To VESA or Not to Vesa

Discussion in 'iMac' started by its_turtles, Feb 24, 2018.


Should I go with a VESA mount or the normal stand?

  1. VESA

    5 vote(s)
  2. Stand

    13 vote(s)
  1. its_turtles macrumors newbie


    Feb 24, 2018
    Going to take the plunge on a new iMac 27.

    I'm strongly considering getting it with a VESA mount, and buying a third party stand (something like this, or this). I'd like to have the flexibility of wall/arm mounting it in the future, and I'd also like to be able to adjust the height.

    My concerns with this approach are:
    • The stand looking super ugly
    • The stand not being as sturdy as the OEM, and wobbling all over the place
    • Resale (not a biggy at all... just a consideration)
    • Costs more, but that this point... whatever
    Any thoughts/wisdom/stand suggestions would be super appreciated. Thanks!
  2. c0ppo macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013
    I'm using iMP with vesa stand. I simply don't like standard mount at all. Using a simple desk monitor arm and it works like a charm. I'm 190cm tall, and it's completely unergonomic for me to use iMac with standard stand. I have to put some box/books underneath it, and that is super clumsy and ugly :)

    VESA to the rescue.
  3. ThatSandWyrm macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2017
    I wouldn't trust the Apple VESA adapter, unless it's physically integrated into the rear panel (not a screwed-on addition). See "VESA-Gate".

    I have my iMac Pro on an adjustable space-gray shelf that hides the iMac's foot behind a magnetically attached front with a wood-grain side, and a bare space gray side. There's enough room under the shelf the iMac rests on to hide my Time Machine drive inside it too. Plus whatever thumb-drives and memory cards I don't want out on my desk. With the stand, the display's top edge is even with my eyes, as it should be.

    I have arms for the 4 OTHER monitors attached to it, but there was no way to fit another one in for the iMac itself.
  4. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    Yeah... personally the Apple VESA mount wouldn’t be an option. It is supported by those fragile brittle screws. If they snap, everything is crashing down.

    With that in mind, I’m not even sure I’d trust the Apple stand either. It attaches to the same point.

    Personally I would have designed an interlocking connection that didn’t require screws to stay assembled or supported. The screw should simply be a retainer not a supporter.
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    iMP Pro owner here, with the iMP mounted to a Herman-Miller Flo Plus. I used the stand for a few weeks, read the BS claims about the fragility of the screws and happily mounted my $5k iMP to the adapter. There's 4 more in my offices that are mounted to arms, all work just fine.

    Regarding the screws, the units in the 5 adapter kits were all steel. Zero issues. As to others claiming that the screws are zinc, I'll call BS from my own experience. As to others calling out the screws as fragile, I'll ask them to prove it - I included photos on AppleInsider in a post and, it'd be a waste of my own personal time here I wouldn't put it past the makers of the adapter kit to put "Chinarello" fakes on the market. I'm still going to call out the nitwits on YouTube about this issue after seeing first-hand how ham-handed some of them have been with drills - I've designed and built about 70 bridges and seismic upgrades over 25 years and have seen great work and work that have landed people in jail for faulty work, and what I've seen on YT leans toward the latter, in that I'd fire them on the spot and ban them from my project sites. I also used my Effetto Mariposa Giustaforza II torque wrench with the existing and new screws, installing the new screws to the same setting as the existing screws - QED.

    The adapter in the non-iMP iMac is not the same as the adapter used in the iMP, with a different connection method. Also, the iMP weighs more than the VESA iMac. And, Apple has been shipping a VESA iMac for about 8 years or so - and there's been no doofus on YT using a drill on the iMac you're alluding to. That yammering that idiot posted has nothing to do with the unit you're asking about, they're two different mounting systems. My offices have 5 VESA mount iMacs, and there's been zero issues with any of them (I write the checks, it's my company, so I know if there's a fault or other issue...)

    Honestly, just ignore anyone who has zero experience with these adapters. The means of attaching the adapter puts minimal stress on the fasteners if its installed properly. Maybe I don't know what I'm writing about, although last time I checked all of the bridges I helped design and build in the past 25 years are still standing...

    Just get the VESA mount iMac, there's plenty of stands that work just fine with that unit. +1 with @c0ppo, I can't stand the stand... Cheers!
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009

    Apple discussions:
  7. JLat macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2017
    No need to wait for a vesa mount. Good luck finding one in reburbs. If you are going to ship or car carry your iMac, all the most popular choices are designed for the desk stand. By Vivo, marketed by TeetherTools too (for about 4x the money). Paid $20. Have seen it for less since. That is a six inch baby plate (wall plate) in the photo using the 75mm mounting holes. Lots of other options to the baby plate if you want to spend more money. Upgraded the fasteners to stainless allen heads. Yes, shorter screws would look better.

    Nope. No affiliation. Just sharing. ~J
  8. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Saw those, the YouTuber was who I was alluding to, the idiot with the drill...

    They're not just screws, they're screws with threadlocker on some of the threads. I took a few minutes to look closely at the YouTube vid that you embedded as in using the 4k resolution from about the 1:35 point to the 3:30 point and IMO he did not properly install the fasteners. My nits to pick are that all of the screws in my kits are steel, the YouTuber didn't offer which tool he used to install/remove the fasteners, why didn't all of the screws snap off if they're all made of the same material (just writing that here), when looking at the screw heads (around 1:20) there appears to be what I would judge as signs of fastener damage at where the tool bit meets the screw - a sign of either using the incorrect or a mis-sized bit and/or over-tightening, zinc and zinc alloys have a bluish color at room temperature and I didn't see any hint of a bluish color, "black zinc" machine screws is actually a nickname - the true name of the alloy is "steel zinc black" and generally has a hardness rating of Rockwell B70 - B100 (near and overlapping the range of both 18-8 and 316 stainless at Rockwell B85 - B95), and the closeup of the failed screw has a "shiny" appearance without the dullish or matte finish I always see in zinc and zinc alloy fasteners.

    Not piling on but the bits I didn't see in that YouTube video was how the attempt at extracting broken screw was done - he said that he used an extractor but he didn't say that he used lubricant with the extractor, the drill bit used to "drill out the screw" did not look to be a cobalt unit, and despite going to a lot of trouble to explain his process I didn't hear him say (explicitly) that he used the included driver tool.

    I wrote my first accident investigation training manuals in '93 (including that for the field investigators) and I subscribe to FORGE Magazine, the YouTuber just sounds too defensive at key points - I've caught too many contractors over the years at cutting corners, and he sounds like most of them. That the flange isn't threaded as well and he couldn't remove it from the iMP body leaves me feeling that he's not telling the whole story, doesn't know how to properly use tools, and over-tightened the fasteners and not copping to it.

    My comment above regarding Chinarello (fake Pinarello carbon bicycle frames made by the same factory but with zero quality control after hours and sold at a fraction of the cost of a Pinarello carbon fiber frame) leaves me some room in the case of making fasteners "after hours" but there's such a low target market for these inexpensive fasteners I'd discount that theory. Over, and out.
  9. ThatSandWyrm macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2017
    Even if what you say is true, this is a HORRIBLE design for a VESA mount, and speaks to Apple putting form over function. I have 4 monitors on arms in my office. All of them have had their feet swapped with VESA plates, and back, and forth, multiple times. Instead of simply putting 4 VESA-compatible screw holes on the back of the iMP's casing, they introduced a kludge that makes "user error" FAR too likely, and for some reason didn't anticipate that users will need to move their monitors around and change mountings every 6-12 months or so.
  10. campyguy, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018

    campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Picking nits, I didn't say anything - I wrote it. I'm kind of particular about context. In that regard, look for yourself - every bit I wrote is correct and I can provide references (including the safety engineer who hired me in 1993, he still works for the agency). As to the video, it's out there for all of us to see - I can only rely on that person's own video - if it's faked, it's faked. Use a web search to check for yourself - I get material certs all of the time, sometimes backed by web links in submittals. Here's one that I received just this past week, backing up some of what I cited - most of the specs for these very fasteners is part of ASME B 1.1, a standard that's been around since 2002.

    No offense, don't test me on this. It's my job, materials certification and compliance and accident investigation. If you've driven in the PNW, you've likely driven across one of my bridges.

    You wrote "HORRIBLE". Based on what? Your opinion really doesn't mean anything to me unless you back it up. It works, and Apple's been using that design for around a decade. It's sad that you've had issues with your installations, I'll admit, however, I'm at a loss at your reference to "feet" and "VESA-compatible screw holes"; VESA has no specifications regarding screw holes that I'm aware of (again, please, back up your assertion here?) - the flange on the iMP VESA adapter has 5 - not 4 - screw channels, so you're losing me here already.

    Either a product is VESA-"compliant" or it's not. No product is VESA-"compatible". VESA provides standards. "Compatible" means nothing here.

    I've also got to pick a nit with your "kludge" introduction bit. Good one, I'll differ with you (more on this below, see the bit on "multiple times" below). The current adapter is a direct copy of the adapter that was introduced about a decade ago - I owned one, and that iMac weighed in at about 44 pounds, far more than the 19-20 pounds that the iMP weighs. Same screws, zero issues despite several mountings over several years. The iMP has only been on the market for just 6 months, your claiming the 6-12 months timeframe can't even been borne out. Sorry, but you're reading as being a bit overdramatic here - read what you wrote, seriously?

    I'm not "attacking" Apple's design. IMO I called out the YouTuber as an idiot who made a false claim who left out key details about his process and provided my observations to back them up. The comments you've offered - the kludge bit, swapping multiple times bit, the anticipation bit - you've lost me with credibility and rationale. To wit, iMac Pros have been on the market and in users hands for about 6 months - that's it - and there are plenty of stands that readily accept VESA adapters; if you're swapping out Apple's VESA adapter "multiple times" (your words, not mine) I'd offer that you're not the target market or need to hire an installer who knows what they're doing.

    You may feel that you have a valid gripe. I don't agree with your opinions.
  11. Strider64 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2015
    Suburb of Detroit
    I saw a follow up video by Snazzy Labs and even after getting a new iMac Pro that still didn't satisfy him. He went on telling some sob other sob story that I don't really remember because by now his whining was getting irritating. I'm not the most mechanically inclined, but I know from past experiences that you should over tighten any screws. I also don't understand why anyone would try to really tighten them in the first place, for I'm always concerned about stripping the screw. I also find it a little suspicious that he was quick to blame the Apple Store for the damages that occurred to his iMac Pro & stand. There's a possibility that he might have a legit complaint, but I have doubts for something seem fishy in my opinion.
  12. ThatSandWyrm macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2017
    No offense, but you can "be" anything on the internet. So if you're as experienced as you say, stop arguing from authority and try demonstrating that expertise instead of crowing about it.

    I said that the mount was "horrible" because it's a kludge that uses a small, normally moving/rotating part (the foot joint) to hold a much larger bracket onto the back of the Mac. The mount uses what? Nine screws? That's because Apple wanted the foot joint to be thin, so they substituted more smaller (weaker) screws for fewer large (stronger) ones. That's not a problem for a joint that 99.9% of users will never see. But if you're relying on end-users to install the VESA adapter onto that joint, then many small screws instead of 4 large ones poses a much higher likelihood of user error or material failure. In that way, an elegant solution for one use case becomes a horrible solution for another.

    Even if this guy is faking the failure, or the crappy screws were just a bad batch that somehow made it through QA, that doesn't make this a "good" way to mount a VESA arm. I'm a fairly careful guy, but even I have stripped, or cross-threaded my fair share of tiny screws. Which would result in a similar inability to use this kind of VESA attachment. I'm also a heavy user of VESA arms, and I know how often I've mounted and de-mounted monitors onto them. Apple's solution was not designed for the VESA arm to be removed, and the original foot to be re-installed.

    And if this was a time-proven solution with no previous problems, why did Apple stop using it for years in favor of a BTO option that would make your iMac VESA-only?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 9, 2018 ---
    He can be both honest and an attention whore at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive.

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11 February 24, 2018