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De Pepper

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 18, 2019
2
0
...I'm so sorry if this has already been answered a billion times... but here's a billion amateur questions:

1/ Can I replace my mid 2011's internal harddrive with a SSD disc?
2/ Can I do the same with the optical drive?

- any advantages / risks I must be aware of?

3/ I'm recording music via Logic: Should I install both OS and Logic on - and record audio to - the same SSD drive?

I'm hoping SSD ('s) will improve OS and Logic bootup speed, overall system performance as well as minimize the time it takes e.g. to Bounce audio in place.

4/ The million dollar question: Is a 2011 iMac worth it (I mean in the longer run, I mean, is it already too ancient) or should I "just" ("$!") get a new iMac?

Thanks a trillion,
De Pepper
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,108
12,262
Instead of upgrading an 8-year-old iMac with all sorts of limitations...

... if you can afford it, why not upgrade to something new (or Apple refurbished)?
 
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jwhazel

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2005
221
77
1.) yes
2.) yes
3.) I doubt that it matters much from a performance standpoint.
4.) nothing wrong with a 2011 other than its old and old components tend to wear out.
 
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ishotthedeputy

macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2015
3
3
Yes! It will make a drastic difference in load times and performance of the computer - it will feel like a whole new computer.
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing+iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2429+Dual+Drive+Kit+(HDD+or+SSD)/7575

Having done it to two iMacs, be gentle pulling the glass off the screen and then putting it back on - a friend cracked the glass on his screen. Also - several of the wires/connectors are quite delicate. I would recommend getting the tools that the fixit guide recommends.

In my experience, recording audio onto an SSD is speed overkill - I don't think you would notice any difference between an SSD and a regular hard drive. If you are planning to use the computer for audio work, I would recommend keeping a large hard drive in the computer to store your audio work, adding an SSD to put macOS and apps on it, and then putting any extra money towards RAM (I would recommend having at least 12GB).
 
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ElectricPotato

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2018
698
1,899
Seattle
I replaced the internal drive with a 1TB SSD in my 2011 iMac. The only oddity I remember was needing to buy a kit that included a temperature sensor that monitors the drive. Without the sensor the machine spins up a fan to high RPM. The kit was cheap and also included suction cups. The replacement was not trivial but there are plenty of youtube videos showing how to do it. If you are patient and can follow instructions you can do it.

It completely revived that machine. It was a workhorse and I was very fond of it. I ended up handing it down when OS support for it ended.
 
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mikehalloran

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2018
2,237
664
The Sillie Con Valley
Yes.

Get the OWC temp sensor. Also get this bracket — not absolutely necessary but improves cooling.
https://www.amazon.com/Fenlink-Inte...o+2.5+bracket&qid=1566271448&s=gateway&sr=8-9

There are 3 SATA busses in a 2011 27”. The optical drive is on a SATA II bus — leave it alone.

With 4TB SATA III SSDs out there, do you need more than one? Best bang for the buck is a 2TB WD 3D Blue but the 860 EVO is great. The 860 QVO is ok, too. All are available 500G/1T/2T/4T
https://www.amazon.com/Blue-NAND-1T...ds=WD+blue+3d&qid=1566271416&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Replace the NV RAM battery. A CR2032 is fine. Adds a minute to the job.

An experienced tech can get it done in 15 minutes. Takes me a little longer because I have only one working arm—replacing the screen screws is a little tricky because of the magnets.

The screen does not have to be removed. Look at the iFixIt instructions but read the comments saying which steps do not have to be taken — they are right.
 
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De Pepper

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 18, 2019
2
0
Thank you so much for your answers, everybody!

I'm on 10.13.6 which - I guess - is the end station for this ol' iMac. Now I'll ponder whether to to throw cash at a refurbished iMac or go all the way with this one...

Thanks again, all ;-)
De Pepper
 
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