Mid 2011 27" vs. 2012 21.5 (fusion)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 8thgeninspire, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. 8thgeninspire macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2013
    Hey guys,

    I just ordered a refurb 27" 2.7GHz from the apple store today because it is taking way to long to order a 2012 and I need a computer ASAP.

    I was wondering how you guys felt about my decision, I was going to use the 27" for a little and see how I like it, if I end up not liking it I was going to return it and order a 21.5" w/ fusion drive.

    So specs are as follows:

    Mid 2011 27"
    2.7GHz i5
    4gb ram (will likely upgrade to 16gb)
    1 TB (7200rpm)

    Positives for me:
    - I can upgrade the ram when I please
    - CD drive just in case I ever need it
    - Larger screen

    Late 2012 21.5"
    2.7 i5 (turbo boost)
    8gb ram
    128 SSD + 1TB (5400rpm)

    - Newer model, will likely "keep up" with newer computers that come out
    - 128gb SSD

    I will use the computer for light editing and surfing the web. The only reasons I prefer the late 2012 model is because I don't want my $1000+ computer to be excessively "out of date" in 2-3 years. That is the only reason I'm thinking about returning my 27"

    I like the 27" because I can always upgrade the ram and I believe it should be "easier" to fix myself if anything happens to it (knock on wood) compared to the 2012 models.

    Any comments will be helpful!

    (note, yes I have browsed the forums, and I see a lot of people are happy with their 27" mid 2011s just want reassurance or a new outlook) :D
  2. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I think you made a good choice on the 2011 27" iMac overall. Keep in mind that you can make a Fusion drive for any mac using some Terminal coding to fuse two separate drives together, so that could be done here on the 2011 iMac.

    Also, your comment on wanting to not be out of date in 2-3 years makes me feel like the 2012 21.5" isn't going to last with only 8GB RAM and its not user upgradeable (whereas the 2011 iMac is, not to mention is a lot easier to take a part and fix if something happened).

    I think you made a good choice assuming you really wanted a 27" iMac and not something smaller.

    Congrats and enjoy!
  3. 8thgeninspire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2013
    thanks for the reply! Yeah another reason I prefer the 2011 is that I can do stuff like add a SSD, but the 2012 is so sexy! haha

    and I was originally interested in the 21" mid 2011, but I was like what the heck, extra space isn't going to hurt :)
  4. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I think it's definitely a good call. I will say that the less reflective 2012 screens are really, REALLY nice coming off of the super reflective earlier models. Glare and reflections are really barely noticeable. Though, I find them somewhat dingy in color and noticeably less bright overall. Still super screens, but I noticed quite a difference when I went from a 2011 21.5" to a 2012 27".

    Oh, and on the RAM front, if you don't need a full 16GB, save a few bucks and just through in 8GB more to make 12GB. That seemed pretty good for me (would it take 16GB to make 20GB? Curious...)

    Anyway, hope you love it! Can't see any real reason why you wouldn't!
  5. mushroomtip macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    you know you are gonna return the 27 and order the 21 , so stop kidding yourself and order the 21 .
  6. Isamilis macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2012
    You *want* 21" 2012, but you actually *need* 27" 2011 refurb.
    I would go with refurb if I were you.
  7. mushroomtip macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    you might as well just hold off and save up and get the 27 incher
  8. 8thgeninspire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2013
    Been using my 27" for almost a week and I love it! Definitely keeping this sucker. :D
  9. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    Dingy? I couldn't think of a less accurate word for the way pictures look on the 2012 iMac. And the brightness is actually well balanced compared to my older iMac.

    Perhaps you need to have your 2012 checked out.
  10. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I've actually been through three 2012 27" and awaiting the fourth. I wouldn't call the new screens bad in any way, but directly comparing the 3 that I had to my previous 2011 iMac and my iPad 4, the screen is much warmer and more yellow than the iMac or iPad (using Air Display on the iPad and setting a window so half is on the iPad and half is on the iMac).

    Now I'm using a Dell U2212HM monitor with a Mac Mini while I wait and this screen is just terrible compared to any of the Apple screens). But, I will admit that ofter a week or two using it I'm more used to it and not so instantly disgusted (but I'm not happy either).
  11. Whackintosh macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Just realized, your previous iMac screen was a 21.5, wasn't it? I suppose it's possible that this may be less of a question about 2012 iMac screens vs the older models as it may be about the brightness and colour temps of a 27 inch screen vs a 21.5?
  12. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    It could be, but I've used other 27" iMacs and Thunderbolt displays and all seemed brighter and cooler in color like my iPad. The brightness was significantly different when testing even my 2011 MBA to the 2012 iMacs.

    Again, wonderful displays without a doubt, but there is definitely something different about their calibration than prior screens that I've seen (and I did try and calibrate it manually, but couldn't come close to the same brightness or warmth/coolness).
  13. Whackintosh macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Shoot, that's disturbing. One of the things that has me excited about my pending upgrade (from a 2009 iMac) is what I thought was going to be a slightly nicer screen.
  14. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    It's still a marvelous screen, don't get me wrong. The less reflective coating makes it so much easier to view in bright rooms and stresses the eyes far less since you're not seeing bright spots from reflections (that may also be a reason why they are not as bright since they don't have to compete as much in bright rooms). But I do feel them to be much warmer in color vs previous generations (and I like my screen images on the cooler side in general).

    Try and check one out at a retail store somewhere and let me know if you see the same things I am. I'll be curious to see if my 4th iMac will look the same or not when it finally gets here.
  15. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
    Yep, adding a SSD wasn't difficult at all to the 2011 iMac. I didn't "Fusion" mine, though... The 240 GB SSD I added easily holds the OS, Apps, and even my Home folder. So, I preferred to keep them separate. And, the screen and everything on this iMac is perfect.
  16. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    Don't worry. The screens look great.

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