olindacat

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
226
35
Greenwich
My 2011 27" iMac graphics card has died. I only learned yesterday a recall came and went. My wife and I spent an hour and a half on the phone with an Apple support representative who relished in his capacity to deny us any and all efforts to get an extension or repair done to honor same, and never mind that we bought Apple Care, or have invested every last penny into Apple equipment for the bulk of our adult lives! Oh no!! When my wife asked him if we could possibly speak with a supervisor he said "I am THE supervisor". I asked if we 'could speak with Tim Cook', and he laughed. It was not the type of laugh friends have.

So, I have two SSDs in a basically useless machine now. What would you do? I have TM backups, CCC backups, of these SSDs. I am using my laptop and wife's 27" I5 in TDM for the moment.

Looks like newer used iMacs can be had for about $1k.

Would you scavenge anything off of this 2011, get a new card, try to fix it, or repurpose the SSDs into another machine? RAM useable in a newer unit? Just thinking economy here, but spend my days winnowing away hours on end in media as an former writer/photographer. Thx.
 

ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
1,384
1,089
I think others will have more experience with iMacs from those years (in terms of suggesting a graphics replacement if that’s possible, which components are compatible with models from nearby years if you want to get a similar, used machine to reuse components) but I just came here to say that sucks. Sorry to hear about your experience.

Newer used iMacs probably start higher - anything with a fusion drive instead of an SSD has its performance crippled. Unless you want to get a cheaper model and then fuss with external boot drives.
 
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olindacat

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
226
35
Greenwich
I'm not going to screw with becoming a repair shop! But, if it's smart to salvage some items I don't want to toss the thing and find out later what a boob I am (I know that already ;-)

My wife's 2013 has a fusion drive and I hate it so much I'm using my 2015 laptop to drive her machine's monitor. The fusion pinwheel is murder, and the (iMac 27" from 2103 with fusion drive) takes almost minute to boot! Talk about a nightmare!

Q: is a fusion two separate devices that I could replace with the two existing SSDs in my 2011? I wonder, aloud, if I couldn't gut my wife's baby and put my old SSDs in place of those SSDs? (The reason I shy from this, however, is the I5 processor. I had an i7 in the 2011 and RAID striped the SSDs. It was fast.)

Maybe not her machine per se, but another with a Fusion, is my ponder. Get a fusion, say a 2015, and replace that fusion with my old SSDs, until they bonk, or just use new ones, keep the old ones in a USB-C enclosure for posterity....
[automerge]1575638292[/automerge]
One thing I can report is the audio doesn't work when you use an iMac in TDM from a MBP! I just tied to watch your sidecar video and have no sound! :) Is that a gold artichoke on your desk? Cute.
 
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ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
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Q: is a fusion two separate devices that I could replace with the two existing SSDs in my 2011? I wonder, aloud, if I couldn't gut my wife's baby and put my old SSDs in place of those SSDs? (The reason I shy from this, however, is the I5 processor. I had an i7 in the 2011 and RAID striped the SSDs. It was fast.)

No. I think that after 2012(?) they switched to a 3.5” spinning hard disk + a proprietary SSD connection using an NVMe SSD. It‘s not the same kind of SSD that you put into your 2011.

The newer generation i5’s should be as fast if not faster than older i7’s. (I don’t have speed tests on hand but one can google 3rd gen i7 vs 5th gen i7)



One thing I can report is the audio doesn't work when you use an iMac in TDM from a MBP! I just tied to watch your sidecar video and have no sound! :) Is that a gold artichoke on your desk? Cute.

Dang. I’m using a newer iMac (5K) and wish I even had TDM.

Haha thanks! Yeah it’s the apartment complex’s rooftop decoration - still saving for a house.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
21,955
8,090
It's not worth fixing a 2011 iMac with graphics problems.
Time to look for something new, or perhaps an Apple-refurbished model.

Or... consider a 2018 Mini... very nice computers. You can re-use your existing keyboard and mouse.

As for the SSDs (are they inside the old iMac?) -- you can open it, TAKE THEM OUT, and then repurpose them into new enclosures. No need to write them off.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION:
DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT
... buy ANY iMac (new or refurbished) UNLESS it already has an SSD inside!
Any other type of drive (hard drive or fusion drive) is likely to get too slow as the computer ages.
If you don't get an SSD, you're going to regret it.

Again, if you don't want to buy new, consider Apple refurbished.
2017 refurbs are still available, probably at good prices.
 
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Roman78

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2018
364
128
Eifel - Germany
Well.. it is worth fixing a 2011 iMac with graphics problems.

Not with original Cards, they are too expensive. You could get some cheap MXM graphic card to fix the iMac. I have a 35€ Nvidia Quadro K1100M and a 100€ Nvidia GTX 765M in two of mine. Works great and is much cheaper as buying a other iMac.
 
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uller6

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
468
410
When my 2011's GPU was dying a couple of years ago I made the decision to sell it and upgrade rather than try to fix it. I was sick of the slow USB 2 and wanted something with a retina screen, but I miss the firewire port.
 
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olindacat

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
226
35
Greenwich
The USB2 sucks, connections are terrible, so probably time to get a faster external port setup. I had a mini ages ago. And an Apple display. It was one of the first ones. Really slow. I hated it. I hear a lot of people love the newer ones, but by the time you buy a monitor for it of equal quality to the iMac aren’t you right there anyway?

I'm wondering what year is okay now? I have a 2015 MBP and except for the TB2 love it. Is the iMac better in 16-19 than the MBPs with their butterfly keyboards? Gotta be, right?

I bop into Lloyd’s website macperformanceguide.com he seems to love em. I’m less on the iMac now but still need that big screen. TVs never seemed to work well or the mini would be a no brained.
 
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Jsassu27

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2015
6
0
New Britain
My 2011 27" iMac graphics card has died. I only learned yesterday a recall came and went. My wife and I spent an hour and a half on the phone with an Apple support representative who relished in his capacity to deny us any and all efforts to get an extension or repair done to honor same, and never mind that we bought Apple Care, or have invested every last penny into Apple equipment for the bulk of our adult lives! Oh no!! When my wife asked him if we could possibly speak with a supervisor he said "I am THE supervisor". I asked if we 'could speak with Tim Cook', and he laughed. It was not the type of laugh friends have.

So, I have two SSDs in a basically useless machine now. What would you do? I have TM backups, CCC backups, of these SSDs. I am using my laptop and wife's 27" I5 in TDM for the moment.

Looks like newer used iMacs can be had for about $1k.

Would you scavenge anything off of this 2011, get a new card, try to fix it, or repurpose the SSDs into another machine? RAM useable in a newer unit? Just thinking economy here, but spend my days winnowing away hours on end in media as an former writer/photographer. Thx.

You should be able to just use the machine like a desktop if you were to purchase another motto or tv and just connect it to the iMac via the mini display/thunderbolt port. You Could use a mini display to HDMI adapter and connect to either a TV or Monitor that uses HDMI inputs and then your machine should be useable once again. Just hide it away somewhere. You could even purchase a 27 inch Apple screen for 200 bucks on eBay and your setup will still look just as good as it did prior. Plus this display has its own usb and thunderbolt inputs just like the iMac so you wouldn't have to bother touching the iMac ever again. It could just sit tucked away wherever you hide it.

https://www.ebay.com/p/27032781001?iid=293374111296&rt=nc

there's one for $100 bucks
 
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olindacat

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
226
35
Greenwich
Thanks for chiming in.
You should be able to just use the machine like a desktop if you were to purchase another motto or tv and just connect it to the iMac via the mini display/thunderbolt port. You Could use a mini display to HDMI adapter and connect to either a TV or Monitor that uses HDMI inputs and then your machine should be useable once again. Just hide it away somewhere. You could even purchase a 27 inch Apple screen for 200 bucks on eBay and your setup will still look just as good as it did prior. Plus this display has its own usb and thunderbolt inputs just like the iMac so you wouldn't have to bother touching the iMac ever again. It could just sit tucked away wherever you hide it.

https://www.ebay.com/p/27032781001?iid=293374111296&rt=nc

there's one for $100 bucks
Ironic as I used to own a 27" Mac display and sold it years ago along with my Mini. I am not sure you idea will work, and haven't been at that machine since it bonked, but will try your suggestion. Thing is space is a consideration, putting money into a second screen for a dinosaur feels like throwing good money after bad. I saw the 150+ page thread on this topic. I cannot believe I didn't catch that. Only been six years since that thread was started! Might be time to move on, but thanks for the offer of help. Much-appreciated.
 
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