9 Replies Latest reply: Jun 6, 2013 6:26 PM by Csound1
Max Stanley Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

I'm thinking of upgrading my iMac and getting the 2012 27-inch 3.4Ghz i7, 3TB Fusion, 680MX 2GB GPU and add 16GB of ram later.

 

The 2011 has the option for 3 drives, built-in optical drive if necessary.

BUt the 2012 seems more stable, less internal components to get hot and more space accomedating in a smaller office/room.

 

anyone prefer one over the other? have you had both?


iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 3.4Ghz; SSD+2TB' 6970M 2GB; 16GB
  • 1. Re: 2011 or 2012 27-inch iMac? Which do you prefer?
    ssls6 Level 4 Level 4 (2,715 points)

    Get the 2012.  3 drives in a 2011 is not easily done.   The benefits of the 2012 outweigh any other concerns.  Go for the 3TB fusion model and space should be a problem.  You can even stop using it as a fusion and put the boot and apps only on the SSD freeing up the 3TB as a data drive.

  • 2. Re: 2011 or 2012 27-inch iMac? Which do you prefer?
    MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (8,075 points)

    Go for the 2011 model.

    It's a better iMac.

    Still has built-in optical drive, has both Thunderbolt and FW800 ports, has built-in digital audio in port, IR port for remote control operation. SD card slot on the side instead of on the back of the iMac.

    All of this is missing in the new 2012 models.

    You do not save all that much space with the new 2012 model iMacs.

    They use they same stand as previous iMacs and they are still the same size width wise.

    If you look at the new iMacs head on, they do not look any different than the previous model design.

  • 3. Re: 2011 or 2012 27-inch iMac? Which do you prefer?
    crh24 Level 3 Level 3 (920 points)

    Max Stanley wrote:

     

    I'm thinking of upgrading my iMac and getting the 2012 27-inch 3.4Ghz i7, 3TB Fusion, 680MX 2GB GPU and add 16GB of ram later.

     

    The 2011 has the option for 3 drives, built-in optical drive if necessary.

    BUt the 2012 seems more stable, less internal components to get hot and more space accomedating in a smaller office/room.

     

    anyone prefer one over the other? have you had both?

    Both ssls6 and MichelPM have given you an opinion, but it all comes down to your requirements.  If you really need to have any of the items that are 'missing' from the 2012 built-in to the unit then the 2011 might be a better choice for you.

     

    I made the decision for a 2012, moving from a 2010 model rather than a reconditioned 2011 for several reasons. I received my late-2012 top of the line order (except I have a 3TB fusion drive not the expensive SSD only version) in mid December and am 100% satisfied with it so far.

     

    Below are my reasons for the purchase of the 2012 rather than the 2011, but you may find something that aligns with your situation.

     

    I never used the internal CD/DVD drive on the 2010.  Early in the process I determined that the quality of the CD/DVD drive is one of the places Apple really fell short of top-notch.  I bought an external OWC tray loading drive for $100 and it is faster, quieter, and more reliable than the internal drive.  I have a large desk and providing room for the OWC isn't an issue.

     

    The first thing I did whenever I received a new iMac was to turn off the IR reception.  I have an Apple TV in the same room and controlling the Apple TV would also control the iMac.  Not funny or desirable.

     

    I purchased an Apple Thunderbolt to FW800 adapter and have my three remaining FW800 outboard drives at the end of my chain of two Thunderbolt drives.  Works like a champ.  I don't need a FW800 port residing on my iMac.

     

    Having the SD slot on the back is a minor issue, but it is balanced by the fact that I never insert the SD card into the optical drive slot.  I consider this a total wash in usability.

     

    I never used the audio Line In capability on any of my iMacs. I knew of the fact that it is not available on the 2012 so I purchased an iMic at the same time "Just In Case" and it works well--for me--if I should ever need audio Line In capabilities I have it.

     

    The 2012 runs cooler with all four cores running full tilt than the 2010 does idling. I suspect this to be the same with the 2011 because the physical design didn't change all that much between the 2010 and 2011 models.  I wash my micro fiber cloths out by hand and use the edges of the top of the 2010 as a rack to dry them.  Can't even begin to do that with the 2012

     

    The 2012 comes with an option for a larger HDD with fusion.

     

    The display on the 2012 has much less glare.  Apple claims a 75% reduction in glare and I can attest to that.  I work with my back to a window and have absolutely zero problems with glare.  I fought the glare quite often with the 2010 which has the same display as the 2011.

     

    I've comapred the speakers in the 2010 side by side with the 2012.  I don't have any figures to post, and I realize that this is a personal opinion with which others may disagree, but I do prefer the 2012 speaker sound.

     

    I cannot hear the fan in the 2012 unless the CPU has been running at full capacity for several minutes and then it is barely audible to me.  The fan on the 2010 is rather loud.

     

    I'm sure that I would have been happy with the 2011, but I believe I am happier with the 2012 than I would have been with the 2011.  As always, YMMV, and I'm sure there are many who feel as MichelPM does and I don't for a minute think they are wrong in their choice of the 2011 over the 2012.  Different people have different needs.

  • 4. Re: 2011 or 2012 27-inch iMac? Which do you prefer?
    Max Stanley Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    thank you so much.

     

    I already have the 2011 27-inch imac with ssd+hdd and 2gb graphics.

    problem is it had the LCD replaced twice already and it has multiple fans and multiple moving parts components (fans, optical drive, hard drive, etc) the newer imac seems more robust and less moving parts that shouldnt wear out as easily as the 2011.

    my main concern is longetivty. ive had portables and desktops last well over 5-8 years of constant use. but its a pain to lug in a 27-inch imac to a retail store to get serviced, already had some mishaps on my current one unfortunately.

     

    so i was thinking selling or keeping as a project computer, adding 3 hard drives as a server config and the 2012 would be the main machine to do everything i need to do, adobe to gaming, etc.

  • 5. Re: 2011 or 2012 27-inch iMac? Which do you prefer?
    crh24 Level 3 Level 3 (920 points)

    Max Stanley wrote:

     

    <...>

     

    so i was thinking selling or keeping as a project computer, adding 3 hard drives as a server config and the 2012 would be the main machine to do everything i need to do, adobe to gaming, etc.

    I decided to keep my 2010 and use it as a 2nd display.

     

    One of the major changes between pre-2012 and the 2012 models is airflow.  The airflow has been modifed so that it does not 'cool' any device that doesn't require cooling.  Only those items which generate heat are subjected to the air flow.  This redesign has resulted in the much quieter fan operation and much cooler operation.  The air that flows is more efficiently used. 

     

    Time will tell, but I suspect this will lead to increased component life and therefore to a longer lifespan for the computer.

     

    I thought of selling it and purchasing a Thunderbolt external display but decided not to because of it's computing/server capabilities. 

     

    Right now it serves as a 2nd display and as a video/audio server.  I hung a little WD 500GB USB powered drive on it for all of my archived TV shows and kept the bulk of the internal drive for my 250+ movies.  It works very well in that configuration.  The rest of the family, or myself, can stream the video/audio to their AppleTV's while I use it as an external display.

     

    In a pinch I can use it as a second computer.  Best of both worlds.

  • 6. Re: 2011 or 2012 27-inch iMac? Which do you prefer?
    skorman222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I highly agree michelPM  the 2011 27 inch imac is the best one that apple has ever made.  My rig consists of an intel core i5 running at 3.1GHz with tourbo boost up to 3.4GHz i have a 1tb HHD and i am getting the SSD soon.  Also i have 12 GB DDR3 1333MHz.  That is all i need 16 GB is over kill.  I hope that i get many years of enjoyment out on my imac. 

  • 7. Re: 2011 or 2012 27-inch iMac? Which do you prefer?
    Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (115,665 points)

    if you're going to do a lot of work with the optical drive, ripping audio CDs and burning CD and DVD disks etc.,  I would go for the 2012 model and get an external OWC.com optical drive.  I have the exact 2011 model you're thinking of and using it to rip audio books and audio CDs really heats up the machine, optical drive and disks.  Also I don't like slot loading drives as I sometimes get a disk with a paper label and won't use it in the slot drive of my iMac.  I have a G5 networked to the iMac and use it in Screen Sharing mode for most of my ripping needs.

     

    If you don't expect a lot of optical drive use, just the normal, the 2011 is a great machine.  I have the 256 MB SDD and a 1-TB companion drive.

     

    OT

  • 8. Re: 2011 or 2012 27-inch iMac? Which do you prefer?
    digibudII Level 2 Level 2 (415 points)

       The point is well taken regarding how it depends on the OP's needs so hopefully this thread lays out the various advantages.

        From my perspective, the big reason to go 2012 is the 512GB SSD (whatever size it actually is...). I'm living fine with my 256 in my 2011, but I would like the 512.

       That said, if I used the SD reader all the time I might find that enough reason to get the 2011. And the FW800 is nice to have, as is the DVD player for some people. If I had occasion to use the DVD player I lot I'd much prefer the 2011 but if I was burning DVD's with labels on them I'd need an external so it might swing back to the 2012.  Neither is entirely better than the other. One thing that may be in the thread that I didn't bother reading is the fact that the 2011 is much easier to get into and replace an internal part. For some that's meaningless. For me it was a pretty big positive for the 2011 since I'm quite likely to want to put in a 512 once this is out of warranty. And after all, isn't this finally the computer that is so fast I'll never need anything faster.... ?

  • 9. Re: 2011 or 2012 27-inch iMac? Which do you prefer?
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,365 points)

    skorman222 wrote:

     

    I highly agree michelPM  the 2011 27 inch imac is the best one that apple has ever made.

    Errmm, ever is not over yet.