My 27" iMac Review After A Week Of Use

lasuther

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2004
670
0
Grand Haven, Michigan
After using the 27” iMac i5 for one week, I’ll post some thoughts on it. I sold my 20” Core Duo 2GHz when the rumors of new body iMacs were assembled at the end of September. When it was finally announce I ordered an i5. It arrived on the 11th, two days early!

I used my 20” like a laptop with the iLugger bag. The 27” is so heavy at 30lbs that probably won’t happen. The screen is the perfect balance of massive 2560x1400 workspace but small enough to fit on a desk and sit close to for computing. I didn’t like moving from 16:10 to 16:9. I prefer 16:9 for DVDs and Hulu and 16:10 for general computing. In the end I would rather have 2560x1600, but that isn’t going to happen.

The i5 processor is great. Web surfing uses a single core boosted for speed. Often I have iTunes, multiple Safari tabs, Ventrilo, and WoW running. The quad cores start to work then. Also, the Hulu desktop program uses all cores. The ATi 4850 is great for WoW. Buying the base 27” doesn’t make sense; you should pay the $300 to upgrade. If you don’t have the money, wait and save or just get the 21.5” base.

I’m definitely feeling the limit of 4 Gigs of Ram. I use all of it with iTunes, Safari, Vent, and WoW running. I’ll add 2 Gigs from my MacBook giving me 6 Gigs Ram. That should give me more breathing room.

The BT keyboard is nice. I like the small size, don’t miss the number pad, but I do miss Function keys. I use Expose a lot and no dedicated Function keys sucks. The Magic Mouse is ok considering how bad the Mighty Mouse is. Why Apple can’t make an amazing mouse is beyond me. I have the white Apple Remote which is a must buy for watching Hulu/DVD, but it should be included with the 27”.

Overall, I think this is the best computer Apple has ever made. The screen feels much bigger than it is, the computing power is very strong, and it looks clean and beautiful.
 

wesleyh

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2007
432
0
Do you hear your hard disk clicking at all, even when doing nothing or just browsing? Could you try that? I hear it quite alot.. It's a seagate. Thx.
 

TheWave

macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2009
1
0
Is the 27" too big?

Could you tell me how high above the table the top off the screen is. Im worried that it might be too tall and that you would have to sit with your neck ekstended to se the top off the screen?
Also how fare from the screen is your eyes?
 

SOLLERBOY

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2008
713
68
UK
Could you tell me how high above the table the top off the screen is. Im worried that it might be too tall and that you would have to sit with your neck ekstended to se the top off the screen?
Also how fare from the screen is your eyes?
To be honest it fells really quite comfortable and like you are immersed in the screen.
 

lasuther

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2004
670
0
Grand Haven, Michigan
Could you tell me how high above the table the top off the screen is. Im worried that it might be too tall and that you would have to sit with your neck ekstended to se the top off the screen?
Also how fare from the screen is your eyes?
How tall the screen to your eyes is completely dependant on your table and chair height. Apple says the computer is 20.4" tall, which is only 1.5" taller than the 24" Cinema Display. In fact the iMac is not much larger than the Cinema Display, just add 1.5" to each side and and top.

I don't sit too far away from the monitor because of the pixel density. It's the 30" monitor squeezed down to a 27" screen. So text is nice and sharp and you want to get closer to read it. I sit about a 2 feet away from my iMac. The screen really is a lot larger than it seems.
 

sarends

macrumors member
Nov 17, 2009
57
0
Slightly Off Focus Question

I am a new Mac guy (3 Powerbooks for my younger kids which I am really impressed with - all things considered). I am going to be getting an iMac 27 for work in a few weeks. I am also wondering how well you liked the iMac 20? Thx! Steve
 

lasuther

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2004
670
0
Grand Haven, Michigan
I am a new Mac guy (3 Powerbooks for my younger kids which I am really impressed with - all things considered). I am going to be getting an iMac 27 for work in a few weeks. I am also wondering how well you liked the iMac 20? Thx! Steve
I got it almost 4 years ago, it was the first intel processor in a Mac. I was happy with it. A few months after I got it, they released the first 24" iMac so I was a bit upset that I didn't have the biggest screen. The nice thing about the 20" iMac was how easy it was to carry around in a bag like iLugger. Basically a laptop. Took that sucker everywhere with me. The value held up well and I netted $675 for it last month.
 

negatv1

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2005
320
22
MI
Could you tell me how high above the table the top off the screen is. Im worried that it might be too tall and that you would have to sit with your neck ekstended to se the top off the screen?
That is the only thing I disliked about my 27inch imac (and the 24 inch before it) was the lack of height adjustment. I have my desk set and chair set at a comfortable position, and the lack of height adjustment was the only thing that I would have liked to see changed on the machine.

Fortunately the 27/24 inch iMac's can be mounted on a VESA bracket which then allows the use of a truly adjustable mounting arm, which I have use to put my iMac. Now I have it at a much lower, and much more comfortable (for me) position. Now, it's perfect. :)


As for the size.. well, if it were 30-inches I'd still be ok with it. I was working previously with two 24inch monitors, and found this higher res 27inch as a good replacement.
 

Bryan Bowler

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2008
3,790
3,638
OP, thank you for posting your thoughts! It's very helpful for those of us that are holding off for a few weeks.

Much appreciated,
Bryan
 

fhall1

macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
3,479
703
(Central) NY State of mind
That is the only thing I disliked about my 27inch imac (and the 24 inch before it) was the lack of height adjustment. I have my desk set and chair set at a comfortable position, and the lack of height adjustment was the only thing that I would have liked to see changed on the machine.

Fortunately the 27/24 inch iMac's can be mounted on a VESA bracket which then allows the use of a truly adjustable mounting arm, which I have use to put my iMac. Now I have it at a much lower, and much more comfortable (for me) position. Now, it's perfect. :)
I did the same thing with my 24"....it sits about a 1/2 off the desktop and is much more comfortable to view than on its stock stand.
 

dougb256

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2009
76
0
Buying the base 27” doesn’t make sense; you should pay the $300 to upgrade. If you don’t have the money, wait and save or just get the 21.5” base.
I own the 27" C2D and I disagree with you. I don't do work with video and I'm not a gamer. The heaviest demand on this machine is when I multi-track in Logic or if I watch a HD movie in fullscreen. Even then it doesn't approach 80% of total CPU usage. Why should I spend the extra $300 if it doesn't do anything for me?

-Doug
 

53x12

macrumors 68000
Feb 16, 2009
1,544
4
I own the 27" C2D and I disagree with you. I don't do work with video and I'm not a gamer. The heaviest demand on this machine is when I multi-track in Logic or if I watch a HD movie in fullscreen. Even then it doesn't approach 80% of total CPU usage. Why should I spend the extra $300 if it doesn't do anything for me?

-Doug
It seems like you value spending as little as you can (which I understand and appreciate) vs. getting the fastest and most up to date computer you can. The C2D is great for every day stuff, but if you are spending close to $2k on a computer, might as well spend the extra few hundred dollars and get 2009 technology and something that will last well into the future.
 

SiliBear

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2007
45
0
Glad to hear that WoW is running well on your new 27 inch. I've been waiting for any sort of reviews that specifically talk about framerates in WoW with the increase in screen size and resolution (with no change in video card). I'm currently running a 24 inch iMac with the 4850 and was concerned about whether framerates would suffer much given the higher resolution of the 27.

Any chance you could follow up with FPS info that you're finding in various WoW places? If I were to pick one of these 27 inch iMacs up (which I'd really like to), I would buy the i7, bump the RAM to 8gb, and most definately would use ATI 4850.
 

ScottHemlock

macrumors member
Nov 18, 2009
47
0
iMac 27" Temperature.

Hey Lasuther. Awesome mini-review :). I don't suppose you could tell me how hot your iMac gets after a long session on WoW could you? Additionally, could you tell me how hot it gets at the back of the iMac, towards the top to the touch?

Thanks :).
 

53x12

macrumors 68000
Feb 16, 2009
1,544
4
Additionally, could you tell me how hot it gets at the back of the iMac, towards the top to the touch?

Thanks :).
It will obvioously be warm since that is where the power supply is and the heat exhaust/vent. Being warm to the touch doesn't mean much since the important info is the actual temp of the CPU/GPU/HD...etc. Being warm to the touch is good, that means the aluminum body is acting like a heat sink and disapating the heat to make it cooler. Kinda like why the back of a refrigerator is warm (same concept, different application).
 

ScottHemlock

macrumors member
Nov 18, 2009
47
0
It will obvioously be warm since that is where the power supply is and the heat exhaust/vent. Being warm to the touch doesn't mean much since the important info is the actual temp of the CPU/GPU/HD...etc. Being warm to the touch is good, that means the aluminum body is acting like a heat sink and disapating the heat to make it cooler. Kinda like why the back of a refrigerator is warm (same concept, different application).
That is why I asked :). I also wanted to know if it gets real hot like my Macbook pro '08 version does. This thing will burn you leg off, which is why I use it on a desk :D.
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,237
1,248
Colorado Springs, CO
I own the 27" C2D and I disagree with you. I don't do work with video and I'm not a gamer. The heaviest demand on this machine is when I multi-track in Logic or if I watch a HD movie in fullscreen. Even then it doesn't approach 80% of total CPU usage. Why should I spend the extra $300 if it doesn't do anything for me?

-Doug
Future-proofing. The Core i7 will simply give you more power for longer as software becomes more complex.
 

SubaruNation555

macrumors 6502
Dec 3, 2007
362
0
Arlington, VA USA
Thanks for posting your impressions guys.

I saw both the 21.5" and 27" today in person and I was impressed. While the 27" did seem large at first, its size was forgotten after several minutes of playing around on it. The glossy screens were not as bad and I would have thought despite being in a store lit by fluorescent lights. A new iMac could definitely be my next computer in a year or so.
 

Shanpdx

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2008
2,452
283
Blazer town!
Overall, I think this is the best computer Apple has ever made. The screen feels much bigger than it is, the computing power is very strong, and it looks clean and beautiful.
we should appreciate Intel for Core i5 quad core and making it a $196 CPU (that is pretty darn CPU for the price) and LG for making the stunning display.
 

Shanpdx

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2008
2,452
283
Blazer town!
apple dropped the ball not including Core i5 in the iMac 27" $1699. that monster machines needs at least a quad core whether i5 or i7.
 

rockyroad

macrumors newbie
Nov 19, 2009
1
0
Hi lasuther,

I also purchased the i5 last Sunday. Luckilly, they had it at the apple store.

Just wanted to check with you if you have a problem with faces as well. It just keeps on loading non-stop. Tried deleting the the two .faces thingy files, clearing cache, and rebuilding. No luck.

How is it working for you?
 

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