Overall reliability of 2011 iMac 21.5" ???

spokexx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
6
0
A MicroCenter near me has a pre owned 2011 iMac 21.5" with 4g ram, i5 2.5ghz, 500g hd and the Radeon HD 6750M graphics. It's at a fair price but I've been wondering about the machines' overall reliability and life expectancy considering how many posts I see on MacRumors about people having issues with theirs.
Much appreciation.

BTW, My late 09 MacMini still runs flawless.
 

bassjunky

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2009
174
12
Texas
I bought my brother's 2011 i5 27" nearly 2 years ago and it's been solid. My first Mac, and I am booting from a Transcend 256GB Thunderbolt SSD. Works great, a lot of fun to use. If you're considering that 21.5", definitely consider upping the RAM and your boot drive to a SSD.
 

spokexx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
6
0
I bought my brother's 2011 i5 27" nearly 2 years ago and it's been solid. My first Mac, and I am booting from a Transcend 256GB Thunderbolt SSD. Works great, a lot of fun to use. If you're considering that 21.5", definitely consider upping the RAM and your boot drive to a SSD.
Well that's encouraging. So if you are booting from an SSD, does that mean you left the original 7200rpm drive in there as a ...backup/slave drive? Are the stock drives known to crap out?
spokexx
 

colodane

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2012
789
254
Colorado
Unfortunately, the kind of large sample size data you are really after aren't available to us mortals, as far as I know. So I'll add my own experience with the 21.5 inch mid 2011 I purchased in November of 2011.

It is a BTO with 256 GB SSD, a 1 TB HDD, 2.9 GHz CPU and AMD Radeon HD6700M GPU with 512 MB.

The hardware has been flawless as far as I can tell. The few AppleCare calls I've made have been for resolution of software and user incompetence issues. All my data, apps and OS are on the SSD. I use the internal HDD for TimeMachine backup. I'm currently running El Capitan on it.

The SSD, although a pricy $600, has been terrific. Highly recommended if you can find one. But I think they may be kind of scarce in 2011. All-in-all, I've been very pleased with this product. I'll be looking to replace it in the coming months with a newer model, but not because of any issues with the 2011.
 

Richdmoore

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2007
1,778
251
Troutdale, OR
If you plan to replace the hard drive with an ssd (or other hard drive) on a 2011 you will need the owc sensor cable to prevent run away cooling fans. There is also some fan control software that might work.

(You can search this forum about the issue, there have been lots of posts over the years about it.)

I use a delock thunderbolt external drive vs internally mounting a ssd, the 2011 iMac has 1 thunderbolt port.
 

tyche

macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2010
411
61
The 21.5 2011 model has 2 recalls for 1 TB seagate drive and 6970 video cards. Looks like you dodged both those bullets with that model. Although the drive might be a concern to keep aware of and have regular backups.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,190
5,542
Don't buy any 2011 Mac.

Get at least a 2012 model, which will have USB3.
 

bassjunky

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2009
174
12
Texas
Well that's encouraging. So if you are booting from an SSD, does that mean you left the original 7200rpm drive in there as a ...backup/slave drive? Are the stock drives known to crap out?
spokexx
Yes, I left the internal 1TB spinner inside and am using it just for media storage.
 

spokexx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
6
0
The 21.5 2011 model has 2 recalls for 1 TB seagate drive and 6970 video cards. Looks like you dodged both those bullets with that model. Although the drive might be a concern to keep aware of and have regular backups.
Wow!! Thanks for the heads up.
And Thanks to all of you for the input as well. I will make the purchase on this iMac soon. I think i will also purchase an external SSD and run it via Thunderbolt.
Spokexx
 

Knara

macrumors member
Feb 12, 2010
62
0
A MicroCenter near me has a pre owned 2011 iMac 21.5" with 4g ram, i5 2.5ghz, 500g hd and the Radeon HD 6750M graphics. It's at a fair price but I've been wondering about the machines' overall reliability and life expectancy considering how many posts I see on MacRumors about people having issues with theirs.
Much appreciation.

BTW, My late 09 MacMini still runs flawless.
FWIW I have that 2011 model and while I did replace the HDD with an SSD and upgrade the RAM to 16gb, it has otherwise worked well for me. The last year it has been relegated to a home theater server, but it has performed well in that role.
 

kgian

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2011
186
8
The 2011 21.5 base model, which you plan to buy is a solid machine, without any recalls. That is the one I have. Of course it is imperative to install an SSD and some extra RAM.
 

Obi Wan Kenobi

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2011
453
250
London, UK
I have one too, and it is now running El Capitan okay, but in all honesty it's not as fast as it used to be (although still speedy when compared to Windows machines).

I experienced a couple of bumps along the way. The DVD drive became unreliable a couple of years ago. I have a portable drive for my MBA so didn't bother to do anything about it. It had a problem 'waking' from sleep mode for a while. I tweaked some settings and it's been fine for years.

Please note that the bluetooth on it is likely to be 2.0, and not 4.0. This means that the new wireless keyboards will not work with it, nor will you be able to use the automatic unlock feature if you have an Apple Watch.
 

Lucianrider

macrumors member
Jan 1, 2012
97
0
St. Lucia, West Indies
I have what was a top tier 2011 21.5" iMac that was purchased in December of 2011. Here are the specs:
Model Name: iMac

Model Identifier: iMac12,1

Processor Name: Intel Core i7

Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz

Number of Processors: 1

Total Number of Cores: 4

L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB

L3 Cache: 8 MB

Memory: 16 GB

Graphics:
Chipset Model: AMD Radeon HD 6770M

I purchased the OWC 240 gb SSD upgrade which died after a couple of months so I replaced it with a Samsung 840 EVO 500 gb which has been great for a number of years so far.
I used mine for everything except gaming. I edit video up to 2.7K regularly and it runs FCP very nicely. I will probably upgrade when they next update the iMac as I would like a boost in speed for 4K video editing.
The only problem I have had with it is the DVD drive has died but otherwise it has been a great machine. The only thing I miss is not having USB3. I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to recommend one of these machines.