21.5" iMac or 24"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ChaSSe, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. ChaSSe macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2009
    I come here asking for help on which to get because, well I simply cant decide. The computer is just going to be used for basic computing really..Nothing fancy like editing photos or anything like that. I just love Apple especially the iMac. So which should I get.. The 21.5" or the 24"?? :confused:
  2. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    The screen resolution of the 21.5" is the same as the 24". The 21.5 has the advantage of more memory expansion, something to consider when reselling.
  3. briansolomon macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2005
    Murfreesboro, TN
    LED is going to look better, longer. My vote is for the 21.5
  4. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    The 21.

    And no, the 21 and the 24 dont have the same screen dimensions.

    21" = 1920 X 1080 vs 24" = 1920 X 1200

    The 24" 3.06 with the GT130 is a pretty good mac, no doubt. $1350 for the refurb on the Apple store.

    But the lack of cheap ram and lower ram ceiling cause me to say, "nah", get the 21"
  5. 929406 macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2009
    could have gone with the 24 refurb but decided on the 21, no regrets. First thing I did was slot an additional 4 GB of ram into the machine so am running 8 GB of ram on it now.

    If anyone is thinking of doing the same thing apparently the Samsung ram is the way to go as the others have had some compatibility problems according to the store i purchased the ram from.
  6. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    I'm pretty sure that the 24 and 21 inch models have the same RAM ceiling though the RAM in the 21 will be cheaper.
    However the better graphics and increased screen real-estate makes up for the increased price of the RAM imo.
  7. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Nope, sorry.

    24" iMacs, depending on the model, max at 6 or 8 gigs of ram.

    21" iMacs max at 16 gigs.

    But 16 gigs are gonna set you back $900...
  8. spencers macrumors 68020


    Sep 20, 2004
    Don't forget the 21.5" has a SD slot. Very convenient!
  9. netddos macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2005
    I had the exact same dilemma...If you are cool with getting a second handed product...24" is a clear winner..
    I opted for lightly used (Purchased on Aug 2009) iMac 24" 2.96Ghz /120GT/4GB/640GB on eBay for $1100 shipped...I just couldn't pay MORE to get smaller screen estate..just didn't make sense..

    21" model does have an LED but right now it seems like it causes more problem than its good...(yellow tint issue?) LED does have leverage on its longevity and VERY SLIGHT advantage in contrast but I mean come on how long are you gonna use this computer for?....I know that I'm gonna probably sell this imac 24" within 3 yrs max and I know the regular CCL-based LCD lasts safely more than 10 yrs...(Both 21" and 24" sport the same H-IPS technology so image you get from both model IS pretty damn similar)

    21" does have the convenience of the SD slot...but that can be easily solved by buying a $0.99 SDHC card USB stick that you get stick it on to the back of imac..

    Oh by the way, this is assuming you get the $1500 21" version($400 more!! and btw...this is BEFORE TAX)....$1200 21" version with 9400M graphic card doesn't even compare to 24" in performance department....

    The only true pros you get with 21" seems like you can expand RAM up to 16GB...the need for 16GB will happen sooner than you think and it's a shame that 24" only supports up to 8GB...though right now... the price of DDR3 4GB RAM is just too damn high for me to consider upgrade to 8GB so this is a moot point at this moment.
  10. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Sadly, the GT120 card is a dog. (not that I can brag, since I have an even slower Radeon 2600PRO)

    Looks like the 9400M is nearly its equal.

    The base 21" is clearly as fast as, or maybe slightly faster than your 24" (since its a 3.06) and the ability to go to 8 gigs of ram for an additional $100 is just icing on the cake...

    And there are many places to purchase macs and avoid tax.

    Im in CA, I buy my macs from either Amazon or macconnection.

    MC has the base 21" for $1050AR and the ATI 21" for $1350AR, no tax, free shipping.
  11. netddos macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2005
    This is highly to each to his own...but there are some glaring false statements in your reply..

    #1 Processor different is a moot point. Clock speed difference of 100mhz on the same architecture is purely for a bragging right as it produces absolutely NO difference in everyday usage....but I guess you can "technically" say it's "faster" since it is "technically" 100mhz faster....

    #2 I don't know how this ...barefeats.com...did their test...but there is no way in hell 9400M is even "nearly" as fast as 120GT (rebadged geforce 9500gt)..

    here's a test from a "credible" source...

    You should see that
    120M in 3dmark06: 5285
    9400M in 3dmark06: 1824

    Now this doesn't necessarily equal to 3x real world usage of 120GT compared to 9400M...but to put it that 9400M is as nearly as fast as 120M is a blasphemy...

    Here is ATI 4670 3dmark06 for REFERENCE: 6995

    By your term...120M should be as "nearly" as fast as ATI 4670..which is NOT true..

    ATI 4670 is about twice as fast as 120GT in the real world usage.

    #3 I was fully aware of macconnection deal...as I tried to buy their $1570 imac 27" but they never came back in stock...

    Macconnection indeed offers $1050 "AFTER REBATE" deal on 21" imac...but why the hell would you want to save mere $50 to gain...

    -smaller HDD
    -smaller LCD
    -much SLOWER overall machine (100mhz processor difference is absolutely overwhelmed by the prowess of 120GT in games...)

    I think the only REAL advantage of getting imac 21" is NOT the unit itself...but the fact that

    +comes with magic mouse/wireless keyboard

    ....that's about it

    If the feeling of newness that'll expire the moment you rip the box is that important to you..more power to you...


    Here is some more evidence on 120GT performance vs 9400M..


    You can see that 120GT is about half as fast as 4870 according to apple...so are you saying 4870 is ONLY twice as fast as 9400M since 9400M is on par with 120GT??.......not a chance....
  12. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    Not only that, but who the hell needs more than 4GB anyway -- those running virtual machines and super large graphics files. Even Final Cut Pro with HDV material is fine with 4GB. I would have pushed for the 24" because it's a bigger screen and the other points people mention. Memory is a non-issue
  13. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    Had 10GB in my Mac Pro, took out 2 GB apple RAM and 8GB was plenty. 8GB is the sweat spot of OSX, you can throw everything at it and no spinning beachballs. I realize that it's expensive to buy 4GB DIMs but when you get to 8GB (and even an SSD) the life of your Mac is extended. Ghz clock speed becomes a myth.
  14. spencers macrumors 68020


    Sep 20, 2004
    Until you see LED and CCL side-by-side, you won't realize the difference! It's quite amazing, really. Granted, I set a 20" Alu iMac next to the 27" iMac.
  15. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    Ignorance is bliss?
  16. excommie macrumors regular

    May 12, 2009
    Don't agree. The 20" iMac is using a cheap TN display, the 21.5, 24, 27 iMacs have IPS. The difference you're seeing is IPS vs TN, not so much CCL vs LED.
  17. bununhum macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2009

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