iMac 27 or 21.5 with additional Monitor - ehMac.ca
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #1
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iMac 27 or 21.5 with additional Monitor

trying to decide between the 27 which seems too big or a 21.5 say processor, RAM etc with an additional 1080 monitor.

Thoughts anyone?

Real estate wise the two monitors offer more but...
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 09:31 AM   #2
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i would not buy the 21.5" imac simply because it doesn't offer the core ix chip yet. (with the update of the laptop range this week it's pretty clear that an upgrade to the 21.5" is imminent) but if you're comparing the 27" core i5 to a future 21.5" core ix imac that's a different matter. speaking as someone who's had a 27" core i7 since december i'll say that while the screen seems large at first, within a couple days you adjust, and now i think nothing of it. so unless you'd actually use a 2 monitor setup for a specific purpose (creative suite or something of the kind) i would think the bang for the buck of the 27" is hard to resist and has some advantages all its' own, like being able to put up two 8.5"x11" docs side-by-side...
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 10:21 AM   #3
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I know when you look at the two of them side by side the 21 seems puny.

I wasn't really thinking about the ix chips really, have to look into that some more I think.

I see on the site they have a i5 for $1799, seems ok. Not too sure about buying a refurb 27, always have bought refurbs in the past but I hear the 27 had some screen issues and not too sure what they may have done to refurb them.
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #4
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I've never had 27" screen issues on my Core i5 iMac. I also like that the 27" iMac offers "Target Display Mode", where you can plug a Mini-Displayport source (Mac Mini, MacBook/Pro) into your iMac and use the iMacs screen as a second monitor. The 21" doesn't allow you to do this.
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #5
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Get the 27" now, since you can always add an additional display later.

It's not too big, you'll love the extra screen real estate! And if Apple ever releases the updated 27" cinema display, you'll have a matching set.

Get the refurb if you want to save money, they're fully warrantied.
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #6
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I see on the site they have a i5 for $1799, seems ok. Not too sure about buying a refurb 27, always have bought refurbs in the past but I hear the 27 had some screen issues and not too sure what they may have done to refurb them.
I just picked up a 27" i5 from the refurb store about two weeks ago. The screen is fantastic, no issues there. One of the cooling fans is a tad noisy; I'm not sure if I'm going to call Apple about it or not. The 1 TB Seagate drive is noisy. There is a huge thread on the Macrumor forums about it. I don't mind the noisy hard drive much though.

Still... the machine is fast. Insanely fast. I can transcode an MPEG-1/2 1080i video from my EyeTV into 720p H.264 very quickly (a 40-minute show is done in about 20-minutes, versus the 110-minutes it took on my 2006 Macbook Pro).

The screen is actually a bit larger than I need. I do a lot of PHP coding and I actually find having too much code visible is distracting. But it does let me keep Mail off to one side so I can see who's bothering me while I work without switching windows. I think the 21.5" screen would have been a bit too cramped.

To the OP: I would go for the 27" over the 21". The Core i5 have a marked improvement in performance and will extend the system's use for you down the road. The Core 2 Duo architecture is really yesterday's technology. For me, I find having one larger display better than two smaller one's (plus the 27" can be used as a monitor with other devices that have a DisplayPort connector*).

Go for the refurb if money is an issue. They come with the exact same warranty as a brand new product.

*I order a cable from MonoPrice yesterday so my wife could connect her work laptop to the iMac, I'm looking forward to trying it when the cable arrives.
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #7
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Definitely go with the 27", you won't be upset about the extra real estate & you can still add the extra monitor if you like (I think you might be disappointed with the quality of the secondary monitor though sitting next to the iMac - unless of course you're spending a good chunk of change on a high quality monitor).

The i5/i7 are definitely a good bang for your buck and will probably keep you from upgrading too soon imho.

As for the refurbished store. You still get the same warranty as with a brand new machine but save $300. It seems like a no brainer to me.
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #8
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Well ended up ording a refurb 27i5

should be here Wednesday
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 11:26 PM   #9
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Well ended up ording a refurb 27i5

should be here Wednesday
Congrats on the purchase! I love my 27" i5 and it does anything I throw at it, so you'll love the i7!!
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