Rev up my aging iMac!
July 10, 2015 6:20 PM   Subscribe

I recently had an SSD installed and upgraded to Windows 64-bit, which sped my mid-2011 27" iMac up dramatically. It's extremely exciting--I'd assumed I'd have to buy a new machine this year. Are there any other helpful tips out there for getting the most out of this nice piece of equipment and prolonging its lifespan?

(Due to printing/networking needs & my location in Windows-dominated Seoul, I run Windows 7 almost exclusively--the OSX side lies fallow.)
posted by Joseph Gurl to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Other than making sure you have plenty of RAM (8GB+), there isn't much you can do hardware-wise.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:33 PM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Windows 10 ought to speed things up a bit when it comes out (and will be a free upgrade, and is actually Not Bad IMHO - it runs pretty well in a crap VirtualBox VM on my even-older iMac).

OWC makes a kit called a Data Doubler that will allow you to install a second SSD in the place of the DVD drive - you could then combine the two into a RAID 0 (where data is written to both disks at once), which would speed things up even more. (How much more I don't really know, and you're on your own with booting Windows that way - I'm really unsure how that would work on a Mac, since they're just ever so slightly different from PCs in that regard. You will also want to have a very good backup strategy if you go this route as well. And, obviously, you'd lose the DVD drive.)

Keep in mind that what Apple says your max RAM is and what actually is your max RAM is are two separate things. Unless you have an iMac12,1 (Core i3 3.1, 21.5", Late 2011 - this is pretty unlikely as it was an education-only model), your max RAM is actually 32GB. You may get some more enhancement from that but don't expect much. Once you hit 16GB it really starts to not matter much, depending on what you do.
posted by mrg at 6:47 PM on July 10, 2015

If you've replaced the 3.5" drive with an SSD, you can put in a second SSD without removing the disk drive. Just get a 3.5" cradle for two SSDs - but you may have to buy a special cable - or an additional cable to access the other part of the SATA controller. I just recently did this to my 2011 iMac 27".
posted by nightwood at 6:57 PM on July 10, 2015

I wouldn't enable Trim - turns out a lot of popular SSDs really do have data corruption issues.
posted by wotsac at 7:10 PM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm assuming by 2011 27in imac, you mean the i5/i7 model. These are still EXTREMELY strong compared to the current machines. New i5 and i7's are at most, 10-15% faster.

An SSD, which you did, and maxed ram will make that a very high performance machine. Macs tend to ship with not enough ram, and even now(ugh) slow hard drives. Knock out those two roadblocks and the rest of the hardware was strong from the factory.

If you put in 16gb of ram, this will be a relevant machine even for heavy video editing type work for another 3-4 years. They can basically handle anything but gaming as well as any non absurdly expensive machine.
posted by emptythought at 8:44 PM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

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