Time to Upgrade from 2011 iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gskelding, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. gskelding macrumors newbie

    gskelding

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2019
    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I have a mid-2011 iMac and it's in great shape. I've had it since new, and have topped out the RAM and recently replaced my HDD with an SSD.

    I'm feeling the itch to buy something new but I'm not sure what to get.

    I was into the apple store today and the employee didn't really offer much in the way of advice so I'm left wondering if I should bother.

    Currently, I use my mac for iTunes, specifically streaming to my apple tv, downloading tv shows and movies, web browsing and some moderate gameplay, mostly cities skylines or similar. I don't do video or graphics editing.

    So really, I'm not sure if I should get a new iMac, or switch to a portable, and then which portable.

    My confusion seems to lie in the processor speeds, as the portable devices seem to be slower than my current setup in some instances so I'm not sure if I want to give up speed, but I also realize that processors today are a bit different than 8 years ago.

    I'd appreciate any buying thoughts or suggestions, even if it's as simple as staying with what I have!
     
  2. chscag macrumors 68030

    chscag

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #2
    I went from a 2011 iMac 21.5" to a 2013 iMac 27" and now to a 2017 iMac 5K 27". (And I have also owned a Mac portable in the past) What I'm getting at is if you are used to the iMac and the larger screen it offers, you may be disappointed in a Mac portable (MBP, MBA, MB). Newer iMacs are thinner and have a screen which is glued to the glass. That makes it very difficult to get inside of the machine. The 21.5" models are not memory upgradeable. Your 2011 sounds like it's a fast machine. If it currently meets your needs, hold on to it a bit longer.
     
  3. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a

    ggibson913

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    #3
    There is nothing wrong with wanting a new mac. If an iMac suited your needs and you still want that large screen I recommend the iMac 5K 27 inch with an SSD drive. I bought the fusion in 2015 but would not do so now. They have great deals in the refurb section.
     
  4. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #4
    I'd wait for the 2019 models - and then see if you can get a bargain on the older ones or if the new ones are so much faster that it's worth the price.
     
  5. jasnw macrumors 6502a

    jasnw

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    #5
    I'm in exactly the same position, a 2011 27" iMac that I've upgraded with SSD and memory. I plan to wait to see what 2019 brings in the way of new iMacs.

    A little OT here, but this sentence resonated with my recent experience in an Apple Store. I went to my nearby store (a new replacement for an older store in the Seattle area) to pick up an MBP purchased on-line. The store was mostly empty, and even with that I had to wait for the one (one!) person who could help me with a simple pick-up to finish with two other people. They had a number of "technology helpers" roaming around not doing much of anything, but apparently very few sales people. This is the first time in ages that I've been in a nearly-empty Apple Store, and the experience was less than satisfying. I even had to wait while this person went off somewhere for several minutes just to get a bag. The store was, of course, very stylish - more fashion over function?
     
  6. chscag macrumors 68030

    chscag

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #6
    I wish our local Apple Store here in the Fort Worth area was like that (mostly empty). Our store is usually crowded and I generally have to walk blocks to get to it because of the parking situation.
     
  7. Courtesyflusher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    #7

    I cannot begin to express my frustration with some of the customer experiences I've had at the Apple Store I've had to frequent.

    Example: I walked in with my wife to purchase a MacBook Pro a year or so ago for her department. This was a business purchase and on a lunch hour. I think we stood around for 45 minutes before someone would even begin to help us. I'm not making an appointment to purchase a computer. IT'S A RETAIL STORE. I am just baffled at how a retail business, in a mall could possibly operate that way! It could have been a "wham/bam thank you ma'am transaction", without any interaction at all and we would have been delighted. We were in a hurry, we knew what we needed. There just weren't that many customers in the store...probably more Apple employees. Lots of employees milling around, but not really anyone there to sell us the darned computer.

    How in the world they make that business model work, I'll never know. At some point the pixie dust is going to run out.
    Seriously....how???? I really don't care to go there, it's not the "experience" I really need to have to make me feel like I'm one of the hipsters. Cool stuff, but not customer friendly in SOOOO many ways.
     
  8. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #8
    ...You didn't bother flagging anyone down? That's like the first thing I do once I've decided I want to buy something.
     
  9. jasnw macrumors 6502a

    jasnw

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    #9
    In my case, I bought on-line for in-store pick-up because I figured it would be a quick in/out, and I flagged someone down when I arrived at this echoing barn of a place and was told I had to wait in line because only one person could handle this difficult task. Twenty minutes later I'm done with what should have been a five-minute transaction at most. In a store that was mostly devoid of customers.
     
  10. jaduff46 macrumors 6502

    jaduff46

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    Second star on the right....
    #10
    Focusing on the original question, I have the 2010 iMac. A wonderful machine even without the Retina. As the posts from @chscag and @ggibson913 suggest, if you like the big screen experience and don’t need the portability, the the iMac seems the best match for what you’re doing. You can also afford to be patient and see what 2019 brings.

    I’d go with all SSD (no moving parts). May not need the i7 chipset, although I’m unfamiliar with gaming requirements. 16 or 32 GB memory would future-proof you for several years.

    In terms of store experience, mine have always been excellent in multiple locations along the East Coast and outside Chicago. But I’m always asking questions which get me pushed to more senior people.

    Best place for well-informed answers is right here, IMO.
     
  11. Agile55 macrumors regular

    Agile55

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    TX
    #11
    Sorta sim. to gskelding above but I'm using an even older 2007 24" iMac that's maxed out w/ 6GB of RAM and stuck on El Capitan. Runs fine as my usage is for # crunching (accounting etc) & web browsing in a home office setting.

    My plan is too sit tight until the next gen of iMac's are announced then buy a 27" iMac replacement on closeout/markdown or an Apple refurb. but I'm unsure of what years I should consider.

    Given my usage, staying w/ the iMac line & the fact I'll keep the next one a min. of 5 years, anyone care to offer some guidance?
     
  12. Macyourdayy macrumors 6502

    Macyourdayy

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    #12
    I expect the new iMacs will be virtually unmodifiable except for RAM,like the new Minis. If that's acceptable to you, then wait. Don't forget the last decade pricing on Apple SSDs.
     
  13. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #13
    The latest generation of CPUs is such that any quad-core CPU will absolutely blow your 2011 CPU out of the water. Even the lowest-clocked mobile quad-core. (Such as in the 13" MacBook Pro.) Even some of the higher-end dual-core CPUs will be at least on par with yours. (MacBook Air, physical-F-key 13" MacBook Pro.)

    And, again, even the integrated graphics in the smaller mobiles will be able to play games as well as your iMac.
    Bonus: Get a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, and you can use your old iMac as an external monitor for a new Mac. (My 2011 iMac is my home server, while acting as a third display for my MacBook Pro.)

    That said, if it runs the software and tasks you want to run, there's no reason to upgrade. It doesn't get any more OS upgrades, but Apple does release urgent security updates for one-OS-old systems still. I will continue using my 2011 iMac as a "daily use" (albeit as a server,) system until Apple stops releasing security updates for High Sierra.
     
  14. jasnw macrumors 6502a

    jasnw

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    #14
    After the Mini release I pretty much don't expect to be able to upgrade the internal SSD in Mini or iMac boxes ever again. Maybe the rumored ModMac will allow, but maybe no. Not an issue for me, since I've been living on internal 128GB and 256GB SSDs for several years with external large SSDs and spinners on USB 3 or C. Works fine for me, and avoids the horrendous Apple SSD markups.
     
  15. chscag macrumors 68030

    chscag

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #15
    And there's a good chance that the new 2019 27" 5K iMac (whenever it's finally announced by Apple) will have a T2 chip just like the new Mini and that memory or anything else will not be user upgradeable. That's the way Apple is trending with all their Macs.
     
  16. irj macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    #16
    I had a mid-2011 3.4 27" iMac that I had upgraded to an SSD. The SSD finally crapped out completely and I was forced to upgrade. Got a 2017 27" iMac and it's great! I ordered a refurb. In an unusual position in that my old iMac was as fast or faster than the newer one, primarily because I moved to (for economic reasons) a hybrid SSD/hard drive 1TB.

    The only thing wrong with my old Mac was that it would not run the current OS. If the drive hadn't failed, I would have kept it for at least a couple more years. It was plenty fast.
     

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