iMac 21.5 Dual Monitor vs 27" iMac vs?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Toucansma, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Toucansma, Jun 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017

    Toucansma macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2001
    Currently have the following setup:

    2011 21.5 iMac (with ssd) with 21.5 Second Monitor attached, and a 2015 Macbook Pro 13.

    Usage: Web Browsing, Word Processing, Web Design, Photo Edit (not heavy), Virtual Machine (for Windows applications), and some misc DTP.

    Looking to change out iMac with something else.

    1. Does anyone have a 4k iMac 21.5 with external 4k 21.5 screen? If so how is it?

    2. I like the dual monitor layout (minus it doesn't match the iMac). Trying to decide if I should go dual layout again, or go for something else. Used 27" in store and looks great, I just can't tell from limited usage how it is with multiple documents, side by side windows, etc. compared to my dual monitor setup. I have given up on the Mac Mini for now. My third option would be get an older MacBook Pro 15 with discrete graphics, like a 2014 or 2015 and just keep it on the desk as a workstation with either one 21:9 monitor or 2 dual screen displays (and thunderbolt external SSD probably).

    Just wanted to get feedback from people and if they have any similar setups to the above. Ultimately I think it will come between the two iMacs but not set in stone.
  2. Diving Capers macrumors 6502

    Diving Capers

    Jun 10, 2017
    I work purely with office applications, so not the same usage as you, however I would never chose to go back to a single monitor setup. I also have a pc hooked to a 32" screen and for work I wouldn't swap my double screen setup (15" and 21") for my single 32"

    At the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference and how much space is available on your desk.

    So my 2c are double monitor setup is better than going with a single monitor.

    Think about how you like to organize your workflow and it should become clear as to which option will be best for you.
  3. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    I am a web application developer and have... sheesh too much Apple stuff. I use a 27" iMac with multiple workspaces ( 5 ). On the iMac I can place two documents side by side on a single screen and they look great. I have not used dual screen since giving up Windows about 10 years ago. I still purchase a windows laptop every three years or so for development purposes. Currently have a Zenbook 4k touchscreen 15" that does pretty well with windows 10.

    I used to have a 21.5" iMac ( 3 years ago ) and would never go back after working with the 27". That thing is really amazing.

    As an aside, most of my development is actually done a maxed out MBPr15(2016) and an iPad on the side to monitor changes as I save them. That way I can stick to coding on the MBP and live reviewing on the iPad. Workspaces are setup as:
    1. Chrome
    2. Atom
    3. Terminal ( x2 )
    4. Sierra
    5. Console
  4. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    I use a 2nd monitor with my MBP, and dual with a 4,1 MP. Depending on what I am doing and where I am, Dell 27-in 4K and 23 or 24-in HD. It's hard to beat the 27-in when placing documents side by side.
  5. Toucansma thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2001
    Thank you! Space isn't a big issue for me. So you prefer the 32" to everything else you have, right?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 18, 2017 ---
    Thank you, appreciate the first hand experience! I haven't utilized workspaces yet and I should. In store, just hard to get a feel for how things work.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 18, 2017 ---
    Awesome! Thank you for your feedback. I thought about getting an older MP too. The Dell 27 4k is a similar panel to the iMac right (the Dell 5k I believe is the exact same right)? Also stupid question, do you "snap" the documents side by side or manually adjust?
  6. Diving Capers macrumors 6502

    Diving Capers

    Jun 10, 2017
    You're welcome.... I just re read my post and that was some poor writing from my part LOL

    I prefer dual screens .... triple would be my ideal setup
  7. Toucansma thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2001
    Ok, haha, thanks! Yeah thought about triple too. Have you have ever tried the 34" ultrawides?
  8. Trahearne macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2014
    Honestly, the idea of dual monitor starts growing on me, even if macOS' desktop management is fairly well executed. Sometimes when you are working on something, switching between spaces is just a cut in productivity because of the complete switch in context.

    Planned to get iMac 27" to sit alongside my 27" monitor.
  9. Diving Capers macrumors 6502

    Diving Capers

    Jun 10, 2017
    Drool LOL I WANT 3 hahahaha
    --- Post Merged, Jun 18, 2017 ---
    I have the exact same issue with desktop management (breaks my workflow) I like to be able to have multiple documents open at once and easily refer to them without having to switch desktop environments. Since I started to use two monitors I haven't looked back.

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