Final Choice, Eyesight, etc....

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SD-B, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. SD-B macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    Narrowed it down FINALLY.

    Yesterday I was bent on the r27" BUT not sure if its overkill for my needs.

    I work on my computer at home so am at it most of the day. I have to answer emails all the time so even after hours, I am often at it and you know how that goes, you then go off and read the news, which leads you to more pages and 3 more hours pass.

    Im middle aged now and need glasses for up close reading, but have perfect sight for distance.

    Finding that my eyes are forever getting blurry. Have to keep rubbing them to make them work, by nighttime.
    Yes, the smart thing would be to get up and away from the computer but i always forget and get so engrossed in news :p

    So I do NOT do videos, Photoshop. I am mainly a lot of email, browsing more than anything else, hence, the Retina almost seems a waste on me.
    Went to Apple yesterday and even the sales person had to dig up a special file on the r27" to show me the quality of video its meant for, suggesting that most stuff isn't even yet filmed in that quality, suggesting that its still a bit early for it unless someone works with video, photoshop etc.

    My ONLY thought now about r27" is whether this will prevent the blurry eyes and make it easier to focus once i have been at the computer for a long time already.

    I presently use a 13" MBP--perhaps just having a 27" screen will make the difference?
    On the other hand, the $2,749 basic r27" is as much and more than I really wanted/could afford to spend. IF i can spend less OR get more for my money, I have to consider it.

    Below, listed, 3 options. Looking for help making the final choice.....

    1) basic r27" iMac No add ons, will worry about upgrading Ram later.

    2) 27" Non Retina $2,199.00
    3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz

    BUT will upgrading $200 to (below) buy me more years as it as a main computer? Do i need to do this?
    3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz

    Upgrade to 1TB Fusion drive ( add another $200)

    Comes with 8Gig Ram which should be fine for now. I can upload in a years time or when I need it, saving money now?

    (instead of 1TB Fusion, Do I add just another $100 for 512 SSD?)

    3) Refurbished 27" Sept 2013 (not thrilled with it being a 15 months old)

    Refurbished 27-inch iMac 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    Originally released September 2013
    27-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1440 resolution
    16GB memory
    512GB flash storage
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory
    Built-in FaceTime HD camera


    This has been a 2-3 week process to get here. But these are the final 3 choices as I would like to just order it today.......

    Suggestions about any of the above 3?
    Please don't suggest any other one, not listed here as i don't need any more choices thrown at me :)


    Seeing it now in the list IF I am seeing it correctly, and trust me, I am at the point of doubting all I see............even if i upgrade to SSD 512 for an extra $100 above the $200 I have already included to upgrade to the 1TB Fusion.............and then looking at the Refurbished one.........i think i see roughly the same specs for roughly the same price, which would mean that it might be pointless for me to buy refurb and just get brand new.

    That is IF i am seeing it all properly...........
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    With that use case the 21.5 inch is overkill.

    For what you do 4gb of ram seems enough unless you have a lot of safari tabs open, I woudln't worry about RAM if you have 8gb at all. As for processors any of the quad cores are again overkill for your needs, you certainly don't need the hyperthreading on the i7. A fusion drive or ssd is a must but if you have a 256gb ssd for your apps then external USB storage for files is certainly the cheap and easy option.

    To be honest a 21.5 inch mid model is easily enough to do what you want for many years to come and will cost you a lot less money. Just add an ssd or fusion drive upgrade and you'll be good to go.

    Yes that retina screen will make, text especially, a lot easier on the eyes, is it worth the money?? Maybe so to you.
  3. SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    I wasn't asking about 4 gigs. In fact, I have only asked about the 27" iMac that comes with a minimum of 8 gigs.
    But I understand your point and in my case, I usually have about 8 tabs open at any one given time and 2 browsers often going as well.

    4 gigs is not enough for running the 2 browsers that i need to run all the time, usually with about 12 windows open at once between them plus the 15 email addresses I run through 2 email software programs.
    So 4 gigs is not enough for me

    Would that mostly be filmmakers, etc that need the i7?
    So investing that $200 to upgrade from the i5, would that not guarantee that my purchase would be good for an extra year os so due to that upgrade, or not?
    ( if I can save $200 if i don't need that, id prefer to, I am not wealthy )

    I prefer the 27" size but will keep that in mind but not all 27" mac users must be video editors :)

    I mentioned I was going to do so-that was already a given.

    IF i AM GOING to save $200 by not moving up to the i7 than I may be better off purchasing the 256SSD rather than the 1TB Fusion.
    Curious if that wold be a good upgrade or not..

    i shall assume form that comment you don't think it is

    thanks for your input :)

    No where closer to deciding which of the 3 I listed I will pick
  4. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I strongly recommend getting a pair of "computer glasses". These are intended for focus correctly at computer viewing distance rather than reading distance, which is closer (stronger in your case). Have an optometrist check your eyes and calculate the correct prescription.

    That said, for your use you really don't need the retina display. The 27" screen at a reasonable viewing distance is almost retina resolution. Put the money saved into proper eyewear for your retinas!
  5. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2011
    Lucky Country
    I am well past "middle age" and strongly agree with talmy - computer glasses and a standard 21" will serve you well.
  6. SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009

    Where did he say standard 21"?

    Am I missing something?
    I keep speaking of a 27" yet 2 people now have suggested i go for 21".

    Why the push against my having a 27"
    A non-retina I understand but why should i drop to a 21.5" from a 27"?

    Last but not least, Computer Glasses?
    There really is such an optical device?

    /goes off to look up "computer glasses since i have never heard of them before

    Thanks Talmy + Old Codger---but again, I ask, WHY the push to a 21" when I want a 27"?
    Or is that just an error on 2 peoples behalf?
  7. Hungry&Foolish Suspended

    Mar 29, 2012
    Fonts on 27 are really small,you'll be squinting. 21.5 fonts are great for old eyes like mine.
    That said buying a retina 27 very soon coz my wife wants it, I'll rarely use it.
    Side note,anything talmy suggests,his advice is always sincere and genuine.
  8. SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    Fortunately for me, Talmy didn't suggest a 21.5" screen :p

    As for computer glasses, since he mentioned it I went to look but I will have to read more about them.
    I am in Toronto and doing a search on them here only brings up 2 stores for them over are Walmart and another one, very similar store ( can't remember its name right now) but low quality stores id never go into so i tend to doubt their eyeglasses woudh so I will have to look into it tomorrow..

    thanks again :)
  9. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012
    Computer glasses

    Computer glasses are my husbands solution. We measured the distance from his face to the screen for the eye doc. She refracted based on that distance. He is pleased with the result.
  10. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2011
    Lucky Country
    As Hungry&Foolish noted, the resolution on a 21" is better suited for old eyes, and, as SusanK noted, computer glasses are prescription glasses, focused at ideal viewing distance for computer work.

    As for the 21" v 27", your posted work-load does not require the power of a 27" - unless you want the screen size for many windows to be open at once.

    As an aside, my solution was to get two Dell 22" matte screens for my Mini, with a resolution of 1680 x 1050, and I find them perfect for all-day work.
  11. cruisin macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2014
    • Display size (21.5"): 18.74" × 10.54" = 197.52in² (47.6cm × 26.77cm = 1274.32cm²) at 102.46 PPI, 0.2479mm dot pitch, 10498 PPI²
    • Display size (27"): 23.53" × 13.24" = 311.5in² (59.77cm × 33.62cm = 2009.68cm²) at 108.79 PPI, 0.2335mm dot pitch, 11834 PPI²

    Using the site, the 27" has the same sharpness as the 21.5" if it was squished to 20.25", just has more screen overall. The change is barely noticeable across the whole screen, and you can always scale everything up and run the 21.5" screen resolution on the 27". Unless you really need the space, running a big version of the 21.5" might be better. If possible, go to the store and try out the scaled up screen sizes on the 27". You might be able to skip the new glasses part.

    As an aside, some people notice less eye strain using an app called f.lux. It adjusts the screen to use softer colours once the sun goes down.

    The regular 27" screen is quite good. The retina screen is an improvement, but not a drastic one. It just makes everything that much sharper. It is best for text (lots of precise shapes and detail) and anything high resolution. I actually find it makes web browsing slightly worse, as all the low quality pictures are obvious. I prefer it, your results may vary.

    Like Samuelsan said, the i7 would not benefit browsing and email. The 4 GB is reasonable for your usage, but 8 GB isn't that much more (relatively). For a time I used a computer with 3 GB fairly heavily and it surprisingly wasn't bad. Luckily the 27" allows easy RAM upgrades, so you can do it yourself later.

    I personally prefer SSDs as I dislike waiting for the computer to catch up when switching between apps (side benefit: no more defragmentation needed). If you can afford the SSD, it is a much better upgrade than the i7.
  12. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Lots of posts since mine here. Yes, I recommend the 27". I've got one. I'm 65.

    I did say see an optometrist. Tell them you want glasses for computer use. It also helps if you know the distance from your eye to the screen in your setup. Get prescription lenses. Even though you think your eyesight is normal (except for the presbyopia) you might have astigmatism as well and that could be causing your eye fatigue. You might also need different strengths for each eye. In any case an exact prescription will be much easier on your eyes than something off the rack.
  13. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012
    computer glasses

    The glasses are basically a midpoint refraction.

    If you have a specific place to work it helps to measure the distance so the doctor doing the refraction can get is as accurate as possible.

    If your wear specs please remember to change back to the real specs before getting up from your chair. The floor is not where it seems to be with the computer glasses.
  14. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    So you looked at the retina Imac in the Apple store, right?

    You should have your answer, then. Nevermind the other stuff -- if what you spend time looking at every day looks better on the retina screen, then buy it.

    I recently spent 3 weeks traveling with my retina Macbook Pro, which I had never used for any serious work, including writing. For that, I used to use a Dell U2711 monitor. After 3 weeks with the retina I couldn't stand the Dell and I've ordered a retina iMac almost entirely because of the screen, which suits me perfectly. I did so even though I don't really like all-in-one computers, and I don't like the fact that the iMac isn't very adjustable.

    The screen was, for me, the highest priority and trumped all my objections. This is why I say to you that if your eyes love the retina screen, get the retina iMac. Don't worry about anything else.

    As for "computer glasses," other posters have explained. I have a pair also. They are nothing more than what it takes for sharp focus at the distance you usually work at. In my case, I told the optometrist to set me up for 22" and she did, and that was that. I don't always use them, but when the retina iMac arrives I'll have to, because it won't be height-adjustable. I like my monitor low, and that means that my blended glasses are just about right for a monitor that I look slightly down at. The iMac won't go low, so I expect I'll get a neckache if I use my regular glasses.

    Seriously. Only you know whether that screen is the right one for you. Go back to the store and pretend you're doing some work, and see how it feels.
  15. SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    I understood that of course, about seeing an optometrist. Of course I would do so and will but not ever having heard of them before this, I did a google search and in Toronto THE ONLY mention of them came up with Walmart and another store whose name I can't recall now but is of the same ilk as Walmart.

    I would have expected one of the bigger optometrists here to at least have had some sort of ad for such a search.
    Maybe its something that has not caught on here for I have a ton of friends my age who are artists and all use Macs for video editing, music production, and so on and funnily enough not one of them has ever mentioned these glasses to me.

    In any event, I thank you for your advice and will be looking into it but i am just very surprised by the lack of tags for it in any Toronto store.......that was all.

    Admittedly since first reading your post and others, I have read up on what tires your eyes, where the computer should be in relation to your eyes and so on and it seems i have been doing one of the worst things to irritate them.
    I have a lamp that sites beside my MBP but back further and that light is very bright. Brighter than the screen. Much more so in fact and i realize now this is a huge no-no..

    I have since read that the brightest light should be the screen on its own.
    I have since turned off that light to see how my eyes will do on their own and the first day the difference was quite noticeable but i haven't been here the past day + to test it out a full night.

    I have 3 pairs of prescription glasses I paid good money for and they are my main ones.
    I then have about ½ dozen cheap Dollar Store ones that i have just thrown around my home so no matter what room I am in, if I don't have the good ones with me, I can use the cheap ones to quickly get whatever task is needed.
    So yes, of course, I would only consider prescription for such a pair that you have mentioned.

    Did i mention aging sucks? ;)

    Good Point. Thank you. I have saved this thread in a folder with some other very useful info to remember pertaining Apple information I wish to refer back to more than once. Thanks again!

    Actually I wasn't won over in the store.
    I really couldn't see much difference.
    The sales person even said to me he thought it was too soon for these unless, as we all have heard, one does video editing, music production etc.
    He had to dig up a commercial they had saved that had been shot in the correct format in order to truly see the difference.
    He mentioned that it would be some time before the internet would catch up with the quality needed for browsers, etc.
    Needless to say, I was a bit surprised he was saying it especially as he was prepared to lose a potential on the spot sale, for me to go back home and decide if I really needed Retina.

    In any event, I believe I have finally made my choice and I think now is the best time to say thank you to everyone and to not dare to ask any more questions for the more people chime in, the more options thrown up in the air, the harder it is to make a choice and just get on with it. Its too easy to sit on the forum, ask questions and never push the actual BUY button.

    Thanks, all of you, again! :)
  16. SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    1/2 last questions as I am ordering tomorrow morning....

    IS the 1 TB Fusion drive more than adequate OR is the SSD really all that much better?

    I could only afford a 256 SSD IF i go with the 27" non retina

    But if i did go with the retina 27" I really couldn't afford any more than the base model which comes with 1 TB Fusion.

    Would that be ok or not?
    IF it truly made that much difference, and people thought the Fusion wasn't t hat great, that could be a defining reason to go non retina and go with the 27" and upgrade to 256 ( I can't afford the 512 right now)

    I have had 1 or 2 on this thread suggest that the 21" is all I need for my limited needs, I think it has been described as, BUT DOESNT anyone just oder the 27" over the 21" simply because they like a larger screen and it looks great?? :confused:

    Leaning definitely towards 27" anyhow but just thrown by a few that said for my needs 21" would be fine......hence, my question!!

    Leaning towards 27" non retina although Its really painful not to buy the top of the line even though i have been told not to, my needs aren't great enough but i keep feeling i could be missing something LOL

    but.......i have listened to all of you and when i likely don't buy the retina, i will be happy once i see the new one i order

  17. macpluslaptop macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    I have computer specs and highly recommend them. As others have mentioned, you get a specific prescription from an optometrist (mine just gives me 2, one for my regular glasses and the second for the computer). They don't advertise it because it's just another prescription option. And getting a prescription tailored to your own eyes (with distanced from screen factored in) will be so much better than anything off the rack.:cool:
  18. SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009

    Thanks. I plan on doing so. Unfortunately, after zillions of questions on which iMac to purchase I KNOW everyone was right when they said, go non retina, because i didn't need it, and so on BUT i found it on sale for $250 off of the 27" r iMac so I ended up going that way instead.
    On top of that i had a pretty new PC laptop I had used maybe 3x in a year when it was brand new and I sold it for a quick $325 which i hadn't expected to do so that $575 allowed me to rationalize doing it.

    Just waiting for it to arrive at which point i will then measure it, etc and get the specs.

    Thanks again, everyone...


    your explanation for why it isn't advertised makes perfect sense now I look at it that way...

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