Early 2009 iMac - Upgrade to 2011 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by icemantx, May 9, 2011.

  1. icemantx macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    Back in early 2009 I purchased a 24" iMac with a Core 2 Duo 2.93 GHz, Nvidia GeForce GT120, 4 GB RAM and 1 TB HDD.

    Over the last couple of years, I have enjoyed the iMac quite a bit and have not had any issues. I use my iMac a lot for photo editing (iPhoto and Aperture 3) and some video editing (iMovie) primarily and have about 200GB left of free space. My question is whether or not the upgrade to an i5 iMac 27" would be worth the extra 800-1000 I would need to spend after selling my old one.

    Is the speed difference on day to day tasks really noticeable? I do not doubt the new iMacs are great machines, but I do wonder if I am far enough into new generations to really see a difference with the compared to my model or not.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
  2. aniketroxx macrumors member


    Feb 10, 2011
    New Sandy bridge i5 and i7 are faster but i think you should upgrade to 27'' imac . Screen will be bigger and have better graphics card .
  3. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    That's hard to answer. I had a late 2009 model and just upgraded to the 21.5" upper end version. It's definitely faster but I probably could have gone another generation. On the other hand, every day tasks are a bit snappier and video editing in iMovie is also quicker.

    I would say if you have the money and it doesn't take too much of a bite out of your budget, go for it because its likely this machine will last you quite a few years before the next upgrade.
  4. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Unless you use your machine for income, and time is money (every second counts), I doubt you are going to be so blown away that you will fell you got your $ worth. After 2 years you've still got a great machine.
  5. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    I think any of the new iMac's would be a good upgrade, especially in the graphics department. The difference in day to day performance between the i5 iMac's is pretty minimal.

    Since all model's include Thunderbolt, a large external display and SSD can easily be added later.
  6. icemantx thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    Thanks for the feedback and advice. I have one other question about upgrading - which size iMac? Looks like the 21.5" is roughly the same resolution, all be it a bit wider and shorter. The 27" is about the same physical height, but a higher resolution and wider also.

    The only issue I have with the 27" is whether or not it is just too big and if the resolution makes viewing words and web pages too small.

    Any thoughts on which size if upgrading from the 24"?
  7. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    I compared two of the same webpages on a 21.5" iMac and a 27" iMac sitting right next to it at the Apple Store. By looking at the same picture and using a ruler, the 27" model displays the picture about 10% smaller than the 21.5" model. So even though they increased the resolution due to the extra real estate, the actual viewing is roughly similar. Your eyes play tricks on you with the 27" model because everything looks smaller due to the wide open area (especially when sitting next to the 21.5" model) but in reality, they display images roughly the same.

    I used to think the 27" iMac was too big but it is a great size. And a great experience when viewing 2 webpages side by side at full screen.
  8. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2009
    I might be of help with this one

    I have a early 2009 24" and recently purchased a 2011 21.5" i5. Transferred all my stuff over and used it for a few days. The only area where I noticed a difference was the magic mouse, led screen, sd slot and it encoded a video much faster - but my 24" is no slouch at those and I don't encode too often.

    The thing is the screen felt tiny compared to the 24". Physically and pixel wise. I found myself missing the extra 100 or so pixels.

    So I ended up ordering a 27" late 2009 model for $1100 shipped out of the refurb store. I got all the advantages i wanted out of the 2011- but got a bigger screen for cheaper.
  9. stigzy macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2008
    I kinda stood in the same situation as you. It ended with selling my early 2009 24" iMac, and now I'm waiting for my 27" iMac :D And do i regret it? Nah :)

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