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camardelle

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2011
359
6
Texas
I got my iMac in August of 2011. Since that time, other than having them update the OS to Lion I've added an additional 4 mess of memory to it for a total of 8. I'm not unhappy with the performance of the machine. My question is should I upgrade the OS or is this thing getting to its last leg, and possibly in need of replacement?

I'm getting the spinning beach ball more often than I'd like, and some websites are telling me that my version of Safari is no longer supported.

Looking for input, so feel free to let me know what you think. All comments welcomed. Thanks in advance.
 

ivantwilliams

Cancelled
Nov 30, 2014
2,060
1,390
Not sure if this is a possibility but maybe run the OS from a SSD external drive and update the OS. Then after September \October look into an upgrade.
 
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maflynn

Moderator emeritus
May 3, 2009
70,037
38,477
I'm getting the spinning beach ball more often than I'd like, and some websites are telling me that my version of Safari is no longer supported.
Any particular apps, with regarding to spinning beachball?

Sounds like something else may be occurring, i.e., if you are getting beachballs now where as you had not in the past.
 
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camardelle

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2011
359
6
Texas
I'm likely overloading the system. They're usually in Safari, but I'm known to have 11 or more tabs open. In addition I'll usually have iPhoto, and a couple folders open as well.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,730
2,152
I'm likely overloading the system. They're usually in Safari, but I'm known to have 11 or more tabs open. In addition I'll usually have iPhoto, and a couple folders open as well.
It could just be a dying or corrupted hard drive, I am assuming you have run a disk repair in disk utility and a hard drive test, if not perform those. The disk repair may sort out your issues, if not then try an SMC and NVRam reset. And try again. Then if you still have issues do a back up on an external drive and run a disk drive check app this should tell you if the drive is dying if it is replace it.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
25,317
10,336
OP:
Easiest way to update your iMac to squeeze a year (or two, or three) more from it is to add an external SSD and make it your "external booter".

You have a problem, in that the 2011 model did not come with USB3.
But you -DO- have thunderbolt available, right?

In that case, I'd get a modestly-sized (say, 240gb) SSD in a thunderbolt enclosure, and use that as my external booter.

The downside to this is that external thunderbolt SSDs cost more than a USB3 SSD.

With a thunderbolt SSD you should be able to run El Capitan without any problems.


Note:
I have heard that it's possible to plug a "thunderbolt-to-USB3 adapter" into the thunderbolt port, and then plug a USB3 SSD into that, and "be bootable".
But I can't verify that.
Also, there are only a few tb-to-usb3 adapaters "out there", and even they seem to be drying up.
Again, an SSD in a thunderbolt enclosure (though expensive) is the "way to go" ...
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
4,334
3,006
Between the coasts
Upgrading the operating system could help, and doesn't cost you any money. Apple introduced memory compression to Mavericks, so you could get better performance from the RAM you already have.

However, an 8GB Mac should be fine for browsing with the number of tabs you mention, so there could be other causes for that issue (such as needing to run Disk Utility). EtreCheck can also be very helpful in identifying issues that may be harming performance (etrecheck.com). Running Activity Monitor will also give you insight into where you may be having issues.

I wouldn't consider a 2011 to be on its last legs at all. MacOS Sierra, which will be released to the public this fall, will run on Late 2009 iMacs, so you could have several years of running the latest OS ahead of you, if you want. As others have noted, upgrading to an SSD will also make a huge difference.
 

Dopeyman

macrumors 6502a
Sep 5, 2005
606
46
Los Angeles!
I got my iMac in August of 2011. Since that time, other than having them update the OS to Lion I've added an additional 4 mess of memory to it for a total of 8. I'm not unhappy with the performance of the machine. My question is should I upgrade the OS or is this thing getting to its last leg, and possibly in need of replacement?

I'm getting the spinning beach ball more often than I'd like, and some websites are telling me that my version of Safari is no longer supported.

Looking for input, so feel free to let me know what you think. All comments welcomed. Thanks in advance.

What are the specs in your iMac? You should definitely replace the hard drive to an SSD and update the OS...
 

elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
489
Cornwall UK
I have a 2007 imac a1224 imac7,1 with only 2GB ram it runs well considering.

I upgraded to el capitan and it runs better than 10.6

I get beachball but that due to low ram.
I get them mainly while using firefox.

SSD is the way forward.
I will SSD mine one day but ram first.
 

deviant

macrumors 65816
Oct 27, 2007
1,187
275
I have a 2007 imac a1224 imac7,1 with only 2GB ram it runs well considering.

I upgraded to el capitan and it runs better than 10.6

I get beachball but that due to low ram.
I get them mainly while using firefox.

SSD is the way forward.
I will SSD mine one day but ram first.
ram won't help much without ssd. it would on snow leo, but after lion no ssd is just crazy.
 

elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
489
Cornwall UK
upping my ram from 2GB to 4GB will help as it uses 1.4GB usually just web browsing.

I can afford the £100 SSD i want/need right now but can afford the £20 for ram.
I will do SSD but cannot afford it yet
 

deviant

macrumors 65816
Oct 27, 2007
1,187
275
upping my ram from 2GB to 4GB will help as it uses 1.4GB usually just web browsing.

I can afford the £100 SSD i want/need right now but can afford the £20 for ram.
I will do SSD but cannot afford it yet
If its 20 go for it
I Wanted to put 6gb but the 4gb bank is like 80 bucks. Vintage pricings, lol
 

MadDane

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2015
601
227
camardelle what is the specifications of your machine? I am using a late 2009 (though with 20GB RAM and SSD installed) for a lot more heavy lifting than you. And although it is starting to show its age I would think that your machine should be more than capable of running the things you mention. As other have suggested, upgrading to an SSD could very well be the way to go. And you should be perfectly fine running El Capitan on that machine :)
 
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toddzrx

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2012
724
263
I got my iMac in August of 2011. Since that time, other than having them update the OS to Lion I've added an additional 4 mess of memory to it for a total of 8. I'm not unhappy with the performance of the machine. My question is should I upgrade the OS or is this thing getting to its last leg, and possibly in need of replacement?

I'm getting the spinning beach ball more often than I'd like, and some websites are telling me that my version of Safari is no longer supported.

Looking for input, so feel free to let me know what you think. All comments welcomed. Thanks in advance.

OP: if you're still reading this thread, I'd suggest first of all that your HD is going bad. I'm running a 2010 iMac, also with 8GB of RAM, but with an SSD, and it flies; I never see spinning beach balls. Forget the external SSD, take the time to do it right, open up the machine (which isn't hard on your model, just take your time), and put a SATA 3 SSD in there. SSDs have gotten very cost effective, and installing one will give you several more years' use of your current machine. At this point SSDs are a very modest investment that get you an enormous increase in performance over any other upgrade you could do.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,895
More likely than not, it needs a new hard drive.

Might as well upgrade to a SSD since the price has really came down since 2011.

You also need this: https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIDIMACHDD11/

And while you have it open to do the upgrade, clean out the dust and apply new thermal paste.

hmm. replace

Trash that old piece of scrap metal.

Really though, it's time for a new one.

If that's the case, I'll take it!

Totally worth it for shipping cost.

(poor college student can't afford much)
 
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maflynn

Moderator emeritus
May 3, 2009
70,037
38,477
I am still reading each post and taking notes. Thanks to everyone for their input.
I think you're on the horns of a dilemma. On one hand, I think you can make a case to upgrade your 2011 iMac and give it a bit more life, or you can sell it for some money (I have no idea how much), and buy a newer model.

If you're somewhat handy, consider the upgrade process, check out the fixit guides for your iMac and see if replacing the HD with a SSD, is an operation that you feel is something you might want to under take. If not, then I think purchasing a new iMac is the only other option in front of you
 

deviant

macrumors 65816
Oct 27, 2007
1,187
275
I am still reading each post and taking notes. Thanks to everyone for their input.
if yours is 2011 you don't need to upgrade, let's be real here. it has a good screen, it has a i5 processor (core 2 duo is obsolete, that i5 will be pretty modern for a while). just double the ram, put in the ssd (which isn't hard at all) and you got yourself a little beast (which will beat almost any current iMac that still has the spinning hdd). i kid you not, it will be twice as fast if not faster.
 

Lankyman

macrumors 68020
May 14, 2011
2,083
832
U.K.
I got my iMac in August of 2011. Since that time, other than having them update the OS to Lion I've added an additional 4 mess of memory to it for a total of 8. I'm not unhappy with the performance of the machine. My question is should I upgrade the OS or is this thing getting to its last leg, and possibly in need of replacement?

I'm getting the spinning beach ball more often than I'd like, and some websites are telling me that my version of Safari is no longer supported.

Looking for input, so feel free to let me know what you think. All comments welcomed. Thanks in advance.

You actually own a very good machine with years of life left in it. I have a mid-2011 iMac which now has 20 gigs of memory, plus a SSD/HDD combo and runs like an express train.

You need to install more RAM then open it up and do what I have done. The performance improvement will astonish you. The only beach balls you will see after this are at the beach. :)
 
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camardelle

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2011
359
6
Texas
Thank you for everyone's suggestions and patience. I have one more question. Can you still purchase the OS upgrade on a usb stick. I am out in the sticks with limited internet. I can't find it on the Apple site. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
 

briloronmacrumo

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2008
518
328
USA
Beachballs can be many things including slow/dying HD or possibly too many daemons running in the background. My 2011 27 in. iMac still runs just fine. My steps would be:

  1. Download Etrecheck to find out if you have unexpected/unwanted background processes
  2. Run Apple's hardware test to see if there is any issue. If you have other tools ( TechTool Pro and Smart Utility come to mind ) use them to evaluate the HD.
  3. Install an external SSD. You can connect it via a sled and a Thunderbolt cable. It will boot and this will avoid opening your iMac. This is what I use but there is probably something newer and less expensive( newer version here )
 
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deviant

macrumors 65816
Oct 27, 2007
1,187
275
Thank you for everyone's suggestions and patience. I have one more question. Can you still purchase the OS upgrade on a usb stick. I am out in the sticks with limited internet. I can't find it on the Apple site. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Just download disk maker x, download El Capitan and buy a usb 8gb stick. It will cost you 5 bucks.
 
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