Help me choose: iMac 21.5" vs 27"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 2Turbo, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. 2Turbo macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2011
    Please help me decide on the 21.5" vs 27" iMac.

    The only reasons I'm considering 27": gaming and bedroom TV replacement. I'm not sure if I should just get the 21.5" and go with PS4/TV for gaming. :confused:

    • Video/Movie Quality: I've heard some say fullscreen video looks crappy on 27" upscaled to 1440p. I assume it's noticeable at close distances (how much?), but what about several feet away at TV viewing length? Could I discern the upscaling compared to regular 1080p on 21.5"? What about blu-ray 1080p @ 1440p, is that a noticeable difference?
    • Size: I'm coming from a 13" MBP, so to me the 27" is massive for normal uses. They'll be tons of wasted screen real estate, and I don't need two pages at once lol. If the 21" came with 780m GPU I probably wouldn't want 27" other than possibly a bedroom TV replacement.
    • I'm thinking if I get the 27" I could skip the PS4/Xbone/bedroom TV.
    • The only games I'll be playing are BF4 & CoD Ghosts multiplayer. Seems the 27" is my only option here, right?
  2. Montymitch macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2009
    I've got a 27 in the bedroom, and it gets used as a tv regularly. Way better than having all that extra hardware.
  3. in4fun macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    viewing distance is the answer here

    you can't notice the difference between 720p and 1080p resolution on an 50" TV viewed from 12 feet away (if thats where your bed is)

    for viewing distances in general I would visit some home cinema forums
  4. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I watch a ton of 720p and 1080p content on my 27" and it looks fine.
  5. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Remember that most monitors are not suitable for Video.
    If you watch 30p series, you're OK, but movies look horrible on 60Hz screens.
  6. 2Turbo thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2011
    Hmm, can anyone else confirm movies look horrible on computer monitors? I don't notice any difference from my tv... :confused:
  7. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    i don't think that the base 27" is going to really be powerful enough to run cod ghosts at full settings.

    So, if I were you, might as well buy the 21" save some money and you can use it to pick up a 43" samsung for less than $400 at best buy for your television needs. Best of both worlds.
  8. 2Turbo thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2011
    I'd be getting the 780m if I go 27".
  9. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    Well, then it's really up to you. I mean $2,200 is a lot to spend on an iMac just to be able to play two games on it. You could buy a $1,300 iMac instead that you said would have a plenty big enough screen. With $900 in savings you could buy an xbox one or ps4 and a 50" plasma to game on.

    If you want an all in one solution, ya the iMac would work great, but you can get a better tv, dedicated gaming system, and an iMac for the same $2,200 you would spend on a high end 27"
  10. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Most monitors aren't the 27" Apple display. Movies look awesome on my 27" iMac. No complaints here.


    I think you'll be fine running Ghosts on that.
  11. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I sit 1 meter away from my 27", and it is pretty darn sharp when I watch a 720p video in full screen. You wont be dissatisfied.

    Also, you'll get used to the 27". I upgraded from a 15", and I'm glad I took the big screen, even though it took me some time. (Graphic card was also the reason I took the 27")
  12. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    if you are gaming than take the 780M no other choices
  13. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    I had this dilema about 18 months ago, as I was replacing a mac Mini and Dell 21" monitor with a iMac.

    Had talked myself into a 21" iMac but then due to delayed of the updated version, I decided to go down the refurb route on a 2011 iMac and the money saved from refurb and upgrading RAM/SSD meant I went for the 27".

    Looking back now I'm so glad I did, as I'm pretty sure I would have regretted the 21" by now.

    Don't worry if you think it's too big (my internal justification at the time) - it will grow into the space you put it and before too long just looks like it has always belonged
  14. 2Turbo thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2011
    Thanks guys! Should I go i7?

    The only thing I can think of that may need it is battlefield 4.
  15. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    that is correct!

    When it comes to watching media, the most important specifications here are colour reproduction, response time and overall image performance. There are many monitors on the market that excel in some areas but are disappointing in others, which makes it easy to end up with a display that's not the best choice for your needs.

    The biggest culprit here is dynamic contrast ratio. While the normal contrast ratio of a monitor is very important when determining the potential image quality - especially when it comes to the dark blacks and bright whites - the contrast ratio of most monitors will be 1,000:1. Dynamic contrast ratios, on the other hand, are usually much higher and can range from around 5,000:1 to 10,000:1 and higher.

    Specifically, Apple 27" LED Cinema Display is a very good panel to watch HD movies! :apple:

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