Upgrading my old 2011 iMac

by Lindsey on January 6, 2017 · How To, Tech

I own a mid-2011 iMac which I purchased in 2012. I decided not to wait for the new one because I knew I wanted a desktop computer with an optical drive. This would be the last model that would include one.

My iMac is the computer I mainly use for design work. It has aged and slowed down so I decided to have a few updates done to it. I did not necessarily want to shell out so much money just for an upgrade. I know maybe 1 or 2 years from now I may have to but I believe this upgrades have extended its life.

There were a few problems I wanted to address.

  1. Really slow at doing everything
    The very first update I did to my mac was install more memory to it. It only came with 4GB so I decided to add another 4GB bringing it to a total of 8GB. This felt like it wasn’t helping anymore so I thought maybe an SSD would help.I asked MacServeManila to install a 256GB SSD. He was able to come to my home and install it without me having to bring it anywhere (super convenient). I spent a total of Php8,800 (~175USD) for the SSD which included the actual drive and the installation.
  2. No USB 3.0
    I knew USB 3.0 would help me extend my storage since I sacrificed capacity for speed. Unfortunately, my old iMac did not have a USB 3.0 port.Initially I looked to find a thunderbolt to usb 3.0 adapter but couldn’t find any. I stumbled upon the Belkin Thunderbolt dock express. It looked like a really good option but was a bit pricey.

    Eventually, I found a WD Thunderbolt 2TB external HDD which I love. It quietly sits under my iMac and stores most of my files. This drive cost Php16,000 (~320USD). This also comes in a 4TB variant.

  3. Other Problems
    My aging Mac has not escaped certain problems. The top corners of my screen show some grey streaks that look like dust when shown on a white screen. I heard this was a problem for some units but never got around to having it fixed.The optical drive also no longer works and the SD card slot does not perform as well. If anyone knows any solutions to this, please comment them down below.
  4. Experience
    Over the years, I’ve added a few peripherals to make my Mac experience better. This includes:

    • A 4-port USB hub that matches the aluminum look of the iMac
    • A magic trackpad which I use together with the Magic Mouse


Finally, some great software to keep your Mac at tip top shape:

  • SSD Fan Control (When the SSD was first installed, the fan was making so much noise. You’ll need this to control it since it is a third party drive.)
  • Disk Diag
  • AVG for Mac
  • Always keep your OS up to date
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2 thoughts on “Upgrading my old 2011 iMac”

  1. loaditup says:

    I have my Macbook White (Unibody) Mid-2010, and runs so great enough even if i open too many windows or app simultaneuosly. Its because I recently upgraded its RAM into 16 GB, which was compatible for then released Macbook mid-2010 laptops. I also recently install boot camp on it to run Windows 10 Pro. And I’mma say, Mac/Macbooks are a beast of a hardware!

    I’m still finding ways to somewhat improve my Macbook and I will go try SSD Fan Control next. I hope their software is also Macbook compatible. Thanks for tip!!

    Anyhow, do you recommend installing some anti-virus software on Mac/Macbook? I thought they were supposed to be free from viruses? And if yes, what anti-virus software will you recommend? Thank you very much for the answers in advance.

    1. Lindsey says:

      I don’t we need to install any antivirus but it could give you peace of mind. I use AVG Ultimate on all my Mac and PC devices.

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