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Question: Upgrade iMac mid 2007 or buy a New iMac?

Hello,


I have a mid-2007 iMac running OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 It has a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor and 4GB of memory. My HD has 188 GB of 319 GB free space.


Everything runs perfectly except my Adobe Lightroom program is very slow as I just bought a new camera and my RAW images are around 25 mb each. Importing/exporting and manipulating them takes forever and my color wheel spins a bit before a change is seen. Very frustrating when I try to edit over 200 pics


Is it time to buy the new iMac or would getting a new internal hard drive help? Are processors and the amount of RAM more important when working with graphics?


Any other related suggestions would be appreciated.

iMac, OS X El Capitan (10.11.6)

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4 GB RAM is on the low end when it comes to graphics and video work. It's even low for running a newer OSX.


Hard drives is many Macs run at a slower spin speed of 5400 rpm. If you really want speed you need a SSD but those are a lot more pricey per GB.


Your processors are okay. Not the fastest but many in Apple's current lineup are similar GHz.


Adobe is going to be a hog. Tweaking anything will help, but is it worth it with a 11 year old Mac? Apple would say not, they stopped supporting it 6 years ago. I'd say you need to look at the cost. If you do something like RAM alone and you do it yourself then maybe. Doing a HDD on an iMac can be like brains surgery. You've also reached a point where you can't upgrade OSX beyond what's already an old version for Apple (and probably Adobe too). If you want major tweaking done and you can't DIY then you may be better off thinking a new(er) Mac in terms of price point. You could easily toss several hundred into upgrading that one and it still wont' run a newer operating system version.

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Mar 1, 2018 4:24 PM in response to joela21 In response to joela21

Are processors and the amount of RAM more important when working with graphics? Are processors and the amount of RAM more important when working with graphics?


Yes, they are; lots of RAM (16 GB) and fastest processor you can afford will help while editing/rendering. A faster hard drive will also help.


But. since you can't get a faster processor and the computer is 11 years old, I'd abandon it - all hardware fails sooner or later and yours is way past that. You've been fortunate so far.


I'd check out the refurb section at the online Apple store - savings and the same warranty as a new one. Note: the offerings there can and will change often as there is usually only one of whatever is being listed.


Certified Refurbished - Apple

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Mar 1, 2018 4:24 PM in response to joela21 In response to joela21

4 GB RAM is on the low end when it comes to graphics and video work. It's even low for running a newer OSX.


Hard drives is many Macs run at a slower spin speed of 5400 rpm. If you really want speed you need a SSD but those are a lot more pricey per GB.


Your processors are okay. Not the fastest but many in Apple's current lineup are similar GHz.


Adobe is going to be a hog. Tweaking anything will help, but is it worth it with a 11 year old Mac? Apple would say not, they stopped supporting it 6 years ago. I'd say you need to look at the cost. If you do something like RAM alone and you do it yourself then maybe. Doing a HDD on an iMac can be like brains surgery. You've also reached a point where you can't upgrade OSX beyond what's already an old version for Apple (and probably Adobe too). If you want major tweaking done and you can't DIY then you may be better off thinking a new(er) Mac in terms of price point. You could easily toss several hundred into upgrading that one and it still wont' run a newer operating system version.

Mar 1, 2018 4:24 PM

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Mar 1, 2018 4:24 PM in response to joela21 In response to joela21

Are processors and the amount of RAM more important when working with graphics? Are processors and the amount of RAM more important when working with graphics?


Yes, they are; lots of RAM (16 GB) and fastest processor you can afford will help while editing/rendering. A faster hard drive will also help.


But. since you can't get a faster processor and the computer is 11 years old, I'd abandon it - all hardware fails sooner or later and yours is way past that. You've been fortunate so far.


I'd check out the refurb section at the online Apple store - savings and the same warranty as a new one. Note: the offerings there can and will change often as there is usually only one of whatever is being listed.


Certified Refurbished - Apple

Mar 1, 2018 4:24 PM

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Mar 1, 2018 8:31 PM in response to joela21 In response to joela21

joela21 wrote:...a mid-2007 iMac ... is very slow as I just bought a new camera and my RAW images are around 25 mb each....


your 2007 iMac would probably handle the files produced by the digital cameras from 2007 just fine, back when they were like 4 megapixels or so. That's progress and planned obsolescence for you, if you upgrade one device in your digital chain you have to upgrade them all!


You might be able to upgrade that iMac to 6GB of RAM, check detailed specs for your particular model at www.everymac.com I doubt it would make that much difference in working with high-resolution images from a 2018 digital camera.

Mar 1, 2018 8:31 PM

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Mar 1, 2018 8:44 PM in response to babowa In response to babowa

Remember, anything made after about 2012 may be set in stone as to RAM and drive configuration. I see a lot used Macs in various places and to me many are essentially useless because somebody wanted the least expensive in the line which means they are forever stuck in too little RAM and too slow and/or small drive. Keep in mind anything relatively modern probably can't be upgraded, or upgrading will be very different from the way it used to be, so don't jump on a low price model and expect to be able to make a better computer out of it down the line.

Mar 1, 2018 8:44 PM

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Mar 2, 2018 11:12 AM in response to joela21 In response to joela21

I haven't used any of Adobe's applications. I do modest video and photo editing with free applications on an older (2008) iMac computer. I often have a bunch of other applications going. I have a thing on my menubar giving me a constant readout of my computer's resources such as RAM and CPU. Frankly, I rarely see anywhere near all 8 GB of RAM used, with me it's almost always the processors getting saturated and slowing things down, particularly with video. Maybe really pro level applications need more RAM but I'd want 8 GB of RAM for comfort but don't think I'd go for 16 GB, paricularly in an older computer.


Don't forget everything we have written about your older computer. You may find you can't even go as high as 8. I know with my early '08 iMac it tops out at 6 (I had 8 GB in my 2008 MacBook before it died and it was to that I was referring above).

Mar 2, 2018 11:12 AM

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Mar 2, 2018 11:21 AM in response to joela21 In response to joela21

Would I be foolish to get only 8GB memory rather than 16 GB?

Depends on the iMac you want. The 27-inch models still have user-accessible RAM slots for upgrading at home. If you need more later, you can add it in minutes.


On the other hand, the RAM in 21.5 inch models in not user-accessible. Consider whatever RAM comes with the computer as your "forever RAM." No upgrading the 21.5" model's memory except for very expensive professional teardown and reassembly. I'm guessing two hours of labor plus the cost of RAM and special reassembly parts. Not worth it, IMHO. If you go with a 21.5-inch iMac, buy the RAM you may need in two years pre-installed.

Mar 2, 2018 11:21 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 5:42 AM in response to joela21 In response to joela21

Get a new 21.5 inch screen iMac with a full SSD!!

The standard spinning hard drives and fusion drives use the 33% slower 5400 RPM spinning hard drives.

That means read/write performance of these drives will be 33% slower than the standard 7200 RPM desktop drives that used to be put into 21 inch screen iMacs prior to 2012.

The 5400 RPM hard drive will be a big bottleneck and you WILL notice slower performance of these 21 inch screen iMacs using a 5400 RPM spinning hard drive.

Purchase a 21 inch screen model with the full 16 GBs of RAM AND a full SSD (Solid State flash memory Drive).


Good Luck to You!

Mar 3, 2018 5:42 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 3:37 PM in response to joela21 In response to joela21

While you're thinking about it: even with more RAM and a new hard drive, the other hardware (logic board, graphics card, etc) will fail at some point; after all, this is 11 years old. Putting a lot of money into something that old doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Personally, I would start saving for a newer model instead.

Mar 3, 2018 3:37 PM

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Mar 3, 2018 5:46 PM in response to Glen Doggett In response to Glen Doggett

Well, I went by the subject line : Upgrade.... or buy.....


and wanted to reinforce that upgrading wasn't the best idea.


As for new ones: one has to check the specs very carefully of any 21" since the default hard drive is a paltry 5400 rpm and, as we all know, there is no way to add RAM later.

Mar 3, 2018 5:46 PM

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Question: Upgrade iMac mid 2007 or buy a New iMac?