Previous 1 2 Next 18 Replies Latest reply: Apr 7, 2011 10:25 AM by Genshu
Genshu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello,

My Imac seems to be running slower and slower. I am interested in upgrading, but dont need a whole new computer, the display, keyboard, mouse is fine. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Imac, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (47,240 points)
    Hi Genshu,


    Exactly what do you want to upgrade? The only thing that is user upgradeable is RAM and if your machine is upgradeable to Snow Leopard (10.6.x) you could upgrade to that too.

    Please let us know exactly which iMac you own, if you're not sure open System Profiler (Applications - Utilities - System Profiler and you will see something that looks like:


    *Hardware Overview:*

    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac7,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 4 MB
    Memory: 6 GB

    Please copy and paste that information into your reply so we can figure it out.

    Roger
  • Genshu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac5,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.16 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
    Memory: 1 GB
    Bus Speed: 667 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: IM51.0090.B09
    SMC Version: 1.9f4

    I suppose what it comes down to is thinking that my hardrive should be replaced as it is gettin old, but still functioning and while I am at it might as well upgrade to Leopard, particularly interested in time machine, does this mean I should be a whole new computer? hoping to avoid that expense as this one is still working. thank you for the input!
  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (47,240 points)
    Well the good news is you could upgrade the RAM to 6GB and you could also upgrade the HD up to 2GB if you wanted to. Upgrading the RAM is simple and takes minutes, the HD is another matter. It was never designed to be user upgradeable however if you are handy, brave and don't mind diving into notebooks to fix them you could probably do it. If the thought makes you nervous then take it to your local AASP and get it done. For the RAM I'd upgrade to either 4-6 GB, here is a link to OWC.

    Personally if it was my machine I would upgrade to Snow Leopard ($29), upgrade the RAM $90-$125 and get an external HD to begin using TM to back up your data. The hard disk I would let it run until it died. Then when the HD did die I'd probably begin looking for a new machine.
  • Genshu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    wow i didnt realize that I could get snow leopard for only $29. Sounds like good advice!
  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (47,240 points)
    Yes, that's the retail price. If you buy the RAM from OWC, they also sell high quality external HD's to use as your backup drive and they also sell the upgrade DVD. Prior to doing any upgrade I'd highly recommend backing up first! You can download either SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner and backup your system, then do the RAM and SL upgrade. After successfully doing the upgrade you can then erase the external HD and use it for a Time Machine backup drive or you may like to use SuperDuper or CCC. Many people (including myself) use both TM and SD or CCC. The reason being is it's safer to have redundant backups. Here is an article from MacWorld that talks about that.
  • Genshu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Read the article, things sure get complicated fast! I have two iomega hard drives. The older one that only fits the kids pics I try to leave with my mom in chicago. My main concern is getting some backup off site, but i am not working steady and dont want to spend on those web backup services. My main concern is safeguarding all those photos, videos of the kids. Everything else would be a drag to lose but I must not lose those photos!

    Little bit confused at this point about time machine and the super clone programs.
  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (47,240 points)
    Well you don't have to get as complex as he does. What I do is I have 2 external HD's that I use for backup. I use one for Super Duper to create a bootable clone and the other I use Time Machine. Some people ask if they can use the same disk for both a bootable clone and TM and the answer is yes in theory however this is a recipe for disaster. The reason being is if that HD crashes the user has lost both backups! If you have some redundancy when one crashes you can recover.

    The details of how I have mine setup are like this. Time Machine by default is designed to backup every hour however my data doesn't changes that often so this is a waste for me. I downloaded a little utility called TimeMachineEditor so I can tell TM how frequently to backup. I have mine set for 4x day. On my SuperDuper drive I have it set up to backup at 2 AM (when I'm sleeping) every day and it only backs up files that have been changed or added. By going this route I know that when I wake up I have a perfect clone of my internal HD just in case.
  • Genshu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    well so far I have done nothing. My wife has a new mac book pro. using it the other day I was amazed at how fast it was for basic stuff. do you think getting a mac mini, using my existing other stuff is a good way to go to improve performance? If push comes to shove, can one get by with just the timemachine backing up the data?
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (26,515 points)
    I tried a Mini once and sold it after 2 months because it was just too slow for me - but then it depends on what your needs are, of course. The Mini has the same type of drive as a laptop (5400 rpm), whereas a desktop has a 7200 rpm, which is obviously quite a bit faster. So, you'll need to think of what you will be using it for.

    As for your 5,1 iMac - I pulled up the complete specs here:

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/stats/imac-core-2-duo-2.16-20-inch-sp ecs.html

    Since yours is what I had (except for a 24" screen), I thought I remembered that the *maximum RAM for that machine is 3 GB*, although it's been reported that there would be a slight advantage by going to 4 GB. It will only recognize a fraction above the 3 GB though - something like 3.2 or so. I had mine maxed at 3 GB (one 1 GB and one 2 GB module) and it was quite good, although much much slower than the new iMac I have now (see my profile).
  • Genshu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    good to know about the mac mini. main gripe is that when opening i photos since im up to 15000 pics, everyting sloowwws down! guess more ram is key.
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (26,515 points)
    Well, RAM will help your problem (and remember, you can only have a total of 3 (officially) or 4 GB - not 6) - but, it's a slower (older) processor as well. Mine worked quite well, but I do a fair share of video editing, so I needed something a little faster.

    Another important thing: do you have an absolute minimum of 10 - 15% of your hard drive space available at all times? The OS needs that space to operate properly.

    Other little things to keep things speedy:
    repair permissions after any software install/update;
    don't work in too many apps (especially photo or video editing) all at once;
    Safari or Firefox: reset/empty caches/history

    And, I occasionally run DiskWarrior ($$) to rebuild the file directory which helps also.
  • Genshu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you for the info Barbara. I am doing most of the things you mentioned already. Did check the hard drive and surprised to find I have only 10% memory left! that must be part of it.
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (26,515 points)
    Just to clarify: hard drive space is not usually referred to as memory; hard drive space is just that (a hard drive is pretty much like a CD or DVD which holds the information that is being written to it); memory is the RAM you have installed.
  • Genshu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    what attracted me to the mac mini is the idea of gettin the latest computer without having to buy a new mouse, keyboard, and display all of which are working fine now. i am hesitant to put much money in my existing one as it is gettin old, and now the hard drive is almost full! any suggestions for upgrading without buying a whole new desk top?
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