iMac for Education (Late 2011)

This version of the Mid 2011 iMac is stripped back and only available to educational institutions; it is not available for sale to individuals.

To cut $200 and make this a $999 computer, Apple scaled back from a 2.6 GHz quad-core i5 CPU to a 3.1 GHz dual-core i3, removed the Thunderbolt port, and reduced capacity. This model’s 2 GB of system memory, 256 MB of video memory, and 250 GB hard drive are half what the consumer model has.

Other than that, this model appears to be identical to the entry-level consumer iMac.

This model shipped with OS X 10.7 Lion. We don’t know if this iMac supports OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, but it should be capable of running it.

Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. PowerPC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.


  • introduced 2011.08.08 at US$999
  • Part no.: MC978
  • Model identifier: iMac 12,1

Mac OS

  • ships with OS X 10.7 Lion. macOS 10.4 Mojave and later are not supported.
  • requires OS X 10.6.7 Snow Leopard or later
  • OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility
    • Grand Central Dispatch is supported.
    • 64-bit operation is supported.
    • OpenCL is supported.
  • OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility
    • AirPlay Mirroring is supported.
    • AirDrop is supported.
    • Power Nap is not supported.

Core System

  • CPU: 3.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core i3
  • L2 cache: 4 MB shared cache on CPU
  • Bus: 1333 MHz
  • RAM: 2 GB, expandable to 16 GB using four 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • Performance: estimated based on 3.06 GHz i3 iMac from 2010
    • Speedmark 6.5: 174
    • Geekbench: 5681


  • GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 256 MB dedicated VRAM
  • Display: 21.5″ 1920 x 1080 LED backlit flat panel display
  • Video out: Mini DisplayPort, DVI and VGA with optional adapters


  • drive bus: SATA 3 Gbps (6 Gbps with EFI update)
  • SSD: unknown
  • Hard drive: 250 GB
  • SuperDrive: writes DVD±R, DVD+R, and DVD+RW discs at up to 8x speed, DVD-RW at up to 6x; dual layer at up to 4x; reads DVDs at up to 8x, writes CD-R discs at up to 24x, writes CD-RW discs at up to 16x, reads CDs at up to 24x


  • Thunderbolt: none
  • USB: 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • FireWire 400: none
  • FireWire 800: 1 port, 7 Watts
  • Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
  • WiFi: 802.11n AirPort Extreme built in, three antennas support up to 450 Mbps bandwidth
  • Bluetooth 2.1: included
  • IR receiver: supports Apple Remote (not included)
  • SD Card: 1 slot, supports SDXC
  • Microphone: internal
  • Modem: None


  • H x W x D (21.5″): 17.75 x 20.8 x 7.42 in/45.1 x 52.8 x 18.85 cm
  • H x W x D (27″): 20.4 x 25.6 x 8.15 in/51.7 x 65.0 x 20.7 cm
  • weight (21.5″): 20.5 lb/9.3 kg
  • weight (27″): 30.5 lb/13.8 kg
  • Power supply: 241W (21.5″), 365W (27″)

CPU Upgrades

  • none

Online Resources