2015 21.5 4k iMac Not a Good Buy?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rugmankc, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. rugmankc macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    I may get an iMac later this year. Had a 2008 one. Now a rMBP 13 inch. Wondering why I see very little posted here on the 21.5 inch screen. At least lately, I haven't gone back into 2015. Is it not sold in the quantity of the 27 inch or just just that most MacRumor members are buying the bigger screen? Just curious. I think the 27 inch will be too big for my needs and don't need the higher specs.

    Thanks for any thoughts--

    Oh, not looking to pit one against the other. Just wondering on perceived lack of posts compared to the 27 inch.
  2. vng01 macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2015

    I would spend a few bucks more and buy the 27" iMac. I really love my imac (27" 5k) and its obviously better than the 4k Model.

    Keep in mind that you can Upgrade the ram if you need later.

    May i ask you what Kind of work or programs you are using or want to use?


  3. mpe macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    21.5" has a Broadwell CPU (newer Skylake in 27"). Soldered-in memory and non-discreet graphics with no upgrade option. Also abysmal 5400rpm harddrive in standard.

    If you consider mandatory upgrades (16GB as you can't upgrade memory later) and usable storage option you are close to 27" which is much better deal.
  4. rugmankc thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    my 256gb ssd rMBP handles all my needs. and usually have 80-120gb free. mostly web/email/watching my iTunes movies on occasion.

    my most intense use is backing up 3-8gb hd movies to an external hd indicated in my signature and to a Time Capsule over Wifi (obviously slow). Occasional CCC backups. don't really want to spend the money on on external ssd's as i have time just to let them backup whatever the time period. Time Capsule is a little annoying on big backups but my bulk of items are already there and only do small amounts like a new movie.

    i have maybe 3gb of photos i back up also.

    since these movies are mostly purchased iTunes HD movies, I don't really have to back them up to so many places. just do it anyways.

    i think a 256gb 21.5 would be enough machine. if i got the 2tb fusion my movie backups to my external hd may take even longer. not sure how they copied from iTunes to an external on a fusion drive.

    i mainly want the larger screen for my eyes. although, maybe after my cataract surgery this summer my 13 inch rMBP may look a whole lot better :)

    was really curious as to why so little 21.5 4k threads.
  5. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    Most of the iMac forum people are using their 27" for more intense things than what the 4K 21.5 is suited to. You would be fine with the 4K except for the fact of the HD which sucks. You may want to look into the BTO with a 256 SSD which would eliminate the mechanical failure of a spinning disk.

    The upgrade is expensive but would make a fine machine that should last many years for what your using it for. Wait until the fall if you can and Apple will probably upgrade it with the latest Skylake and Iris Pro chips and there are lots of sales with BTO already installed SSD's from places like B&H Photo or Adorama.
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    If you want an all in one
    with a 21.5 inch screen it's the best available, but you really need at least a 2TB fusion drive upgrade and if more RAM may be useful to your work load now or in the future then you'll have to pony up the money for a RAM upgrade. However if that is what you want from a machine they are still a brilliant computer.
  7. rugmankc thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    Thanks Crosscreek,

    Kinda what i was looking for on the members here being more into the 5k. I would probably get a new one toward year end. And get the Apple 256gb ssd that you refer to as BTO. I am use to an ssd in my rMBP, so not really wanting to go Fusion. The 256gb has been enough for me. I don't see that changing.
  8. drummer5645 macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2014
    Since I already had my c surgery 3 years ago, I may be able to help. My recommendation, based on your needs, is to buy a 21.5 refurb plus applecare, something like this http://www.apple.com/shop/product/FK442LL/A/refurbished-215-inch-imac-28ghz-quad-core-intel-core-i5. Then go out and buy a USB 3.0 external 250G SSD. Apple will help you hook up the SSD as the boot drive under applecare. You will get 20 sec startup and instant app opening. For less that $1400 including a ssd and applecare
  9. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    The 4K will be upgraded to Skylake by October, if not sooner for some reason. the 5K is still great buy, but if you want the 4K, wait.
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    They didn't do any suitable skylake chips with IRIS pro graphics which was why they used broadwell instead skylake is not much better performance wise so I can't see why they'd bother until the next updates due in October.
  11. rugmankc thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    for my stated needs is there any reason to go to the 395x graphics from 395.
  12. mpe macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    well. you can't get any GPU in the 4k iMac. Only Iris Pro.

    For web/email/iTunes you certainly don't need to pay for any extras. I would only get storage (even the entry Fusion is fine).
  13. rugmankc thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    hmm, I configured a 4k and 5k.

    16GB Ram
    512gb Flash Storage
    The standard Video Card They Come With

    Only $300.00 difference

    If I go down to 256Gb Storage, I take $200.00 off the 5k and $300.00 off the 4k. Still only $400.00 difference and a better video card in the 5k.

    Closer than I thought.

    Not sure I need a 5k vs a 4k. But, better video card and larger screen would be worth $300.00 and 512gb Storage is more than enough for me. At my age a last time computer purchase. lol

    I can see why you guys go for the 5k now. Unless I missed something.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 18, 2016 ---
    You all seem to dislike the Iris Pro, I don't game. Is there a noticeable difference btwn them in viewing the screen in email/web and hd movies?
  14. mpe macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    No. The GPU doesn't matter for these things. Either Iris or entry level 380 can handle movies/web just fine. GPU matters only when playing 3D games or running specialised software.

    However, for watching movies, the 27" iMac could be actually better due to larger screen.
  15. rugmankc thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    The entry on Apple's website said 395. Assumed that was the entry video card. Probably won't watch a lot of movies as the 27 inch would be in LR and my Big Screen is already there. Even now I mostly watch on my iPhone or LR TV. Sometimes on rMBP when wife is tying up the TV. Viewing my 4k videos and pics would be nice though.
  16. mpe macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    the entry level 27" configuration has M380
    mid-range is M390
    high-end is M395 optionally upgradeable to M395X

    Any of those is fine for what you want to do.
  17. rugmankc thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    Ok, on my selection chart only 395 and 395x were the choices. I chose 395. Didn't see a 380 choice. Probably because I went with the 3.3ghz?
  18. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The 395 is good choice, I have that model, and I felt it was the best bang for my bucks. I get a good GPU, and the 2TB Fusion drive is included. :)
  19. rugmankc thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    Thanks maflynn

    My above listed configuration with the 395 seems to be my best choice also. Will still get the 512gb flash drive. May eventually change my externals to ssd.

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