Price Advice Full Spec 21,5 VS Base Model 27

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Guillaume.F, Sep 23, 2017.


Which one would you recommend?

Poll closed Sep 30, 2017.
  1. Imac 21,5 4K I7 3,6 GHZ, 16 Go DR4, 512 Flash, Radeon Pro 560

    0 vote(s)
  2. Imac 27 5K I5 3,4 GHZ, 16Go DDR4, 512 Flash, Radeon Pro 570

  1. Guillaume.F macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2017
    Hi everyone!
    This question has probably been asked before but I can't seem to be able to make a decision.

    To make a short story, I am saying goodbye to my old asus 15" laptop who is now old and outdated in terms of screen and specs.

    After thinking of going for another laptop, I have finally deciding to go Imac!

    The thing is that I can't decide if I should go 21,5 vs 27.

    I know some people might say it all depends on preferences, desk space, distance between you and the mac ( some people seems to find it too bif if they are too close, neck problem ) etc, but maybe one of you will make me decide.

    As for my usage, I am an amateur photographer who loves to edit on photoshop cc/ lightroom raw images and I am also starting to do a bit of video, probably going to edit 4K soon.

    Now moving to the real question.
    I've been sugested by people to upgrade quite a bit the specs of the 21,5 so if I would go down with that one, I would go for
    -Quad Core I7 3,6 GHZ
    16GO DDR4
    512Go Flash
    Radeon Pro 560 4GB

    Which in Quebec with the student discount would get me to $2595 +Tx

    Why I'm so confused, is that for not even 300$ more, I could get the bigger screen.

    However, that would be
    I5 3,4
    16Go DDR4
    512 Flash
    Radeon Pro 570 4G0
    $2799 + Tx

    Again there is a lot of other ways to customize them, but I kept in mind the 16Go DDR and the 512 SSD. I know I could get DDR cheaper on the 27 and upgrade it myself, so that might be an option too that would make me save 100$ maybe no more.

    However, let's say there is 200$ difference in total, should I be better going for the 21,5 with I7 and Radeon Pro 560, or would the 27 be worth it even if it is not I7 and the graphic card would be the base 570? Am I gonna see a big difference in term of specs?

    Again, I know I could get better like the Radeon Pro 575 or 580, and an I7, but then the price goes up quite a lot especially with the 15% taxes here...

    In store the 27" looks amazing and coming from a 15" that would be unreal, but I'm pretty sure the 21,5 would be a nice step as well if you recommend to go with the full spec porsche instead of the base ferrari.

    Let me know what you guys think and what would you do if you were me, or if I'm wrong and you would do something else :)

    Thanks a lot

  2. mpConroe macrumors regular


    Feb 14, 2017
    Arbroath (UK) / Wroclaw (PL)
    I would go with 27''. And you can easy add RAM in the future when you will have more money. I have bought 32GB from Corsair and add it myself to my iMac. It helps a lot with video rendering or even Safari browsing. I love this computer. The screen is just amazing, I couldn't live with a smaller one.
    Go with 27'', no hesitate!

    What I'm personally disappointed is my MBP 13'' - I should go with 15'', now I regret :( . But it was £500 difference. And I still love this laptop. It's so light and the screen is awesome.
  3. macs4nw macrumors 601


    I'm with mpConroe all the way. Once you're used to the 27", there's no going back to the 'puny' 21.5, especially for photo and video editing.

    My advice would be to custom order the 27" with 8GB base memory, with the best video card you can afford and upgrade the memory yourself later. If you're really tight budget-wise and it means a better graphics option, you might even go with 256GB* Flash Storage, rather than 512GB, and add a less expensive external later for storage.

    *Note that 256GB Flash is not available on the top config with the Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory.
    Best of Luck!
  4. Guillaume.F thread starter macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2017
    Thanks for the advice :) Yeah 13" seems a bit small, especially if you go from the 27, but at least it is ultra portable ;)
    for tje
    --- Post Merged, Sep 24, 2017 ---
    Thanks for the advice :) So you would rather get a better graphic card instead of a better CPU ?
  5. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Short answer, yes. Let me explain. For your intended usage, you will get more benefit from the better graphics, especially on that big 5K 27" screen, than you will from just the upgraded CPU. That 3.4GHz/i5 is plenty capable for your stated usage, especially combined with Flash Storage and your planned subsequent memory upgrade.

    In order of benefit for you, your money should go towards:
    1- Upgraded graphics
    2- Flash Storage
    3- At least 16GB of RAM (order 8GB, and install added memory later yourself)
    4- Upgraded processor

    Of course, if you think you are going to get heavily into 4K video editing, or are willing to spend a little more now for future-proofing, you might want to think about upgrading all 4 areas mentioned. This obviously all depends on your budget.... Hope this helps.
  6. Guillaume.F thread starter macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2017
    Helps a lot thanks again for everything !!!
  7. jaduff46 macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2010
    Second star on the right....
    27" is the way to go for your usage. Amateur photographer myself and the screen real estate is phenomenal, and my 2010 doesn't even have Retina.

    I tend to keep gear a long time, but when the time comes I will go with the i5 chip and all SSD setup.
  8. mpConroe macrumors regular


    Feb 14, 2017
    Arbroath (UK) / Wroclaw (PL)
    If I were you, I would go with 27'' with better graphics and self-updated RAM later, when you got the money.
    As for myself, I went with 27'' with the best graphics and 1TB storage with i7 processor. Then, I upgraded the RAM.

    I would advice one more thing... buy the best computer you can afford. It's an investment for at least 3 years. You will by working with it, having fun with it, learning with it... Computer is not a machine for consumption only, but also for work and creativity. That's why I think, that we should buy the best specification we can.


    BTW: take Apple Care if you can.

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7 September 23, 2017