Anyone getting 21" iMac (2017)?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Falcon80, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Falcon80 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #1
    Which configuration and what are your use cases for it? Seems like most talk here revolves around the 27" iMac. Is it not advisable to get the 21" version in terms of value?

    I am almost always looking at the 27" but now thinking of taking a look at 21" and pair up with another monitor for more screen asset.
     
  2. Moriarty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #2
    21.5" is kinda small for the high 2048*1152 (Retina) resolution, especially for older people or short-sighted people with a moderate prescription. I suspect it would get more sales if the screen size were 24", but then it would cannibalize the 27".

    Getting a Retina screen and Fusion Drive (or better, an SSD) is totally worth the $, so anyone who can afford the high-end 21.5" is going to be tempted to upgrade the screen size. The 27" is appreciably faster, and doesn't cost a lot more than the high-end 21.5" (especially if you factor in the savings for being able to upgrade the RAM yourself).

    It's not a bad computer (okay, the models without a SSD or Fusion Drive are terrible), but we're geeks and nerds here. We tend to get the best we can afford, and Apple's pricing scheme is very good at encouraging that.
     
  3. lowkey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    australia
    #3
    The 21.5" seems better value than the 27" now imo. Here in Australia is $3799 for the 27" 4.2GHZ i7/16GBram/1TB Fusion, while the 21.5" 3.6GHz i7/16GBram/1TB Fusion is $2849.

    So the 27" is 16% faster, but 32% more expensive.

    Ive got a 27" at work and never use the extremeties of the screen and tend to have slightly smaller windows centred on the screen, with a bit of background each side. I just find its too far to move my eyes from one side to the other.

    Im considering the 21.5" for my next music production machine at home in my hobbyist studio.

    Its annoying that you have to upgrade to the mid tier 27" before you can then upgrade the processor to the i7. I don't need a better graphics card for my audio apps, and feel like the its a bit overpriced now.
     
  4. padams35 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    #4
    When I guestimated my future needs (yours will naturally differ) I assume the 4K with the 16GB ram option would last me about 6 years while a 5K I DIY upgrade to ≥24GB ought to last 9. That gives the 5K option superior value over time.

    On the other hand a lot can change in 9 years and planning on a shorter replacement interval is a safer bet and would keep one closer to the latest technologies Apple introduces.
     
  5. slpslee1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #5
    Actually, yes. I had a 27 inch iMac and just never warmed up to it. I happen to be old (and farsighted), and there was just too much screen real estate for me to keep track of comfortably. My grandchildren loved it, so I just left it downstairs for them to play with.

    I have a plain vanilla 2013 21.5 inch iMac now that could use replacing. I hate to pay Apple's RAM upgrade prices, but I guess I'll bite the bullet because I don't see myself dismantling the computer to add more, and I don't see myself sitting in front of another 27" monitor, either. I'm still tinkering with a configuration.
     
  6. robeddie Suspended

    robeddie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #6
    Waiting to see the benchmarks. Then might get one with the dedicated graphics, but with the 5400rpm 2.5 inch drive and swap that out (down the road) with a 2tb ssd.
     
  7. Falcon80 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #7
    Totally agree on that.
     
  8. Novus John macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #8
    27" is too large for me. I prefer smaller screens because only then I can focus on the contents of the screen.

    It might be just me; most people that I know love huge screens.
     
  9. Falcon80 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #9
    Yes, it depends on what you are doing. Some require the larger screen to display the entire drawing board / UI editor to without the need to do any scrolling.
     
  10. RobinInOR macrumors 6502

    RobinInOR

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    #10
    My husbands new 21.5" iMac just arrived. He uses his mac mostly for x-plane simulations, so it will be interesting to see how it performs. He'd like to upgrade to x-plane 11 but doesnt know if this will be powerful enough. He got the middle version. A 27" wodnt fit on his desk with all the simulator controls he has set up. His current iMac is 5 years old.
     
  11. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #11
    Hope no one minds me bumping this thread. Still interested in hearing more reaction to the 2017 21.5” model, particularly the $1499 top end model. :)
     
  12. videojanitor macrumors member

    videojanitor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2017
    Location:
    Northern CA
    #12
    I joined this forum just to reply to your message. Been a lurker for many years, gleaning a lot of great information. Until I found this thread, thought I was perhaps the only one on earth who preferred the 21.5-inch size. Anything above 24-inches and I start getting uncomfortable. I had to use a 30-inch Apple Cinema Display for a job a few months ago, and it almost killed me. Never could get used to it.

    So, I am patiently waiting for the 21.5-inch iMac to be delivered. I ordered the $1499 model, but bumped up the RAM to 16GB and dumped the Fusion drive in favor of the 512GB SSD. I'm expecting it to be quite good, but can't comment until it arrives. Ordered it last Thursday (the 22nd) and it is still "processing."
     
  13. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #13
    Let's all sing: "It Depends On What You Are Doing" :)

    I'm sitting next to my main dev box which has a relatively new 32 inch screen. 32 inches at 2560x1440 is just fine for classic text, which is what I need, and provides mountains of visual real estate to the point that I would not want it any larger because of my presbyopia.

    If I were doing video editing this 32 inch monitor would be a curse, because I can't necessarily see to each edge clearly simultaneously. For what I do, though, moving my chair a fraction of an inch to focus on the edges is no big deal.

    On the other side of the room is the 24 inch (early 2009) iMac with a lovely glossy display that handles all of the "family" computing needs just fine. Attached to that iMac is a 20+ no-name display used as a second monitor when doing PowerPoint / webex training. The real life difference between the 20+ display and the native 24 inch display is minimal, and while I'd rather look at the slightly larger one, going to 27 inches with a higher resolution and smaller typography size would be a non starter.

    While I would myself prefer that the "small" Apple offering was a bit larger than 21.5 inches, the real life version is that it's not that big a deal in most cases. And when it is ... get an external monitor!
     
  14. Falcon80 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #14
    Interestingly for the 21" iMac, if you upgrade both the mid-tier and top tier version to i7, both cost almost the same but the top tier version is Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB video memory. Weird.
     
  15. videojanitor macrumors member

    videojanitor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2017
    Location:
    Northern CA
    #15
    I had originally configured the $1299 model with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, but then I discovered that it only cost $100 more to get the high-end model, when factoring in those BTO options. The upgrade cost for the SSD was $100 less, no doubt because it was an upgrade from a Fusion drive, as opposed to a conventional drive (standard in the $1299 machine).
     
  16. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #16
    If you upgrade both the CPU and drive of the mid tier 21", the price is the same as if you started from the top tier. In other words, you can get a free GPU upgrade.

    I'm sure this helps Apple - they have fewer BTO SKUs to preassemble and/or stock in large numbers. It also helps with resale value - the higher end machines will usually be upgraded in all specs.
     
  17. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #17
    Congrats on your machine. That sounds like a fine configuration. You definitely won't regret that 512GB SSD. I also think the top end 21.5-inch is definitely the best value for that sized iMac in the current lineup.

    I am currently still rocking the 27-inch but have always considered going down to the 21.5-inch. And having that discreet GPU option back is the real kicker. Makes the 21.5-inch a way better value than the first 4K model.
     
  18. videojanitor macrumors member

    videojanitor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2017
    Location:
    Northern CA
    #18
    Absolutely. I have been waiting for this for a long time. Salivated when the 5K 27-inch was released, and promised myself that if they ever put a Retina screen in the 21.5, I'd buy it. Then it came out, but with no discrete GPU option and older CPU, so I decided to wait for the next refresh -- little did I know how long I'd be waiting!
     
  19. rachpid macrumors newbie

    rachpid

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2017
    #19
    We got the mid-range 21.5" as is. We couldn't stretch budget wise to a 27" model and wanted the retina display. Also it's sitting in our living room so 27" would be a bit overpowering I think. I will use it mostly for internet, email, the odd game of Sims 4, with a bit of graphic design work on Adobe apps and my husband will use it for writing, so we didn't need much more.

    I've just got the bottom range 27" at work (with RAM souped up to 16gb) so it'll be interesting to see how they compare, although obviously my work one will be used a lot more heavily (at the moment I have email, Illustrator, Indesign, Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, Word, Excel, Safari and a time tracker open!).
     
  20. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    #20
    Education pricing made the high end 21.5" less than $100 difference from the mid-tier, with 256GB SSD. No-brainer!

    Love the size as well! 27" would have made me turn my vision too much as I have it closer than normal.
     
  21. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    #21
    I think the 27" is a much better value overall unless you are adventurous and can upgrade the 21.5" yourself. Even then, the bigger screen on the 27" model is highly desirable and almost certainly worth the extra jump in price all by itself.

    But there's really no working around the form factor ... my wife wanted the smaller model as it's less obtrusive and she doesn't need the bigger screen for her occasional computer use. So that's that. It's her computer so the idea of a discrete GPU isn't really important. I was worried about the integrated graphics (I have the 2015 4K model) not being snappy enough, but it turns out to be very nice indeed for everything she uses it for ... I'd personally have no problem using it for those tasks as well.
     
  22. videojanitor macrumors member

    videojanitor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2017
    Location:
    Northern CA
    #22
    After spending a couple of days with the 21.5-inch, I gotta say that this is the perfect size for ME. Anything larger and I get uncomfortable as instead of just moving my eyes to look around the screen, I have to move my entire head. I feel like I'm sitting in the front row at a movie. Maybe I am sitting too close, but there's a certain distance where I feel my eyes have "locked in" on the screen. That said, I think it's great that we have a choice, so everyone can get what suits them.
     
  23. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #23
    The screen size is indeed more desirable for some people with limited space. My wife falls into this category. She will probably be buying a replacement 21 inch for her 2011 iMac soon. The overall performance of the new 21 inch offerings is generally fine, but I am amazed that they do not offer an option for 2 or 3 TB fusion drives. Does anyone understand why?
     

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