEC for $309. See all of NEC's refurbished displays here:

http://www.necdisplay.com/category/desktop-monitors?Refurbished=1

As for your LaCie Blue Eye, even if updated drivers are available for newer versions of OS X, the calibration software and hardware will only work with LaCie displays. If you want to calibrate an iMac or third-party display, you'll need a new calibration kit. The X-rite i1 Display Pro ($249) seems to be the way to go these days for cross-brand support.

If you like glossy displays, the iMac would seem to be a good choice. I prefer matte displays and wouldn't give up my NEC display (PA271) for anything. If I were in your shoes and keeping costs down, I'd go for a Mac mini with i7 and Fusion drive plus 16GB of third-party RAM, the refurbed NEC 24" EA244, and an X-rite i1 Display Pro.

If you've got the scratch and want the best possible display, the NEC sRGB P-series and wide-gamut PA-series displays with add-on NEC Spectraview calibration kit ($300) are great options. Spectraview supports only the P and PA series. I've worked with lots of high-end displays, and in my experience, NEC's P and PA series displays with Spectraview are noticeably better than anything else and very easy to use, much like the dedicated LaCie Blue Eye. Spectraview works only with NEC displays, so if you need to calibrate both NEC and non-NEC displays, the solution is to buy the X-rite kit and the Spectraview software ($100). You can use the X-rite i1 Display Pro hardware with the Spectraview software on P/PA displays and with X-rite's i1 Profile software on other displays.

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Greg Eddinger
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Re: iMac for glossy, mini + NEC for matte
In reply to Jacques Cornell, Jul 3, 2013

Jacques Cornell wrote:

A refurbished NEC 24" EA244 with IPS panel is currently available direct from NEC for $309. See all of NEC's refurbished displays here:

http://www.necdisplay.com/category/desktop-monitors?Refurbished=1

. The X-rite i1 Display Pro ($249) seems to be the way to go these days for cross-brand support.

thanks for the link

If you like glossy displays, the iMac would seem to be a good choice. I prefer matte displays and wouldn't give up my NEC display (PA271) for anything. If I were in your shoes and keeping costs down, I'd go for a Mac mini with i7 and Fusion drive plus 16GB of third-party RAM, the refurbed NEC 24" EA244, and an X-rite i1 Display Pro.

Yes, that's a very cost effective combo

If you've got the scratch and want the best possible display, the NEC sRGB P-series and wide-gamut PA-series displays with add-on NEC Spectraview calibration kit ($300) are great options. Spectraview supports only the P and PA series. I've worked with lots of high-end displays, and in my experience, NEC's P and PA series displays with Spectraview are noticeably better than anything else and very easy to use, much like the dedicated LaCie Blue Eye. Spectraview works only with NEC displays, so if you need to calibrate both NEC and non-NEC displays, the solution is to buy the X-rite kit and the Spectraview software ($100). You can use the X-rite i1 Display Pro hardware with the Spectraview software on P/PA displays and with X-rite's i1 Profile software on other displays.

Very informative. You have saved me quite a bit of research time.

I haven't kept up with much tech wise since my 2009 15" MBP purchase so it's nice to come back here to DPR to updated and educated by people who's opinions I consider well regarded.

Even the the tool bar above is new to me. So now I'm torn between desire and function. I like the ease and clean lines of an all in one iMac but like the old day's with component stereos, a separate computer and monitor makes it easier to repair, upgrade etc. And yes, the idea of having a new NEC is great which leads me to another question. Can the Mac mini run dual monitors?

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Jacques Cornell
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Re: iMac for glossy, mini + NEC for matte
In reply to Greg Eddinger, Jul 3, 2013

Greg Eddinger wrote:

Jacques Cornell wrote:

A refurbished NEC 24" EA244 with IPS panel is currently available direct from NEC for $309. See all of NEC's refurbished displays here:

http://www.necdisplay.com/category/desktop-monitors?Refurbished=1

. The X-rite i1 Display Pro ($249) seems to be the way to go these days for cross-brand support.

thanks for the link

If you like glossy displays, the iMac would seem to be a good choice. I prefer matte displays and wouldn't give up my NEC display (PA271) for anything. If I were in your shoes and keeping costs down, I'd go for a Mac mini with i7 and Fusion drive plus 16GB of third-party RAM, the refurbed NEC 24" EA244, and an X-rite i1 Display Pro.

Yes, that's a very cost effective combo

If you've got the scratch and want the best possible display, the NEC sRGB P-series and wide-gamut PA-series displays with add-on NEC Spectraview calibration kit ($300) are great options. Spectraview supports only the P and PA series. I've worked with lots of high-end displays, and in my experience, NEC's P and PA series displays with Spectraview are noticeably better than anything else and very easy to use, much like the dedicated LaCie Blue Eye. Spectraview works only with NEC displays, so if you need to calibrate both NEC and non-NEC displays, the solution is to buy the X-rite kit and the Spectraview software ($100). You can use the X-rite i1 Display Pro hardware with the Spectraview software on P/PA displays and with X-rite's i1 Profile software on other displays.

Very informative. You have saved me quite a bit of research time.

I haven't kept up with much tech wise since my 2009 15" MBP purchase so it's nice to come back here to DPR to updated and educated by people who's opinions I consider well regarded.

Even the the tool bar above is new to me. So now I'm torn between desire and function. I like the ease and clean lines of an all in one iMac but like the old day's with component stereos, a separate computer and monitor makes it easier to repair, upgrade etc. And yes, the idea of having a new NEC is great which leads me to another question. Can the Mac mini run dual monitors?

The NEC EA244 has HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI-D ports. The P and PA series displays have DisplayPort and DVD-D, but no HDMI. The Mac mini has HDMI and Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort ports. So, yes, the mini could drive an EA244 via HDMI and another display via DP/MDP or DVI-D.

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Re: iMac for glossy, mini + NEC for matte
In reply to Jacques Cornell, Jul 3, 2013

Jacques Cornell wrote:

Greg Eddinger wrote:

At this point I'm leaning toward the mini due to it's value and ability to be placed away from a microphone but an iMac with iOS 7 might tip me the other way. At this point the only variables that are keeping me from a final decision is will my Lacie 321 drivers work with the mini and if not can I get a good large monitor for under $500?

A refurbished NEC 24" EA244 with IPS panel is currently available direct from NEC for $309. See all of NEC's refurbished displays here:

http://www.necdisplay.com/category/desktop-monitors?Refurbished=1

As for your LaCie Blue Eye, even if updated drivers are available for newer versions of OS X, the calibration software and hardware will only work with LaCie displays. If you want to calibrate an iMac or third-party display, you'll need a new calibration kit. The X-rite i1 Display Pro ($249) seems to be the way to go these days for cross-brand support.

If you like glossy displays, the iMac would seem to be a good choice. I prefer matte displays and wouldn't give up my NEC display (PA271) for anything.

The new iMac's display is quite different from last year's. Glare for example has been reduced by 75% and without the loss of picture quality you get from matte displays.

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Greg Eddinger
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Re: iMac for glossy, mini + NEC for matte
In reply to Basalite, Jul 3, 2013

Basalite wrote:

Jacques Cornell wrote:

If you like glossy displays, the iMac would seem to be a good choice. I prefer matte displays and wouldn't give up my NEC display (PA271) for anything.

The new iMac's display is quite different from last year's. Glare for example has been reduced by 75% and without the loss of picture quality you get from matte displays.

Ok, I made the 1 hour trip down to Apple this evening.   The 27" is something that would allow me to be more productive on with multiple windows open. Again, I literally only had time for about 2 minutes to get an impression of the 27". That screen was very impressive. Not only is it large, it's very clear and clean. Reflections seems muted compared to my wifes 2008 24" iMac. I went in wanting to confirm that the mini was going to be good enough. I never felt the iMacs were the stuff. After seeing that 27" in person I'm sold, or as Tim Allen would put it,, Arrrh, Arrrh. It really is an actual computer with a very good screen. If I can scape up the cash, it's going to find itself in my home very soon. BTW, I also have to buy 2 MBPs for my twin daughters heading off UCLA and Berkeley so I've got to use my money wisely.

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Gregory Eddinger
Those that believe they can, CAN, because they BELIEVE!

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