mid 2017 21" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Porkchop Sandwich, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Porkchop Sandwich macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017
    I've read a great many threads discussing what some consider to be heat issues with the 27" iMac running the i7 (K) but I don't read of many complaints from the 21" users w/the i7 option. I have to believe the ratio of 27" to 21" iMacs 'out there' is at least 10:1 - perhaps that's why the info on the 21 is hard to come by??

    Non-issue (i7heat) on the 21"? (I do know the i7 in the 21' differs from the i7 offered in the 27")

    Any user feedback on performance/possible heat issues w/the i7 optioned 21" would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Unless you absolutely need the i7 (for heavy 4k video editing, for example) get a 27" midrange model with the i5 7600 CPU instead.

    Runs cooler and will be better than any 21" iMac.

    The LAST WORDS you will ever hear the owner of a 27" iMac say:
    "Gee, I wish I'd bought the 21" model instead...." ;)
  3. Porkchop Sandwich thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017
    While I appreciate the post, it literally has nothing to do with the question. In addition, the 27" is absolutely 100% t-totally the WRONG computer for my requirement.

    Any feedback to the question?

    *btw - although dated, I already have a 27" iMac..
  4. mreg376 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Not a user, but I haven't heard of any such issues with the 21.5's. And I think there are more 21's out there than you think. They are very nice machines. I upgraded from a 24" iMac, so I got the 27" 2017 with the i7, and I haven't heard the fans unless trying to run full-screen 8K 60fps videos, which is ridiculous anyway. It runs 4K 60fps full screen smoothly without a sound. The i7 has a higher clock speed and certainly gives you better performance than the i5, even for single-threaded software, which is the most common. I wouldn't hesitate getting the i7 (which is lower wattage i7 than the one in the 27") in the 21.5.
  5. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    I bought the 7700K 27” and then returned it for the 7600.

    One of the big problems with the 21.5” besides the screen size is the fact that the memory is not user upgradable. It gets quite expensive to upgrade the memory on the 21.5”.

    Plus in my case I have a matching 2010 27” iMac that I am using as an external monitor to the 2017 27” iMac.
  6. Porkchop Sandwich, Oct 21, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018

    Porkchop Sandwich thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017

    The 2017 21.5" Apple iMac is 100% upgradeable unlike the 27" iMac. *RAM is a pita but, it's in a slot and, upgradeable.

    CPU - upgradeable
    RAM - upgradeable
    Storage - upgradeable

    Like you, I have a 2010 27" iMac. It's got the i7 processor in it and I swapped out the spinner with an ssd. The computer has always run on the warm side but I don't recall having a single hiccup that stopped work over all these yrs. Literally the most stable computer I've ever owned. (knock wood)

    I have an lg5k that will be used in concert w/the 21" whenever i need it so, to Fishrrman's point, there is that.
  7. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Voids warranty.
  8. Porkchop Sandwich thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017

    Once warranty period has passed, a drive failure (or increase in size to suit current needs)? No sweat, I'll repair it myself.

    Increased RAM requirements? No sweat, I'll repair it myself.

    Sure beats being held captive by Apple for more $$ to make simple repairs once warranty's gone, yes?
  9. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    The only two issues I know on the 2011s : a) internal heat due to the spinner. Get rid of it. Components last longer. b) Mojave disables graphics acceleration—it works but it's useless. If you don't need Mojave, not an issue.

    The 2011 is the second easiest iMac to upgrade (the 24" is still tops in my book). The 2009–2010 isn't hard but you have to pull the motherboard to replace the NV RAM battery. Speaking of which, the CR2032 battery works fine once you've gotten rid of the spinning heat pump. No need to pay $8 on Amazon for a BR2032.

    Otherwise, the only real difference besides size is that the 27" has three SATA busses while the 21.5" has two. The optical drive buss is SATA II while the other(s) is/are SATA III after the firmware update.

    re Mojave: if you want to try it, install onto an external so you can see how bad it is on one of these.

    Audio applications will also show the huge difference between the i5 and i7. The first time I ran into this, I was on a 2011 i5 in another studio and couldn't believe how slow certain functions of my DAW were on that machine compared to my 2010 i7. If figured it was the setup or something... someone else's Mac, right? My wife's iMac is also a 2011 i5 so I was able to do a direct A/B comparison. Write to disk—no difference but certain functions that took a minute for me took 20 minutes on hers—same as that other studio.

    If not editing audio or video, I agree that an i5 is fine. She edits books and teaches school — there's no difference for her.
  10. Porkchop Sandwich, Oct 21, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018

    Porkchop Sandwich thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017
    With respect to the CR2032 - I must admit that's something I've never even considered. Any guidance on suggested interval to change it? Does it require a change?

    *edited to add: About 3/4 yrs ago I was having some trouble with one of my cnc machines. Without the c..the nc don't work and the entire machine's out of commision. After bringing in a professional cnc tech/millwright..the problem turned out to be a dead CR2032 that needed replacement. That was one expensive battery.

    What happens to an iMac if the battery goes bad?
  11. alien3dx macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2017
    cr2032 expensive ? o_O maybe 0.20 dollar
  12. Porkchop Sandwich thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017
    A professional outfit well versed in CNC machine tool equipment repair sending their millwright to your machine shop in order to troubleshoot and get your equipment back on line..try about 4-500.00 per hr plus travel and incidentals..yes, that was one expensive cr2032.

    What happens to an iMac if that battery goes south?
  13. Hater macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2017
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    It takes 5 seconds or so to boot and you lose the time every time you boot up. No biggie, my 2003 PowerBook G4 has had a dead one for 10+ years now
  14. alien3dx macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2017
    the more higher price cr2302 maybe around 3 dollar energizer ? Mostly cr2032 for motherboard for clock only. For mac maybe it store certain information rather then clock .
    ** i never play with cnc machine even i mechanical background.. this day we call 3d printer lol :D
    fixit got article on it
  15. Porkchop Sandwich thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017
    Don't have a 3d printer but wish we did. When that expensive cr2032 went bad we simply didn't know what the trouble was. In a machine tool, as I understand, the cr2032 maintains the cnc controls memory for storage of machine parameters and stored programs when the equipment's powered down. So I guess in a sense, the RAM. Expensive lesson that I didn't think would ever happen again but alas, someone mentioned a battery in a day to day computer and it never even occurred to me there was one in an iMac!!

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14 October 20, 2018