21.5 or27 imac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Hing, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. Hing macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    Seems like everyone is getting the 27 imac. Im planning to use it for at least 4 years. Will 21.5 be good enough for basic use? I cant make up my mind.
  2. mac88 macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2008
    Boston, MA.
  3. miki66 macrumors 6502


    Nov 19, 2008
  4. Bbusyb macrumors member


    Sep 11, 2009
    Notts, UK / Alex, Egypt
    If you can swing it, its probably better to go for the 27' version.

    Not only will you get a bigger, better display, But You'll get better specs, and some nice additional features which will serve you well over the life of the machine.

    One of the nicest is the DisplayPort IN, which means that you can plug in another laptop / AV device with the proper adapter and use the iMac as Cinema Display. The upgrade may be worth it for that feature alone.

    I'm of the school of thought that you should usually buy the best machine you can get at a reasonable price and use the heck out of it unit it doesn't meet your needs. Going for the higher end machine from the start means that you'll be in a better position to take advantage of software updates that come out in the future which may require higher specifications.
  5. cyantist macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2007
    I agree with everything that Bbusyb said.. But ultimately, it comes down to you and your budget.. Buy the machine you can afford and the one you would like to use for the next 4 years..
  6. wattage macrumors 6502


    Oct 14, 2005
    Say you keep this iMac for 4 years. That's 48 months. So take two iMac configurations and divide by 48. That would be the difference per month the 27 vs 21 in. versions would cost you. I'm sure the difference will make you pick the 27. If you don't buy very often then I feel it's better to max out when you do.
  7. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
    Define what basic uses you have.

    The 27 is a really nice machine - I also think it is a pretty great value. That said, there are a couple things to consider.

    1. Do you have space for the machine?
    2. Do you have a use for the extra pixels or is it bigger for the sake of bigger?

    Unless you go up to the i5 or i7 machines the specs are not better than the high-end 21.5" and then only more hard drive space and a graphics card than the entry model.

    Apple is notoriously good at getting you to buy "up" the line.

    I went through this yesterday. My mind was basically set on the entry 21.5" for my office as although I could use the extra pixels, I can get by with those on the 21.5" just fine. Although for this system, I won't keep a ton of media, I then thought to go up to the next 21.5" for the extra hard drive space and graphics card. The next though was, well, for only an additional $200 I should step to up to 27".

    My point is it's really easy to rationalize spending an additional $500.

    I opted for the $1199 as it does meet my needs for the machine for several years and am looking forward to getting it tomorrow.
  8. sveintj macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2009
    So, will I notice the Quad Core (i5/i7) in "Normal use"


    Last Mac I bought was the 2GHz Dual G5, I sold it this summer with plans to buy whatever new iMac that would arrive before the Christmas season.

    I use web/iTunes/terminal/iPhoto/Microsoft Office, and I still think I someday will do something with video. I managed one film with the last machine :)

    So, will I notice a Quad Core iMac in the above type of use ??


  9. Fiete5401 macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2009
    Absolutely not. A C2D-iMac will fit your personal needs in every possible way.
  10. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005

    Don't get what you dont need and what you have no use for. Most people who buy higher-end would be just fine with the base model and if somebody switched the insides of their iMacs with those of a base model most will not even notice.

    Do you really need 2560 pixels in display width? I'm sure 1920 is still more than enough.

    Do you really need quad cores when all you do is type in word while listening to music? Of course not.

    The graphics is a bit different matter, I don't trust 9400 can push 2 mega pixles smoothly, but no reason to get 4850 unless you play Crysis or use Motion.
  11. sveintj macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2009
    Well, I do use a 24" inch widescreen at work, up from a 21" CRT, and I absolutely love it, so I am bit hesitant to go down in screen size. My homeoffice is really, really crammed so I have to get a VESA adapter and arm to attach the iMac at the wall. Maybe I should look for the previous model of the high end 24" iMac, I believe it has the same CPU as the current 27" model, but the graphics card is different though, Geoforce GT130 or something.

    Anyway, thanks for very valuable responses and advice, really great !

  12. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    [​IMG] it will be more then enough mate.. enjoy your new imac
  13. rangers12 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2009
    FWIW, just ordered the base model 21.5 yesterday- will be a nice upgrade from my 1.9 G5 imac. I pondered many of the same questions you did- for me, the 27in was too large and while I thought about a refurb 24in, decided to go with the new 21.5.

    I am sure you will be happy with whichever you choose.:)
  14. sveintj macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2009
    When you get it, could you measure the height from footstand to where the screen starts ? I.e how much is the totalt height for either 21,5" or 27". The specs on the apple page only tells the exact measures for the screen itself.


  15. Hing thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    Thanks for the info everyone. I think i will go with the 21.5.

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