Help with configuration of 21.5!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by oxinthebox, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. oxinthebox macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2007
    Hi all,

    After reading and reading I have a couple of quick questions for everybody. I am looking to buy a new iMac went to the Apple store to compare in person the 21.5 and 27 just knowing I wanted the 27, but man is it big! A bit too big for my space.

    I will be mostly using this for the basics along with keeping up with photos of the kids, I am going to be also getting a GoPro 4 silver so no 4k stuff for now.

    My thoughts are getting the 16gb RAM then I'm thinking the 256 flash and just use an external HD to move the videos and photos to. Or should I just go ahead with the 512 flash?

    Also would I be able to tell a big enough difference to upgrade to the 3.1ghz i7 or would the i5 be fine for my usage?

    And lastly what is everyone's thoughts on Apple Care for the new iMac with this type of build?

    thanks in advance,
  2. e93to macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2015
    Hello. I would suggest getting the base HDD. You can buy a 1TB SSD for around $500 these days, which is the same price as 500GB SSD for iMac. You can connect the SSD of your choice to your iMac with Thunderbolt, and use that SSD as boot drive.

    i5 would be enough for tasks you are describing.

    I definitely suggest getting Apple Care. My iMac has been reliable for 2 years so far, but if something unexpected happens it will be expensive to repair since I can't just take my iMac to a random computer repair shop.
  3. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    If you keep everything externally, the 256GB Flash is enough.

    With your usage, you won't see that much of a difference between the i7 and the i5 although if you start editing GoPro footage, your render times will be longer.

    Getting AppleCare is a great idea. Don't pay full price. Use the educational/government Apple store if possible or buy at B&H Photo:
  4. kepler20b macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2014
    unless you are doing actual editing work, 16gb ram is overkill for a computer being used for internet/email/storage.

    also, you can always buy a 4k monitor with a mac mini. You will suffer zero tradeoffs other than formfactor and no ability to game.
  5. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    I wouldn't muck around, and just get the 16GB RAM, 512GB flash and i7. The i7 will come in handy when processing go pro videos.
  6. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    Looks like you are on the right track.

    Since the RAM is NOT user upgradeable on the 21.5, I would go with the 16 GB.

    SSD is wise. Either 256 or 512 depending on your expected data usage and tolerance for an external drive.

    the i5 CPU should be fine.

    Also plan on an external drive (TB or USB) for TimeMachine backup.

    I advise getting AppleCare on iMacs. It is a very integrated design with difficult (expensive) service access. The AppleCare will also cover other Apple purchases you will make or have made such as routers, drives, etc. For both repair and phone support over a 3 year period on a $2000 or $3000 machine it is worth $150.
  7. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Always get an ssd. Exchanging the hdd afterwards is not economical.
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    When editing video or doing any other multithreaded tasks, the i7 can show about a 40% improvement compared to the i5.

    I have a similar 21.5" (i7/16/256/750M) and it absolutely flies even in medium-heavy 1080p editing. It even handles light 4K work fine enough.

    An external SSD isn't economical. First, it isn't as fast as the internal SSD, and second, if you put the iMac to sleep, there's a chance that the ports will go to sleep too and hence disconnecting it, crashing the iMac.



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7 March 11, 2015