21" or 27"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by michaelsviews, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    New England
    I rarely play games that often so I do not believe that I need a power machine mostly email, surfing, some intermediate web design and looking into video editing on the low end not high end expensive software.

    The top of the line 21" stock configuration can supposedly handle some of newer games, and the top of the line 27" stock configuration would be better.
    My local apple store carries the iMac 27" w/ 3.5GHz 8GbRam, 3TB Fusion Drive, 4GbVideo. I've talked to the Apple sales people and told them what I'm posting here and getting mixed recommendations. Went to Bestbuy and was told that's a good question, with no answer, after 2 minutes the guy says what model do you want and I'll go and get it for you. A co-worker said the TOL 27" would be fine.

    I'm on a 2008 MBP which to me is slowwwww and not worth putting in a SSD which is the only thing to make it somewhat faster.

    Money is not a deal breaker, I just want to buy something that's not going to be an antique in a year or two.

    Hopefully people understand what I'm saying

  2. Dadioh macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    Canada Eh?
    I have had 21.5", 24" and 27" iMacs over the years and just LOVE the screen real estate that the 27" offers. I don't think I could ever go back down to 21.5" again. If you are not really into gaming and trying to choose on upgrades then Fusion or SSD would be noticeable improvements over base HDD. If you can also afford to upgrade graphics then it will help with future proofing for future games.

    IMHO 27" is well worth the extra $$$ and you won't regret it.

    But then again I am typing this from my MacBook Air 11" which would be at the other extreme end of the screen scale ;-)
  3. apple_iBoy, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013

    apple_iBoy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    I ordered a new iMac to replace a first generation Mac Pro.

    Like you, the price tag was not my ultimate limiting factor, which was instead the desire to have the most future-proof model I could buy (as future-proof as a glued-together all-in-one can be, that is).

    I went with 27" with the upgraded CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 Gb SSD, and upgraded GPU.

    I felt like maxing the CPU and GPU made sense because how's the only chance to do it ever. If I had to choose between one or the other, I would have definitely gone for the upgraded CPU.

    I chose to stick with the 8 GB of RAM because it honestly is enough for me at the moment, but if can buy more less expensively elsewhere to add to the extra 2 slots (and down the road a few years, it will likely be cheap enough that I won't mind taking out the original OEM chips and replacing them if I wanted to really max it out).

    Last but not least, I was deliberating between a fusion drive and SSD. My Mac Pro has 4.5 TB of internal drive storage. I knew I couldn't replicate that, so I was going to have to invest in a multi-bay USB 3 or Thunderbolt enclosure. I ultimately decided to keep the inside if the iMac platter-free and just go with the SSD (for which I that 256 GB was fine for my app storage needs). It's my belief that the SSD will on average have a longer lifespan than a traditional rotating drive, and since you can't really get in there to fix things, I decided the SSD was the way to go.

    I will probably be buying an inexpensive (<$100) 4-bay USB 3 hard drive enclosure from Amazon like this one. I'll use it until the prices for a Thunderbolt enclosure drop down a bit— and possibly will look into transitioning those hard drives to SSDs if the price is right.
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    As the adage goes, buy what you need, not what you want.

    I suggest a top of the line 21.5" with i7, 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.

    I have a maxed out 27" and a maxed out 21.5" not because I want it, but because my work requires it (much to my dismay as well, as it burnt a huge hole in my wallet). But I've come to love both machines.
  5. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    This is the most accurate response! :cool::cool:
  6. michaelsviews thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    New England
    Thank you all for the reply's , I'm going to head back to the Apple store this weekend and see what if any beefed up 21" iMac's they have.

    I forgot to mention that I'd be buying this under a discount program which would give me like 200 dollars off the system and money off Apple care.

    A good friend of mine just bought the beefed up 27" last night and said he has not even been to bed yet because he's so amazed at the speed and how wonderful the screen size and clarity is. played a couple of games from Steam and said he has no problem's at all.

    27" is one big display for sure. I'm also keeping this so that it does not burn a hole in my wallet, I'd like to get an iPad Air also. But when you add it all up it's overwhelming the cost.

    Yea I'll have to camp out at the apple store and take notes and then go from there and take into consideration the feed back I get from the reply's here.

    Thanks again
  7. tbolt11 macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    At work I do front end dev on a 21.5" iMac and a windows machine with 2x24" displays.
    When I work on the iMac I honestly feel like it's a suitable size. Which is why I'm going to buy myself one for at home. I want to play games a bit as well but it's not a priority, and it seems the 750m isn't a slouch.
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    You'll have better luck buying off the Apple online Education store. Stores never stock maxed-out configurations. Besides you can qualify for an education discount. Apple never checks whether you're a student or not to quality for it (at least in my country).

    I always order my Macs online.
  9. michaelsviews, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

    michaelsviews thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    New England
    Well I'd say this is close to maxed out and the local store carries it all the time

    3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB
    3TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5
    Apple Magic Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard

    Plus Government Discount

    Fast system from what I'm currently using. Have to sleep on it for a while

    Any and all other input / suggestions appreciated.
  10. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    First of all, good thinking in only ordering 8GB of RAM. You can always buy upgrades yourself for the 27". Never get RAM upgrades from Apple unless it's non user-replaceable like the 21.5" iMacs. Apple's prices for RAM are way up in the stratosphere (to put it metaphorically, beyond the Theodore von Karman line in space).

    I don't really advocate the Fusion drive. But that's perhaps just me because I value speed over capacity.

    I ordered both my 21.5" and 27" iMacs with wired mice and keyboards (with numpad) because I don't like the hassle of replacing batteries every few months or so. Besides, call me paranoid, but I try to minimize RF radiation around my home by using wired peripherals instead. I don't even use wi-fi at home, all my Macs are connected via Ethernet to a central router.

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