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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    100
    Specs:
    iMac 21 Inch - 3.1 GHz I7 Quad Core - 16 GB RAM - 512 GB SSD, iPod Nano, iPad Air - 16GB Wifi Only
    Choosing the right iMac for me - Need Help!
    My MBP is six yrs old and I am about to order a 21 inch iMac. I am a tech idiot. I have gone to the Apple website and compared two configurations of 21 inch iMacs. First, here's what I use my computer for: e-mail, web browsing/shopping, edit a few photos using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom, and I construct a lot of Excel files for financial programs using Microsoft Office for Macs-Excel. I am an old retired guy and I know Excel quite well and just don't want to use Apple's "Numbers".
    I never play video games and never film or edit anything with video. I don't use or need a large hard drive - in contrast to most of you having a huge HD and wanting or needing additional space. My six yr old MBP has a 200GB HD that's never had more than 65 GB stored on it! So, that's what I do and don't do with a computer and here are the two iMacs I am looking at:
    First: 3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
    256GB Flash Storage
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 1GB GDDR5
    Apple Magic Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac - Auto-enroll
    Accessory Kit

    Second:
    2.7GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
    256GB Flash Storage
    Intel Iris Pro Graphics
    Apple Magic Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac - Auto-enroll
    Accessory Kit
    The two "differences" that stand out are the processor and the graphics card. The faster machine, tax included, delivered to me w/Apple Care cost $428. more. Not to sound rude but I can afford either one but don't want to waste money. Which would you order for the intended use stated above.
    Thanks much for reading this long post!
    PS - If "Lifesabeach" by chance reads this, do you do any computer work for a fee. If so we are both in Wilmington, NC, so let me know and I'll call you.
    Last edited by tarheel; 03-23-2014 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Added information

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    49,102
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    From your input above, the second choice (less expensive iMac) should suffice for your needs. Keep this in mind, however.... The 21.5" iMac models are not user upgradeable at all. Which means you should purchase enough hard drive (SSD) space and memory that you think you will need for the future. By future, I mean the length of time you would like to get usage of the machine. Apple Care is an absolute must purchase for that machine, but I see you already intend to buy it anyway.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    100
    Specs:
    iMac 21 Inch - 3.1 GHz I7 Quad Core - 16 GB RAM - 512 GB SSD, iPod Nano, iPad Air - 16GB Wifi Only
    Thanks!
    chscag,

    Thanks for reading my rather long post and for replying. I know so little about computers and I highly respect your expertise in that topic.

    You hit right on my concern with either iMac - I want to go with the 256 GB SSD and I know it's not upgradeable. I have never sold a computer - I use 'em until they are worn out and either destroy the HD and recycle the rest of donate for parts to non-profits.
    As I said, I have never had more than 65 GB on a hard drive so 256 GB seems plenty for me - but that would not be true for many users of this forum.

    Thanks again,
    Bill
    Wilmington, NC

  4. #4

    TattooedMac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 19, 2009
    Location
    Waiting for a mate . . .
    Posts
    8,437
    Specs:
    21" iMac 2.9Ghz 16GB RAM - 10.11.3, iPhone6s & iPad Air 2 - iOS 9.2.1, ATV 4Th Gen tvOS, ATV3
    Quote Originally Posted by tarheel View Post
    As I said, I have never had more than 65 GB on a hard drive so 256 GB seems plenty for me - but that would not be true for many users of this forum.
    True, I have a 256GB Media Folder

    But to add to Charlie's post, as the weeks go by, the file sizes of this and that are getting bigger by the day, so even if you needed more space, a $100 2TB 5400RPM USB3 Ext HDD will do your needs and still have the speed to do editing with.
    Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
    Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!!!!!
    MoTM ☆☆☆

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    100
    Specs:
    iMac 21 Inch - 3.1 GHz I7 Quad Core - 16 GB RAM - 512 GB SSD, iPod Nano, iPad Air - 16GB Wifi Only
    I kept thinking about the iMac not being upgradable - and put that with the fact that I have used my last two computers for 6 years - and I took the advice given. I ordered the 21 inch iMac with the fastest I7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and the 500 GB SSD. My only concern, and it's not too much of one because I bought Apple Care, is that the SSD hard drive will be reliable. Murphy's law applies to everything but you would think a solid state drive would have fewer failures that a spinning hard drive. Oh well, the Apple Store says it should reach me by April 2 to the 4th.
    Thanks again for your thoughts on this situation/question.
    Bill

  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    49,102
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Nice machine and great choice. Let us know when you get it and what you think of it after taking it for a spin.

  7. #7

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    35,386
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by tarheel View Post
    My only concern, and it's not too much of one because I bought Apple Care, is that the SSD hard drive will be reliable.
    You get 12 months of Applecare with every computer purchase. You can extend this to three years (two additional years)…if you purchase extended Applecare before the first 12 months are up.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jan 10, 2012
    Posts
    272
    Don't forget tarheel, you can always use an external HD if you need more space.

    If you are going to extend your warranty, you don't have to pay the asking price of around 270. I bought mine here for 170 and it was fine! I appreciate that this is for a Mac Book Pro but they sell for all models.

    AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook Pro 15" 17-inch Retina Display **NEW** | eBay

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