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Model A1311 / Mid 2011 / 2.5 & 2.7 GHz Core i5 or 2.8 GHz Core i7 Processor

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iMac CPU upgrade for ProTools

I’m running the latest version of protools on a 2011 iMac 3.7 i5 processor, 16 MB RAM, original 1TB HDD.

Errors were fairly frequent when running previous versions of protools, but with the latest version I’m getting CPU errors almost every time I work with projects that involve moderate processing on 5 or so tracks.

I’m contemplating getting the CPU upgraded but before I do, was wondering if (1) anyone has had similar experience with the newer version of pro tools on an older iMac, and (2) does anyone have a view as to whether there is a compatible CPU to swap in that woul d make a meaningful difference?

Thanks to all in advance for any suggestions.

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I think you’ll need to do a bit more investigating here. What does diagnostics (D key) and TG Pro telling you?

Reference: Mac startup key combinations

While your CPU maybe straining under the load I don’t think thats your issue. ProTools is also very drive intensive! Using a HDD alone is not what I recommend if you are doing heavy music editing.

You really need a dual drive config (SSD & HDD). I would get a good 512 GB SSD and install it following this IFIXIT guide Installing iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428 Dual Drive Kit.

Then setup the SSD as your boot drive and have it hold your apps. You don’t want it to hold your data you really want it to be your scratch drive to build your current piece and if you are working on very large works you might need a bigger SSD. You see, you want to leave at least 1/3 of the drive unused! Your OS & apps need cache and paging space on the drive and you want to have enough free space for the system to use it to even out wear.

Your current HDD may also need replacing so you should backup your data from the drive, reformat it and test it before reusing it. Do keep in mind if you do replace it you’ll need the OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for iMac 2011 Hard Drive Upgrade with the new drive.

Lastly, you should take the time to fully dust out the system.

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Thanks so much for this amazingly quick and thoughtful response.

I think i'm going to try your suggestion and set up a dual drive configuration (a great winter break project!).

I assume a drive like this will do (along with the setup kit you linked to)? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077SF...

I remembered that I am already working with a replacement HDD (first one crashed a couple years ago), so I assume I'm set there.

While I have this thing opened up, I've decided to take a crack at bumping up the RAM to 32MB, which appears to be possible based on some internet research using something like this. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CTE...

完成的

I think you can hold off on the RAM. Unless you're Richard Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen ;-}

Otherwise the SSD is just fine.

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I bumped up the ram in mine to 32 GB and put two Samsung SSD’s in RAID 0.

It runs better than new! I also upgraded the OS to High Sierra.

2011 was the year they upgraded the SATA bus speed from 3.0 Gb/s to 6.0 Gb/s. Make sure you run Samsung magician on your SSDs before you install them in a RAID 0 configuration.

I was never a fan of hybrid drives but I've heard people have good results with those as well.

Anyways good luck with your upgrade which ever way you decide to go. Nothing better than the feeling you get when you fire up youir little guy for the first time and he's faster and better than before... Four out of five voices agree.

Just out of curiosity I checked too see if the i7 2600s was still around and too my surprise you can still buy a brand new one from Newegg... Amazing... The s processor is a 65 watt TDP and the only upgrade that works in a 21.5 2011 iMac. I installed a used one, not thinking you could still buy them brand new.

Oh yes, I almost forgot... Your 2011 has a 10 Gb/s ThunderBolt port... If you do RAID 0 two SSDs' use it for backup and storage.

Have fun , I hope this info help's you.

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Michael Ruggiero 将永远感激不已
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