New iMac 21.5" recieved (i5) - My Thoughts

miniroll32

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 28, 2010
1,352
2,446
It arrived quicker than expected... Dispatched on Saturday from China (custom i5 build) and came this morning by UPS! Awesome, I was still impatient though :cool:

Just thought I'd provide some feedback for those who want to be in the know...

+ Quietest iMac yet, surely. I was migrating from my MacBook for about 3 hours before (105GB) and the machine barely sweat - its not making any noise. No whistling from the screen, either, like some have reported in the past. I didn't even realise it was on when I pressed the power button.
+ Sound quality is wonderful!
+ It breezes through everything I've thrown at it. Even a Logic Pro project that had over 25 tracks played without a stutter. I'm glad I picked the i5 model as it was to me more future proof, but I'd like to compare it with the i3 versions.
+ iSight Camera seems sharper/clearer
+ New DVD drives; mine is a Samsung.
+ Up to 16GB of RAM. Not sure if this is new, but I know a lot of people often ask about RAM capacities...
+ I've re-discovered my fetish for 'New-Mac-Smell'. Not that you needed to know this...

- 'IPS' screen... No so fussed on the viewing angle. I'm suprised its not better, given that I have a Panasonic IPS TV and the colours remain balanced at any angle - this iMac on the other hand seems washed out even at say 100 degrees.

- I still thinking the packagings poor. Only my opinion, but I'm not the least suprised people were having cracked screens with the 27" models. Its quite obvious that because there are no Poly-supports between the bottom and top layers holding the computer, any severe weight placed above the package will cause pressure to spread out over the glass. Luckily, the 21.5" seems like the perfect size and its arrived fine.

- DVD slot still causes scratches!! :( I've been testing it with a couple of blank CD's, and the scratching appears terribly even if you gently pull the disc out and it touches the casing. The problem is that the drive seems to be placed right next to the edge of the slot, so as you put the disc in, it stupidly misses the edge of the casing by almost 1mm. Therefore, if you accidentally tilt it towards the back of the casing, scratches occur. Only way to avoid this is to actually place the disc in on the opposite angle - that being, pulling the disc towards you, so that the surface area keeps away from the edge. Annoying for a £1200 device. Very.

I'll continue to update with any thoughts or feelings, but please fire away with any questions you have! :)
 

stonemann

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2009
132
0
Good to hear you've got no screen problems out of the box.

Any heat issues with such a powerful processor in the smaller-cased model?

What make of hard-drive is in there?

Thanks for the write-up.
 

miniroll32

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 28, 2010
1,352
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Any heat issues with such a powerful processor in the smaller-cased model?
The top-corners of the machine get rather hot when you stress it with applications. However, I'm guessing this is completely normal as the aluminium is a conductor. Obviously can play on your mind that you, almost, should feel concerned that is getting very hot, you just have to remind yourself that the casing is drawing heat away from the CPU and GPU, unlike standard desktop computers.

The heat comes from either corner as these are where the CPU and GPU are placed - at opposite ends :)
 

Btom

macrumors 6502a
Nov 19, 2009
571
0
......
- 'IPS' screen... No so fussed on the viewing angle. I'm suprised its not better, given that I have a Panasonic IPS TV and the colours remain balanced at any angle - this iMac on the other hand seems washed out even at say 100 degrees.

.......
I am really happy somebody else noticed, that we have TV stores full of nearly perfect LCD screens, yet we so easily give Apple a passing grade on iMac displays!

Tom B.
 

lwien

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2009
112
0
I am really happy somebody else noticed, that we have TV stores full of nearly perfect LCD screens, yet we so easily give Apple a passing grade on iMac displays!

Tom B.
This is simply not true. EVERY TV manufacturer has some issues with their LCD/LED's. As I've said in another thread, this technology is in it's infancy as compared to CRT technology.

Check in this forum for issues with just about every TV that is on the market:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=166

What's interesting is when you read the Sony threads, you have people that are so pissed off that they state that they will never buy another Sony product again, but then you go to the Panasonic threads, or the Samsung threads and they say the exact same thing about their sets.

ALL of these displays have issues to one extent or another. The more important question has to be is how will the manufacturer handle these problems if you happen to have an issue and from what I have read here, Apple seems to handle them quite well.
 

Btom

macrumors 6502a
Nov 19, 2009
571
0
This is simply not true. EVERY TV manufacturer has some issues with their LCD/LED's. As I've said in another thread, this technology is in it's infancy as compared to CRT technology.

.....
Maybe I am color blind, but last time I've checked at my local Best Buy I didn't notice any yellow screen on any of the LCD HDTVs (around a whole hundred of them), yellow tinge was visible only on two (out of four) displayed iMacs.

Tom B.
 

dexthageek

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2007
391
0
It would have been nice if Apple put the i5 Quad-Core in the 21.5'' iMacs. I don't think the performance increase is enough to justify the price jump from the i3.
 

SiMBa37

macrumors regular
Jul 5, 2010
235
0
New York
It would have been nice if Apple put the i5 Quad-Core in the 21.5'' iMacs. I don't think the performance increase is enough to justify the price jump from the i3.
I was hoping for that too, I guess it may be a cooling issue with the smaller case?
 

miniroll32

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 28, 2010
1,352
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I can honestly say that Quad-cores in this 21.5" model would be nigh on impossibly, realistically :eek:

Even though this is a Dual-Core i5, my iStat menu shows all 4 'cores' (including the Virtuals) and they were all 25% active as I was installing software, downloading, syncing and more... Mainly as an initial stress test. Although the machine performed flawlessly when it comes to multitasking, the heat it generates through the case is extraordinary (the CPU temp was only 46c all the way through!). There is no way Apple could cool a Quad-core in this thing without some kind of special set-up.

As it is though, this thing simply wipes the floor! I'm actually really glad I didn't go for Quad :) Just get it guys
 

SiMBa37

macrumors regular
Jul 5, 2010
235
0
New York
I can honestly say that Quad-cores in this 21.5" model would be nigh on impossibly, realistically :eek:

Even though this is a Dual-Core i5, my iStat menu shows all 4 'cores' (including the Virtuals) and they were all 25% active as I was installing software, downloading, syncing and more... Mainly as an initial stress test. Although the machine performed flawlessly when it comes to multitasking, the heat it generates through the case is extraordinary (the CPU temp was only 46c all the way through!). There is no way Apple could cool a Quad-core in this thing without some kind of special set-up.

As it is though, this thing simply wipes the floor! I'm actually really glad I didn't go for Quad :) Just get it guys
lol, Damn you miniroll, I was all geared to get the high end 21.5 with the i3 3.2, now you got me rethinking it all for the i5. Hmmm...got one more week to make my decision.
 

dexthageek

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2007
391
0
I can honestly say that Quad-cores in this 21.5" model would be nigh on impossibly, realistically :eek:

Even though this is a Dual-Core i5, my iStat menu shows all 4 'cores' (including the Virtuals) and they were all 25% active as I was installing software, downloading, syncing and more... Mainly as an initial stress test. Although the machine performed flawlessly when it comes to multitasking, the heat it generates through the case is extraordinary (the CPU temp was only 46c all the way through!). There is no way Apple could cool a Quad-core in this thing without some kind of special set-up.

As it is though, this thing simply wipes the floor! I'm actually really glad I didn't go for Quad :) Just get it guys
yeah, there is no way apple could have put a quad core in the 21.5 body without some serious changes for increased cooling.
 

Tigerman82

macrumors 6502
Jul 27, 2010
257
31
After lots of thinking I finally may have decided on getting the 21.5" iMac i5 (just ordered 2x2 gigs of RAM so I have to get iMac anyway :D). I've read about these cpus intensily. However, one thing puzzles me... or perhaps worries me: the heat generated by the i5 680. I know it's made from the 32nm technology which should make it a low-power consumption cool cpu. However, at 3.6GhZ (with Turbo Boost making the clock even higher at times) it is one of the highest clock speeds that Intel has ever made. Could this be a bad thing when used inside a small and thin computer such as the iMac?

I have read that these aluminum iMacs run hot and that this is perfectly normal. However, miniroll's comments on heat made me wonder could 'heat' be one thing that would make i3 a better choice for the 21.5" model. What do you think?

I'm one of those guys who does basic non-professional non-encoding stuff with his computer. I guess the most professional program I have is the latest Photoshop Elements. However, I'm buing this iMac to be used for at least 4 years (preferably years longer) and I do want some 'futureproofing'. I might download Steam and play games, but I doubt you'll see me playing SC2, WoW or Crysis. On the other hand, I need a computer that is ready to handle more demanding task as I might get interested in those within those four years.
 

macman05

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2007
112
0
miniroll32,

Can you give the specs to your new iMac i5 21.5" and how much you paid?

Appreciate it!:)
 

Spike88

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2010
662
0
... I have read that these aluminum iMacs run hot and that this is perfectly normal. However, miniroll's comments on heat made me wonder could 'heat' be one thing that would make i3 a better choice for the 21.5" model. What do you think? ...
Regardless of i3 or i5, surf contents of:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/985062/


Hopefully, this fan control program works on your iMac (either CPU model).

.
 

Tigerman82

macrumors 6502
Jul 27, 2010
257
31
Regardless of i3 or i5, surf contents of:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/985062/


Hopefully, this fan control program works on your iMac (either CPU model).
I don't actually have an iMac. I was just generally thinking about heat and a highly-clocked cpu like the i5 680 -- I'm trying to decide between i3 and i5 for the 21.5" iMac I will order pretty soon. I've understood that because these iMacs are made from aluminum, they feel very hot but that this is normal. So I'm not saying these iMacs need a fan control program because this type of heat is expected.

I was just wondering if the i5, with its high clock speed, is pushing the limits of the heat and, because of this, could the i3 be a 'safer' choice. I mean the reason the 21.5" model doesn't have quad core cpus is because there wouldn't be sufficent cooling.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,821
7
I'm a little bit jealous, but only because the UPS man called to deliver mine today in the brief time it took my other half to walk the dog, so took it away again. Annoying, but they're going to try a re-deliver tomorrow :)
 

Spike88

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2010
662
0
Hi Tigerman82.

YES. Heat is a concern when deciding which outer physicial size or inner customization to pick - BEFORE buying. A few pages ago (or 3 days ago), I asked your same research questions as well. re: What is normal heat and/or what is too much heat? What is different heat ranges - based on its build?

re: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/983289/

Hopefully, someone will reply to my previous questions as well...

.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,821
7
I'm not sure heat's a huge deal TBH. The CPU only takes 8W more than the previous generation E8600 Core 2 Duo. If the GPU really is an HD5730M as other posters believe rather than an HD5670 as Apple are marketing it as then it runs 7W cooler than the HD4670 card found in the previous generation 21.5"

Which would mean that the i5 iMac uses just 1W more than its predecessor.
 

miniroll32

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 28, 2010
1,352
2,446
miniroll32,

Can you give the specs to your new iMac i5 21.5" and how much you paid?

Appreciate it!:)
Hey MacMan! It was the stock 'higher end' 21.5" model, with the only BTO option I made being the i5 chip instead of i3 :) It runs like a dream! Before I ripped a DVD in Handbrake in just over 20 minutes whilst encoding on iTunes AND copying back-up data from my old MacBook.

What was interesting here is that the GPU really kicked in! This is really what Snow Leopard was made for - when the computer is under pressure, it asks the GPU to help out, and it really does (so far, its been the highest temp component). This is another advantage of picking this ATi model over the lower end model.
 

iamthedudeman

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2007
1,197
84
Not one person with the BTO option without any troubles with their screen, even though allot of people have them.

This would indicate that the off the shelf items are being damaged in transit, not visibly mind you, but that the travel from production to shelf plays a part of how the internals of the LED get roughed up or not. Dead pixels and yellowing.

I am on my fifth 21.5 in just over a month. I have 22 dead or stuck pixels on my screen right now.

The last one had LCD leakage.

Are the BTO's made with more care than the stock options? Shipped individually to avoid over-handling?

This alone may be a reason to upgrade, and the performance boost is a plus. I still don't think that a little more than a 10% or a little more increase is worth $200.00. But it seems the screens on these models is superior and handled less in production and shipment.

And having the best 21.5 money can buy is a plus.

Debating weather this option is best and to take another chance for a six time or just get a 27 which my wife hates.
 

Kempalino

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2010
12
0
After lots of thinking I finally may have decided on getting the 21.5" iMac i5 (just ordered 2x2 gigs of RAM so I have to get iMac anyway :D). I've read about these cpus intensily. However, one thing puzzles me... or perhaps worries me: the heat generated by the i5 680. I know it's made from the 32nm technology which should make it a low-power consumption cool cpu. However, at 3.6GhZ (with Turbo Boost making the clock even higher at times) it is one of the highest clock speeds that Intel has ever made. Could this be a bad thing when used inside a small and thin computer such as the iMac?

I have read that these aluminum iMacs run hot and that this is perfectly normal. However, miniroll's comments on heat made me wonder could 'heat' be one thing that would make i3 a better choice for the 21.5" model. What do you think?

I'm one of those guys who does basic non-professional non-encoding stuff with his computer. I guess the most professional program I have is the latest Photoshop Elements. However, I'm buing this iMac to be used for at least 4 years (preferably years longer) and I do want some 'futureproofing'. I might download Steam and play games, but I doubt you'll see me playing SC2, WoW or Crysis. On the other hand, I need a computer that is ready to handle more demanding task as I might get interested in those within those four years.
Exactly my position man.
 
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