27 vs 21: Anyone have regrets about the size they purchased?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Highway61, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Highway61 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    #1
    Until fairly recently, I really didn't see the need--in my situation--to go with a 27" screen. However, recent projects with Logic Pro X have sometimes made me feel like I could use a little more "real estate."
    I won't be purchasing an iMac of any size until updated models come to market. but, in the meantime, as the thread title queries, does anyone have regrets about their choice of 21" vs 27"?
    Thank you.
     
  2. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #2
    27" here, would never have even thought of the 21" for any serious work. Last time I was on a 21" screen was last century. It was a struggle going down to 27". If they ever bring out a 32-34" Retina I'll swap this in an instant.
     
  3. Highway61 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #3
    Don't think one can get a stronger endorsement than that. Thank you.
     
  4. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #4
    If you aren't used to it, the 27" will seem huge at first. However give it a couple of weeks and more than likely it will be the 21" that ends up looking tiny in comparison. Few people regret going with the larger size.
     
  5. Highway61 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #5
    Thank you!
    I do think you're correct about all of that.
    In regard to vision (mine) that is challenged on some days more than others, is there something else that I should be "factoring in"?
     
  6. Hastings101 macrumors 68010

    Hastings101

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    K
    #6
    I do regret buying a 27 iMac as the thing is just way too big and space consuming in my small office. It leaves practically no room on my desk for anything else but the keyboard and mouse haha. Granted it's the smallest room in the house and the huge screen is wonderful for gaming and video, but it's a bit of a pain that I wish I'd avoided.
     
  7. Highway61 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #7
    That's interesting and very much worth considering. Thank you.
     
  8. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #8
    27" here. I do a lot of design work and could not do without the large screen. When I have a program such as Photoshop open with all my working panels, it is really nice to have the real estate to still work with a large image. I have not worked on a smaller screen in ages, but struggle when I do with the constant moving or closing of things to get things done.

    For you it would seem that a 27" is the obvious way to go if you have the space for it.
     
  9. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #9
    I certainly do not regret getting the 27" over the 21", allthough I would wish Apple still made a 24" version. 21" is too small, and 27" is too big, but I definitely prefer more screen estate than being annoyed of not having enough space for my stuff on the screen.

    But since OP wants to do professional work on the machine, definitely go for the 27".
     
  10. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    I've got a 21" and no regrets. I did a lot of measuring up round my desk area before pulling the trigger and decided I really didn't have the room. When I saw the two models next to each other (this was the late 2012, so a delay between the two sizes) in the store, I was amazed at how much larger the 27" seemed and knew I had made the right decision. Like you, the only time I've missed the extra screen estate is when using Logic. But, I think for that kind of usage I would prefer a second screen to a single larger one.
     
  11. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #11
    I got my 27" iMac in 2011. In hindsight, I might have preferred a 21" iMac and pair it with another 21" monitor instead.

    Here are my experiences:
    1) For gaming, the 512mb graphics card cannot power many games at native 2k resolution at decent performance. I ended up running most games in 1080p windowed mode in bootcamp.

    2) The font is actually a bit too small for my liking on a 2k, 27" monitor. I end up having to zoom in to 200% on most documents and enlarge websites, which kinda defeats the purpose of a larger display, and it's a bit irritating that Safari cannot remember zoomed settings the way Chrome does. Conversely, 1080p on a 21.5" monitor is just right for me.

    On a side note, I love the new font sizes on the 5k iMac, and I find it "just right" for me, but it's too pricey for me. That and my current iMac is still going strong 4 years later. Which is more than can be said for the barely 2-year old HP desktop that I ended up getting the iMac to replace.

    3) I actually had eye strain for the first few weeks after getting my iMac due to the small system fonts. I eventually got used to it. That said, I probably won't experience this issue with the retina 5k iMac.

    4) I find I didn't really need the extra vertical screen space, but I sure would have appreciated more horizontal screen space (since I work heavily with documents). I often have a lot of overlapping windows because there isn't enough space to align my apps side-by-side.

    5) I don't have to work with apps like logic cut pro or photoshop, so I guess I don't really "need" the extra screen estate.

    Problem is - the 21.5" iMac feels kinda gimped (entry level uses integrated graphics, and you can't upgrade the ram yourself), and Apple seems to be pushing everyone towards the 5k iMac option, and I really don't like the idea of running a 5k display with hot graphic cards under such a thermally-constrained environment. I will likely hang on to my current iMac for as long as I can, because Apple's current lineup really doesn't entice me in the least bit.
     
  12. Hirakata macrumors 6502

    Hirakata

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    Mar 17, 2011
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #12
    Agree with this. In the Apple store, the 27" doesn't look particularly large because of the store's wide open spaces, but once I got mine home into my office, it looked monstrous! I use two external 21" monitors with my iMac for all of the palettes used in Photoshop and Poser.

    OP, you'll appreciate the extra real estate, especially with Logic's palettes.
     
  13. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #13
    I noticed this about Apple Stores as well. In-store, the 27" looks much smaller than it actually is. Thankfully I bought my 2011 27" iMac after I went over to a friends house and saw his, and immediately loved the 27" size and performance.

    My 2011 is starting to get a little slow in the GPU department, but it's still more than powerful enough for CAD work and photo editing. That's why I'm going to build separate small form factor gaming PC while all my other uses stay on Mac, my preferred OS. Maybe I can turn it into a Hackintosh.
     
  14. Highway61 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #14
    Love this forum. These have all been excellent answers. Thank you.
     
  15. tyche macrumors 6502

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    Jul 30, 2010
    #15
    I prefer the 21" but would have liked a higher resolution. The 24" size is so perfect I wish they would go back to it. With 21" I use multiple spaces to keep the screens uncluttered.

    But I think in your case, you'd want more resolution and therefore the 27" is better choice.
     
  16. Highway61 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #17
    Again--and please don't become bored with my expressions of gratitude--thank you, everyone.

    I was wondering (tyche's reply triggered this thought) what El Capitan's split screen capabilities might mean in regard to screen size offerings.
     
  17. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #18
    The 27" is way too big. You're better off getting the 21" and an external 27" for the times you would need it. If you're surfing the web then 27" is way overkill as there's too much dead real estate.
     
  18. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
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    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #19
    Split screen is more a god send for the 21" screen. Full screen apps on a 27" screen look plain silly IMO.
     
  19. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #20
    I have one of each in my house. I really like the 27" one when I'm doing my work as I can have 2-3 windows open at a decent size. But I really don't have any issues switching down to the smaller one.
     
  20. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

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    Sep 27, 2013
    #21
    Love my 21.5" :) I use it for heavy video editing (Final Cut, After Effects and Premiere Pro), as well as photo editing (Photoshop, Pixelmator, Illistrator for vector based worked), web design (Dreamweaver, Brackets...) and animating (Maya, Flash, and 3DS Max in Windows). I also have Windows 10 installed via boot camp for a load of games. Gaming is the only place out of my entire usage that I would like a bigger screen; all of my professional work is great with the 21.5" setup :)

    Hope that helps.
     
  21. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

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    Sep 27, 2013
    #22
    To be fair; the set in stone Windows 8.1 apps that worked only in full screen were even worse on my 21.5" iMac haha Looking at something as basic as a calendar in full screen was just silly looking; can't believe it taken them something like 5 years to revise this and correct it with Windows 10.
     
  22. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

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    Sep 27, 2013
    #23
    Agreed. I'd recommend looking about for a monitor that would fit into your price range coupled along wit a 21.5" iMac. I've seen a nice Dell 4K monitor for around 300 pounds I think:)
     
  23. mjolson5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    #24
    21.5" and no regrets here. I wanted something that could sit on the kitchen table with a bigger screen than a 17" laptop so the smaller iMac was a perfect fit.
     
  24. JonnyBlaze macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    Love my 27. Was an eye opener moving from a 13" MacBook and I did wonder if it was going to be too much, but no... Love full programs side by side with Xcode and safari at the same time for example. amazing to fit it all on one screen
     

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