camardelle

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Aug 17, 2011
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Looking at 2011 used from OWC. Still a good unit? Not doing any rocket science or anything, just light film and photo editing...very light. Simple GoPro stuff.

Would this work, or is it overkill?
 

z970mp

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Jun 2, 2017
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Looking at 2011 used from OWC. Still a good unit? Not doing any rocket science or anything, just light film and photo editing...very light. Simple GoPro stuff.

Would this work, or is it overkill?

Give it at least 8 GB of RAM, a 1 TB drive, perhaps a second GPU to handle displays, and you're good to go.
 
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orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
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depends on the cost and what you want it to do, an imac will be faster id gess.
(depends on model :p but any new 4 core+ will beat a single cpu macpro id gess in most tasks)

it gives you the options of internal drives,cpu,ram and maybe swapping the gpu if needed

macpro has a slower cpu,bigger,nosier, sata 2 speed limit on internal drives, no usb 3 (without pci card) no thunderbolt,

imac will come with a new SSD+gpu (macpro may not so if you need them added cost), imac has nice display, imac has good speakers

if you say apps you want to run or which cpu/gpu it has i can say more

both ways you want 16-32gb of ram (id gess)

so if you do compare them add the upgrades the macpro may need to the total cost compared to an imac, also a macmin may work fine for you if your only doing light work

(dont forget to add the cost of display etc if you need them)
 
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camardelle

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2011
358
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Just FYI, a 2011 Mac Pro was never released. Either a 2010 or 2012 (same model – 5,1)

Very unfamiliar with the line. 2011 was what OWC quoted. Thanks for the clarification.

I appreciate all the input. Thank you.
 

InuNacho

macrumors 68000
Apr 24, 2008
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In that one place
What iMac do you have?
The Mac Pro is great if you need a truck of a computer but buying the parts needed to get it close to your iMac might be a bit expensive depending on where you look.
 

mikas

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2017
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I wouldn't buy an old Mac Pro for photo editing. I use CAD software, and I render some 3D images. I use a lot of libraries, and I need a good amount of backup storage. I try to deliver electrical documents and in like many different formats, for building buildings, and for those other designers to eventually give the design documents to a constructor to build these buildings. I chose to stay with Apple for now. I don't know if that's gonna last. Because apple is an a** today, at least towards us creative professionals.

At least today Apple is an ***. We don't know if their a*sessne** would change, as of any day now.

We, as in our company, are, or were, about to acquire some iMacs. We really need the new blood with machine performance. The obstacle did not come out of the corner. This new blood will come with HIGH SIERRA. High Sierra has got a few of a problems still, at least with our favourite software. We make our living only - and allmost only - with that software. Our other software is secondary.

The result is, we cannot buy anything new from Apple, not at this time. We need to be able to do our job EVERY day. We do not have the time to wait for software updates from Apple, and to comply with our preferred software.

I agree it's the matter of two sides acting, Apple and the software company. I just wish Apple would not be so harsh and adamant, so that they will get aparted from some great SW-companies of my likings; Graphisoft like one example.

Umph; Though I will not be, I think you should be perfectly served with an iMac, the one with the highest configurations. Just don't do the bargain level offers with iMac.
 
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InuNacho

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Apr 24, 2008
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Curently running a 2011 21" iMac 10.7.5.
Honestly, you'd be better off saving the cash you'd spend on buying a Mac Pro and using it to upgrade that iMac if you haven't already. The 2011 iMac delivers pretty well for what would be considered light stuff today. You might want to upgrade the memory if you haven't done so already and perhaps upgrade the OS to something a bit more modern.
 
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camardelle

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Original poster
Aug 17, 2011
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The issue is finding someone to do the upgrade. I’d easily pay for an OS, hard drive upgrade but so many of the indie shops only work on OC machines. Best Buy says they’ll do it but....

Any thoughts?
 

pl1984

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The issue is finding someone to do the upgrade. I’d easily pay for an OS, hard drive upgrade but so many of the indie shops only work on OC machines. Best Buy says they’ll do it but....

Any thoughts?
Upgrading the memory on the 2011 iMac should be pretty straightforward. There's a cover at the bottom of the display. Loosen the two screws and insert the new memory (or remove the old if you're replacing memory). As for the amount of memory I would say that 16GB is more than you would need, 8GB would be sufficient. Though 4 x 4GB SO-DIMMs aren't that expensive so 16GB might be preferable.

The hard drive is considerably more difficult and one of the drawbacks to the iMac. What capacity HD do you have (500GB appears to be the standard configuration) and what capacity do you think you'll need? Unfortunately the 2011 iMacs don't have a fast means to attach external storage. FW800 is available and would be your best option if you opted to go external.
 

camardelle

macrumors 6502
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Aug 17, 2011
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Updating the RAM is easy and I've done that without issue. It's the other stuff I need taken care of. I've got a 1Tb external I use for backups. I take most of my storage to a Mac Mini in another room. Mostly I'd like to upgrade the OS but really don't feel confident enough to do it myself. And frankly I'm busy woodworking and welding so it's not a skill I'm interested in learning. LOL

In any event, I'm hoping the guys at Best Buy can do a backup and restore to get all my stuff back on there after updating the OS.

I've got the base '11 iMac, 8 gigs of RAM, and a 500 gig spinner.

What OS do you recommend moving up to. I'm running El Capitan on my Air and my Mac Mini. I'm pretty happy with it.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
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If you have a 2011 iMac with the original hard drive, the HDD is closing in on its end of life. So, upgrading to an SSD and more memory may help you get a few more years of nice service out of this system, at a cost of perhaps $500 (depending on the SSD you get). If you get an MP, you'll want to get a USB3 card ($50), more memory (32GB is $100) and an SSD (up to $350 for up to 1TB). Then you'll need a monitor. But these are nice machines than still seem to have some headroom. Many discussion threads here on MR for updating them into quite capable 4K editing systems.

Or, get a new (or refurbished) iMac. Lots of choices here.
 
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pl1984

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Updating the RAM is easy and I've done that without issue. It's the other stuff I need taken care of. I've got a 1Tb external I use for backups. I take most of my storage to a Mac Mini in another room. Mostly I'd like to upgrade the OS but really don't feel confident enough to do it myself. And frankly I'm busy woodworking and welding so it's not a skill I'm interested in learning. LOL

In any event, I'm hoping the guys at Best Buy can do a backup and restore to get all my stuff back on there after updating the OS.

I've got the base '11 iMac, 8 gigs of RAM, and a 500 gig spinner.

What OS do you recommend moving up to. I'm running El Capitan on my Air and my Mac Mini. I'm pretty happy with it.
Unless you have a source for older versions of the OS the only version Apple will make available to you is macOS High Sierra. Upgrading the OS is pretty easy...no technical knowledge required. However you need to ensure the software you use is compatible with High Sierra. Any chance you could supply us with the names and versions of the software? Do you have any peripherals?

Best Buy to work on your computer? Might as well do it yourself as you're probably not far behind their staff when it comes to technical knowledge. I wouldn't trust them to backup my computer. Seriously, I wouldn't.

As for the hardware what you've got should be sufficient. Unless you are approaching the storage capacity of the hard disk you may as well leave it alone.
 
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mikas

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2017
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I'm right now on a different continent, and at a different time zone, but still I would do it.
So, what I suggest to be your best is; pay a little for someone to do a swap. A swap from your HDD to a SSD. And double the RAM in the procedure, if it's anyway possible with your machine. Thats it. You will be fine for a year or two, I promise you.
 

pl1984

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You've received a few recommendation to replace your HD with an SSD. While a great recommendation to improve the response / feel of your iMac doing so is unlikely to result in any performance increase in your film and photo editing. As you have a 500GB hard drive installed now and, given how difficult it is to replace the hard drive, I would not go with anything less than 500GB.
 

camardelle

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2011
358
6
Texas
Unless you have a source for older versions of the OS the only version Apple will make available to you is macOS High Sierra. Upgrading the OS is pretty easy...no technical knowledge required. However you need to ensure the software you use is compatible with High Sierra. Any chance you could supply us with the names and versions of the software? Do you have any peripherals?

Best Buy to work on your computer? Might as well do it yourself as you're probably not far behind their staff when it comes to technical knowledge. I wouldn't trust them to backup my computer. Seriously, I wouldn't.

As for the hardware what you've got should be sufficient. Unless you are approaching the storage capacity of the hard disk you may as well leave it alone.


As for the software, I'm using GoPro Studio and iMovies for video and iPhotos for my pics. Not really editing those so much, and not really doing a ton of video either but an upgrade is really due for this machine. Other than that, the typical stuff that came with the machine from the Mall...Pages, Numbers, etc. I haven't had the need to do any software updates to be honest.

If I'm updating the OS, do I just download it from the app store and click the file? Is that all there is to it?

Seems like it'd be much more complicated than that.
[doublepost=1511557008][/doublepost]And from the App Store, it says I need OS 10.8 or later. How do I get around that?
 

pl1984

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As for the software, I'm using GoPro Studio and iMovies for video and iPhotos for my pics. Not really editing those so much, and not really doing a ton of video either but an upgrade is really due for this machine. Other than that, the typical stuff that came with the machine from the Mall...Pages, Numbers, etc. I haven't had the need to do any software updates to be honest.

If I'm updating the OS, do I just download it from the app store and click the file? Is that all there is to it?

Seems like it'd be much more complicated than that.
[doublepost=1511557008][/doublepost]And from the App Store, it says I need OS 10.8 or later. How do I get around that?
iMovie and iPhotos are available in the latest version of the OS (though the latter is now Photos and I would recommend you research it to ensure it will still meet your needs). I don't know much about GoPro Studio so I can't say if it will work or not.

The OS upgrade is really easy...yes, you can really just download it from the App Store and it will do almost all of the magic for you. However your OS X 10.8 requirement may make it more difficult. Apple makes it available for $20:

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/D6377Z/A/os-x-mountain-lion
 
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saulinpa

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Jun 15, 2008
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The 2011 iMac has a Thunderbolt 1 so you could go to an external SSD and see an improvement.
 

pl1984

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The 2011 iMac has a Thunderbolt 1 so you could go to an external SSD and see an improvement.
I didn't realize the 2011 iMac had TB...that's cool.

OP, this is a great way to improve / expand your storage without having to disassemble the iMac.
 

weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,342
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I ran the main system OS on my iMac 2011 from an external TB drive for a couple of years but the fact that the iMac kept wanting to default to the internal hard drive (and kept spinning it up and down even when sleeping) soon got old so I bit the bullet and replaced the internal HD with a Black Friday deal SSD and couldn't be happier.

You will need to get hold of a special cable to monitor thermal loads on the internal SSD or the fans will be on full blast permanently. Apart from that, the whole operation of replacing the internal HD was straightforward and much less intimidating than you might think. I was mostly worried about getting dust between the glass and the LCD panel but have opened up my iMac twice and avoided dust ingress.
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
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OS upgrades are simple, tho looks like you may have to buy 10.8 then use the app shop to upgrade (for free) to osx10.13

id do the os upgrade first (as it's easy & cheep) and see how it feels, be warned some old apps may brake so do check that they will work in newer versions of osx.

with 10.13 you will get a bunch of newer software which might be fun to play with

if you do start thinking of upgrades that are not cheep, do compare how much it will cost in total to the cost of a new or newer used computer.
 
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Squuiid

macrumors 68000
Oct 31, 2006
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Rather than upgrade the internal drive we use Thunderbolt connected SSDs and install the OS to the SSD and wipe the internal hard disk. Performance is excellent.
The reason to go with Thunderbolt over USB 3 is that Thunderbolt drives can have TRIM enabled whereas USB can’t.
They also support APFS.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NV9LSGW/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

(Make sure you go into System Preferences and turn off power off HD when idle.)

Oh, and avoid OWC SSDs, they’re garbage. (Sandforce)
 
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