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Aluminum iMac FAQ (2007-2012)

EveryMac.com's "Aluminum" iMac Q&A answers questions about iMac models that shipped from 2007 until 2012. These systems are made of aluminum but have flat, thick sides rather than a sharp tapered edge around the display. These models can be identified by model numbers A1224 and A1225 (20-Inch and 24-Inch displays, respectively, with a black plastic back) and A1311 and A1312 (21.5-Inch and 27-Inch displays, respectively, with an aluminum back).

Questions range from "How do you upgrade the RAM in the Aluminum iMac models? What type of RAM do they use? How much RAM do they actually support?" to "Can you wall mount the Aluminum iMac models? Are they VESA compliant?" and everything in between.

Please note that all of the Aluminum iMac models mentioned in this Q&A have been discontinued.

For the subsequently introduced Aluminum iMac models with a sharp tapered edge around the display, see the "Tapered Edge" Aluminum iMac Q&A. These systems are model numbers A1418 and A1419.

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The answers to some of these questions may no longer be up-to-date. Please refer to the date published, updated, or revised.




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Most Frequently Asked Aluminum iMac Q&As:

How do you upgrade the RAM in the "Late 2009," "Mid-2010," "Mid-2011" and "Late 2011" (21.5-Inch and 27-Inch) Aluminum iMac models? What type of RAM do they use? How much RAM do they actually support?

Is it possible to upgrade the processor in the Aluminum iMac models? How are these processors mounted?

How do you upgrade the RAM in the "Mid-2007," "Early 2008," "Early 2009" and "Mid-2009" (20-Inch and 24-Inch) Aluminum iMac models? What type of RAM do they use? How much RAM do they actually support?

How fast are the "Mid-2011" Aluminum iMac models compared to one another? How much faster are these models than the "Mid-2011" models replaced? How fast are they compared to a Mac Pro?

Can you wall mount the Aluminum iMac models? Are they VESA compliant?

How do you upgrade the hard drive in the "Late 2009," "Mid-2010," "Mid-2011" and "Late 2011" (21.5-Inch and 27-Inch) Aluminum iMac models? What type of storage do they support? Is it even possible to upgrade these models?

What are the differences between the "Mid-2011" Aluminum iMac models?

What are the "pros and cons" of the Aluminum iMac models? Is one right for my needs?

How do you upgrade the hard drive in the "Mid-2007," "Early 2008," "Early 2009" and "Mid-2009" (20-Inch and 24-Inch) Aluminum iMac models? What type of hard drive do they support? Can you swap the hard drive for an SSD?

What are the differences between the displays used in the Intel-based "Aluminum" and "White" iMac models? What is the viewable angle and the brightness of each?

Software Compatibility Q&As:

What version of Mac OS X is pre-installed on the Aluminum iMac models?

Can the Aluminum iMac models run Mac OS 9/Classic applications?

Can the Aluminum iMac models run Windows?

Can the Aluminum iMac models run Linux?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Mid-2011 & Late 2011):

What are the differences between the "Mid-2011" Aluminum iMac models? Which is best for me?

What are all the differences between the education-only "Late 2011" Aluminum iMac and the regular "Mid-2011" Aluminum iMac models?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2011" Aluminum iMac models and the "Mid-2010" models that preceded them?

How fast are the "Mid-2011" Aluminum iMac models compared to one another? How much faster are these models than the "Mid-2011" models replaced? How fast are they compared to a Mac Pro?

How much slower is the education-only "Late 2011" Aluminum iMac than the regular "Mid-2011" Aluminum iMac models? Are the savings worth the reduced performance?

What are the differences between the displays used in the Intel-based "Aluminum" and "White" iMac models? What is the viewable angle and the brightness of each?

What options are available for the "extra" eSATA connector on the 27-Inch "Mid-2010" and 21.5-Inch and 27-Inch "Mid-2011" Aluminum iMac models? How many drive bays do these models have?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Mid-2010):

What are the differences between the "Mid-2010" Aluminum iMac models?

How do the "Mid-2010" Aluminum iMac models compare to the "Late 2009" models that preceded them?

How fast are the "Mid-2010" Aluminum iMac models compared to one another? How much faster are these models than the "Late 2009" models replaced?

What are the differences between the displays used in the Intel-based "Aluminum" and "White" iMac models? What is the viewable angle and the brightness of each?

What options are available for the "extra" eSATA connector on the 27-Inch "Mid-2010" and 21.5-Inch and 27-Inch "Mid-2011" Aluminum iMac models? How many drive bays do these models have?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Late 2009):

What are the differences between the "Late 2009" Aluminum iMac models?

How do the "Late 2009" Aluminum iMac models compare to the "Early 2009" models that preceded them?

How does the performance of the high-end Core i5/Core i7-powered "Late 2009" Aluminum iMac compare to the entry-level "Early 2009/Nehalem" Mac Pro? Is there still a reason to consider a Mac Pro over an iMac?

How much faster are the high-end Core i5/Core i7-powered "Late 2009" Aluminum iMac models than the Core 2 Duo powered models? How much faster are these models than the "Early 2009" models replaced?

How much faster are the 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo-powered "Late 2009" Aluminum iMac models than the "Early 2009" models?

How does the gaming performance of the "Late 2009" Aluminum iMac models compare to earlier Aluminum iMac models? How much faster are the graphics?

How does the display quality of the 21.5-Inch and 27-Inch "Late 2009" Aluminum iMac models compare to previous Aluminum iMac models?

What are the differences between the displays used in the Intel-based "Aluminum" and "White" iMac models? What is the viewable angle and the brightness of each?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Early 2009):

What are the differences between the "Early 2009" Aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo models?

How do the "Early 2009" Aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo models compare to the "Early 2008/Penryn" models that preceded them?

What are the differences between the education-only "Early 2009" Aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo and the "White" model it replaced?

What are the differences between the education-only "Early 2009" Aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo and the "regular" 20-Inch "Early 2009" iMac?

How much faster are the "Early 2009" Aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo models than the "Early 2008" models?

How does the gaming performance of the "Early 2009" Aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo models compare to earlier Aluminum iMac models? How much faster are the graphics?

Are the "glossy" displays used by the 20-Inch and 24-Inch Aluminum iMac models better or worse than the displays used in the previous White iMac models?

What are the differences between the displays used in the Intel-based "Aluminum" and "White" iMac models? What is the viewable angle and the brightness of each?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Early 2008):

What are the differences between the "Early 2008/Penryn" Aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo models?

How do the "Early 2008/Penryn" Aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo models compare to the original Aluminum models that preceded them?

How much faster are the "Early 2008/Penryn" Aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo models than the original Aluminum models?

Are the "glossy" displays used by the 20-Inch and 24-Inch Aluminum iMac models better or worse than the displays used in the previous White iMac models?

What are the differences between the displays used in the Intel-based "Aluminum" and "White" iMac models? What is the viewable angle and the brightness of each?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Original Alum.):

What are the differences between the original Aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo models?

How do the original "Aluminum" iMac Core 2 Duo models compare to the "White" iMac Core 2 Duo models that preceded them?

How much faster are the original "Aluminum" iMac Core 2 Duo models than the previous "White" iMac Core 2 Duo models?

Are the "glossy" displays used by the 20-Inch and 24-Inch Aluminum iMac models better or worse than the displays used in the previous White iMac models?

What are the differences between the displays used in the Intel-based "Aluminum" and "White" iMac models? What is the viewable angle and the brightness of each?

Upgrades & Expansion Q&As:

How do you upgrade the RAM in the "Mid-2007," "Early 2008," "Early 2009" and "Mid-2009" (20-Inch and 24-Inch) Aluminum iMac models? What type of RAM do they use? How much RAM do they actually support?

How do you upgrade the RAM in the "Late 2009," "Mid-2010," "Mid-2011" and "Late 2011" (21.5-Inch and 27-Inch) Aluminum iMac models? What type of RAM do they use? How much RAM do they actually support?

How do you upgrade the hard drive in the "Mid-2007," "Early 2008," "Early 2009" and "Mid-2009" (20-Inch and 24-Inch) Aluminum iMac models? What type of hard drive do they support? Can you swap the hard drive for an SSD?

How do you upgrade the hard drive in the "Late 2009," "Mid-2010," "Mid-2011" and "Late 2011" (21.5-Inch and 27-Inch) Aluminum iMac models? What type of storage do they support? Is it even possible to upgrade these models?

What options are available for the "extra" eSATA connector on the 27-Inch "Mid-2010" and 21.5-Inch and 27-Inch "Mid-2011" Aluminum iMac models? How many drive bays do these models have?

Is it possible to upgrade the processor in the Aluminum iMac models?

What type of video processor is provided by the Aluminum iMac systems? Which have dedicated memory? Which have integrated memory? Is it upgradable?

Do the Aluminum iMac models have PCI slots or expansion bays?

What are the capabilities of the optical drive provided by the Aluminum iMac models?

Display Q&As:

Are the "glossy" displays used by the 20-Inch and 24-Inch Aluminum iMac models better or worse than the displays used in the previous White iMac models?

How does the display quality of the 21.5-Inch and 27-Inch "Late 2009" Aluminum iMac models compare to previous Aluminum iMac models?

What are the differences between the displays used in the Intel-based "Aluminum" and "White" iMac models? What is the viewable angle and the brightness of each?

What does "nits" mean as a unit of brightness? How does "nits" compare to "cd/m"?

What type of video processor is provided by the Aluminum iMac systems? Is it upgradable?

Do the Aluminum iMac models support dual displays? What is the maximum resolution for an external display?

Can you wall mount the Aluminum iMac models? Are they VESA compliant?

File Transfer, Networking, & Communication Q&As:

How can I transfer files from my old Mac to my Aluminum iMac?

Do the Aluminum iMac models support 802.11n?

What is is 802.11n? How is it different from 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11a?

How does the "ultra thin" keyboard provided with the Aluminum iMac models compare to a more traditional desktop keyboard? How does it feel?

Design, Configuration, & Purchasing Q&As:

Who designed the Aluminum iMac?

Where can I buy an Aluminum iMac model?

What are the default configurations? What custom configurations are available?

What are the "pros and cons" of the Aluminum iMac models? Is one right for my needs?




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