4K 21.5" iMac as stop gap?

TonyKL

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2008
13
2
London, UK
I'm sure you are all fed up with talking about the next new iMac but I'm really in the market for one.
If I was to buy now it would be the mid-i5 27" (due to fan noise) but I can't help thinking that this machine is now getting old and the 7th generation processors are well due an update (plus the iMac fan design).

Rather than spend over £2.5K for the current 27" iMac (even considered a refurbished iMac Pro at £4.1K - way overkill) I am now wondering about buying the low-end 4K 21.5" iMac, upgrade to and SSD and have that for a while until the new one is released. This would allow me to evaluate whether the 27" would be too big, also, with the current holiday returns period (and possible Black Friday gifts) this might be a sensible choice.

I have considered the new Mac mini but I really fancy an all-in-one iMac as I'd have to buy a screen for the mini and none of the ones I see inspire me.

I'm sure you guys might ask this, I would be using the machine for software development and some simple 3d modelling (sketchup). No high end video editing. I'm sure all these machines will handle this workload as my 12" MacBook currently does.

I guess if there is a new iMac that I want then I can always Ebay the 21.5" (or put in guest room) without loosing out too much money. Is this a crazy though?
 

tomscott1988

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2009
617
482
UK
The problem with iMacs as a stop gap is they are a ball ache to move on.

The macbook pros are far easier but if you spec an average 15" macbook pro up they will easily be £4k with applecare. Obviously they are portable which is why they are more expensive but in 95% of tasks the 2017 27" i7 is faster. The main benefit for a stop gap is that the macbook pro is really easy to move on.

Depends what you need I dont think the tech is going to be the limiting factor, single core its still the fastest mac and multi its still in the top 10. I would be more pissed if it was a redesign and since it hasnt been since 2012 its certainly on the cards.

Will the next iMac get ram upgradability?

Main thing about the 4k is its really small... if your used to a bigger screen its hard to go back. Also the lack of ram upgradability, with these machines they can last a decent amount of time like 5 years but the fact it has no ram upgradability means you have to spec it out from apple.

Im in the same boat and have been playing around with all sorts of ideas but I think what ever you do you will loose money and not be satisfied or pay stupid amounts for a macbook pro that is less powerful in the real world in comparison to the current 27" imac. The iMac throttles but nothing like the macbook pro making it an expensive compromise.

If it helps the 27" imac i7s with 512gb and 8gb ram have been popping up regularly in the refurb store for £2289 which is very tempting. Add 16Gb for £150 for 24gbs then another 16gb down the line for 32gb etc

The main issue is that you could build a windows machine with the spec of the high end iMac for about £1000 but that retina is £1200 so really although over a year old they still arent too overpriced especially for the form factor and the apple design/mac os.
 

TonyKL

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2008
13
2
London, UK
The problem with iMacs as a stop gap is they are a ball ache to move on.
Thanks, I didn't realise this would be the case, however I might be able to find a use for the smaller iMac whereas the larger would have to go. And the smaller is closer to £1K so loss margins should be smaller.

Hindsight is always a wonderful thing, I do feel that the current iMac is perfectly adequate for my use, but I'm not in a rush and would be disappointed if a new one comes out shortly afterwards with more than just a spec bump.
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
5,834
2,219
California, United States
You’re not alone. Been eyeing a 21.5” 4K “stop gap” machine myself. There was a nice refurb that popped up briefly in the Apple store that featured 1TB SSD and 16GB RAM for $1850.

But I decided to tough it out and wait until next year.
 
Last edited:

TonyKL

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2008
13
2
London, UK
Well, it had to be done. I've just ordered my "stop gap" machine for store pick-up today.
It's an 27" iMac Pro!

Yes, I don't need the power at the moment but I think this machine will be pretty future proof.

And that space grey, mmmm!