Full 21.5" iMac vs okay iMac 27"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Wanted797, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. Wanted797 macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2011
    I'm looking at buying a new iMac and am really torn between what specs to go for. Prior to thinking about it I had a 27" in mind but now I have actually considered that 21.5"

    I'm from Australia so I get slugged with big Apple prices I am however in my last semester of University and will get a education discount. My budget is at a max of about $2800.

    I was looking at the 27" with upgrade on the Processor and Fusion Drive.
    3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5

    This puts the price at my max of A$ 2,769.00

    I would very much like to go all out on the 27" but what occurred to me as a cheaper option would be go with the 21.5".

    Which would have:
    3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM -2X8GB
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 1GB GDDR5
    This could cost A$ 2,389.00 (This is with everything, processor, RAM and Fusion Drive upgraded.)

    I am really unsure what is the best option. I will use it for video editing and I rarely game making me think the graphics card isn't vitally important, but I'm not sure how good each one is for gaming should I want to.

    What adds to the dilemma is the current shipping times. The later option 21.5" model is currently showing 2-3 weeks while the 27" is 5-7 days. Hadn't this been the case I probably would have ordered the 21.5" model already.

    Part of me thinks if I'm going to get the 27" I should bight the bullet and fork out $400 and have it future proof plus I'll get it sooner but at the same time I don't want to spend more than I need to.

    The 21.5" may suit my needs fine and then I'm a few dollars richer, further down the track if I need more power I can upgrade then, when funds allow. Should I bite the bullet and just be patient.

    Also I have a 2nd screen I will be connecting up that is a 21.5"

    Any help please? :confused:
  2. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    It depends on you and your needs!

    I would choose the "full BTO" of 21.5'' iMac. This is enough for my needs and my pocket!

    Besides, I would ADD Apple Care protection Plan.

    PS: Please, read threads with all the problems appeared to 27'' 2012 iMac monitors. LG IPS monitors are generally fine but APPLE QC in China doesn't discard "many" defective products...so, be careful!
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Actually, depending on which video editing program you use, the video card will noticeably affect performance.

    My suggestion is to get the 27" And when you have a little more money add in Crucial or other reputable memory to bring your iMac to 16GB or 24GB of memory. In the long run, I think you will save money by getting the 27" by being able to use it for another year or 2 over the 21.5".
  4. bluescale macrumors member

    Sep 27, 2013
    I agree with Bear. I used pretty much the same calculus when deciding which system to order for myself (I went with the 27").

    Out of curiosity, do you use software that utilizes hyperthreading? If not save yourself $200, and go with the 3.4 GHz i5. In the long run, you'll find limiting factors to be RAM and GPU. the 27" give you a better GPU and user upgradable RAM. I doubt you'll even notice the difference between the i5 and the i7, but it's possible depending on what you're using for video editing.
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    They said they were doing video work, which in most cases will make use of an i7.
  6. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    FinalCutPro X makes use of hyper threading. I'm not sure about use of the GPU, but I believe Adobe Premiere is supposed to use that. The hard drive in the 27" is faster. The extra pixels on the display will be welcome with any video editor. All that said, the 27" with the i7 is certainly the way to go. 8GB RAM will be fine, plus with the 27"model you can add more in the future.
  7. Wanted797 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2011
    Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I ended up deciding on the 21.5" model I mentioned (decided before you posted)

    The argument I had in my head was that with the 21.5" I would win either way. With the 21.5" Should it meet my needs then great I didn't spend more than I needed to. If my editing needs expand further on down the track then I'll be working and able to go for a max spec 27" or even Mac Pro option.

    With the 27" model I would of had to spend extra money now while I am still a student for power I may not end up needing. I would of had a half specced 27" and if I needed to upgrade that I would of been annoyed I hadn't just done so to begin with.

    By getting the 21.5" model I know I am getting the best specs I could in the one I have and it may be all I need or I get to get the best 27" or Mac Pro.

    I currently use FCP7 for editing, I have used FCPX but it drives me crazy, and it would be Premiere Pro that uses the NVIDIA CUDA cores for real time rendering.

    Again thanks for the suggestions! :)
    I'm sure I'll eventually end up with a 27" iMac or Mac Pro ;)

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