Apple 21.5" iMac 500GB Desktop

Apple 21.5" iMac 500GB Desktop

I have a couple of questions:

  1. Can the memory in these be increased/upgraded?
  2. Can this run Mojave? I know some 2011 Apple computers cannot.


Apple said that vintage models cant run Mojave.

Mid-2011 Macs and below can only go as high as 10.13 (High Sierra). So you won’t get any future OS upgrades, but it’s still a good computer for someone who doesn’t care about that. I had one for years, no complaints.

To be clear: “no future OS upgrades” does not mean no future fixes. I have a couple of older Macs that cannot run Mojave, and they still get security updates on a fairly regular basis.


Can I put a bigger (1TB (or more?)) hard drive in this? How much would that cost and how difficult is it to do?

Yes, many options (though you definitely want to stick with SSD):

Though OWC calls the install process “involved”:

I’m still running a 2009 iMac and it runs great. I have High Sierra installed on it, so this one should also be able to run High Sierra.

As for upgrades, Apple’s unstated policy over the past several years has been to support the previous two versions. So, right now, they are providing updates to Sierra and High Sierra. Once Mojave’s replaced by macOS 10.10 (Death Valley?) support for Sierra should be stopped, but for High Sierra will continue (as it will for Mojave).

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@didymos Yes, sorry, I should have been more clear that no upgrades does not mean no updates :slight_smile: These iMacs last forever and hold their value pretty well, and this is a decent price for one.

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Memory can be upgraded. It has four, easy to access SO-DIMM slots. Officially, Apple says this model supports 16 GB of RAM. However, many have discovered that these models can support as much 32 GB.

The HDD can be upgraded, though it does involve removing the monitor to access the internal components. It’s not hard, but can be tricky. Several excellent videos on YouTube can walk you through the process.

I own one of these running Lubuntu with zoneminder. I felt that tinge of betrayal putting Linux on a Mac but it runs very well. The Mac is high quality hardware and I’d like to upgrade to an SSD but besides being involved I think it requires a special adapter for a temperature sensor.