Just need some advice regarding 2011 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by turnipfarmer, May 23, 2019.

  1. turnipfarmer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #1
    I have an ageing 2011 iMac, it appears to be getting slower and slower, I probably thinking its just down to raging hardware and also newer operating system putting higher demand on it.

    I have never freshly reinstalled OSX on the computer, is it worth doing or should I look down the route of buying a new iMac?

    Any recommendations on which model of iMac to go for if I went down this route?
     
  2. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #2
    Sounds like you have a slow as treacle spinner HDD in the iMac. Whilst say an SASD would speed things up, it is restricted by USB2. And Of course ir is eight years old. A late 2017 model, 27", with a 512GB SSD and not a Fusion Drive would be the go.
     
  3. SpecFoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #3
    My wife has a 2011 27" iMac from and there are 3 things we did to help extend its life back in 2017. She mostly works with iPhoto and iMovie app and the upgrades really helps with the speed and performance. She is happy with it. Yes, as mentioned it has USB 2, but that is not a problem for her, as mostly everything she does for FB online.

    1. I put 16GB of ram inside, big improvement over the original 4GB.
    2. I replaced the original 1TB HDD with a 1TB SanDisk SSD. Startup time is 15 seconds and iPhoto/iMovie loads very fast now.
    3. Had the video card replaced at N/C by Apple under an extended warranty for this model only. I understand this is still available.
    Also hooked up a new Western Digital 1TB 2.5" HDD ($80) via USB 2 to be an auto backup via Super Duper every day.

    That being said, I just bought, replacing my 2012 MacPro, a new 2019 27" iMac with a 512GB SSD and the 8GB Radeon 580X vid card. Simply fantastic, very fast, quiet and it is a speed demon with LightRoom and Photoshop.
     
  4. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #4
    Why anyone would use SuperDuper every day instead of Time Machine which automatically backs up every hour is beyond me.

    Anyway, you want to give that iMac its Wheaties, throw that spinning heat pump far away and install an SSD. INSIDE.

    Takes about 15 minutes for an experienced tech—another minute to replace the NV RAM battery with a new CR2032. It's really easy for a DIY, too.
     
  5. Kamolas macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2018
    #5
    Allow me to disagree. An internal SSD replacement on a iMac is not that easy. And he may not be experienced, if he isn't it will look like a scary surgery.

    In my opinion, the best option is to get an SSD connected through thunderbolt. It's faster than USB 2.0. There are several options, enclosures, adapters, etc but the easiest and all in one solution is the Transcend Store Jet 500
    Plug it and install the OS there. Done.
    And it's way cheaper than a new Mac...
     
  6. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #6
    Disagree all you want. It's ridiculously easy. I do it one-handed — that's not a joke, I'm handicapped with a crippled arm. I have done hundreds.

    Unfortunately, the iFixIt and OWC sites tell you to remove the screen. This is absolutely unnecessary—even the NV RAM battery can be changed on a 2011 without pulling the screen. That should be done on a 2011 to avoid screen problems often misdiagnosed as bad GPUs.

    I wrote this procedure in another thread a few weeks ago. I'll see if I can find and repost that (I type one-handed, too).
     
  7. CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #7
    The need to replace with a newer iMac depends on what you do with the iMac. We don't know how you use it.
    IMO, a 2011 iMac is getting kind of old to perform well with todays software and can no longer be updated to the latest macOS. If you have a internal HDD, then it can be a performance bottleneck or failing.
    Your same old broken-record, tiring rant against SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner. The reason is beyond you, so what? SpecFoto is not you and does not have your requirements.
    Why lecture the quoted SpecFoto to replace the "spinning heat pump" with a SSD when the SpecFoto already replaced the HDD with a SSD? Try reading a little more carefully. Nonsense advice to SpecFoto.
    Good advice to people still using a HDD in their iMac.
     
  8. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #8
    Ahhhhg, another cloning fan boy with the usual misinformation. I have actual ... what’s the word? Oh yea, experience. Cloning software was very useful before OS 10.5. There is no need for it now. The knee-jerk reaction of you guys that it is somehow necessary or saves time or does something better than the Apple tools is nonsense. You are uninformed and that’s the way I see it.

    I’m not on a rant about clone-ware. Just giving people correct information. Every time you guys make a lousy recommendation, I feel obligated to correct you and will continue to do so.

    It would be nice if you actually contributed to a conversation instead of criticized.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    At 8 years old, it's time to start shopping for something new, or perhaps late-model Apple refurbished.

    If you get a 2019 (new) or 2017 (Apple refurb), I'd recommend:
    - 27" (you will NEVER regret paying more for the bigger display!)
    - 8gb RAM (27" iMac makes it easy to add RAM later, IF you need it)
    - SSD (the BEST buying upgrade you will ever make!)

    BE AWARE that if you buy a new 2019 iMac, and want an SSD, that you MUST "special order" it through Apple's "build-to-order" pages. These ARE NOT SOLD in stores (with a few exceptions, see below).

    IF you buy a 2017 Apple-refurbished model, you can find some with SSDs already installed. Shop carefully. Be prepared to wait until "the right one" becomes available, and then SNAP IT UP before someone else does!

    A -very few- resellers stock new iMacs that are already pre-configured with SSDs. B&H Photo in NYC is one of them. But be aware that some folks don't care for B&H's policy on computer returns (essentially, once you open the box you can't return it). Whether that works for you... is up to you.
     
  10. CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #10
    I guess I should label you a Time Machine fanboy.

    At least I am willing to admit that there can be me more than one solution. I use both TM & CCC routinely and have actual current experience using them.

    "Misinformation" in YOUR opinion. "Correct information" in YOUR opinion. To say something does not work because you do things differently is an elitist mentality that is nonsense.

    I, also, feel obligated to correct you and will continue to do so.
     
  11. turnipfarmer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #11
    Thank you all for the advice. I forgot to mention that I'm in the UK and that I primarily use it for photo editing via lightroom and Photoshop and odd word processing and internet browsing, so a decent screen is a must, are the retina screens really good compared to my 2011 screen? I'll keep looking on the apple refurb website but is there anywhere else I should look too for refurbished models? I'll probably go for 2017 with ssd definitely, is it worth looking at slightly older model like 2015?

    With regards to cloaning software, I use CCC as well as time machine, should I not be doing it? As a photographer I back up all my photos and system files once with CCC and other with time machine.
     
  12. CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #12
    You can definitely benefit from a newer iMac and a retina screen for your Photoshop/Lightroom work. I recommend Apple refurbished since you get a full warranty.

    The 2017 refurbished would be the first choice, but even a 2015 good deal would be better than the 2011.

    There is nothing wrong with using both TM and CCC, since 2 backups are better for emergency recovery in case there is a problem with 1 of the backups. Consider an offsite backup also for critical data.
     
  13. turnipfarmer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #13
    Cool.

    Just looking at refurbished models, definitely want to go for SSD and plenty of ram. Regards to graphics, is the Intel iris the onboard graphics?
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    "Just looking at refurbished models, definitely want to go for SSD and plenty of ram."

    I mentioned this before, I'll say it again:
    If you're getting the 27", get 8gb of RAM and add more later.
    This is child's play on the 27" model, just "open the door" on the back.

    (Not so with the 21" model -- they have to be taken apart to add RAM)
     
  15. SpecFoto, Jun 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019

    SpecFoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #15
    As CostalOR mentioned I replaced the internal HDD with a SSD many years ago. I use Super Duper because Time Machine is junk in my opinion. It makes incremental backups whereas SD makes a full bootable working copy of the drive. Time Machine will fill up the disk with numerous copies of the incremental backup. Try booting your Mac from Time Machine, what a nightmare.

    SD has a feature called smart update that only copies what has changed, so it is very quick and runs in the background. It is what I used for my business for many years as a totally reliable backup, I have 100% confidence in the program. Oh, and it can be programed to copy numerous times a day, but no reason for that with what my wife's iMac is doing.
     
  16. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #16
    I can't imagine editing images on that old machine, and I had one. My father is still using it, and it's great, but it's now reached the end of the line. Every for his extremely modest uses. And I don't think it can even run Catalina. And perhaps you can get new camera raw updates, but not even sure about that.

    In any case, a new machine will do wonders for your photography. Even without calibration the iMac screens are terrific, and quite accurate right out of the box. Loading images from SD cards or direct from the camera is speedier, and so is moving around images. Lr and Ps will work much better.

    The visual difference is quite stunning. Go into an Apple store and take a look. Not only that, but you get much more of your image in view on the screen when editing, and with that resolution you can use smaller thumbnails and cull much faster.

    Cloning software? it has it's uses. If you archive images before they're edited you can just use Finder copying; no need to clone those. But sometimes people conflate the real cloning process itself (which is different than just copying) with some of the features cloning programs like CCC or SD or ChronoSync offer, like scheduled copying, archiving, etc. I just let TM make copies of my image files; simple and free and robust. Different types of backups have different purposes; I myself only use clones for forensic purposes or with certain volumes where I want to preserve a certain state. Clones can be misused. Since they are an exact copy of say a volume, then they are an exact copy of the volume and its problems. So if you made one with the problem extent in it then now you don't have a backup, you have two copies of a wonky disk. But if you had a known good clone from say a week ago, before the problem arose, that would be fine, except for missing all the data since then. So like any backup the details matter.

    But yeah, I'd go for a new iMac. Expercom.com used to have some decent refurbs, and MacSales some used machines, but I haven't checked in years.
     

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15 May 23, 2019