Mid 2011 iMac: Repair or Replace?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by IamDave, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. IamDave macrumors regular

    IamDave

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    #1
    Ok. So currently have a 21.5" mid 2011 iMac I bought from new in 2012 and a couple of problems have shown up recently.
    One of the fans (I suspect CPU) intermittently comes on at full speed and stays there for ages (SMC reset does nothing and no heavy applications running). I downloaded iStat which shows temps to be normal and other fan speeds ok but cpu fan at 0rpm when this happens then returns to showing 1200rpm+ when it slows down.
    The other issue is there is a rattling/grinding noise coming from the back (possibly HDD fan) which is starting to irritate me.

    The iMac is no longer under warranty and I didn't purchase applecare (being tight!).

    The question is would it be worth repairing considering potential costs? (no idea what apple would charge). The nearest apple store is over 60 miles away (so a little drive but not too fussed) and the nearest reseller is 20 miles but they charge £50 just for diagnostics!

    OR

    Would it be potentially worth replacing with another 21.5" (One above base) given the potential repair costs and to 'future proof' myself. I won't lie, I like the idea of having some newer features such as handoff and would probably get a fusion drive to improve speeds but part of me wonders if I'm calling it a day a little early on my current mac. It still runs fine otherwise although takes a while to boot, but other than that its works fine.

    I still have my MBA 13" but I'm selling this due to lack of use as I no longer have a need for it.

    Also having problems with my iP6+ so not going too well at the moment!

    All opinions appreciated and welcome.
    Thanks
     
  2. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    #2
    Here in the states people are asking $600 and up for that machine in good condition, so I'd really think twice about just recycling it. I wouldn't pay that for it, but people are asking it. To me, Apple supports these things for about eight years, so it's halfway through it's life. Just assuming straight depreciation, yes it would be worth about $600, but those first four years were the good years. If you don't want to go through the risk of fixing it, sell it for parts. If you do fix it, you've got several good years left and this might be a fairly cheap repair. Think about an SSD while the thing is opened up and you might feel better about the deal. You can get a 500 GB for about 60% of what Apple charges for a Fusion drive.
     
  3. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #3
    I have the same model - I have fitted an SSD internally in addition to the HDD and am expecting at least four more years use from it. An SSD would leave you gobsmacked as it makes the machine far faster than it ever was from new.
     
  4. Rabid Cattle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2015
    #4
    Take the screen off, secure the fan blades from spinning, and used some canned air to blow out your dust. I just did this to my 2011 iMac and it improved the performance and fan functionality dramatically. They aren't really that hard to take apart. There's tutorial vids on ifixit for every step. Who knows, you could save yourself a heap of cash. I did.
     
  5. Teride macrumors member

    Teride

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2015
    #5
    I'm in a similar situation with a 27" iMac. It stopped powering up. I brought it to Apple & they said it's either a $108 power supply or a $780 logic board....I'm totally bummed. I purchased in Jan 2011. These machines are beautiful but for over 2k I'm really disappointed. I did purchase Apple Care but it's beyond that. I'm on the fence if I want to spend $780 to repair...what will be next? Does anyone know what the average life is of a iMac (typical)?
     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #6
    Well from everything I have seen and read I'd say it's around 5-6 years average lifespan, of course people get new ones for many reasons and this in no way means that the computer is not as good as the day it was made but many are binned purely because needs and uses change. But this means nothing really any peice of electronic equipment can pretty much fail at any time, it's unlucky when it happens but that is life....
     
  7. IamDave thread starter macrumors regular

    IamDave

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    #7
    Think I may do this. I'll look into getting it fixed and installing an SSD. Also may have found a way of getting handoff to work. The Mac has plenty of life left in it yet I reckon!

    Thanks for all the advice/opinions, much appreciated
     
  8. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #8
    If it influences your decision at all, it is much more likely to be the power supply than the logic board. If it were mine, I'd be willing to go for the power supply and the SSD upgrade to make it better than new, but wouldn't spend the $700 or whatever for the logic board.

    I would think the PS swap and SSD upgrade could be done by any reasonably competent Mac repair person - wouldn't need to be done by Apple. On your model, access to the interior is relatively quick and easy compared with later iMacs.

    What I'm suggesting is to have them try the PS first. If the machine then works and is stable, continue with the SSD upgrade. If the PS doesn't fix it, cut your losses and look for a newer iMac.
     
  9. IamDave thread starter macrumors regular

    IamDave

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    #9
    Sound advice! I'll look into it!
     
  10. Significant1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2014
  11. IamDave thread starter macrumors regular

    IamDave

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    #11
    I had tried SMCFanControl which didn't help the issue might give this one a go if it's any different? Worth a shot!
     
  12. IamDave thread starter macrumors regular

    IamDave

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    #12
    Just thought I would add an update.
    Decided to replace the CPU fan to see if this was indeed the culprit. Since doing this the problem has not reoccured and is behaving. Also replaced the ODD fan which was rattling.

    Also decided (on the advice given) to add an SSD (for startup) to speed things along a little and what a difference it's made!
    Upgraded to bluetooth 4 as well, although I cheated a little. Bought the broadcom chip and adapter but also bought a bluetooth 4.0 dongle to avoid having to solder or cut things up. Used continuity activation and got handoff working 90% of the time so can't complain. It really is like a new machine and couldn't be happier!

    Thanks for all the advice guys!
     
  13. henryonapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    #13
    Hey did you hear a pop when using your iMac all of a sudden? Or did it just not power up one day? My 2011 27" iMac logic board is fried and Apple wanted 600+ dollars to fix.
     

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