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Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:36 PM   #1
8thgeninspire
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Mid 2011 27" vs. 2012 21.5 (fusion)

Hey guys,

I just ordered a refurb 27" 2.7GHz from the apple store today because it is taking way to long to order a 2012 and I need a computer ASAP.

I was wondering how you guys felt about my decision, I was going to use the 27" for a little and see how I like it, if I end up not liking it I was going to return it and order a 21.5" w/ fusion drive.

So specs are as follows:

Mid 2011 27"
2.7GHz i5
4gb ram (will likely upgrade to 16gb)
1 TB (7200rpm)

Positives for me:
- I can upgrade the ram when I please
- CD drive just in case I ever need it
- Larger screen


Late 2012 21.5"
2.7 i5 (turbo boost)
8gb ram
128 SSD + 1TB (5400rpm)

Positives:
- Newer model, will likely "keep up" with newer computers that come out
- 128gb SSD


I will use the computer for light editing and surfing the web. The only reasons I prefer the late 2012 model is because I don't want my $1000+ computer to be excessively "out of date" in 2-3 years. That is the only reason I'm thinking about returning my 27"

I like the 27" because I can always upgrade the ram and I believe it should be "easier" to fix myself if anything happens to it (knock on wood) compared to the 2012 models.

Any comments will be helpful!


(note, yes I have browsed the forums, and I see a lot of people are happy with their 27" mid 2011s just want reassurance or a new outlook)
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:42 PM   #2
martinm0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8thgeninspire View Post
Hey guys,

I just ordered a refurb 27" 2.7GHz from the apple store today because it is taking way to long to order a 2012 and I need a computer ASAP.

I was wondering how you guys felt about my decision, I was going to use the 27" for a little and see how I like it, if I end up not liking it I was going to return it and order a 21.5" w/ fusion drive.

So specs are as follows:

Mid 2011 27"
2.7GHz i5
4gb ram (will likely upgrade to 16gb)
1 TB (7200rpm)

Positives for me:
- I can upgrade the ram when I please
- CD drive just in case I ever need it
- Larger screen


Late 2012 21.5"
2.7 i5 (turbo boost)
8gb ram
128 SSD + 1TB (5400rpm)

Positives:
- Newer model, will likely "keep up" with newer computers that come out
- 128gb SSD


I will use the computer for light editing and surfing the web. The only reasons I prefer the late 2012 model is because I don't want my $1000+ computer to be excessively "out of date" in 2-3 years. That is the only reason I'm thinking about returning my 27"

I like the 27" because I can always upgrade the ram and I believe it should be "easier" to fix myself if anything happens to it (knock on wood) compared to the 2012 models.

Any comments will be helpful!


(note, yes I have browsed the forums, and I see a lot of people are happy with their 27" mid 2011s just want reassurance or a new outlook)
I think you made a good choice on the 2011 27" iMac overall. Keep in mind that you can make a Fusion drive for any mac using some Terminal coding to fuse two separate drives together, so that could be done here on the 2011 iMac.

Also, your comment on wanting to not be out of date in 2-3 years makes me feel like the 2012 21.5" isn't going to last with only 8GB RAM and its not user upgradeable (whereas the 2011 iMac is, not to mention is a lot easier to take a part and fix if something happened).

I think you made a good choice assuming you really wanted a 27" iMac and not something smaller.

Congrats and enjoy!
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 05:17 PM   #3
8thgeninspire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinm0 View Post
I think you made a good choice on the 2011 27" iMac overall. Keep in mind that you can make a Fusion drive for any mac using some Terminal coding to fuse two separate drives together, so that could be done here on the 2011 iMac.

Also, your comment on wanting to not be out of date in 2-3 years makes me feel like the 2012 21.5" isn't going to last with only 8GB RAM and its not user upgradeable (whereas the 2011 iMac is, not to mention is a lot easier to take a part and fix if something happened).

I think you made a good choice assuming you really wanted a 27" iMac and not something smaller.

Congrats and enjoy!
thanks for the reply! Yeah another reason I prefer the 2011 is that I can do stuff like add a SSD, but the 2012 is so sexy! haha

and I was originally interested in the 21" mid 2011, but I was like what the heck, extra space isn't going to hurt
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 06:15 PM   #4
martinm0
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Originally Posted by 8thgeninspire View Post
thanks for the reply! Yeah another reason I prefer the 2011 is that I can do stuff like add a SSD, but the 2012 is so sexy! haha

and I was originally interested in the 21" mid 2011, but I was like what the heck, extra space isn't going to hurt
I think it's definitely a good call. I will say that the less reflective 2012 screens are really, REALLY nice coming off of the super reflective earlier models. Glare and reflections are really barely noticeable. Though, I find them somewhat dingy in color and noticeably less bright overall. Still super screens, but I noticed quite a difference when I went from a 2011 21.5" to a 2012 27".

Oh, and on the RAM front, if you don't need a full 16GB, save a few bucks and just through in 8GB more to make 12GB. That seemed pretty good for me (would it take 16GB to make 20GB? Curious...)

Anyway, hope you love it! Can't see any real reason why you wouldn't!
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 06:52 PM   #5
mushroomtip
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you know you are gonna return the 27 and order the 21 , so stop kidding yourself and order the 21 .
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 07:18 PM   #6
Isamilis
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You *want* 21" 2012, but you actually *need* 27" 2011 refurb.
I would go with refurb if I were you.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 08:25 PM   #7
mushroomtip
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you might as well just hold off and save up and get the 27 incher
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 01:28 AM   #8
8thgeninspire
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Been using my 27" for almost a week and I love it! Definitely keeping this sucker.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 05:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinm0 View Post
I will say that the less reflective 2012 screens are really, REALLY nice coming off of the super reflective earlier models. Glare and reflections are really barely noticeable. Though, I find them somewhat dingy in color and noticeably less bright overall. Still super screens, but I noticed quite a difference when I went from a 2011 21.5" to a 2012 27".
Dingy? I couldn't think of a less accurate word for the way pictures look on the 2012 iMac. And the brightness is actually well balanced compared to my older iMac.

Perhaps you need to have your 2012 checked out.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 10:29 AM   #10
martinm0
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Dingy? I couldn't think of a less accurate word for the way pictures look on the 2012 iMac. And the brightness is actually well balanced compared to my older iMac.

Perhaps you need to have your 2012 checked out.
I've actually been through three 2012 27" and awaiting the fourth. I wouldn't call the new screens bad in any way, but directly comparing the 3 that I had to my previous 2011 iMac and my iPad 4, the screen is much warmer and more yellow than the iMac or iPad (using Air Display on the iPad and setting a window so half is on the iPad and half is on the iMac).

Now I'm using a Dell U2212HM monitor with a Mac Mini while I wait and this screen is just terrible compared to any of the Apple screens). But, I will admit that ofter a week or two using it I'm more used to it and not so instantly disgusted (but I'm not happy either).
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 12:07 PM   #11
Whackintosh
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Originally Posted by martinm0 View Post
I've actually been through three 2012 27" and awaiting the fourth. I wouldn't call the new screens bad in any way, but directly comparing the 3 that I had to my previous 2011 iMac and my iPad 4, the screen is much warmer and more yellow than the iMac or iPad (using Air Display on the iPad and setting a window so half is on the iPad and half is on the iMac).

Now I'm using a Dell U2212HM monitor with a Mac Mini while I wait and this screen is just terrible compared to any of the Apple screens). But, I will admit that ofter a week or two using it I'm more used to it and not so instantly disgusted (but I'm not happy either).
Just realized, your previous iMac screen was a 21.5, wasn't it? I suppose it's possible that this may be less of a question about 2012 iMac screens vs the older models as it may be about the brightness and colour temps of a 27 inch screen vs a 21.5?
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 12:43 PM   #12
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Just realized, your previous iMac screen was a 21.5, wasn't it? I suppose it's possible that this may be less of a question about 2012 iMac screens vs the older models as it may be about the brightness and colour temps of a 27 inch screen vs a 21.5?
It could be, but I've used other 27" iMacs and Thunderbolt displays and all seemed brighter and cooler in color like my iPad. The brightness was significantly different when testing even my 2011 MBA to the 2012 iMacs.

Again, wonderful displays without a doubt, but there is definitely something different about their calibration than prior screens that I've seen (and I did try and calibrate it manually, but couldn't come close to the same brightness or warmth/coolness).
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 01:42 PM   #13
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Shoot, that's disturbing. One of the things that has me excited about my pending upgrade (from a 2009 iMac) is what I thought was going to be a slightly nicer screen.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 02:12 PM   #14
martinm0
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It's still a marvelous screen, don't get me wrong. The less reflective coating makes it so much easier to view in bright rooms and stresses the eyes far less since you're not seeing bright spots from reflections (that may also be a reason why they are not as bright since they don't have to compete as much in bright rooms). But I do feel them to be much warmer in color vs previous generations (and I like my screen images on the cooler side in general).

Try and check one out at a retail store somewhere and let me know if you see the same things I am. I'll be curious to see if my 4th iMac will look the same or not when it finally gets here.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 06:29 PM   #15
macthefork
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Originally Posted by 8thgeninspire View Post
thanks for the reply! Yeah another reason I prefer the 2011 is that I can do stuff like add a SSD, but the 2012 is so sexy! haha

and I was originally interested in the 21" mid 2011, but I was like what the heck, extra space isn't going to hurt
Yep, adding a SSD wasn't difficult at all to the 2011 iMac. I didn't "Fusion" mine, though... The 240 GB SSD I added easily holds the OS, Apps, and even my Home folder. So, I preferred to keep them separate. And, the screen and everything on this iMac is perfect.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 07:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Whackintosh View Post
Shoot, that's disturbing. One of the things that has me excited about my pending upgrade (from a 2009 iMac) is what I thought was going to be a slightly nicer screen.
Don't worry. The screens look great.
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