iMac 21.5" 4K Worth Buying?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by antonypg, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. antonypg macrumors member

    May 8, 2008
    I was thinking of buying an iMac 27" 5K, especially if it got updated yesterday. However, not only did it not get updated but the prices massively jumped in the UK. I wanted a fusion drive at least, and that model has gone up approx. £300. Even the refurb models have jumped by 20%.

    I wanted to ask what people think of the 21.5" 4K model. Does it suffer from having the integrated graphics with 4K of pixels to drive?

    Also is the fusion drive on the 4K worth £90. Is it a 24GB or a 128GB card? I might buy the basic machine and then add a 512GB Thunderbolt SSD.
  2. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    The 1 TB Fusion drive has only 24 GB of SSD space.
  3. kblbn86, Oct 27, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016

    kblbn86 macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2016
    21'' is not worth the money. 27'' is getting old.

    Save your money until March 2017 and get one of the new models.
  4. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    I think the 4K is a joke with the lack of a dGPU. If you're going to go with a ridiculously high res display, I'd just go with the 5K.
  5. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    The catch is there is no dGPU 21.5 inch. That's what many people want and Apple is just saying FU to those customers.
  6. aerre macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2010
    Viva Brexit!!
  7. Firebrand macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2016
    Go for something cheap and sweat things out a little longer, I’d say.
    Or, start selling all you’re other devices and buy big.
  8. grumpywino macrumors newbie


    Oct 5, 2016
    Really depends on your needs. I have one, bought it a month ago (wasn't anticipating an update, was anticipating sterling affecting prices sooner rather than later, and I suspect will get worse before it gets better). I am no power user, no fancy requirements just need a reliable and pleasant to use desktop. I just use internet, some spreadsheets and pages documents. Occasionally photography stuff, some video encoding. Meets my needs. My late 2010 iMac was playing up a bit, and as a long term mac user I had no interest in a p.c. It'll do me nicely for some time (I tend to get a good six years, my old G5 iMac lasted 10 years though retired to my father after 5). The 27" 5k would be expensive overkill for me.
  9. varian55zx macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2012
    San Francisco
    The 21.5 iMacs always had a dGPU up until around the time of the 4K, which is the 21.5 with the best screen and honestly the one that would need a better gpu the most.

    This is why Apple is alienating many people.
  10. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2006
    The 27" has a Skylake Processor in it so although not Kaby lake, not as old as you might think. I think it was the only Mac updated with SKylake last year. The 27" inch is a solid machine and I highly recommend it.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    How so?
    The processor and GPU is current, i.e., Skylake processor and a decent GPU.

    I think if the OP needs/wants one now, he might as well enjoy the machine for the next 6 months instead of waiting and hoping (and maybe even incurring a price increase).

    As for the 21" model, I agree, its not worth the money, imo
  12. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    People in the UK are having success with John Lewis at the older prices. I'd grab a top spec 27" at the old price if you can. As others have said, stay away from the 21"
  13. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    I agree with the others that the 27" is a better buy. However, I wouldn't stay away from the 21" for the reason it doesn't have a dGPU. If you have no need for more powerful graphics it should last you just fine. Pushing 4k worth of pixels with the Iris Pro should not be an issue at all. The biggest concern would be the small amount of solid state on the 1TB drive. Definitely get the 2TB.
  14. iGeek2014 macrumors 68020

    Jun 29, 2014
    === Nowheresville ===
    If you go with John Lewis whilst they still have stock at the older prices I'd also opt for the 27" model too.

    Although my Mac Mini has a much slower processor the Iris Pro graphics share some of the system's RAM and that can impact on performance sometimes.

    My old mid-2011 iMac 21.5" had a dGPU so quite why Apple removed it in subsequent years is beyond me!

    Not only that JL also have a decent warranty. Yes there's the SoGA or whatever it's called these days but from what I've read their CS is second to none usually when a problem arises.
  15. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2011
    When my iMac finally hangs up it's boots I think I will be looking at a decent monitor and hooking that up to an Intel NUC. I can put in the bits I want, it will be pretty powerful and cost me a heck of a lot less than an overly price inflated iMac. Windows 10 - what's not to like.

    I'm very much of the mind that Apple has really lost it's way with their desktop computers. It could be that they no longer see them as the future and aren't part of their long term strategy. Either way it's cold comfort for the customer.
  16. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    The 21" has always been my preferred size of iMac. But... This one is not worth it, IMO. The iGPU driving that 4K display isn't great, RAM is not user-upgradable, and you basically have to upgrade the HD or have it choke the whole system's performance.

    So, that $1500 starting price goes up $200 for the RAM (unless you're ok with 8GB forever) and $100 minimum for the drive (which only gets you the 1TB fusion with the tiny 24GB ssd). And for that $1800 you still have that weak iGPU.

    I'd love it if they made a 21" with a dGPU option, user-accessible RAM and a reasonable storage option standard. Maybe spring 2017.
  17. fokmik macrumors 68040

    Oct 28, 2016
    Since Apple couldn't get the Iris pro, i guess the next 21.5" imac will have a dGPU to handle the power because the HD530 is too weak for a desktop 4k computer.
  18. varian55zx macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2012
    San Francisco
    This will probably never happen
  19. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    You're most likely right, but hope springs eternal. That, and merging different iCloud accounts, is all I want from Apple.
  20. varian55zx macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2012
    San Francisco
    I really don't think it will happen because that is basically the opposite of what Apple is trying to do with their product line.

    Your proposition was a reasonable, customer friendly idea that would also improve their overall image as a company.

    Apple is merely looking to disgrace themselves at every turn, nothing more.

Share This Page

19 October 27, 2016