Buy 21.5 or 27 inch new to iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lollylegs, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. lollylegs macrumors newbie


    May 22, 2015
    My very first Apple computer just a bit concerned about buying the wrong one
    Will mainly be putting holiday photos and videos together onto disks
    This is what I'm looking at
    21.5 inch retina 4K display
    3.3ghz quad core i7
    16gb 1867mhz lpddr3
    2tb fusion drive
    Intel iris pro graphics 6200
    Apple usb super drive
    Not sure about mouse and key board will try out at store

    Apple care ? Is it worth it
    Final Cut Pro x ? Will that be ok for my photos and vids or is something better out there
    That will come to about $4300 here in Australia
    Cheers for any help
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Ouch, that's a lot, you Aussies are getting hammered at the moment.

    That sounds perfect for your use, go for it.

    To be honest you may want to try out photos and iMovie that are included on all macs free first, they are simple to use and fairly good for basic home photo and video editing you can always get other software if they don't work out for you.

    Remember you will need an external optical disc drive to burn to disc as the iMac does not have one.
  3. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2006
    A couple of things, first at least in American Dollars, you are $100 off the top end stock 27" iMac 5K Retina. The 27 inch 5K is definitely worth the investment and as a bonus, you can upgrade the RAM in it yourself for much less than Apple charges unlike the 21 inch 4K iMac. Yes it has an i5 processor but you also have 2 GB of dedicated Video RAM which for your video stuff, I think would be better. My recommendation would be to get the 27 inch 5K iMac, you won't regret it I promise you. The screen will seem big at first, but you will grow to love it.

    I purchase Apple Care on every machine I buy, for $169 (again American), you get three years of peace of mind. I have used Apple Care in the past and while it hasn't always paid for itself, there have been several times where it has. One repair pays for it and then some. I use photos and imovie to edit my photos and videos and that is enough for me. I will let others speak to that. Hope this helps.
  4. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    I would get the 27". I've held off on an iMac because I prefer the size of the 21.5" but as long as it ships with an Iris Pro 6200, it doesn't make sense to spend that much on a desktop, at least in my opinion.
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Why is that an issue for the OP??

    Nothing in their use case requires better specs, hell just about any computer made in the last 5 years could do what they intend to use the computer for the IRIS pro 6200 graphics are the equivalent of a 750m for photo and video editing, no sign of gaming. That computer is perfect for them.

    Of course once you spec out the 21 inch it starts to make sense to get a 27 inch if you would prefer the bigger screen but once you add 2TB fusion stick in some more RAM etc then you have an even more expensive machine which they just don't need.
  6. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    I'm just sharing my opinion on spending a significant amount of money on a desktop. Part of buying is making sure the machine can do what you want it to, and also important is that there is value. To me there is more value in the 27". But of course for the OP, the 21.5" will get the job done.
  7. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    IMHO, third party drives are better, but then I like trays rather than slot loading.

    Certainly personal preference.

    It is insurance. If you can afford any repair that might be needed, then it is not worth it. Most failures will occur either when new (and within the standard 1 year warranty) or after the 3 year period is up.

    As others have suggested, check out Photos and iMovie which come with the Mac. FCPX is a video editor and won't do a thing for photos (other than make movies from them). It's much more complex as well as much more powerful than iMovie but the cost of the software and the extra time to learn it really makes it unattractive for home use. For photos, if you want more capability than Photos offers, consider Pixelmator or Adobe Photoshop Elements. Note also that neither Photos or FCPX will create standard video DVDs. You will need to buy software if you need to do that (I don't so have no recommendations).
  8. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I have bought many computers in my life. My first was a Compaq Portable with dual floppy drives, 256 MB of RAM, and a nine-inch integral monochrome screen. It cost about what the 27" iMac 5K now costs, not taking inflation into account.

    In those 30 years, I have regretted buying low-end kit. I have never regretted buying the Big Kahuna.
  9. jaduff46 macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2010
    Second star on the right....
    IMO I'd go with the 27". I have a 2010 27" iMac which has served me well, even without Retina, and the screen real estate is really nice to have. The kids all have Retina MBPs of various sizes and the photo display on them is wonderful even with the smaller screens.

    AppleCare is useful insurance to have and not that expensive. And I'd also try the Photos and iMovie apps to see if they meet your needs with the larger screen. Up the memory to 16GB with third party, which is less expensive.

    It's an investment, to be sure, but one that will last for at least 5 years as mine has.

    Best of luck,
  10. Strider64 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2015
    Suburb of Detroit
    I don't think the OP will go wrong with the 21", but the 27" is sweet. I own a 27" iMac 5K (late 2014) and just love the screen real estate on it. I even have a 13" Cintiq attached to the iMac that I mainly use as a second monitor which is nice (I don't mirror, but use it as an extension of it), but comes in handy when I'm using Photoshop or an app utilizes the pen. However, I would say 90 percent of the time I'm looking at the 27".
  11. lollylegs thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 22, 2015
    --- Post Merged, Feb 19, 2016 ---
    Yes ouch the dollar is a killer for us.
    We took the plunge today and got the 6s iphone and the imac 21.5 . The sales person was very good and suggested as you did was to go with the basic photo and video editing for now.
    Will pick up at store in Adelaide next week and they will help me setup the imac
    cheers for your help
    excited now
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I like the idea of the 27" given that you get the most current chipset, a dGPU, large screen. You're plunking down a lot of money and I think the 27" gives you the best bang for your buck
  13. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2006
    Congrats and good luck with your purchases.
  14. LaCosta macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2011

    Three years total. First year is already included as the basic you are buying years two and three with AppleCare.

    What I selected to do is purchase it on my American Express credit card....and I get one additional year after the basic warranty. I have a total of two years of warranty by making my purchase on the credit card.

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