Thread: iMac 21" vs 27"

  1. #1

    iMac 21" vs 27"

    Good afternoon all,

    Me and my girlfriend have just bought our first house and i decided to leave my PC behind at my parents for them to use. I didn't know if i would have the room for it and it was getting on a bit now. I've been using my Macbook Pro for work and WoW for the time being but have managed to save up enough to a iMac.

    I was wondering on peoples opinion on the 27" screen, I will only be using it for working and playing wow and then diablo when it arrives so i would presume the 21" would be fine hardware wise (?) but i've heard that the 27" screen is ball bouncingly awesome. But then, is it worth the £400 preimuim for that space and the hardware upgrade?

    I've listed the two i'm torn between:

    21.5-inch - £999
    2.5GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    1920 x 1080 resolution
    4GB (two 2GB) memory
    500GB hard drive1
    AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB

    27-inch - £1399
    2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    2560 x 1440 resolution
    4GB (two 2GB) memory
    1TB hard drive1
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB

    many thanks


    INB4 - Apple suckz PC rulez

  2. #2
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    I'd like to first and foremost ask what kind of work it is you do, and if a PC (or a self-built) is completely out of the question? In terms of the current iMacs, you do pay a lot for older and less powerful hardware. The equivalent PC you could build for £400 is immensely better than those two put together.

    That said, I would vouch to stay with the 21" model simply because of the price tag. To me, it isn't worth the extra you pay especially considering the computer. Further, you might want to check this before you make your purchase. iMacs are rumored to be replaced/upgraded soon-ish.

    I also moved this to "Computer Build Help".
    Last edited by Marest; 2011-10-22 at 03:22 PM.

  3. #3
    I'm not against PC's in the slightest, The only thing that put me onto the mac is that they use them at my place of work. So i thought i'd get one for convience sake. I was actually looking at cyberpower a few weeks ago and they do seem to have some good deals on. But then i can't figure out when to stop with my budget I.E i see what i can get for £50 more and i slowly creep up and then i forget to take into account the moniter prices.

    Really i just need something i can play Wow and Diablo on an max settings(ish) with a big enough screen

  4. #4
    What software do you use when working?

  5. #5
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by Drunkenvalley View Post
    What software do you use when working?
    Also of interest.

    Further, I would personally suggest something like this (guessing that you use some sort of rendering or 3D software):
    Using "Editing/Rendering 1200" as base:
    MoBo: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO$199.99 Review
    CPU: Intel i7 2600k$314.99
    RAM: Corsar XMS3 1600MHz 4x4Gb$127.99
    GPU: Gigabyte Radeon 6970$349.99
    HDD1: Samsung Spinpoint 1TB$59.99
    HDD2: WD Caviar Green 2TB$84.99
    PSU: Seasonic X Series 650W$109.99 Review
    ODD: Samsung 12x Blu-Ray$54.99
    Heatsink: CM Hyper 212+$27.99 Review
    Case: Fractal Design Define R3$109.99 Review
    Monitor: Dell U2711 2560x1440 27"$979.99
    OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit$99.99

    Estimated Total Price – $2521
    Much, much more powerful and price-worthy compared to the 27" iMac. This would cost around £2000-2300 depending on store. The screen is the obvious price sink here which can easily be dropped to a 1080p screen in the $250 range. Further, there is also room to drop down the i7 2600k to a i5 2500k if you don't do any rendering, and drop the 6970 to a 560 Ti or a 6950. This would bring the price in-line with the 27" iMac but still offer superior performance.

    You can check out more sample builds here:

    And again, if you have your mind set on an iMac I would personally suggest that you wait until the new ones hit the market in ~2-3 months.
    Last edited by Marest; 2011-10-22 at 04:34 PM.

  6. #6
    I expect it to be more along the lines of flat 2k. But we should probably stop being lazy and go to a British site to check it.

  7. #7
    Scarab Lord Robinhoodexe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    I would definitely go with the 27'' It's a 2560x1440 resolution and it's really really awesome. If you got the money, go for it. Oh, and, if the budget allows it, go with 128 gig SSD and a 500 or 1000 gig HDD as well. Really nice performance boost.
    Congratulations on graduating to expert level trolling, I would stick around but I'm busy getting gay married in 13 states and performing roadside abortions while passing bills that take away people's guns while i sip superior european wine and cheese i bought with european style socialist money, arrivaderci!

  8. #8
    The 27" is really worth it the extra buck. The experience is great. Still, if you want to go 27", you should really get the model with the ATI 6970M - the 6770M is not fast enough to power that display at its native resolution with demanding games. The ATI 6970M does a fine job in Deus Ex 3 and Witcher 2 (two games I have personally tested), on reasonable settings (medium-high).

    The PC suggested by Marest would indeed be a more powerful alternative at a similar price point; here you must decide whether you want the compactness of the iMac and the goodies which come with OS X or more raw power provided by the Windows machine.

    Anyway, if you only do a light work and want to play WoW/Diablo, then a 21" will do more then fine.

    ---------- Post added 2011-10-22 at 06:08 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Marest View Post
    And again, if you have your mind set on an iMac I would personally suggest that you wait until the new ones hit the market in ~2-3 months.
    A refresh is very unlikely prior to Ivy Bridge release, IMHO. Intel did release new SB CPUs, but only i5-2320 would be usable in the iMac (and its rather unlikely they will use it as it disrupts their lineup). I am also not aware of any new fast mobile GPUs which would be a reasonable candidate for the iMac update.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Marest View Post
    Your opinion goes against one of the most well-used forums for Apple products. While there is sense in what you are saying, this is still the iMac and Apple update those almost like clockwork (almost) independent of new technology.
    The opinions of the "most-well used forums of Apple products" (of which I have been a regular contributor for quite soem time by the way) is talking about MacBook Pros and MacMinis and not about iMacs which use completely different CPUs. Your last statement also makes no sense, as Apple won't update a product if there is nothing to update (except maybe increasing RAM and HDD sizes). The current iMac is abound in the middle of its release cycle, with last releases taking almost 300 days on average.

  10. #10
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Although, I will fold. Your reasoning is still somewhat solid, and it will probably be another 3-5 months before they update the iMac (it's not impossible that they release with Bulldozer chips). Still, I feel personally that you pay way too much for what you get, but I guess that can't be circumvented.

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