Thinking about buying 2011 i5...thoughts

Discussion in 'iMac' started by lancerland, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. lancerland macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
    Current setup: early 2008 iMac, 4gb ram, 250mb HD

    I was originally looking at getting a brand new 27in iMac from the apple store for around $3,000, but then my buddy decided to sell is 2011 i5 for $650. I am a graphic designer and my creative suite crawls when I am working in it. In photoshop in particular I have to wait 30 seconds for a 50mb file to open.

    So my questions are do you think I will see a significant increase in speed while working in creative suite with the i5. I plan on upgrading the ram to 16gb as soon as I get it.

    I know it will be faster, but I guess my concern is, that I have never purchased a used computer before, and I don't want to be disappointed. So if anyone out there has had a similar scenario could you let me know how it went.

  2. Twimfy macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2011
    Buy it. Stick an SSD in it if you can. You'll be happy for many years to come. Even if you don't do the SSD option you will see a HUGE increase in performance. C2D to an i5 is a significant upgrade. I don't know much about the US prices but that looks like a good deal to me.
  3. lancerland thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
    Thanks for your reply. I took a look at adding a SSD myself, and that does not seem like something I want to do. Would an apple store do that for me? Adding the RAM I can do though.
  4. macthefork, Jan 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014

    macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
    I'm perfectly happy with the speed of my 2011 i5 2.7Ghz 27" iMac. No problem with opening large files in Photoshop. I did put in the 32 GB RAM, but 16 would likely be enough for your situation. I also have installed a 480GB SSD and left the original 1TB drive in place.

    As far as the SSD, it REALLY speeds up loading from the drive. Unbelievably fast. It wasn't so difficult to install, either if you're gentle and take your time. (and no shortcuts)

    Here's the video I used to do it and you can see if it's something you'd want to tackle.

    Apple won't install a SSD. But an authorized Apple service center might. Also, OWC has a program where you send your iMac to them, and they will do it.

    I am no way afilliated with OWC, but have used many of their products.
  5. lancerland thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
    macthefork, thanks for your response. I thought this model could only go up to 16GB? How did you get 32 in there?
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    4x8GB DIMMs. Similar to Apple's cMBP where they said it'll only support max of 8 -- it supports 16 no problem (2x8GB DIMMs).
  7. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
    Officially, this model supports four 4 GB modules -- one in each slot for a maximum of 16 GB of memory. However, third-parties have discovered that it actually will support 32 GB of memory using four 8 GB modules.

    I've got four 8GB modules of Crucial RAM in mine, with no problem. Many other brands will work, too. Just go to crucial's site, or OWC, or others, and put in your imac model number to find the correct RAM.

    Attached Files:

  8. andytaff macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2013
    i bought a 27" 2011 as it had the thunderbolt connection and i put an ext.SSD (laCie) on it and up'd it to 16GB ram for CS6 and lightroom 4 work..i'm well impressed with it's speed.. got for it!
  9. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012
    sorry to hijack this thread, i have a 27" 2011 imac which i bought refurbished. i was thinking about getting an SSD that connected through thunderbolt, but do you mean i can put one internal and still have the original internal drive in there too?
  10. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013

    Yep... There's a second, unused SATA connector on the logic board that you connect it to. The SSD itself sits behind the Optical drive, with the original drive remaining in place.

    The installation video guide linked in my above post shows exactly how to do it, and what's needed in the way of cables and tools.
  11. Mr-Kerrse macrumors 6502

    Apr 1, 2011
    United Kingdom
    Where do you get the 8gb modules as the ones they offer are only in 4's :confused:
  12. lancerland thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
  13. Klae17 macrumors 65816


    Jul 15, 2011
    You are going to see a huge difference from your current computer and save a LOT of money. Install more ram (32 GB) and SSD and you will drool over it's speed. You will be saving close to $2000!
  14. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013

Share This Page