Full Spec 21,5 VS Base Model 27

? Which one would you recommend?


  • Total voters
    18

Guillaume.F

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2017
8
2
Quebec
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To make a short story, I am saying goodbye to my old asus 15" laptop who is now old and outdated in terms of screen and specs.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

Cheers
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,062
335
I think you'd be happier with the 27". The i7 will be a bit snappier than the i5, but unless you are making income from the machine and time is money, I don't see that it would be enough faster to outweigh the larger screen. I'd buy with a base 8 Gb RAM and add 16 Gb yourself (2x8), another plus for the 27".

If you really can't decide, flip a coin and don't look back. You are absolutely not going to go wrong with either model.
 

Guillaume.F

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2017
8
2
Quebec
I think you'd be happier with the 27". The i7 will be a bit snappier than the i5, but unless you are making income from the machine and time is money, I don't see that it would be enough faster to outweigh the larger screen. I'd buy with a base 8 Gb RAM and add 16 Gb yourself (2x8), another plus for the 27".

If you really can't decide, flip a coin and don't look back. You are absolutely not going to go wrong with either model.
Thanks for the advice! If I were to go for the 27 and ignore the fact that 21 is I7, would you go for the base model (I5 3,4 Turbo 3,8 Radeon Pro 570) or pay 200$ more to get I5 3,5 Turbo 4,1 Radeon Pro 575?
Thanks a lot
 

AFEPPL

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2014
2,644
1,570
England
All depends on the space you have or it would to me.
They are both quad cores so for normal things i doubt you see anything between them.

Screen is better on 27 - 5K, but also means you need more GPU power to drive it
 
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kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,062
335
The CPU spec difference is pretty minimal, barely 8%. Unfortunately I don't know enough about the GPU side of things to comment on the 570 vs 575 (I don't do photos or video). I would keep the $200 in my pocket but maybe someone here can tell you more definitively.
 
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Guillaume.F

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2017
8
2
Quebec
The CPU spec difference is pretty minimal, barely 8%. Unfortunately I don't know enough about the GPU side of things to comment on the 570 vs 575 (I don't do photos or video). I would keep the $200 in my pocket but maybe someone here can tell you more definitively.
Allright thanks :)
[doublepost=1506260398][/doublepost]
All depends on the space you have or it would to me.
They are both quad cores so for normal things i doubt you see anything between them.

Screen is better on 27 - 5K, but also means you need more GPU power to drive it
Yeah exactly, thanks for the advice!
Wondering if there is a big difference between 570 & 575, as it might be more demanding to run 5K
 

gian8989

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2015
273
77
In the 27 you can easy upgrade the ram in the 21 you would have to open it.
You are not a video editor so the i5 is enough.
On the other hand if you work with photos you would be happier with the bigger screen of the 27.
 
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CaptRB

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2016
885
916
LA, California
No one with any sense is about to suggest the 21.5 over the 27.

You get what you pay for certainly applies. The ONLY reason to willingly choose the 21.5 is if you have some odd issue with space.


R.
 
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kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,062
335
No one with any sense is about to suggest the 21.5 over the 27.

You get what you pay for certainly applies. The ONLY reason to willingly choose the 21.5 is if you have some odd issue with space.
R.
Well, I could maybe imagine that if graphics response time were an overriding concern, the sheer number of pixels that you have to move on the 27 inch might dictate the smaller screen if you're doing high speed motion. Yes, I'm reaching. And cost, of course, if there's a hard constraint there.
 
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rjsounds

macrumors member
Jul 3, 2017
69
26
Agreed. I'd go with the 27", personally I'd go for the 575 upgrade in your shoes, and upgrade your own RAM. Keep in mind that this machine will likely last you a good 5+ years and still be a powerful machine then - the money is definitely being put to good use.

I recently upgraded from my 2010 21.5" iMac to a brand new 27" 2017 iMac (top spec, mind you). I spent a little more but am really happy with this. My base model 2010 21.5" iMac lasted me 7 years. This new one I'd expect the same or even longer. You'll be happy with the extra power and screen size.
 

Guillaume.F

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2017
8
2
Quebec
Thanks
;)
[doublepost=1506291992][/doublepost]
In the 27 you can easy upgrade the ram in the 21 you would have to open it.
You are not a video editor so the i5 is enough.
On the other hand if you work with photos you would be happier with the bigger screen of the 27.
Thanks ;)
[doublepost=1506292066][/doublepost]True! Probably have enough space for the 27 tho
Thanks ;)
No one with any sense is about to suggest the 21.5 over the 27.

You get what you pay for certainly applies. The ONLY reason to willingly choose the 21.5 is if you have some odd issue with space.


R.
[doublepost=1506292096][/doublepost]
27" i5 7500 or 7600, with 8 GB RAM, plus 8-16 extra RAM from Crucial.
Would be a good combination I think! Thanks
[doublepost=1506292206][/doublepost]
Agreed. I'd go with the 27", personally I'd go for the 575 upgrade in your shoes, and upgrade your own RAM. Keep in mind that this machine will likely last you a good 5+ years and still be a powerful machine then - the money is definitely being put to good use.

I recently upgraded from my 2010 21.5" iMac to a brand new 27" 2017 iMac (top spec, mind you). I spent a little more but am really happy with this. My base model 2010 21.5" iMac lasted me 7 years. This new one I'd expect the same or even longer. You'll be happy with the extra power and screen size.
Right that's nice to hear! Probably gonna do that, just wondering if the 300$ between i5 and i7 would be very worth it..
thanks for the advice!
 

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
8,438
5,797
The performance of the i7 may be of benefit for you because it can be significantly faster than all of the i5 models, but also be aware that the i7 runs much hotter too. If you are sensitive to noise, then you might find the i7 annoying, because for some usage the fan will become audible much more quickly on the i7.

For example for video encoding, my i7 7700K would push the fan to maximum within about 30-45 seconds. One test some of us at MacRumors tested had the i7 taking 10 minutes for that video, but with the fan loud for 9.5 minutes.

OTOH, with my i5-7600, it took 12.5 minutes, with the only coming on audibly after around 10 minutes, and not even near maximum. Much more pleasant experience if you are sitting at that desk, but it did take 25% longer to do the encode.

I had the i7 7700K for a week but then returned it and got the i5 7600. Truthfully though, most of the time the i7 was actually quiet, since I didn't push it that hard most of the time, but it did ramp up the fan from time to time. However, the 7600 stays silent pretty much all the time with my usage. I prefer the latter, despite giving up some performance.
 

Guillaume.F

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2017
8
2
Quebec
The performance of the i7 may be of benefit for you because it can be significantly faster than all of the i5 models, but also be aware that the i7 runs much hotter too. If you are sensitive to noise, then you might find the i7 annoying, because for some usage the fan will become audible much more quickly on the i7.

For example for video encoding, my i7 7700K would push the fan to maximum within about 30-45 seconds. One test some of us at MacRumors tested had the i7 taking 10 minutes for that video, but with the fan loud for 9.5 minutes.

OTOH, with my i5-7600, it took 12.5 minutes, with the only coming on audibly after around 10 minutes, and not even near maximum. Much more pleasant experience if you are sitting at that desk, but it did take 25% longer to do the encode.

I had the i7 7700K for a week but then returned it and got the i5 7600. Truthfully though, most of the time the i7 was actually quiet, since I didn't push it that hard most of the time, but it did ramp up the fan from time to time. However, the 7600 stays silent pretty much all the time with my usage. I prefer the latter, despite giving up some performance.
Oh I see! That is something to think about too. Thanks for the info I had no idea! Will probably stay with the I5 then but go for the one with the Radeon Pro 575 so a slight upgrade on CPU and GPU! Don't mind waiting a bit more as It is not for my first job and time rendering video is not on a strict delay for me. Thanks!
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,062
335
Check out the thread "The new iMac is a lot noisier!" on the iMac subforum. Lots to digest there, but my take on it is pretty much like EugW's, the i7 is non-trivially faster, and also non-trivially noisier when pushed. Pick your poison.
 
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CaptRB

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2016
885
916
LA, California
CPU intensive tasks DO benefit from the i7. For the small extra cost, I really thing the i7 is a no brainer. You may be able to live without the 580 card and the SSD for now (You can swap out the drive later), but I've seen the i7 advantage in real time as I own both the new i7 and the i5 (I bought the 27" i5 for my 13 year old).

As for noise, the i7 can kick up those fans, but so far it's only happened a few times. Running Photoshop and with many windows open along with a movie playing on a 2nd screen, I was surprised to hear the i7 make a good amount of fan noise. But it didn't last and wasn't anything to be bothered by. Just a non-issue unless you are OCD or something.

Get the i7. That's the brains. Get the 27". That's the eyes.


R.
 
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