Overall reliability of 2011 iMac 21.5" ???

Discussion in 'iMac' started by spokexx, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. spokexx macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2010
    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.
  2. bassjunky macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    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.
  3. spokexx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2010
    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?
  4. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    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.
  5. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    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.
  6. tyche macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    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.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Don't buy any 2011 Mac.

    Get at least a 2012 model, which will have USB3.
  8. bassjunky macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    Yes, I left the internal 1TB spinner inside and am using it just for media storage.
  9. spokexx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2010
    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.
  10. Knara macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2010
    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.
  11. kgian macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2011
    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.
  12. Obi Wan Kenobi macrumors 6502

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    Mar 9, 2011
    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.
  13. iMacC2D, Oct 11, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  14. Lucianrider macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2012
    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

    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.

Share This Page