21.5 inch vs 27 inch iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Lightey, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Lightey macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2010
    I got a MacBook Pro back in April, my first Mac.

    I love it so much. I'm really into video editing and HD video, but the problem is that my MBP is running out of harddrive space, and I'm longing for a bigger display and a better processor. (I have the 13" C2D). I'm going to pick up an iMac this Spring. But I wanted to know if I should stick to the Core i3 21.5, or spend more and go for the 27 inch.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    If you do a lot of video editing, I'd go for the 27" quad core, you'll see better performance with that, especially when rendering. However, if you are sticking with the i3, then I'd just get whichever size you prefer and is more comfortable to use.
  3. Zach Schible macrumors member

    Zach Schible

    Jun 19, 2009
    If you can afford it I would highly suggest going with the Quad iMac. The performance is superb for Video editing. If you can manage it with your work flow sell the MBP and just get the iMac. I know this doesn't work for everyone though.

    I'm the type of person where with my workflow the iMac is all I need. It serves my needs as a photographer, the tv for my wife and I, homework machine, maintains my website, music server, and video editor.
  4. biggd macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2008
    Yep, do this. Start saving now, google guides on how to save money on food by buying in bulk and just being food aware. I saved 2-300$ a month by doing it.
  5. dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    So I have a question when comparing the 21.5" to 27" version.

    When sitting back in my chair at my desk, I really doubt that I'd be able to read the screen all that well if I'm running a 27" at 2560 x 1440. I may run it at 1920 x 1080 (I currently have a 27" Samsung monitor connected to my MBP at 1920 x 1080 and it is very easy to read).

    If that's the case, and I had to choose between the 21.5 vs 27 (assuming both run at 1920 x 1080) is it worth the extra cash for a 27" iMac? Or should I save my money and just go with the 21.5? Saves almost $200 for just a screen size difference.


  6. Tigerman82 macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    I went for the 21.5-incher. The biggest single reason was that the 27-incher takes so much space that you really need a big desk which allows you to move is further away from you. I do have a big desk but I use it on other things as well besides computing. It is also nice that the 21.5-incher consumes power much less than the 27-incher. Finally, it has to be said that some users have complained about headaches and about the tiny font when using a 27-incher.

    On the other hand, with a 27-incher you get a bigger screen and a more powerful processor (and GPU). You can multitask better and there is that rumor that 27-inchers are less likely to have yellow tint issue.

    One thing you might consider is that the size of the 21.5-incher is misleading when you are looking at it standing up at an angle -- it looks so small. Be sure to sit in front of it if you demo them.
  7. dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    For the two that I linked in my post above though, I think all the other specs are the same (processor, ram, hard drive, graphics) and the only difference is the screen size, correct?
  8. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Correct. 60% more screen real estate. There is the difference of it having 3 eternal esata ports in case you ever wanted to add something extra like an SSD to it, but most users don't care about that.
  9. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    The iMac / Mac does NOT allow font sizing without distortion. Limitation of Mac OS that some folks fail to acknowledge. Because of this, do expect small size text on the large size screen. If you increase the font size, do expect font distortion. re: Text overlap &/or wrap around. Thus, forcing one to use small text on the large screen. This results in eye strain and sometimes headaches. Especially if one is used to focusing on small size physical screens. The larger the screen size, (re: 27"), do expect the higher risk of eye strain or headaches. To adjust, folks move further back from their screen - where the fonts / menus appear even smaller - with create eye strain as well. In life, it isn't about "size". It's about eye comfort. Go with the size of screen that is most comforting on your eyes. Especially since Mac OS doesn't allow global sizing on text / menus "without" distortion....

  10. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Oct 13, 2010
    My friend above has already given us the diatribe, so I'll spare you my version of it. :)

    I have a 27" iMac of current iteration, and I find myself constantly switching between the native and brilliant 2560x1440 and the slightly fuzzier 1920x1080 so that I can see some text properly.

    There are tools out there that will try to give you the equivalent of the Windows Large Fonts option, but be careful. If you go over font size 18, you will probably experience the table breaking that the poster above talked about.

    You also have to be careful using the ability to change the font size in "Application" because it seems that if you do this on some machines, you are changing the font size that your contacts will receive from you in Mail...which will make you look like an idiot. :)

    If you're a younger person with more flexible corneas, then yes by all means go for the 27". If you are an older person like me or you have any issues with visual acuity, you should be aware of this shortcoming of the operating system and just be aware of it.

    At 2560x1440, the visuals are just incredible and you just might want to accept the sacrifice of changing resolutions on the fly so that you can get that brilliant, wonderful high pixel native resolution.

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