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View Poll Results: Base iMac 21.5"
Perfectly alright for average user, despite HDD 23 50.00%
No way, fusion is a must 23 50.00%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:26 PM   #1
Hamburger
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Base 21.5" - yes or no

The base iMac 21.5" may be enough for the average user, given that the only real reason for the other one is fusion drive - at a /$ 450 premium. Is that really worth it?
Please no 27" fans here, there are enough people for whom 21.5" is enough screen real estate and/ or may be on a budget.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Hamburger View Post
The base iMac 21.5" may be enough for the average user, given that the only real reason for the other one is fusion drive - at a /$ 450 premium. Is that really worth it?
Any Mac model is sufficient for an "average user", whatever that is. It really depends on how you intend to use your Mac.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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I am curious because average users may be intimidated by heavy users, who probably make up the majority here at MR, and who have different computing needs as far as Ram, SSD etc are concerned...
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:32 PM   #4
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Fusion is not a "must". It's a nice add-on that helps your OS boot faster and your applications load faster, but largely it doesn't affect in-app performance.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:35 PM   #5
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From what I've heard, the new iMac had a bit of beach balling going on by those who had tried it, so for me I would personally get a fusion, fast storage is the way forward. But most people certainly don't 'need' one but it will certiainly make computing faster for everyone, so even though I voted no, I would definitely get it!
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:36 PM   #6
Mic2904
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I bought my 21" Base model and its working fine for what i need my imac. Moved from a dual core windows pc with 1gb ram and have hardly seen a pc working that quick

In all seriousness: as long as you dont do heby duty stuff like movie rendering, dj-ing or similar you will be absolutly fine...
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:39 PM   #7
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by Hamburger View Post
I am curious because average users may be intimidated by heavy users, who probably make up the majority here at MR, and who have different computing needs as far as Ram, SSD etc are concerned...
Actually, it's far more likely that the majority of users on MR are average or neophyte users, based on the questions being asked in most threads. Even "power users" ran just fine for years before fusion drives were introduced. Like SSDs, they're absolutely not required for good performance for most users.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:15 PM   #8
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Confused. Need advice.

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Last edited by aubergine; Dec 6, 2012 at 04:49 PM.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:47 PM   #9
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All this talk about SSD being the wave of the future is telling me that I should add that to my BTO order, but the cheap bastard in me is saying that I'll be fine with the base model. Should I go with the 21.5 base or the 21.5 w/fusion?
I'll put it to you this way. I have a late 2006 MacBook with an SSD and a 2012 MacBook Pro with a regular HD that I just got 2 weeks ago. My old MB boots and loads lots of apps faster than my new MBP. It makes a huge difference. An SSD will be installed soon in that computer.

I would never buy a new computer today with a regular HD, unless I could upgrade it myself... especially today. SSDs are cheap enough where it won't be too much longer until they are standard in new computers.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:54 PM   #10
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One more thing -- Will I need the GeForce GT 650M to run WoW at near max or is the 640M more than capable of the same thing?
The 640M is a pretty basic card. It will run WoW quite a bit better than your current setup, but you won't be happy with it, particularly in a couple years as WoW raises their minimum baseline.

Fusion (and a better video card) would help Handbrake by quite a bit I would think.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forty2j View Post
The 640M is a pretty basic card. It will run WoW quite a bit better than your current setup, but you won't be happy with it, particularly in a couple years as WoW raises their minimum baseline.

Fusion (and a better video card) would help Handbrake by quite a bit I would think.
It's the video card why I wouldn't go for the 21.5" myself. If it was possible to BTO for a better graphics card, yes I would.

But money wise, it's not future proof enough for me. I am a fairly casual user but occasionally do like to use video, photo, games. My Macbook (late 2008) has lasted me this long, but a lot of new games the past couple of years I've not been able to use, and I didn't get the best card at the time.

I'd have gone Mac Mini if there was a dedicated graphics card option (even though it would likely have been a lower end card) price wise, but the onboard graphics is a no-go. This rate I think I'm better off waiting for Rev 2 of the iMac as by OSX10.9, my laptop won't be supported on that OS I would guess.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:14 PM   #12
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mslide View Post
I'll put it to you this way. I have a late 2006 MacBook with an SSD and a 2012 MacBook Pro with a regular HD that I just got 2 weeks ago. My old MB boots and loads lots of apps faster than my new MBP. It makes a huge difference. An SSD will be installed soon in that computer.

I would never buy a new computer today with a regular HD, unless I could upgrade it myself... especially today. SSDs are cheap enough where it won't be too much longer until they are standard in new computers.
What i would also say! I put a ssd in my 2006 2.0GHz macbook and it boots faster,runs programs faster then my nefews 2011 macbook pro.
I also put a ssd in a old sempron 1.8GHz pc with a basic ati 2400 video card,and it brought it back to life,it even runs windows 8 no problem.
Point is,in 2012/13 a computer without a ssd is just a stupid purchase!
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:23 PM   #14
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Thank you mslide and 42j for your advice!

One more thing -- when considering my needs, does it look as if upgrading my 21.5 BTO to 16 GB would be a good idea?
I did. It depends on how long you intend to keep it. I'm sure 8GB would be plenty for me now, but in three years time who knows. If you can afford it, do so. By the way I ordered BTO 21 with 1TB Fusion drive and 16GB RAM. I'm sure compared to my old PC it will fly!
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:26 PM   #15
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Thank you mslide and 42j for your advice!

One more thing -- when considering my needs, does it look as if upgrading my 21.5 BTO to 16 GB would be a good idea?
Since you can't easily do it later, I would recommend doing it now. Your current use won't get much benefit out of it, but uses change over time. If you, say, find the the need to run Parallels to get a particular piece of Windows software to appear in OS X, you'll be wanting the extra RAM.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:39 PM   #16
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:40 PM   #17
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I was tempted with base, but decided I wanted a fusion. Mine although probably over the top for my requirements, I was thinking for the future, I aim to keep this at least 5 years
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:40 PM   #18
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Get the base with a RAM upgrade since you can't upgrade it later.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:43 PM   #19
CaptMike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamburger View Post
The base iMac 21.5" may be enough for the average user, given that the only real reason for the other one is fusion drive - at a €/$ 450 premium. Is that really worth it?
Please no 27" fans here, there are enough people for whom 21.5" is enough screen real estate and/ or may be on a budget.
" Base 21.5" - yes or no"-No, not for me

I know that you said "real reason" but the TOL 21.5 also offers:

a faster GPU
a faster CPU with the option for even faster CPU upgrade

Last edited by CaptMike; Dec 4, 2012 at 02:52 PM.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:00 PM   #20
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Everybody loves to spend other people's money!

The base model of any Mac is just fine for the "average" user, whoever that is. They will all be better than the "average" computer bought at Best Buy or other average big-box store.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:22 PM   #21
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I ordered the base 21.5 and I'm sure I will be more than happy with it!!

I'm getting on for 60.
All I want is something that runs more efficiently than my10 yr old windows machine with 250 mb ram and 500mb memory.
Will not be doing anything intensive such a video editing or parallel thingymajigging!!


If I want to play battlefield 3 or grand theft auto I have my Xbox!!

So long as I can continue doing what I was doing on my old machine better and faster (such as surf porn and order Viagra ) I will be happy!!
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