27" imac mid 2011 upgrades

mikbrad

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 3, 2017
1
0
Hi all! First time posting in here and bit of a noob when it comes to these sort of things. Please disregard or redirect this if there is already a thread on this subject.

I am looking at upgrading my 27" imac mid 2011. Current specs are:

3.4 GHz Intel Core i7
16GB Ram
AMD Radeon HD 6970M
1TB HD

Ideally, I'd like to swap my current HD with an SSD while replacing my optical drive with either another SSD or a 7200 RPM HD. Additionally, I'd like to run 32GB of ram but I've heard mixed reviews about if this model can support more than 16GB. I know Apple officially says it doesn't on their website but I've heard of people doing it.

Anyone's feedback is sure to be helpful! Thanks a bunch and I'm looking forward to being apart of the community.
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,206
4,815
Denmark
It supports 32GB RAM. Apple just has a lower official limit for some weird reason, it is quite common for all their models.

These days an SSD is a no brainer. You can get a dual-drive kit from OWC so you can retain your old drive at the same time. Be sure to move your system install to the SSD.
 

kpgh554

macrumors regular
Dec 29, 2011
201
1
iver england
On the back of motherboard is a sata connection for extra hdd/ssd but need to be sure of what doing as not easy ifixit have guide for doing it and parts needed.
 

posguy99

macrumors 65816
Nov 3, 2004
1,418
851
It supports 32GB RAM. Apple just has a lower official limit for some weird reason, it is quite common for all their models.

There's no "weird reason", when this machine was released and the spec sheet written, there were no 8 gb DIMMs. Thus, the limit was 16 gb. Apple almost never goes back and re-writes specs for a machine, especially one they're not selling any more.
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,063
336
Keep in mind that since your SATA controller is SATA II (6 gbit/sec) there's no real point in spending extra money for the fastest possible SSD. Almost any modern SSD should work just fine. You can put a 1 Tb SSD in there for $275 or maybe a little less.
 

ElCani

macrumors member
Jun 15, 2012
75
10
Keep in mind that since your SATA controller is SATA II (6 gbit/sec) there's no real point in spending extra money for the fastest possible SSD. Almost any modern SSD should work just fine. You can put a 1 Tb SSD in there for $275 or maybe a little less.

It's SATA III. But the 6 gbit/sec is correct.
 

jasnw

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2013
809
839
Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
I have a very similar 2011 iMac. I bumped the memory up to 20 GB early on, which appears to be working fine. Last year I replaced the 1TB spinner with a 256GB SSD and a 3TB spinner. I had OWC do the HD upgrade work, which took only about a week from shipping it off to getting it back. I partitioned the 3TB spinner into 3 1-TB drives to give me an internal data drive, an internal recovery drive (which I back up to every night), and a 1TB test-OS drive. Love it.
 

nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2007
1,850
435
Nambucca Heads Australia
jasnw why not consider an external backup drive cloned via SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner.

If the drive fails, and they all do sooner or later, your backups may well be gone being on the same drive.
 

jasnw

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2013
809
839
Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
Well, I'm one of the belt-and-suspenders types. I also have a nightly backup of my home directory to my server (also backed up), and two external full-system bootable clones (one in my safe deposit box). I've worked with computers since the 1960s and am a firm believer that you cannot have too many backups.

The one on the internal partition is also for testing stuff using my current OS.
 
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