Review: The 2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K is iterative, not transformative

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in Current Mac Hardware edited April 5
We've been using and testing the new 2019 iMac 4K for about two weeks now, and while the spec bump is greatly appreciated, an otherwise unchanged machine is more iterative than transformative.

2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K
2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K


For 2019, Apple debuted new 21.5-inch 4K and 27-inch 5K models. While we will be reviewing the latter soon, here will focus on the former.

Specs and design

The 21.5-inch 4K iMac that we're reviewing is the base model iMac that you can buy for $1,299 (or on sale for $1,249 at Amazon) and it features a Quad-core i3 Processor, 8GB of RAM, a 5400RPM 1TB Hard Drive, and it's also equipped with a Radeon Pro 555X with 2GB of VRAM.






The overall design of the iMac 4K remains unchanged since its 2015 debut. There isn't an abundance of additional commentary we can add to this tried-and-true design, you like it, or you don't. You're fine with it, or you think that it's dated. Mileage may vary.

The thick black bezels are still surrounding that gorgeous 4K panel, and the same narrow, tapered design that we've seen since 2012 is here in all its glory. We don't think it's that the iMac has a bad design, we just feel that it could use some slight updates for 2019.

2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K
2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K vents


The speakers on this 21.5-inch iMac 4K are still great. For such a small and lightweight all-in-one, the speakers are loud, full, and don't distort in high volumes. There's plenty of bass, and while It's not an iMac Pro which sounds a lot cleaner and louder, listening to music at max volume can fill an entire apartment just fine.

Considering this is an all-in-one, most people will find these speakers more than suitable without the need for external monitors.

The display itself, as we mentioned, is gorgeous. It's still that LG-provided Retina 4K display with a resolution of 4096 x 2304 capable of supporting one billion colors. And, it's bright. It has 500 nits of brightness which is perfect if you're using this machine in a really bright environment. It also supports P3 Wide Color gamut which makes the display richer, more vibrant and capable of outputting lifelike colors.

This display is a perfect match for those who are in the creative field who wants an all-in-one machine that can display an accurate reading of colors. High-end color accurate displays are often quite expensive in their own right. It's not going to suit every creative pro in regards to color calibration, but it will cover nearly all of them without niche, very high-end needs. And, if you have those needs, you aren't really looking for an iMac screen anyhow.

2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K ports
2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K ports


Port selection on this iMac is pretty good for 2019, just like its bigger brother the 27-inch iMac 5K, you get a headphone jack, an SD card reader, four USB 3.1 type A ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

Performance

That new quad-core processor is the key to the iMac 4K upgrade. We're focusing on the low-end iMac 4K configuration which we believe is 65 percent of Apple's sales historically on the iMac.

2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K benchmarking results
2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K Geekbench 4 results


Performance on the base model iMac is decent. If you've seen our first impressions, you know that our base model iMac got a Geekbench score of 4819 in single core, and 14410 in multi-core. It also received a CPU score of 1472 in Cinebench R20.

Next, we fired up Unigen Heaven which is a gaming benchmark to test the graphics. With everything set to default, and quality in medium, we decided to run this test several times to find out how the Radeon 555X performs under load.

Our iMac 4K got a score of 749, and an average frames per second of 29.7 with a max FPS of 56.6. But, $200 more gets you a better processor and graphics card, and there is the more expensive Vega 20 graphics option as well if you're into that -- but we'll talk more about that in a bit.

The 2019 4K iMac will get the job done in regards to 4K video editing, but we don't recommend it as a main mover for that task. It's great for light video editing, daily computing, consuming media, and some light photo editing work.

We pushed this machine pretty hard, even running three simultaneous benchmarking tests, and barely got the fans to spin up. When they did, they were very quiet and we didn't notice them much at all during our time with the machine. We're still working on the iMac 5K reviews, and beefier processors will likely spur the fans on more, but in the case of this i3 base model, it didn't happen in daily use.

Our biggest hangup with this base-model iMac is the storage, but again, your mileage may vary. For what we use a Mac for, the 5400RPM Hard Drive is just unacceptable in 2019, but that isn't the case in the far larger buying population of this particular configuration.

2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K
2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K


At the very least, for $1299, the internal drive needs to be a 7200 RPM one. Plus, while Apple doesn't use them in any great volume, preferring its own PCI-E flash storage, SATA SSDs are so cheap now, we'd like to see that at this price-point, and feel that it would serve the "iMac as appliance" crowd that buys this model.

With that 5400 RPM hard drive, just like any typical spinning single hard drive, it takes a long time to load into macOS after a shutdown. In our case, it took well over a minute and a half for our machine to power on from a cold boot, and only slightly less for a reboot. As compared to flash media, loading apps or files is slow.

You can, however, configure this iMac with a Fusion Drive at purchase which can improve the performance a bit, or spend a bit more and get an NVMe SSD which is what we would recommend that most AppleInsider readers do. Your grandma may not need it, or even notice the speed on a SSD, though.

But, the issue with paying $100 or $200 more on non-terrible internal storage puts you at the same price point of the next tier model.

AppleInsider's take

The way Apple has set up its iMac models makes it (likely intentionally) a slippery slope of upgrading and/or making concessions. The legacy iMac that is still available has a 2.3GHz Dual-Core Processor and an HD display for $1099, and we don't recommend that at all. Paying $200 more gets you the model we reviewed with a 4K display, a quad-core 3.6GHz processor, faster RAM, and better graphics. That is a no-brainer.

2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K
2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K


For the AppleInsider core audience, the biggest issue with the baseline iMac 4K is the speed of the storage. If you spend $100 or $200 to correct that, you are looking already at $1499 -- the same price as the next tier up. If you opt for that instead, you get a faster 1TB Fusion Drive, better graphics, and now a six-core processor.

If you absolutely had to get the iMac 4K, our ideal setup would be to get the higher-end 21.5-inch model and add a 256GB NVMe SSD at purchase to get better performance and stick with external storage via Thunderbolt 3. Alternatively, since the machine is stationary, get the big internal spinning metal drive, get either an external SSD, be it with a SATA to USB or NVMe to Thunderbolt enclosure and boot from that.

Giving the new entry-level iMac 4K an overall score is tough. The AppleInsider audience isn't the same as the target market for this machine, like we already discussed. While this machine is a solid 4.5 out of 5 for nearly all of the iMac-using population, if you're a regular reader, it's probably a 3.5 out of 5 because of that 5400 RPM hard drive alone.

Where to buy

Apple's new 2019 21.5-inch iMac 4K is currently $50 to $150 off at Apple authorized reseller Adorama with coupon code APINSIDER. Prices start at just $1,349 for the CTO models after the coupon discount, with full step-by-step instructions for redeeming the code available in our savings guide.

For a full rundown of the latest deals and product availability, be sure to visit our iMac 4K Price Guide, which is updated throughout the day.

2019 iMac 4K deals 16GB RAM, Radeon 555X 32GB RAM, Radeon 555X 6-core processor
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    elijahgbig kchmurchisonchemengin
  • Reply 2 of 42
    thttht Posts: 3,249member
    Is there a GeekBench Compute score? Want to compare it to the iPad Pro for some fun!

    The iMac 4K is basically a computer for space constrained people? Ie, their work surface is too small for the base model iMac 5K?

    The only place I can see for this machine are kids’ bedrooms, but then it would be competing rather poorly with laptops. Even the secretaries at dentist, doctor offices, receptionists, use 27” monitors or 27” AIO these days. My banker uses, what, a 24” SFF PC to run virtual MS Windows environments off a server somewhere. Maybe there?

    A lot of these virtualize environments don’t even need the internals of the classic iMac 21.5” with HDD even. Everything is gated by how fast the Internet or network is, and HDD would be just fine and dandy in those environments. Not a Mac market though.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 42
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 533member
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Well, SDDs are optional for a few hundred dollars more.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 42
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,570member
    Was there ever an expectation that it should transformative rather than iterative? 
    thtSolicornchiphmurchisonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 42
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,570member

    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Then don’t buy the cheapest 21” iMac, as the 27” all have Fusion or SSD. If you need the cheapest base model for some reason, upgrade the storage. Problem solved, something for everyone. Users like my dad are not performance oriented, and just want something to hold photos, surf, etc. 
    edited April 5 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 42
    dougddougd Posts: 280member
    A hard drive? LOL what a joke
    myshkingfhelijahgchemengin
  • Reply 7 of 42
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member
    JWSC said:
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Well, SDDs are optional for a few hundred dollars more.


    myshkingfh said:
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Then don’t buy the cheapest 21” iMac, as the 27” all have Fusion or SSD. If you need the cheapest base model for some reason, upgrade the storage. Problem solved, something for everyone. Users like my dad are not performance oriented, and just want something to hold photos, surf, etc. 
     
    A Fusion Drive at least should be included in all the iMacs, especially when all the MacBooks and the old MacBook Air has an SSD and costs less than the iMac. They recently nerfed the Fusion Drive's SSD down to 64GB from the 128GB it used to be. Oh and even the top tier model that starts at £2,250 still has a hard drive. Apple's just taking the piss there. Plus upgrades to a SSD are ridiculously overpriced. Not only that, it's incredulous that the base iMac only has a 5400RPM drive. If that's not nickel and diming I don't know what is, and how you can try and defend that I dont know, and totally discredits anything you say.

    A friend recently bought the base HDD iMac before the recent refresh, and it's so sluggish it's embarrassing. It's like a machine that's 5 or 6 years old. Hell, my 2012 iMac is faster than the HDD 2015 model she purchased in 2019.
    edited April 5 myshkingfhchemengin
  • Reply 8 of 42
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member
    Oh and the 8GB of RAM they've come with by default since 2013 is getting pretty damn stingy now, especially as it's not upgradable on the smaller model. The best model of both sizes should at a minimum include 12GB RAM, but why do that when you can rip people off with a £300 RAM upgrade?
  • Reply 9 of 42
    The bezels are a full 1 inch wide. Courage!
    chemengin
  • Reply 10 of 42
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 533member
    elijahg said:
    Oh and the 8GB of RAM they've come with by default since 2013 is getting pretty damn stingy now, especially as it's not upgradable on the smaller model. The best model of both sizes should at a minimum include 12GB RAM, but why do that when you can rip people off with a £300 RAM upgrade?
    There’s a Windows PC out there begging for your attention.
    macxpresswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 42
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,973member
    elijahg said:
    Oh and the 8GB of RAM they've come with by default since 2013 is getting pretty damn stingy now, especially as it's not upgradable on the smaller model. The best model of both sizes should at a minimum include 12GB RAM, but why do that when you can rip people off with a £300 RAM upgrade?
    I have yet to run into any issues with 8GB of RAM I got in my 2018 Mac mini. There's no reason for everyone to have over 8GB of RAM today. Only people who care about specs care to have more RAM than they need. And yes, I even run my Mac in Windows, play games, etc and I've never had issues pertaining to lack of RAM. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 42
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    elijahg said:
    JWSC said:
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Well, SDDs are optional for a few hundred dollars more.


    myshkingfh said:
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Then don’t buy the cheapest 21” iMac, as the 27” all have Fusion or SSD. If you need the cheapest base model for some reason, upgrade the storage. Problem solved, something for everyone. Users like my dad are not performance oriented, and just want something to hold photos, surf, etc. 
     
    A Fusion Drive at least should be included in all the iMacs, especially when all the MacBooks and the old MacBook Air has an SSD and costs less than the iMac. They recently nerfed the Fusion Drive's SSD down to 64GB from the 128GB it used to be. Oh and even the top tier model that starts at £2,250 still has a hard drive. Apple's just taking the piss there. Plus upgrades to a SSD are ridiculously overpriced. Not only that, it's incredulous that the base iMac only has a 5400RPM drive. If that's not nickel and diming I don't know what is, and how you can try and defend that I dont know, and totally discredits anything you say.

    A friend recently bought the base HDD iMac before the recent refresh, and it's so sluggish it's embarrassing. It's like a machine that's 5 or 6 years old. Hell, my 2012 iMac is faster than the HDD 2015 model she purchased in 2019.
    Upgrade to a fusion drive is just $100. So all your chagrin is for that $100 difference? And if you pay $200 instead of $100 you get 1TB Fusion drive + 8th gen i5 + 4GB GPU. It is not meaningful to default to Fusion drive in all models because only the HDD component of that drive can be partitioned for BootCamp and this is not as easy as partitioning a 1TB HDD. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 42
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,270member
    elijahg said:
    JWSC said:
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Well, SDDs are optional for a few hundred dollars more.

    myshkingfh said:
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Then don’t buy the cheapest 21” iMac, as the 27” all have Fusion or SSD. If you need the cheapest base model for some reason, upgrade the storage. Problem solved, something for everyone. Users like my dad are not performance oriented, and just want something to hold photos, surf, etc.  
    A Fusion Drive at least should be included in all the iMacs, especially when all the MacBooks and the old MacBook Air has an SSD and costs less than the iMac. They recently nerfed the Fusion Drive's SSD down to 64GB from the 128GB it used to be. Oh and even the top tier model that starts at £2,250 still has a hard drive. Apple's just taking the piss there. Plus upgrades to a SSD are ridiculously overpriced. Not only that, it's incredulous that the base iMac only has a 5400RPM drive. If that's not nickel and diming I don't know what is, and how you can try and defend that I dont know, and totally discredits anything you say.

    A friend recently bought the base HDD iMac before the recent refresh, and it's so sluggish it's embarrassing. It's like a machine that's 5 or 6 years old. Hell, my 2012 iMac is faster than the HDD 2015 model she purchased in 2019.
    If they only included an HDD in the 21” iMac you’d have a point, but those HDD options are for entry-level storage. You want faster speeds with greater storage you go with Fusion, and if you want much faster speeds with less concern for price you go with SSD-only.

    Why is it so bad that Apple has this lower cost option for customers that are pushing for it? My guess is that education and other bulk sales, but I guess it could be entry-level Mac users or switchers, and if any of those help sell more Macs then what is there to be upset about?
    edited April 5 StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 42
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,392member
    Was there ever an expectation that it should transformative rather than iterative? 

    exactly what I was going to say... like, it's an iMac. 
  • Reply 15 of 42
    I have to agree with the HD skimping by apple causing a bad taste for their computer.   I bought the 2017 21" 4k iMac with 1 terabyte fusion last year and it was the biggest mistake.   My wife's 2011 1 terabyte fusion with the 128gb ssd has been great.  still fast after all these years.  Opening apps is still 1-2  blinks to open Excel or word.   This 2017 1 terabyte which has a 32gb fusion (not 64gb like the previous poster said) is terrible at launching apps.  I've noticed the apple apps like safari or messages will open on the ssd.  1 blink all the time.   but word or excel forget it takes a good 10-15 seconds to open for the first time.  1 blink on the second run but most of the time if you switch users and log back in it takes the app off the ssd and it's another 15 second wait.  32gb on a fusion is a terrible experience let alone without a fusion drive.  For a first time user of a Mac waiting 1 minute for startup and 15 seconds for app launches that's a lot of spinning beachballs in one day.  And if your like me I own a laptop with a ssd even if it's a old 2012 MacBook Pro you fill like the brand new $1600 computer is from the 90's.  with more people having ssd laptops standard and iPad's with flash storage and apps opening in a blink moving to a 15 second launch on a 2019 computer is just a subpar, many beachballs a day, experience.   Luckily I spent extra for 16gb of ram so I can leave my apps open in all the users to at least  avoid the bouncing apps in the dock.  8gb ram people forget it I'd return the iMac for a laptop and a external display.....
    elijahgchemengin
  • Reply 16 of 42
    macxpress said:
    elijahg said:
    Oh and the 8GB of RAM they've come with by default since 2013 is getting pretty damn stingy now, especially as it's not upgradable on the smaller model. The best model of both sizes should at a minimum include 12GB RAM, but why do that when you can rip people off with a £300 RAM upgrade?
    I have yet to run into any issues with 8GB of RAM I got in my 2018 Mac mini. There's no reason for everyone to have over 8GB of RAM today. Only people who care about specs care to have more RAM than they need. And yes, I even run my Mac in Windows, play games, etc and I've never had issues pertaining to lack of RAM. 
    I'd agree with you that 8gb of ram on a mini might be fine for the average user.  But that's only because the mini's all come with a super fast SSD standard in them.  all the extra ram usage goes to the SSD which doesn't miss a beat unless you really push it.  This is the experience you should be having with a base iMac but with a 5400rpm standard on the iMac forget it your going to be seeing beachballs all day and 15 second app launches all the time.   Apple needs to mirror their Mac mini line and include a SSD as standard on their iMac line in 2019.  Especially now that they switched to APFS format on their drives.  what's the point of APFS if they are still offering 5400rpm drives.....
    elijahgchemengin
  • Reply 17 of 42
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member
    JWSC said:
    elijahg said:
    Oh and the 8GB of RAM they've come with by default since 2013 is getting pretty damn stingy now, especially as it's not upgradable on the smaller model. The best model of both sizes should at a minimum include 12GB RAM, but why do that when you can rip people off with a £300 RAM upgrade?
    There’s a Windows PC out there begging for your attention.
    Yep good one, if that's what you say to a customer every time they complain that your offering is sub-par, you'll soon run out of customers.
    macxpress said:
    elijahg said:
    Oh and the 8GB of RAM they've come with by default since 2013 is getting pretty damn stingy now, especially as it's not upgradable on the smaller model. The best model of both sizes should at a minimum include 12GB RAM, but why do that when you can rip people off with a £300 RAM upgrade?
    I have yet to run into any issues with 8GB of RAM I got in my 2018 Mac mini. There's no reason for everyone to have over 8GB of RAM today. Only people who care about specs care to have more RAM than they need. And yes, I even run my Mac in Windows, play games, etc and I've never had issues pertaining to lack of RAM. 
    Ohhh sorry I never realised your use case was the same as most other people. My iMac with 12GB RAM right now has just 1GB free. The rest is used by Safari, Xcode, VSCode, the Windowserver and iTunes(!). Good luck running Windows with 4GB of RAM and expecting any kind of performance. My friend is doing a masters in science, using her 2015 Mac to write reports and papers. It has only 8GB (non-expandable) RAM. It is always out of RAM, taking 8 or 9 seconds just to open a tab in Safari. And that's with a SSD. Another friend's iMac that I mentioned earlier has 8GB RAM and a HDD. More than a few tabs open in Safari with maybe Word or Excel running in the background and the HDD is thrashing trying to keep up. it's a bad experience. 

    In any case you're missing the point: for a machine positioned as the "best" configuration, to have only 8GB of RAM is verging on scandalous. People buying that configuration aren't doing run-of-the-mill Number/Excel/Pages work, they're power users. They'll almost certainly need more than 8GB RAM. Why do you keep making excuses for Apple giving customers a bad experience, for a company that can easily afford to stop ripping off its customers? I'm a big an Apple fan as the next guy, and I hold Apple shares, but I don't assume my use case is the same as everyone's, and I can see their flaws and ripoffs.
    edited April 5 chemengin
  • Reply 18 of 42
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    nemaworm said:
    macxpress said:
    elijahg said:
    Oh and the 8GB of RAM they've come with by default since 2013 is getting pretty damn stingy now, especially as it's not upgradable on the smaller model. The best model of both sizes should at a minimum include 12GB RAM, but why do that when you can rip people off with a £300 RAM upgrade?
    I have yet to run into any issues with 8GB of RAM I got in my 2018 Mac mini. There's no reason for everyone to have over 8GB of RAM today. Only people who care about specs care to have more RAM than they need. And yes, I even run my Mac in Windows, play games, etc and I've never had issues pertaining to lack of RAM. 
    I'd agree with you that 8gb of ram on a mini might be fine for the average user.  But that's only because the mini's all come with a super fast SSD standard in them.  all the extra ram usage goes to the SSD which doesn't miss a beat unless you really push it.  This is the experience you should be having with a base iMac but with a 5400rpm standard on the iMac forget it your going to be seeing beachballs all day and 15 second app launches all the time.   Apple needs to mirror their Mac mini line and include a SSD as standard on their iMac line in 2019.  Especially now that they switched to APFS format on their drives.  what's the point of APFS if they are still offering 5400rpm drives.....
    Upgrade to 256 GB SSD is just $100. Remember, that base model is just an affordable 4K computer that suits the needs of a lot of home users. Backed with a cheap external USB 3 storage, that 256 GB SSD will hold all the productivity applications of a typical home user. If you need to run Windows natively on that base model then the 1 TB HD is the way to go, because, although it is possible to BootCamp a 256 GB SSD, the partitions would be too small for both OS. Kids may have a lot of Windows games and 1 TB HD may be better for Windows gaming. Besides, home users may have a lot of videos, photos, purchased music, movies, TV shows and 1 TB will make their life much easier...
    edited April 5 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 42
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member

    Soli said:
    elijahg said:
    JWSC said:
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Well, SDDs are optional for a few hundred dollars more.

    myshkingfh said:
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Then don’t buy the cheapest 21” iMac, as the 27” all have Fusion or SSD. If you need the cheapest base model for some reason, upgrade the storage. Problem solved, something for everyone. Users like my dad are not performance oriented, and just want something to hold photos, surf, etc.  
    A Fusion Drive at least should be included in all the iMacs, especially when all the MacBooks and the old MacBook Air has an SSD and costs less than the iMac. They recently nerfed the Fusion Drive's SSD down to 64GB from the 128GB it used to be. Oh and even the top tier model that starts at £2,250 still has a hard drive. Apple's just taking the piss there. Plus upgrades to a SSD are ridiculously overpriced. Not only that, it's incredulous that the base iMac only has a 5400RPM drive. If that's not nickel and diming I don't know what is, and how you can try and defend that I dont know, and totally discredits anything you say.

    A friend recently bought the base HDD iMac before the recent refresh, and it's so sluggish it's embarrassing. It's like a machine that's 5 or 6 years old. Hell, my 2012 iMac is faster than the HDD 2015 model she purchased in 2019.
    If they only included an HDD in the 21” iMac you’d have a point, but those HDD options are for entry-level storage. You want faster speeds with greater storage you go with Fusion, and if you want much faster speeds with less concern for price you go with SSD-only.

    Why is it so bad that Apple has this lower cost option for customers that are pushing for it? My guess is that education and other bulk sales, but I guess it could be entry-level Mac users or switchers, and if any of those help sell more Macs then what is there to be upset about?
    The point is if they're able to provide a SSD in the MBA for less than £1000, they should be able to in the iMac that starts at more than £1000; or at a minimum a Fusion drive across the board. Users want value, not cheap. A HDD isn't good value in a £1000 computer, and it makes the computer a bad experience for the user, reflecting badly on Apple. Oh and remember Apple doesn't even put a 7200RPM drive in them, when they're just a couple of quid more than the 5200RPM ones. You're telling me Apple's margins on those base iMacs are so thin they can't afford to spend a few extra quid per machine on a HDD that's noticeably faster? Maybe they should stop being quite so obsessive on the things that don't matter.

    The first time I setup a friend's brand new base 21" iMac I thought it was broken as it took such a long time to start up. It was literally 10 minutes, and subsequent reboots took a good 6 or 7. If I got a new computer, PC or Mac, and it took 15 seconds to launch Safari/the web browser as that iMac does it'd be going back the same day. Funny how they never have those base iMacs on display in the Apple Stores isn't it?
    edited April 5
  • Reply 20 of 42
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member
    For comparison: 

    This Dell is £1029, slightly less than the base iMac. It has an 8th Gen i5, newer than the iMac. It has faster RAM. It has a much better GPU, a Nvidia GTX1050 vs Intel Integrated. It has a 128GB SSD and a 7200RPM 1TB HDD. Still think the iMac should have a HDD? Granted, the display is likely to be better (though the iMac one is smaller, and neither are 4k)

    The iMac is actually much closer to Dell's £749 offering. That still has a faster HDD, and faster RAM, though the graphics are slightly worse. Other than that, you get pretty much the same machine for £300 less. Of course you have to then deal with Windows, but Windows 10 whilst not exactly great, is nowhere near as bad as older versions. I love Apple, but the prices are just becoming ridiculous. The prices are markedly affecting sales, but for some reason Cook is obsessed with maximising profit, even if it means less sales and ultimately, less total revenue.

    nemaworm said:
    This 2017 1 terabyte which has a 32gb fusion (not 64gb like the previous poster said) is terrible at launching apps. 

    Oh geez I didn't realise they'd gone down to just 32GB now. That's a f**king piss take.


    elijahg said:
    JWSC said:
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Well, SDDs are optional for a few hundred dollars more.


    myshkingfh said:
    Anything with an HDD in 2019 (2015, really) is 0 stars out of 5. Come on.
    Then don’t buy the cheapest 21” iMac, as the 27” all have Fusion or SSD. If you need the cheapest base model for some reason, upgrade the storage. Problem solved, something for everyone. Users like my dad are not performance oriented, and just want something to hold photos, surf, etc. 
     
    A Fusion Drive at least should be included in all the iMacs, especially when all the MacBooks and the old MacBook Air has an SSD and costs less than the iMac. They recently nerfed the Fusion Drive's SSD down to 64GB from the 128GB it used to be. Oh and even the top tier model that starts at £2,250 still has a hard drive. Apple's just taking the piss there. Plus upgrades to a SSD are ridiculously overpriced. Not only that, it's incredulous that the base iMac only has a 5400RPM drive. If that's not nickel and diming I don't know what is, and how you can try and defend that I dont know, and totally discredits anything you say.

    A friend recently bought the base HDD iMac before the recent refresh, and it's so sluggish it's embarrassing. It's like a machine that's 5 or 6 years old. Hell, my 2012 iMac is faster than the HDD 2015 model she purchased in 2019.
    Upgrade to a fusion drive is just $100. So all your chagrin is for that $100 difference? And if you pay $200 instead of $100 you get 1TB Fusion drive + 8th gen i5 + 4GB GPU. It is not meaningful to default to Fusion drive in all models because only the HDD component of that drive can be partitioned for BootCamp and this is not as easy as partitioning a 1TB HDD. 
    Yeah, but then as the Fusion drive is only 32GB it isn't much better than a HDD. And Apple's charging $100 for a M.2 SSD that can be bought on eBay, singularly, for £35. Apple will be getting them cheaper than that. That Cook is willing to cause such a crap experience to save £35 on a £1000 machine is really quite saddening.
    edited April 5 hmurchison
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