My 27inch iMac is too big. Can I reduce screen size?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tbb07, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. tbb07 macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2011
    Basically, I want to reduce the amount of pixels on the screen (not pixel density), so it would be like I'm using a 21inch instead.

    Can this be done? I thought an extra 6inch would be a steal, but it turns out to be more a burden.

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    You could lower the resolution via System Preferences > Displays > Display.
    Or you sell that iMac and get a smaller one.
  3. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    You can increase font size ( CMD + ) in many applications, or as suggested above lower the resolution.

    First time I have ever heard a complaint about a 27" screen....I love mine.
  4. jwm2 macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2012
    Where you located? I'll trade you, i just bought mine last week, heh.
  5. tbb07, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2012

    tbb07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2011
    simsa: Wouldn't lowering the resolution just make everything more pixelated? I'll have to try that out when I get back to my dorm.

    jwm2: I'm at Penn State University Main Campus. It'd be very coincidental if you lived nearby :O.
    Also, I'd rather have a Macbook Pro 13in-15in now that I need the mobility :(.
  6. burnout8488 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2011
    Endwell, NY
    Pretty much. You could try tweaking with accessibility settings and font sizes to keep everything as un-pixelated as possible. Lowering the resolution will make that gorgeous 27" look like it's from 2001 :(
  7. mentaluproar macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    I can tell you how to reduce screen size with a hacksaw, but it might void your warrantee.
  8. dwarnecke11 macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2009
    It sounds like you want a big black border around a 1:1 1920x1080 screen, right?
  9. Votekinky06 macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2011
    I think the most cost-effective way to reduce the screen size would be to sit farther away...
  10. crimton macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2011
    I just got one and had to lower the resolution to 1920x1080. After using it for about an hour at the highest resolution my eyes began hurting. I took a break and they kept hurting for a few hours. I tried sitting back from the computer as far as I could comfortably but it just wouldn't work, maybe my eyes are sensitive. Since I turned it down though its been fine and I still think the screen looks beautiful.
  11. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    Same thing happened to me. It will take a new user ~ 2 weeks to get used to the higher resolution. Afterwards, you will be enjoying your newfound real screen estate just like any other monitor. Now, I can stare at my screen all day and not feel tired. :)
  12. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006
    After having my 2011 27" iMac since June/July, I now think that it's somewhat small. Though, I initially thought it was massive when I first got it however, after all this time with it, it's fine for its size but I do wish it were 30"+ at this point.

    My biggest complaint about having a display this size is that software and web site developers aren't making their products resolution independent and taking complete advantage of every pixel available to them. It sucks that everything is still coded for 1024×768 displays while modern displays generally surpass that resolution. And it's not enough for me to simply hit "command +" to use more of the screen, the moment you do that the objects on the screen become pixelated and look terrible.
  13. guyjeb macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    BIG Resolution = tiny text

    The Problem is that the resolution is so massively large that when trying to do any kind of Coding the Text is so small I have to get closer to view it.

    I have found using the Command + function helps a lot, but some apps dont support the zoom features.

    I may look into the DPI settings as well. But I agree with the original complaint, it's weird to suddenly have to squint at smaller text due to ginormous resolution.

    I am starting to think 1 21" iMac + 2nd monitor for dual screens would be better.
  14. salmoally macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2012
    I find the 27inch way too big too. My neck hurts when using my brothers one for an extended amount of time.

    The 21" with the i7 would be perfect if they at least provided an option for a 1gb gfx card.

    I really hope the iMacs come with 1gb cards as standard in the next model, it would be slightly criminal to have a 512mb card in 2012 on a £1000 computer :(
  15. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2007
    Totally wrong.

    If you think your text is small, the problem is not the number of pixels (the so called "resolution") but the size of the pixels ("pixel density" measured in Dot Per Inch, dpi)

    The iMac 21'' have a dpi of 102, the iMac 27'' have a dpi of 109. Almost the same thing.

    So, the text on iMac 21 will be pretty much the same size as on the iMac 27.
  16. ombrenelcielo macrumors regular


    Jan 21, 2011
    Helsinki, Finland
    Return it perhaps?
  17. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I live nearby (20 min away) but seeing how as I have dual 27 inch screens (which still doesn't provide enough real estate) I don't think you'd want to trade with me :p

    How big is the desk you are using it on? If its a small desk or one in a dorm it will probably feel overwhelming at first but you'll get used to it. On a larger desk they don't feel so big. (See pic to see what I mean)

    Attached Files:

  18. karmamule macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2008
    Waltham, MA
    What are you writing your code in? Every code editor I've ever used has an option to increase the editor's font size. Won't that resolve your problem?
  19. tigres macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
  20. Glen Quagmire macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    Sounds like you need glasses.
  21. softwaredevelop macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2008
    Imac 27 Overall height

    Had the 24" iMAC for 3 years and then upgraded in Oct to the 27" iMAC.

    About a month later, my neck would hurt after using the iMac for over an hour. this has been going on for about 4 months.

    did some research, my desk height is 29.25, i am 5'6" and with the 27" i felt that I was looking up at the monitor when viewing the upper part of the screen or the menu bar

    spoke with the manufacture of my desk (they are not in the US) and suggested that i try a monitor arm.

    Tried the humanscale M8 this week and its will designed however i did not want to have the arm holding the monitor. in addition the Apple VESA plate install was a pain.

    Called the desk manufacture and they suggested that i cut the steel legs. However was concerned about that .

    Did some research and found a machine shop to to cut the legs (we removed 2") and its working perfectly now. The overall desk height is 27"

    Attached Files:

  22. TwoBytes macrumors 68030


    Jun 2, 2008
    We're you wowed by the screen size from 24 to 27? Was it noticeably different?
  23. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Do a little research. There are lots of conversations about this.

    I just sold my 17" Macbook Pro yesterday because of a similar problem .

    Set a 17" hi-res MBP next to a 15" MBP, and the text is larger and easier to read on the smaller 15" MBP.

    Don't really need a laptop, so I figure a desktop would serve me better.

    I was considering the 27" iMac ( I have a 24" but giving it to my son ) but have been looking into this, and it seems to be the same thing in the 27" iMac.

    Apple could have, and should have done a better job in this area.

    I might just end up coming home today with a Mac Pro but that is a costly alternative.
  24. softwaredevelop macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2008
    iMAC ergonmomics

    As i have noted went from the 24 to 27 and with the higher resolution you have to cover a lot of space on the display by moving your head.

    if you are looking up at the monitor you may run into issues (as I was) when using the native resolution


    1. Run the iMAC at a lower resolution

    2. Put it on a monitor arm

    3. Lower the desk height.

    The bottom line from my message is that I wish the iMac had an adjustable height.

    However research the section "viewing Angle–Height and Side-to-Side" from the OSHA web site at

    I lowered my desk by 2" and the 27" is now perfect.
  25. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    If you are still within a certain period of time (14 days i think) you can return it without any fees and you can get a smaller one or try getting a mac mini and choose the screen size of the external monitor to what suits you.

Share This Page