21.5" iMac or 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gregpod9, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. gregpod9 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    #1
    I will be be buying an iMac this week to replace my mid 2015 15" Macbook Pro as desktop replacement. I'm not a pc gamer. My usage is light to medium, and using Windows 10 Pro sometimes via bootcamp or VM. The specs I'm looking at are:
    21.5" iMac 4k $2199
    - i5 3.1GHz
    - 16 GB Memory
    - 512 GB SSD
    - Intel Pro Iris Graphics 6200

    27" iMac 5k $2399
    - i5 3.2
    - 8GB Memory (I will be adding a 16GB kit)
    - 512 GB SSD
    - AMD R9 M390

    The 21.5" iMac is ideal for me, but the 27" iMac is tempting. Please recommend which one I should go for.
     
  2. Algus macrumors regular

    Algus

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Arizona
    #2
    You are unlikely to need the hardware in either machine so it's really a matter of do you want a 4k 21.5'' screen or a 5k 27'' screen. If you're asking which is the better value, the 27'' IMO. 4k screens are not very expensive anymore but 5k screens are still quite costly so the 5k iMac is a great deal.

    By light to medium I am assuming office work, browsing, media, etc. and not much 3D work. That being the case, you won't notice a huge difference between the Iris Pro and the R9.
     
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    I agree with the above, either machine will be fine for your needs, so pick based on what screen size you want.
     
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #4
    Yep your usage is pretty damn basic buy what you like.
     
  5. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    #5
    Why do you want to replace your MBP with an iMac? What is it with the MBP that doesn't work for you as a laptop?

    I am thinking that it might be a better/cheaper solution to get a 4k display and hook it up to your MacBook along with a keyboard and mouse.
     
  6. blurfonz04 macrumors newbie

    blurfonz04

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2016
  7. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #7
    There is no question the 27" is a much better machine with superior graphics. Yes, it's huge, but something you'll likely get used to. If cost is a concern, hold off on the memory upgrade and it will still be fine. In terms of limiting factor, the graphics on the 21.5 may leave you frustrated at some point as you push your computer.
     
  8. gregpod9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    #8
    I'll be ordering the midrange 27 inch with the 512GB SSD upgrade.
     
  9. Strider64 macrumors regular

    Strider64

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Suburb of Detroit
    #9
    You won't be disappointed with a 27" iMac, for the monitor is just gorgeous. If I could I would have 36" or 42" (Though the screen would have to wider than normal). :) That's why I'm using a Cintiq 13" tablet as a second monitor, for you can't have too much screen space. ;)
     
  10. easheer macrumors regular

    easheer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #10
    Get the 27". You'll appreciate the extra screen real estate.
     
  11. jcmendes, Jan 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016

    jcmendes macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Location:
    Portugal
    #11
    In the last christmas i did the same exchange as you.

    Change my MBP 15" high end (i7 2.8/16/512) For the middle Imac 3.2/R390/512..i am very happy,
    I never used the portable as such...and more before i had a DELL 4K P2415Q, connect to MBP...i loved it...but..but...a Imac is a Imac...and this screen this machine for me is amazing.

    Tomorrow will arrive from amazon.uk 16G hyperx 1886 . Will stay with 24G ram i hope.

    my last setup

    [​IMG]

    And Today...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. zacster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    #12
    Get the 27. As someone else said, you'll get used to the size pretty quickly. I was just saying that to my daughter while she was using my iMac, and she rolled her eyes. Not only is the screen larger, but the internals are better, with a GPU, upgradeable memory, and faster CPUs. The stock machine with a 2tb fusion drive, 3.3ghz CPU, M395 GPU, is pretty nice. I'm not convinced that a 512gb SSD is really necessary. It only saves a few fractions of a second when you first open a file that hasn't been cached to the flash part of the drive. Most of the stuff you'll use will already be there.
     
  13. William Wales macrumors member

    William Wales

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    I also prefer 27" iMac. If I were you, I would choose it. Because it has larger screen, faster CPU, these advantages contribute a better performance and user experience.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    That's a nice configuration, and I think the 27" is a better option because it uses a dGPU, has the Skylake processor and that gorgeous 27" display :D
     
  15. gregpod9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    #15
    I'm not sure if I should go with the i5/M395/512GB SSD. It's only $100 more than my original configuration from the midrange model.
     
  16. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #16
    You're fine either way. Stepping up to the 27" with the dGPU and making sure you have a large SSD are the key.
     
  17. klatox macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #17
    I owned the 21.5" 4K iMac and I switched it out for a 27" 5K. It seemed large for a couple days but now it feels totally normal. The extra screen space is worth it.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    That's basically what I did (though I went for the 2TB Fusion drive).
     
  19. Algus macrumors regular

    Algus

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Arizona
    #19
    My dad owns a 21'' Dell monitor or so. Kind of old now but back when he got it, it was one of the first affordable 1080p monitors and looked really nice. Meanwhile, I've been using the 27'' Thunderbolt display for the past few years. Funny enough, it's hard for me to imagine going back and even when I'm on my retina MacBook Pro, I just think "Ugh, the screen is so small"

    There's definitely added value in having that large display IMO
     

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