2011 Imac 21.5 inch vs 27 inch

Discussion in 'iMac' started by applefanboy4739, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. applefanboy4739 macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2011
    #1
    OK, so I'm trying to decide between buying a 21.5 inch Imac or a 27 inch one. The specs are almost exactly alike for the models I want. Both Imacs have 8GB of ram, 1TB serial ATA drive, and AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB graphics. The only difference is that the 21.5 inch has a 2.8 GHz i7 CPU and the 27 inch has a 2.7 GHz i5 CPU. So, my question is whether I should buy the bigger screen or the faster i7 processor. Any advice would be helpful. :)
     
  2. EasyRider macrumors regular

    EasyRider

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    Mar 28, 2008
    #2
    This one is easy, the benefits of a larger screen far outweigh the benefits of a slightly faster processor... for most people.

    Plus I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up having better resale value.

    A more interesting comparison might be a 21.5" 2.7GHz i5 256 GB SSD iMac ($1,999) vs 27" 3.1GHz i5 1TB hard drive iMac ($1,999)

    What's better... a large screen or a SSD?
     
  3. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    Australia
    #3
    As long as you don't plan on doing any gaming, the 27" model sounds good. The 6770M won't cope very well with 1440p.
     
  4. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #4
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Well this one is easy for me. I will happilly take the SSD over a larger screen.

    But that's me.
     
  5. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #5
    The i7 is good for specific pro applications designed to take advantage of multiple cores. Most apps out now don't take good advantage of multiple cores, that's why they have turbo boost in the i series. For general use the i5 is fine.
     
  6. applefanboy4739 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2011
    #6
    I guess I should also mention that I'm registered as an ios and Mac developer. I use my friends mac pro as of right now. After I buy an iMac I will be putting xcode on their. As for the gaming, the most extensive gaming I have done or plan on doing on a mac is modern warfare. The game runs fine on my friends baseline 11.6 inch macbook air so I don't think I'll have a problem with that.
     
  7. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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  8. applefanboy4739 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2011
    #8
    OK. I think the evidence is compelling. I'm gonna go with the 21.5 inch. I might go with the SSD instead of the stock 1TB HD. But it's a cost issue too. I just bought the iPad in my signiture to I'll be saving until the end of the year for it. I'm hoping to have enough by then.
     
  9. JS77 macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2008
    #9
    I don't mean to confuse you any more, but I would hands down recommend the 27". I returned a 21.5" because it just feels too small, and you'll be surprised how quickly you get used to the desktop space on a 27".

    Anyway, that's my 2cents :)
     
  10. lavino macrumors member

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    Jun 18, 2011
    #10
    Keep in mind that you can always ,more or less, able to put a SSD into the same iMac. If you got the 21.5 you can't magically scretch your screen into 27'...
     
  11. applefanboy4739 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2011
    #11
    Honestly, I don't think that the screen on the 21.5 would be too small. I currently have a 22" monitor for my windows 7 desktop, and if it wanted ton use the extra screen reality, my friend I'm going into the app developing business with has a 27" display for his Mac pro.
     
  12. BasilFawlty macrumors 6502

    BasilFawlty

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    #12
    I struggled with basically the same question. In the end, I decided the type of processing I do didn't really warrent the i7, though it would have made my ego feel better! I opted for the i5 27 inch and now that I've had it for a couple of weeks, I'm certain I made the right decision.
     
  13. lavino macrumors member

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    Jun 18, 2011
    #13
    From my personal experience.. it is a matter of getting used to... The first time I saw this 27inch iMac I was saying wow this is way too big it is crazy. First week is like wow I don't have to get 2nd monitor ever! 1 month later... Humm I need to get one of those minidisplay to DVI adapter. So, after you got used to the size you might want more.
     
  14. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #14
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    If your going to wait until the end of the year to save up for it, you might as well just stick it out for the next model. That shoud be right around the corner in early 2012.

    Hopefully by next refresh, SSD prices will be reduced.
     
  15. Whetto macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2011
    #15
    Just Bought 21.5"

    All - I had a tough time deciding which size of iMac to buy. I used this forum to help me with my decision. So in the spirit of giving back, here's what I did:

    In the end, I bought a 21.5" model. I can tell you with confidence that I made the right choice now that I have used it for nearly a month.

    Nothing against the 27", but it is simply too big for my house and my needs.

    So, in my humble opinion, I think the 21.5 model is more than adequate for average users' e.g. checking the internet, creating the odd the document, etc.

    Methinks that the 27" is for power users and computer enthusiasts.

    No matter what you end up buying...enjoy.

    MW
     
  16. TheAnswer 03 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2011
    #16
    Just recently ordered a 21.5" iMac with the 256GB SSD drive; with my current PC, I've only used 30GB out of 512GB so 256GB is more than enough. Every PC I've ever used had loud annoying fan noises so the speed and quietness of the SSD is worth the cost to me.

    The resolution of the 27" iMac would make web pages microscopic in size and I'd only be using probably no more than 33% of the real estate so that's why I ultimately decided on the 21.5".

    Hopefully the build quality is good, but who knows.
     
  17. MrT-Man macrumors regular

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    Jan 22, 2008
    #17
    No, you just zoom in a little bit and you get whatever size you want... and the text on websites looks really crisp thanks to the higher DPI of the 27"....
     

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