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Old Jan 14, 2013, 08:57 AM   #1
ozone
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Upgrade 2007 iMac or get a new iMac vs Mini + Monitor combination

I've got an old iMac (circa 2007) - still runs fine, but is quite slow now. It's a work computer, so I don't run anything terribly demanding, but things that used to run fast are now slowing down noticeably.

It still only has 2 GB of RAM: I tried several brands of RAM chips locally - none worked. I was considering just ordering the 6 GB RAM upgrade from OWC. Does anybody know just "how much" improvement I will see?

My other option is to just get a new 27" iMac, or if shipping times are just too long, possibly a Mac Mini + 27" monitor (either Dell or Apple branded).

I'm conscious that this computer is now heading into its sixth year of continuous use. I try to replace my hardware just before I need to (that is, before things fail).

Any thoughts on this? Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 09:03 AM   #2
thekev
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If the same software used to run faster as in you're not running software versions with significantly higher system or memory requirements and you didn't switch to a much more memory hungry version of OSX, it's either a problem with hardware or the installation of OSX. Putting in ram wouldn't solve either of those problems. If it's slow due to updates that place greater demands on the hardware, then it's possible. Just make sure you check how much ram it can actually take, and make sure you memtest any memory you order prior to placing the machine back in normal service. I'm sure someone will say get an ssd or something like that. Once again if it was faster running the same hardware, that's a hardware problem somewhere, even if the hard drive is a reasonably common cause of this.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 09:08 AM   #3
ozone
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If the same software used to run faster as in you're not running software versions with significantly higher system or memory requirements and you didn't switch to a much more memory hungry version of OSX, it's either a problem with hardware or the installation of OSX.
Well, I did upgrade most software, with the exception of the last Mac OSX. Perhaps I've just hit the limit, RAM aside.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 09:21 AM   #4
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Well, I did upgrade most software, with the exception of the last Mac OSX. Perhaps I've just hit the limit, RAM aside.
I'm not sure which OSX you're on. I was trying to discern if this slowdown came independent of software. 2GB was tight even with Snow Leopard. It's extremely tight with Lion or Mountain Lion. The only thing that shipped with 2GB on Lion was the Air, which of course leveraged the SSD to minimize slowing. SSDs are a fairly popular option. If you choose to go that route, make sure you have a use in mind for it when you buy your next machine. If you're running Lion or Mountain Lion, I'd definitely bump the ram, assuming it's not too expensive. They are extremely memory hungry. It's quite annoying for me even with maxed ram, as I use some memory hungry applications. Having to deal with that at the OS level too is irritating.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 09:31 AM   #5
ozone
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Originally Posted by thekev View Post
I'm not sure which OSX you're on. I was trying to discern if this slowdown came independent of software. 2GB was tight even with Snow Leopard. It's extremely tight with Lion or Mountain Lion. The only thing that shipped with 2GB on Lion was the Air, which of course leveraged the SSD to minimize slowing. SSDs are a fairly popular option. If you choose to go that route, make sure you have a use in mind for it when you buy your next machine. If you're running Lion or Mountain Lion, I'd definitely bump the ram, assuming it's not too expensive. They are extremely memory hungry. It's quite annoying for me even with maxed ram, as I use some memory hungry applications. Having to deal with that at the OS level too is irritating.
Thanks... I'm running OSX 10.6.8. I decided to forego the Lion update given that I really didn't need much more in the way of an OS and to keep the computer running without investing too much.

So a RAM upgrade still seems reasonable for a six year machine?
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 09:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ozone View Post

So a RAM upgrade still seems reasonable for a six year machine?
It depends how much it costs and how long you intend to keep it. I mentioned an ssd simply because you could probably pass it on to the next machine. If you have disk warrior, I'd run it. It can clean the directories up, which does seem to reduce lag. I wouldn't suggest buying it unless you already have it. I kind of wonder how long it will be around given that you still have to use a dvd to boot from it. The drive isn't considered a user serviceable part on the mini if you get one later. the same goes for the newer imacs, so you'd need to be careful.

You could also go for a newer machine. It's up to you, and obviously I have no way of knowing the current state of your hardware. I get that you're concerned about eventual hardware failure. It's possible to spend less than the Apple branded displays if cost is a factor. I expect they'll update the thunderbolt display to be more like the imacs in the near future. I expect NEC will also update their offerings, and I prefer them to Dell or Apple whenever pricing is similar.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 02:41 AM   #7
talisabt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozone View Post
I've got an old iMac (circa 2007) - still runs fine, but is quite slow now. It's a work computer, so I don't run anything terribly demanding, but things that used to run fast are now slowing down noticeably.

It still only has 2 GB of RAM: I tried several brands of RAM chips locally - none worked. I was considering just ordering the 6 GB RAM upgrade from OWC. Does anybody know just "how much" improvement I will see?

My other option is to just get a new 27" iMac, or if shipping times are just too long, possibly a Mac Mini + 27" monitor (either Dell or Apple branded).

I'm conscious that this computer is now heading into its sixth year of continuous use. I try to replace my hardware just before I need to (that is, before things fail).

Any thoughts on this? Thanks in advance.
1) Ram from Newegg.ca and check the type from OWC
2) Add an SSD from Newegg.ca - you can get a 512gb crucial m4 or get a Momentus XT 750gb hybrid. Works very well.

This is your best $$ option.

3) Sell your imac
4) mac mini is great - get a decent ips monitor for cheap -- google korean ips monitor and see which are $300 or so for a 27"
5) if you have the money, I love my new 2012 imac 27"

GL!
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 03:26 AM   #8
eawmp1
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OP, from your posts it seems clear you are trying to justify the purchase of a new machine. If that is what you want, then just do it.

RAM, for the slowdowns you describe, will work wonders for you and is cheap. And yes, order from OWC.

How full is your HD? If you are reaching capacity you will notice a slow down. Move stuff you don't use off the HD (but as mentioned before, do not use any "disk optimization" software.

If the RAM does not speed you up to your liking, then I would consider a new machine. While an SSD will speed you up, this upgrade price is getting to be a larger % of the purchase price of a new machine and might tip the decision.
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