Best options for new 21.5 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Wonderinwhat, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Wonderinwhat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #1
    Hello everyone,
    This is my first post to the forums here. I am looking to buy the new iMac 2012 21.5", this will be my first Mac computer but I have had an iPhone for a few years and also have an iPad so I am ready to make the switch to a Mac desktop. Since I am fairly new to Mac I have been looking at the base 21" but recently I have given some thought to possibly getting the higher end 21" but I'm not sure if I should upgrade some of the components or just one?

    The main purpose for this computer will be for my return to school doing online courses, I also plan to have it for a while as I am upgrading from my 2004 gateway desktop. I'm interested in making some movies from time to time and I also have a lot of pictures so I'm interested in software such as photoshop, along with Microsoft office for school. I'm not entirely sure what else I'll be doing on the new computer but I'd like to have options available if I decide I want to run windows on it as well.

    My current computer has become so slow its very irritating and I'd like to prevent that as much as possible which is another reason I'm making the switch. I'm wondering if I should upgrade the processor to the i7, or if the 2.9ghz i5 would be sufficient, if I should upgrade the ram to 16gb or if the 8gb would be ok, and finally if I should upgrade the hard drive to the fusion drive??

    Overall I'd love to be able to do it all but the wifey might not like that hefty price tag, if I had to choose to upgrade one component I'm thinking the fusion drive would be best but I really don't know which is why I'm here to ask!

    All help is greatly appreciated and please ask for more info if necessary!
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #2
    If you're choosing one, I'd recommend upgrading the ram to 16gb. You'll likely see the biggest improvement there.
     
  3. aubergine, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  4. Wonderinwhat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 6, 2012
    #4
    I do plan on using the educational discount.
    I don't really plan on playing games on it but if anything I'd say something like roller coaster tycoon or the sims, nothing too crazy
     
  5. aubergine, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  6. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #6
    For the tasks he's listed, the Fusion drive will not do him one bit of good.

    You may want to hold off on making recommendations given you were asking the same questions just two days ago. ;)
     
  7. tuccillo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #7

    If you are looking for a basic computer, buy a refurbed 2011 base 21.5" for $979 off the Apple website. You can upgrade the memory yourself if you need to - very easy - you can take it to 12 GBs for $36. Save yourself a bunch of money, make your wife happy.
     
  8. Wonderinwhat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 6, 2012
    #8
    Based on your suggestion of upgrading the ram, should I go with the 2.7ghz or the 2.9ghz?

    ----------

    I'm not saying I'm stuck on one option but I'm wondering if its worth it for me to upgrade every thing, some thing's or nothing at all
     
  9. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #9
    If you've got the cash (or the permission :p), of course, upgrade everything you can. However, I think, from what you've described, you'll get the most bang for your buck if you double the ram to 16gb. After that I'd recommend the Fusion drive. Finally, after those two, I'd recommend the processor upgrade.

    You won't really notice any difference, day to day, with the processor upgrade.

    However, given how nonuser upgradable the new iMacs are, it's worth it, IMO, to max it out/ invest as much as you can afford in upgrades.

    That's why I hate the new iMacs, nothing is user upgradable. I've got a Mid 2011 iMac and I plan on making this one last for awhile. I've already upgraded the ram. The next upgrade will probably be the SSD behind the Superdrive for the OS and my most-used applications.
     
  10. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #10
    The 27" ones are a bit better in that regard. If the display comes off as one piece rather than front glass then panel like the old ones, it should be easier to upgrade a drive. When the 27" models hit we'll see if that is actually true. If someone is considering a 21.5" with a lot of upgrades, a refurbished 27" with diy upgrades would probably be a better buy for comparable cost. Of course that probably won't be an option until at least March.
     
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #11
    Slippery situation you have here. The 21" iMac is a good computer for typical day to day items and homework. For movies, it is rather limited due to memory being maxed at 16 gigs. The 27" from this year or even last year would be far more adaptable for your needs. You can get 32 gigs of RAM, exploit (like the 21") external drives etc. I base this on your mention of movie making. If this was not in the equation - the 21" (best you can afford option) would do fine as long as you get it with 16 gigs of RAM first and foremost. Drives can be added externally later.
     
  12. Wonderinwhat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 6, 2012
    #12
    The only reason I mentioned movies is because we have helmet cameras that we like to use the footage to make short home videos. I have only made one before and it was on an older (2005?) pc so I figured I could use the iMac to make short recreational videos as well, it's not a main focus.
     
  13. 184550 Guest

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    May 8, 2008
    #13
    I assumed that we were talking solely about the new 21.5 given the thread title and the OPs stated preferences. ;)
     
  14. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #14
    Yeah I just like the refurbished 27" + diy upgrades idea better at that price. It's too bad you can't do such a thing today.
     

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