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iMac Late 2009 - 2011 - Upgrade & Repair


iMac Late 2009 - 2011

The iMac Late 2009 revision replaced the previous generation's 24" with the new big 27" display. The smaller 20" model was also upgraded a bit to 21.5". The lower end Late 2009 models still used the Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, but some of the 27" 2009 models, and all subsequent models, moved to the more advanced Core i3/i5/i7 chips. Thunderbolt was added to the iMac range with the 2011 model.

All of these machines have user accesible RAM sockets along the bottom of the screen. The drives can also be replaced without too much trouble (at least compared to the next revision) - the outer screen glass is held on magnetically and can be removed using suction cups. There is an annoying issue with the hard drive temperature reading when using third party drives, but this can be resolved with software. Replacing the hard drive with an SSD (Solid State Disk) and upgrading the RAM can make these machines still useful for lighter tasks into the 2020s (though not if you need to run the latest versions of macOS). We sell RAM and drives for these machines, and offer installation services performed by technicians with over 10 years experience with these machines.

We offer repair services for the iMacs, and can replace faulty drives and other components. The achilles heel of these iMacs has been their graphics cards. While not as common as the similar problems with some 2011 MacBook Pros, GPU failures are unfortunately a known issue. The problem is common enough that replacing a faulty graphics card is not really viable - there is simply no source of reliable cards (and plenty of sources of unreliable ones). Over the years we have had a lot of experience in doing a temporary reflow repair of these iMacs graphics cards, but this is a way of prolonging their life that does not fix the underlying fault - after some undeterminable period of time, the fault will recur. Given the age of these machines now, it makes a lot less economic sense to spend money on a temporary fix than it once did, and we sadly advise most people to consider replacing the machine these days.

All these iMacs can run versions of macOS up to and including 10.13 High Sierra.

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You can also find your Mac by looking up its serial number, or selecting it from its Model ID.

iMac Late 2009 - 2011 with 21.5" Display

iMac Late 2009 - 2011 with 27" Display