21" 4K iMac Worth It?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by FSMBP, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. FSMBP macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #1
    I'm looking at getting a high-end 21" iMac (16GB RAM, 512SSD). I plan on using it to edit HD movies in FCP X (maybe 4K iPhone footage). Also, probably work with Logic Pro X.

    However, I'm wondering if 4K will be worth it? The reason is I've read some posts/review that the integrated GPU isn't 100% adequate to drive the 4K display. I don't know if people are being picky- or if this is the general consensus.

    Other option is the mid-tier 21" iMac (non-4K) with 16GB RAM and a 256SSD.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Traktor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    #2
    I guess 27" is out of the picture? It would give you a lot more for your money, especially since the RAM is user upgradable.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #3
    I think the igpu will struggle with the workload that you posted. I'd opt for the 27" iMac if I were you
     
  4. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    #4
    I just purchased and returned a refurb 4K iMac with a 256SSD for a base model 27" Retina. The price difference is about $150 but with that you get a larger screen, a dedicated graphics card and the ability to upgrade the memory. The only real negative for me is the hard drive but my last 27" iMac with a 1TB HDD didn't seem so bad and I'm sure model will be fine.
     
  5. FSMBP thread starter macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #5
    I was kind of hoping not to go that big. 21" seems to be a sweet spot for my work area.

    Thanks for the input.

    What specifically made you return the refurb 4K iMac?
     
  6. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #6
    I, too, prefer the 21" size. However, I don't think the 4K iMac is a good deal. The processor is broadwell, not skylake (the 27" has skylake), the RAM is not user upgradable, and the iGPU is fine for everyday but will struggle with an intensive workload.

    It's a good machine, but it's overpriced. It should've been $100 cheaper to start PLUS fusion standard, so really $200 less overall. And now, a year later, it's even less of a good deal than it was when the tech was closer to current in late 2015.
     
  7. StayPuft Suspended

    StayPuft

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    #7
    The onboard GPU, as has been stated, will choke and struggle with your workload. It will be okay with a dedicated GPU.
     
  8. FSMBP thread starter macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #8
    Dang! Looks like it's a general consensus to not get the 4K. I will either get the 21" (Non-4K) or maybe the 27" everyone is raving about.

    Thanks everyone for giving me some perspective!
    Much appreciated.
     
  9. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #9
    To my knowledge, the Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 is designed to edit 4K video. Yes, it's going to be weak for playing games and such, but if you're buying a machine whose primary or even sole task is editing 4K video, I would think the 4K iMac would be up to the job. Of course, every review of the 4K iMac tests video games and such rather than actual video editing. *smacks head*

    If you can swing the desk space, the 27" is the better option because the extra screen space will allow you to have more controls and plug-ins visible.
     
  10. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

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    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    #10
    To be honest I didn't feel like the value was there once I had it set up. The computer was nearly $1600 after tax and I couldn't upgrade the RAM nor were the graphics up to par for a desktop computer so expensive. The extra $100-$150 difference in the 21" and 27" is made up with the dedicated graphics, larger screen and ability to upgrade RAM after purchase.
     
  11. macmee Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    I would get the 27" for the extra screen + gfx and upgradability. Like many fine things in life, bigger is usually better.
     
  12. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #12
    This is the minimum you should get IMHO.

    http://www.adorama.com/acmk482la.html#source=productOptions

    As you can see it is available online for $200 less than what Apple charges, also this site doesn't charge sales tax.

    This is a much better machine than the 4K iMac. In addition to that, you get a bigger (and better) screen.
     
  13. FSMBP thread starter macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #13
    Thank you! I'll look into that
     
  14. Teon macrumors regular

    Teon

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    #14
    do you mean the big ****, huh? prankster)
     

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