Anyone buy the 21" iMac and regret it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AgRacer, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. AgRacer macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011
    Going to be using this for Photo (Lightroom) and Video (Premier Elements) editing.

    Anyone buy the 21" iMac and wish they'd gotten the 27". I have a 2nd 23" monitor I can feed off the thunderbolt port, but not an HD IPS display.

    How about the other way? Anyone get a 27" and say to themselves much bigger than you need?
  2. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I've got the 27" and had at one time the 20". As long as you would have the room for the 27" it is well worth it for the extra pixels, especially for photo editing.
  3. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I had the 2011 21.5" as my first iMac and loved the machine. Size was great, screen was 1080p, fast, etc. I felt like the 27" was too large for my work space and settled on the smaller screen.

    Since then, I have upgraded my desk and bought a 27" iMac and there is no going back for me now.

    So, with all that said if you have never used a 27" and don't have that need or frame of reference, I think you'd be fine with the 21.5". However, times have changed and the current 21.5" iMacs do not have user replaceable RAM, and that drives up the price of you need more than 8GBs. If you do, go for the 27" iMac. I don't think you'll go wrong with either, but the choice is a bit more difficult now for the 2012's vs the prior gen.
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I have the 21.5" and don't regret it at all. If you have a second screen make sure you have the image on the full size iMac screen and have the sliders and things on the other. That way you get the maximum use of your premium screen.
  5. Red Fuji macrumors member

    Red Fuji

    Mar 13, 2012
    USA-Pacifc Standard Time
    hmmmm. 21 would have probably been enogh for me but it is only been day two with an imac. still getting used to dragging the mouse that far across the screen :) I think the 27 offers the most justification for gamers and video 'editors' based on percent use. otherwise 21 is plenty for everything else. the two biggest spec difference between the 21 and 27 is the GPU card and screen size of course and oh... the 21 apple doesnt really want you to upgrade the RAM yourself. You need to buy it upfront from Apple- options are 8 or 16 GB- i think 16 is more than plenty.
  6. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    I have a 2011 21.5" with a 23" ACD. It's the perfect setup for me. I don't have the space for 27".
  7. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    I have the 20" and am on my second 27". I use to think the 20" was a good size for working on, but after my first use of a 27", I could never go back. I use it for web and graphics design. The real estate of the 27" is great for image work. Plus being able to upgrade the RAM at a cheaper cost was a bonus. Especially when you are rendering large files.
  8. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    I have a 2011 21.5" iMac and am incredibly pleased with it. I have a 20" ACD set up as a second display. Here's my setup; my aging but still happily functional 20" iMac G5 is there as well :)

    Attached Files:

    • desk.JPG
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      204.2 KB
  9. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    For Video editing, get a maxed out Mini. It is nearly as powerful as the iMac 27 inch BTO i7, without the graphics power that you don't need for video, but it allows you to buy a Video capable display. iMacs do 60fps, 60fps or 60fps.
    If you are interested in making PAL or Cinematic 24fps movies, the playback will stink on an iMac.
  10. macalec macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2012
    The 21.5 inch is wonderful. I have never regretted it. The 27" is too big for my work space.
  11. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    I bought the 27 and at first thought I made a mistake. I had a little buyers remorse thinking it was overkill and maybe that I should have gotten the 21. now that its been a few weeks I know I made the right choice. the 27 is absolutely awesome. there is so much room and pictures look fantastic.

    The refurbished site is dangerous. Ive been watching many 27 come in at 300 dollars off sometimes more. Your actually better off with the 27 then the 21 on refurbished stuff. your getting much better hardware for the same price as the 21 is new.
  12. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    i would of regreted it as my homeboy has the 21 inch 2011 and this thing is tiny and very frustrating to work with 1080p after being exposed to 1440p
  13. seble macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2010
    For me, it's fine I'm a student and I edit pictures and film for fun and I love the 21.5 its the perfect size for me.

    Other problem I've noticed with 27" owners is that the world has yet to even fully embrace 1080p, watching anything less than even 1080p in full screen on that screen to me just looks like dog. To me I hate it, and for that reason, despite its larger size, if you don't plan to use the imac as you would a TV monitor for example i.e far away, and maybe push it down to 1080 for content, things wont look that great on it when you watch stuff. Pics obviously will but thats not the same as watching a TV show.
  14. trustever macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2013
    I am very happy about my 21,5, getting the 27 meant to me to change also the desk where I am sitting and did not really wanted to go down that route.

    The only regret I have is not having spent the extra quids to get the fusion, the computer with the HDD is slow at starting up (my windoz pc at work is faster to give you an idea) so I would get back I will buy with the model with fusion.

    On the other end as I will have some extra coins in the piggy bank I will treat myself to a full SSD upgrade..
  15. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    I have had a 27" for 3 years and we have a 21", you are right the 21" is better for fullscreen video than the 27". I got have a 15" MBPr a few weeks ago, if i get another imac it will be a 21"
  16. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    My feeling is that for your needs (photo and video editing), you would do better with the 27". This is assuming you're happy with the concept of the mostly non-upgradable iMac. I have a few reasons:

    1. The resolution of the 27" may be too high for native 1080p, but in a video editor, the pane that shows the video will be larger, and show you more detail of the source.

    2. The better graphics card will help in editing with most newer editors.

    3. Your needs can be RAM hungry, and the 27" can be upgraded yourself, to 32GB, double the 21" max. As Apple solder the memory on the 21", you need to pay the Apple tax for 16 GB, and have to do so when buying the computer.

    4. The 27" uses 3.5" 7200rpm HDs, instead of 2.5" 5400rpm ones - a big difference in speed. The 3TB upgrade (only 27") may help in keeping all your files internally as well. This can be combatted at least partially by getting the fusion or high speed external storage, but all are extra cost and/or clutter.

    5. I have heard that the speakers on the 27" are much better than the 21", so you may be able to rely on them and avoid using extra space with externals.

    All in all, if you have need for something relatively high end, the 27" becomes better value.

    Hope this helps,

  17. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    The Photo and Video editing are certainly better on the 27". If for some reason you want to watch a 1080P video you can always do it in a window. The window will be 20.25" instead of 21.5", which is close to the same (the pixels are smaller on the 27") and you have additional space on the display.
  18. zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    I've owned a 2011 version of each for work. As others have stated I believe you will be really happy with the larger screen size for work. Right now I only have the 21.5" and miss the 27".
  19. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    i have the late 2012 21.5 imac max out and don't regret it. It is a fashion working desktop :D
  20. seble macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2010
    Just like to point out that the RAM on the 21 isn't actually soldered. It is 'user' upgradeable, but just requires a fairly complex operation...
  21. 2Turbo macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2011
    Did you even get the 650m? If so, how does it perform in games @ 1080p? Did you ever try any CoD's in bootcamp?
  22. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I am curious - with either the 21 or 27 inch iMacs, how do you people calibrate the screens? Last iMac I had was a 20" from a while back and it was a miserable experience to properly calibrate with third party tools. I also had a Mac Pro at that time and a higher end third party monitor which was easy to calibrate and did very well. I am hoping the latest incarnation of the iMacs are better suited than back when for both Photoshop and video work. Any thoughts from anyone?

    (I use at this time a Mac Mini quad with 16 gig RAM and an NEC PA series 24" monitor for my photo work and no video at this time.)

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