Are the new 4K 21.5" iMacs worth buying

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Lankyman, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. Lankyman macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Given the new 4K 21.5" iMacs scored a 1 out of 10 for repairability from iFixit with user upgrades now nigh impossible are these new iMacs worth having?

    I think they are not. The end user now has to make a decision whether to load it with upgrade options at the time of purchase, paying through the nose to do so with no upgrade options further down the line.

    One wonders how long it will be before the 27" becomes similarly crippled. It's very sad that Apple have decided to virtually seal these units thus excluding the enthusiast from them.

    It's definitely a sign of the times and I accept that lots of people will pay the asking price. However, if more people walked away then Apple would have to rethink this policy.
     
  2. azure247 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    it does not have skylake and it has an integrated gpu

    it is a BAD purchase
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    Here's what I don't like
    • The Fusion drive went from having 128GB of flash storage (and a 5400 rpm drive) to 24GB flash storage.
    • No dGPU, That's a lot of pixels being pushed by the iGPU. Reviews have been mostly positive on the performance though Ars Technica did mention the iGPU does appear to flounder a bit under some circumstances.
    • 5400 RPM drive as the basic stock configuration.
    • Broadwell CPUs
    Overall, its a nice machine, but I personally think Apple cut some corners to the point where you may be selecting more higher end configurations, i.e., 2TB Fusion drive (to get the 128GB flash drive) or 512GB SSD. This drives the cost up by a lot imo.

    Will I get an iMac myself, I'm leaning towards perhaps when the time comes, but I don't think it will be the 4k iMac. I may opt for the 5K.
     
  4. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #4
    IMO, OP, no it is not worth buying. I am a loyal 21.5" owner, if you need an iMac with horse power and proper specs Apple is forcing users toward the 27. Maflynn came up with some excellent reasons as why this is not a good buy.

    And what I do not like:

    No more discreet GP to run that many pixels without one just makes no sense.
    You're forced to upgrade storage and ram to get a machine that runs half way decent - which does not answer the gPU issue.
    When I did the math and compared the specs, for slightly higher price I can have the computer I need rather than wasting at least $2k outright. It's painful to write wasting $2k when talking about a 21.5" iMac.
    For the same specs, I'd look at a high end Mac Mini before I would the 4k iMac (and I was but the cost came out to be close to the 27".)

    Just my $2 dollars.

    Good luck, Lankyman.
     
  5. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    #5
    The integrated graphics will likely suffice for normal everyday usage, but I wonder how it will fare when gaming? Say I want to run even a moderately taxing game like Starcraft 2 or Diablo 3? How will the game fare? Any ideas?
     
  6. hifimacianer macrumors member

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    #6
    I wouldn't bother that there is a Broadwell CPU in the 21" iMacs. I've seen a Review of the new iMacs where the Broadwell was even faster than the Skylake CPU!

    The only Thing everyone has to think about, is the iGPU. It will be sufficient for everyday tasks, but if you are a gamer it wont be enough.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    I suspect game performance to be rather poor.
     
  8. hifimacianer macrumors member

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    #8
  9. Apples n' Stone macrumors 65816

    Apples n' Stone

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    #9
    It would be a fairly emotionally driven purchase or the strong need for the screen to be that size. As some say about the rMB which I needed something small and with a clear screen. So as great as I believe Skylake to be, that does not write of the purchase in my opinion. If you want a smaller mac, buy one. But 5400 RPM drives are getting a little too dated for my taste!
     
  10. Lankyman thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Don't get me wrong kazmac - I'm not looking at buying one of these sealed units. I am going to run my mid-2011 21.5" iMac with it's 500gig SSD 500gig HDD and 20 gigs of RAM combo until the wheels drop off.

    After that I will look at what Apple can offer that would tempt me. If I'm not tempted at the price point I want I will build myself another rig and would happily use Windows 10 whilst looking at adding OS X as an option.

    I'm not one of these it's Apple or die fanboys. For me my iMac is simply a tool (albeit a rather nice one) for what I need to do. However, there are plenty more options that will work just as well. Unless there's a big change though over the next couple of years the 21.5" iMac will not be on my shopping list.
     
  11. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #11
    Understood, Lankyman. Run that 2011 into the ground. I have enough grief with Windows and PCs at work to stick with Macs at home. I won't pu pu people's choices however; whatever works for you is what works. Lately though, Apple's greed is showing and it's very well apparent in what they did to the 21.5" iMac :(. Do I regret cancelling my previous gen 21.5" with the dGPU? I kind of do, but it's water under the bridge.
     
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    #12
    They are the best all in ones available, accross the range (21 & 27) you have the option to get just about any configuaration you could need for all but the most demanding use cases. To be honest with the choice of 8GB to 64GB and up to 3TB fusion drives or 1TB ssd's I can't see why anyone would need to upgrade the internals.

    If fiddling around inside a computer is your bag then apple don't make anything for you anymore it's as simple as that, you may not like this direction they have taken but they have taken it and all you can do is put it as an option to discard if buying what you need up front is not what you want to do.
     
  13. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #13
    I was really waiting for the new 21" but will pass on it for the same reasons as others. Just not worth the money for what you get. And I love the 21" size - still miss my 2011 (i7 and ssd - it was a beast).
     
  14. Amazing Ox Space Monkey macrumors member

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    #14
    I do think that the new iMac 4K is an excellent buy for a home computer. The only downside (not upgradeable at purchase time) is the iGPU but that's not a grad deal.

    If you are looking into playing games @4k you're looking at the wrong computer. I can't stress it enough, the HDD can be upgraded at purchase time to SSD and the home user is not expected to need more than 8GB of ram. Heck, even the MacBookPro 13", which hits the same price point as the 4K iMac, has 8GB of RAM.

    Unfortunately, I get the impression that almost every one on here is a graphic designer/film editor/power hungry users and they are so vocal with their complaints that the 21" does not fulfil their requirements. You're simply looking at the wrong tool,guys. Thruth be said, the 21 can be loaded with the same upgrades as the 27" so the only thing you'll be missing is the dGPU. Heh, and a little processor speed.

    Having said all that, I am not going to buy the 21.5" 4K because of its high price and lack of SSD in the stock configuration (mind you, the 27" has not stock SSD, either!)
     
  15. Vegard7 macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I'd really prefer not to buy another iMac until it can also be used as an external monitor when the CPU finally bites the dust (or is obsolete). What a waste. Right now I'm looking at getting the midrange mini with the 256 GB SSD and a Dell 24" Ultrasharp with the 16:10 screen ratio. It'll save me a little money right now and a whole lot more money when it comes time to get a faster computer.

    To answer the OP's question: No. By the time you upgrade the drive you've already sunk enough money into the thing that you really should upgrade the memory as well to increase its longevity. Unfortunately, the old adage is still true that you're better off to get a new, lower-end computer more often.

    If you want an SSD and 16 GB of RAM (not to mention an i7), ironically your best bet is to buy the stock low-end 15" MBP when it goes on sale at Best Buy or elsewhere.
     
  16. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #16
    The cost is the issue. That ssd brings you to $1700, and although I agree that the 8 gb RAM is fine for the home user for now, I'd want to buy this to last at least 3-4 years I'm sure I'd want more ram than 8 gb in that time. And since it's soldered, now we're talking $1900 before tax, and for all that you're STILL tethered to that dog of an iGPU.

    It's not a bad machine, but it gets very pricy just to have what I'd consider a baseline configuration.
     
  17. ucfgrad93, Oct 21, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015

    ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #17
    I think DetroitBorg made some good points in his review. Once you upgrade the hard drive and the RAM, it is priced very close to the 5K 27" iMac.

     
  18. Jetcat3 macrumors 6502

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    May 3, 2015
    #18
    I got the chance to look at and play with one today and I really think it's a sweet machine. With an upgraded 256 GB flash or 2 TB fusion drive this would be a very nice all-in-one computer. The display is so dang nice!
     
  19. iceman42 macrumors regular

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #19
    they will have no problems running diablo 3 or starcraft 2.i play diablo 3 on my max out 2014 mac mini high end and i have no problems playing it on high setting
     
  20. magbarn macrumors 68000

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #20
    The problem is that once it's decently outfitted with a quad core CPU and enough ram as it's un-upgradable you might as well gotten a 5K iMac. What Apple did to the 21 iMac is all too similar to what they did when they knee-capped the Mac Mini with no dGPU option, no quad core and soldered memory. I guess when I'm old and gray I'll look back at this time of computing like the audiophiles look longingly at old vacuum tube radios!
     
  21. iceman42 macrumors regular

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #21
    i was just pointing out that he will have no problem running diablo 3 on a igpu iMac.if a mac mini can handle diablo 3 i think a iMac can
     
  22. clovehitch macrumors member

    clovehitch

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    Apr 19, 2015
    #22
    My last desktop computer was canned long ago--a Motorola aluminum tower w/ 23" Cinema display.

    Ordered the 21.5"r as opposed to the 27"r specifically for screen size. Coming from a 13" MBPr, the increased screen real estate will be a substantial upgrade. My desk at home faces an 18' corner window that starts 31" from the floor, and I can't at this time let anything intrude upon my view or take away from the sense of openness.

    I'd originally ordered 8GB RAM due to the lackluster specs, but then canceled and re-ordered with 16GB, in case I keep it more then 2 yr. That pushed delivery back 2 days, d*a*m*n. I'm guessing when its time to upgrade this 21.5"r, a larger screen will be in the cards. I'll be ready *then*, because that's the way these things work. ;)

    Its sad they've pidgeoned-holed the 21.5 iMac as a consumer/family computer, but oh well...
     
  23. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    #23
    2011 21.5" iMac is probably the best version of that size ever. I couldn't imagine downgrading to a later year model of the same screen size.
     
  24. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    #24
    The base model with a 5.4k laptop drive is junk. Apple is taking the Michael.
     
  25. Lankyman thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Absolutely correct, me neither. Clovehitch refers to the new model as a family/consumer PC - who for the Clampett's? First the gorgeous little Mac Mini and now the smaller iMac. Total control goes to Apple and with it another nice little earner whilst the consumer gets shafted.

    No more upgrades please Apple there's precious little left to dream about as it is.
     

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