Time to update my 2011 i7 27" iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Tulipone, May 11, 2019.

  1. Tulipone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Location:
    Huntingdon UK
    #1
    My mid 2011 i7 /16gb iMac has worked pretty flawlessly since new but now unable (I think) to update to the latest Mojave OS and it puts the thought in my mind that it is time to replace it.

    So mine was purchased prior to SSD and hybrid drive wide availability so has the standard 1Tb fixed hard drive and so is slow to boot and recently clearing up, moving large folders can be annoyingly slow.

    I use Lightroom and Affinity for photo editing and the usual office / Mindnode / safari for normal day to day use.

    I understand that it'll boot faster and apps will load quicker - but my question is will I notice much of a difference after booted with one of the latest mid range 27"? I'm not into opening up and adding an internal SSD.

    Grateful for your thoughts.
     
  2. mdelrossi macrumors member

    mdelrossi

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    #2
    Well, the 5k screen is totally worth it. Editing photos on it is wonderful. As far as speed is concerned, I think you’ll notice a definite speed increase. Not just from the new processor, but from the new architecture of the machine. Every thing from the ram to the thunderbolt 3 ports will help in the workflow.

    What ever you do don’t get a fusion drive! Get the largest Ssd you can afford, and put your lightroom library on it. Then put all of your original photos on an external hooked up to the Thunderbolt/usb C port.

    Good luck.
     
  3. AlaskaMoose, May 11, 2019
    Last edited: May 11, 2019

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #3
    This is what I did with my early 21" 2011 (i5 Intel) iMac: added the largest amount of RAM possible, and replaced the hard drive with a OWC (macsales.com) 1TB SSD. I use this iMac for photo editing with a standalone CS6 app, plus CCC Bridge, some of the OneOne software, and DXO's software package (Nik and OneOne are plugins within CS6).

    Startups take a few seconds, but what I like the most is that saving very large TIFF photos take maybe a second or two. Saving a photo to an internal hard drive, the one I replaced with the SSD, would have taken several seconds. Also, scanning the SSD for malware and such take a very short amount of time. You still get a few more years of use on your 2011 iMac, but I understand the "want" of an upgrade. I just did that myself, but I still use the "old" iMac for photo editing.

    The 5K screen is nice, clear, and bright, but the old screen is fine with me.
     
  4. Tulipone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Location:
    Huntingdon UK
    #4
    Thanks guys. Strange two answers and both follow each of my dilemmas! Did you opt for16Gb ram - or higher? I suspect 8Gb just isn't going to be enough for photo editing?
     
  5. mdelrossi macrumors member

    mdelrossi

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    #5
    I run lightroom, C1, photoshop, affinity, Davinci Resolve.
    Been doing this since the early 90’s, Ram is very important. If the file won’t fit in available ram, the computer uses a swap disk. I’ve got a 2014 5k i7 295x with 8gig ram, added 16 from 3rd party(total of 24). Every now and then I see the machine using a swap disk. If it bothers me enough I’ll restart the machine and just use the program that I need to use and quit everything else. I’ll probably get another 16gig, and pull out the 8.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #6
    There is a limit on how much RAM the 2011 iMac can use, so I bought the maximum amount of RAMJ possible (somewhere around 18GB?).

    On the 2019 3.1 GHz iMac, I decided to add 32GB to the stock 8GB, for a total of 40GB RAM. More than likely the new iMac does fine with 8GB, but this way I took any second guessing out of the picture.
     
  7. ravinder08 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    #7
    If you planning on keeping the new one for as long as this one why not wait for a redesign, so you’re not spend a lot of money on an old design? I have a late 2012 iMac and will wait for the redesign before I upgrade.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    OP:

    With the 2011 being 8 years old, you ARE going to "notice a difference" with a new one. In most cases, a BIG difference.

    Buying advice:
    Get a 27" iMac (of course)
    Get 8gb of RAM (add more later yourself if you need it, the 27" makes this easy)
    Get an SSD (512 is "the sweet spot", but even 256gb will "do the job". Don't buy the 1gb -- too expensive)
    If you need more storage, add it via USB3.
     
  9. iF34R macrumors 65816

    iF34R

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #9
    This is what I'm doing. My late 2012 seems ok still, and I'll hold out for a new design.
     
  10. Tulipone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Location:
    Huntingdon UK
    #10
    I'm hoping so - the trouble is that when using my SSD laptop everything feels faster despite the only thing that actually should be faster is disk access. Hence my reluctance. Your recommended spec would be my choice also.

    I have played the '...waiting for the next design' game before. In the end I waited several years and never really understood why. I guess if it is time it is time and it looks like I may get a good bit back for the 2011 whilst it remains working.
     
  11. mikehalloran, May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019

    mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #11
    It still runs and the screen still works? That's a surprise. Really. The original HDDs in these ran so hot that they caused many problems. You're pushing your luck.
    Oh hell yes.

    BTW, so would replacing the HDD with an SSD — even if you're not into it. If you don't need Mojave, it doesn't cost much to do. Under $200 for 1TB; under $300 for 2TB.

    Back when I upgraded my 2010 and my wife's 2011, it cost about $1,000 each — absolutely worth it then, too (takes about a half hour if you've never done one).

    OTOH, a 2013 will run faster than a souped up 2011. The next big speed bump is 2017 unless you hot rod a 2015. SSD based but a fuion would be much faster than what you have now.
    That ends the debate. Really, it does.
     

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10 May 11, 2019