Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Aug 5, 2012 7:19 PM by Joe Pyrdek
Gail Zlatnik Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)

I'm not sure exactly which iMac I says it's a 5,1 but that doesn't seem to fit the categories. It's intel, has a CD slot, and two 512 667MHz memory dealies.


So it seems pretty sluggish lately, even though I've transferred my photo library to my Time Machine backup ext. disk, and that did help.


So is it worth it to buy the max of memory, which is just 2gigs, I think? After 6 years am I heading for a demise anyway?


Any advice is welcome! Thanks.

iMac Snow Leopard, Mac OS X (10.6.6), iPad--the first one; born 12-10
  • roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,560 points)

    I think you would see a benefit from having 2GB of RAM. True it is fairly old, but these days RAM is quite cheap, so it is not a huge investment. Worth the bother definately.


    I have 10.6 running with 2 GB and it works quite well.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (25,180 points)

    Depends on what you are planning to do with it? Might not be worth it if you plan on selling, but it would definitely help if you need to use it for awhile longer.


    I still have an Early 2006 iMac w/2GB of RAM, that the wife and grandkids use everyday for surfing, e-mail and games.


    You can actually use a matched 2x2 4GB kit it a Late 2006 Core 2 Duo 5,1 iMac.

    see > Understanding Intel Mac RAM


    For either a 2GB or 4GB upgrade kit and a good installation guide.

    see > Apple iMac Memory Upgrades for Models with Intel Core 2 Duo

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (10,105 points)


    Your iMac is a 2006 model.

    You only have 1 GB of RAM in the iMac.

    This is the barest of minimum RAM to run any OS.

    It maybe why your iMac is sluggish.

    Memory is fairly cheap.

    I would buy 2 2 GB sticks of RAM.


    Here's a reliable vendor for buying RAM online.



    Giving your iMac a total of 4 GBs of RAM.

    Your iMac can only address the first 3 GBs out of the 4GBs of RAM, though.

    Macs like to have and run more reliably on matched sets of RAM.

    This may help speed up you iMac some.


    Also, I noticed that your OS X version is OS X 10.6.6 Snow Leopard

    You can, also update your OS to 10.6.8 through software update.

    This would give you the last update of Snow Leopard and add the Mac App Store.

    You can't run OS X10.8 Mountain Lion, but, if Apple ever put up OS X Lion, again, for download from the Mac App Store, if you desire, you could download and install OS X 10.7 Lion.

    At the very least, you would now have access to the Mac App store.

  • Gail Zlatnik Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)

    Thanks to all of you! Couldn't award a green check to all, it appears, but each of you contributed something. You're all right, it's a small investment, and since I'm quite happy with this old toy, I'll be glad to keep it going a while.


    So thanks and a gold medal to each of you! (I think if there's a 3-way tie for gold, everyone gets one.)




    By the way, I did upgrade to S.L. and do have the App Store. Just what I need--a new online place to buy stuff!

  • roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,560 points)

    I think if there's a 3-way tie for gold, everyone gets one.

    That's the Olympic spirit.

    Thanks Gail

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (10,105 points)


    Just to be accurate,

    Could you post your iMac's specs.

    They are located at the top left menu bar under the Apple symbol. Click it and a menu drop down appears.

    Under it, select About this Mac. A pop up window appears, within the pop up, there is a more info button.

    This gives the full specs of your iMac.

    Copy/ paste this info into this thread ( without your serial number and any other personal info that maybe in there)

    That way all of us can be sure which model you have and how much RAM can be installed.

    You say it's a 5.1, 2006 model , but you say it has a CD drive.

    Are you sure it's just a CD drive and not a CD/DVD drive?

    The 5.1 models came with a CD/DVD drive.

    If your iMac plays DVD's then you can install or access 3GBs of RAM

    Can you play DVD on your iMac?

    There was a 2006 education model labeled 5.2 that came out the same time.

    This model only had a CD R/W only drive.

    In that model you could only install 2 GBs of RAM max.

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (10,105 points)

    More accurately, does your iMac burn DVD discs?

  • Gail Zlatnik Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)

    MichelPM, you have complicated my Maclife! Here is what I have under 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:4 MB
      Memory:1 GB
      Bus Speed:667 MHz
      Boot ROM Version:IM51.0090.B09
      SMC Version (system):1.9f4
      Hardware UUID:00000000-0000-1000-8000-0016CB9E1E35


    I just discovered that I can indeed play a DVD, but whether I can burn one--have no idea. I'll see whether I can figure that out. I think I put CD in my first post because I knew I had that, and can burn a CD--and that was one of the choices on the Apple site for 2006 models, as you know. You are dealing with a member of the platinum age here. As in hair color.


    Meanwhile, I should add that we bought this through the Apple education store--we both work/ed at the university.

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (10,105 points)

    Okay, Gail,

    You must have the CD writer/ DVD read drive version 2006 iMac.

    The max memory for this model is 2 GBs of RAM.

    The reference to the Apple EDU store was the clincher.

    Good Luck!

  • Joe Pyrdek Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)



    Buying through the Apple Eduction store does not clinch it since you can buy all the models, and customize the model you buy to match your needs.  The education store simply offers education related buyers a small discount compared to the retail Apple store.

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (10,105 points)

    My bad, I guess,

    I assumed that the EDU models were sold only through the Apple education store.

    There is a CD writer/DVD read combo drive, 17 inch screen 2006 iMac that was an education model only.

    That model can only take 2 GBs of RAM.

    The other 17 inch screen model had the Pioneer CD and DVD  writer SuperDrive.

    That model could have 4 GBs installed with that model only addressing that first 3GBs of RAM

    If you think your have the answer, why don't you tell the OP which model she has.

    I am trying to get the OP to put in as much RAM into her iMac to help as much with her iMac's performance issues.

    If she can determine of she can burn a DVD or not we can all be sure the OP can install as much RAM is her iMac can take.



    Whatever you normally burn to CD, if you have or can get a small amount of DVD-R or DVD+R discs to test, if you can burn the DVD discs the same way as the CD,and the iMac does, in fact burn that data to the DVD or not,  then we will know which model you have.

    A model that can be maxed out to 3 GBs of RAM is better than a iMac that can only take 2 GBs.

    It may be and sound complicated, but you may learn something in the process PLUS, you will know EXACTLY which iMac you actually have.

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (10,105 points)


    Here's an Apple link to burning CDs and DVDs



    Hope this helps you.

  • Joe Pyrdek Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)


    will tell you exactly what was in the basic model of the machine you have.  Just enter the serial number in the window and let the machine look it up for you.  Now if you ordered a Custom To Order (selected some of the optional items, you will probably see what was in the base of that model and then have to correlte what things you may have CTO by using the systems profiler.


    If you open the profiler you can copy the serial number from the page that shows up after you click "more info" and then paste it into the specs window asking for serial number.

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (10,105 points)


    I did a little more research on my own here tonight.

    Your model 2.16 Ghz  iMac has the CD/DVD writing Super Drive.

    Thank you for posting your specs. It helped.

    You can install (2) 2 GB RAM sticks.

    Your iMac will only address the first 3 GBs of RAM, though.

    Like I been explaining, 3 GBs of RAM is always better then 2 GBs.

    You should see a decent pickup of speed once you have purchased and installed both sticks.

    Sorry if I had to be a stickler, but it was important for getting the most speed improvement out of your iMac.

    Good Luck and take care!


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