21.5", buy low or high end?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Vinfanatic, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Vinfanatic macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2012
    Hello together,

    After a long time of waiting and saving, i am finally going to order a new imac.

    I'm already sure about the size, but not so sure about the specification.

    What i intend to do is the following:

    Internet & mail
    Iphoto, not really photoshop
    Gaming: just occasionaly, games like cs, anno or the new simcity.

    Since i think the Gaming will be the most challenging part for the hardware, do u think the low end 21" will fit my needs or do u think the funfactor on the highend version will be much higher?

    Fusion drive will also be ordered, no matter which configuration.

    Thx alot:)
  2. Chuckstones macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2012
    I have the base 21.5". And although I have yet to try gaming, everything else (itunes, safari, iPhoto etc) is lightning fast.
    35 seconds at most boot time.
    Very pleased with performance, and suits my needs perfectly!
  3. jtrainor56 macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2010
    Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania
    Go for the high end and add the memory, the 21" is not upgradeable and you don't want to second guess yourself afterwards.
  4. jonfarr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2012
    I went from a rMBP (16GB ram and 768 SSD) to a base 21.5" with 16GB Ram and 1TB fusion and absolutely love it. I have run Counter strike on the mac side and on windows 7 using parallels and haven't had an issue at all. It is a fine machine.
  5. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    On the gaming end, I would imagine it's the better graphics card, not the CPU that makes the biggest difference. I'm not sure how the NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M and 650M compare.
  6. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    I would say.....

    go for the 27 inch, because that option gives you the power to choose a better graphic card. And more screen real estate. RAM can be upgraded aftermarket (cheaper than pay to Apple).

  7. Whackintosh macrumors 6502


    Mar 8, 2009
    Montreal, Quebec

    That's amazing! Were you coming from a 15-inch RMBP or a 13-inch model?
  8. Vinfanatic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2012
    is there actually anything that would require the 16gb of ram? at least for doing those things i have listed above...? i cant imagine the 8 wouldnt be enough.

    i'm tending to buy the highend 21 with the fusiondrive. as I read the thread about the 650m, this should fit my needs quit well.

    thank u for your opionions
  9. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    You uses will not come CLOSE to using 16 GB of ram. That poster just said since it is hard, not impossible, but hard to upgrade the ram you might want to consider doing it now. But for your stated uses, even 4 GB of ram would be enough.

    As a point of reference I ran the following test on my 2010 MBP with 8 GB of ram before I ordered my iMac, I ran the following programs:

    Safari with 15 tabs open
    Premiere Elements Photo editing two pictures
    Premiere Elements video editor with one HD movie open
    iTunes downloading 2 HD movies
    A bunch of services like Backblaze, Dropbox, OneTouch, etc
    App Store

    With all that open and running, I still had over 2 GB of memory free and was using less than 30% of my CPU power and the computer never lagged and no spinning wheels. I think the average user, even the occasional heavy user can easily get by with an i5 quad and 8 gb of memory for a good long time.
  10. jonfarr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2012
  11. Johnf1285 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2010
    New Jersey
    I have a 21.5" with the GT 650m, Fusion Drive, and only 8gb of ram. Your work load is similar to mine.

    I never got it using more than 5gb under an above average workload. Some programs will tear through ram, like Handbrake or X Lossless Decoder, but the usual programs will play nice with 8gb and never use too much.

    The way I see it is after Apple Care is up, I will either upgrade again to the latest and greatest and 16gb will probably be standard, or I will open the iMac once the warranty is up and pop more ram in myself and stretch it again for a few more years (hopefully then the 2012 iMac Repair Kits do not cost over $100!)

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