**How to speed-up my system??

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Rhobes, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. Rhobes macrumors 6502

    Rhobes

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Missoula,MT
    #1
    Hello-

    I'm wondering if there is anyway to speed up my system besides adding more RAM(not sure that would do much). I've noticed others with comparable systems have more than my 800 MHz, they're into GHz, is this what increases the speed & can I upgrade my computer in this area?? Thanks :rolleyes:
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Location:
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    #2
    You cannot replace the processor in your Mac with a faster one. Beyond adding RAM you are basically stuck.
     
  3. Poeben macrumors 6502

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  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
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    #4
    These are all for PowerMacs. The original poster's signature says he has an iMac G4. These cannot be upgraded. PowerMac G4s have socketed CPUs, iMacs are surface mounted to the logic boards. If you select iMac/eMac at the top right of that page then processor upgrades then you get no results as there are none.
     
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #5
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #6
    Beat you too it :)
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #7
    But mine sounded more pissed-off. :D
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #8
    To provide some actual constructive help! There are a few things you could try to see some small speed increases:

    1) Check for unwanted background processes and so on that may have been left over from trying out apps then stopping using them.

    2) Repair permissions.

    3) Clear out caches.

    4) Check you are not running out of disk space. OSX slows down a little as it reaches a full boot disk.

    5) Replace your hard disk. Modern ATA disks are faster (even with the same spindle speed) and you may see a slight improvement from that.
     
  9. Rhobes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rhobes

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Missoula,MT
    #9

    I know my system has been upgraded to 768MB RAM and it can go up to 1GB. What exactly do I need to buy to make it the 1GB, do I add to the 768 or discard that to replace with 1GB?? Would this speed it up some? Thanks :confused:
     
  10. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #10
    To be perfectly honest most users will not see any difference between 768 and 1024Mb of RAM. My PowerBook has 768Mb and under normal usage never swaps (which is what slows things down). What are you using the machine for? If it's just the normal mail/web/iLife/Word style stuff you don't need more RAM. If it's PhotoShop with really big files, video editing and so on then you need as much RAM as you can get...
     
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #11
    There are two memory sockets in your machine. One is called the "user accessible" socket (an SODIMM socket). You already have the maximum 512 Mb in that one. The other socket (a DIMM) is deep within the machine, and should be accessed only by a technician with the right tools and procedures.

    You could theoretically replace that 256 Mb DIMM with a 512 MB one, to bring the machine to 1 Gb total. However, the speed improvement would be marginal.

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  12. Rhobes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rhobes

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    Location:
    Missoula,MT
    #12

    I've done all but #5. Is that something that someone with limited experience could do(as myself). Sounds like I'd have to copy the current HD to the new one? Maybe this is something for the certified Apple Tech(although the local & only guy here in Western MT is not too sharp). Or would this require a reinstall? What would the hardware run, pricewise? Thanks.....
     
  13. Rhobes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rhobes

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    #13
    Yes, I am running PhotoShop. I notice it tends to slow up at times running.
     
  14. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #14
    News you may not want to hear:

    If you have 768 Mb of RAM and you are having regular slowness with the Photoshop files you are working on - if it is impeding your daily work enough to be troublesome, your speed upgrade is called iMac G5 or better, PowerMac G5.

    Seriously, changing the hard drive will make only a small difference (you already have at least a 5400 RPM drive and possibly a 7200 RPM in the machine, and getting into the machine to change the drive is not a job for a newbie). Cleaning up your hard drive and OS will restore the machine to its original speed but won't accelerate it beyond that.
    You can only upgrade the RAM by 33%, and you can't upgrade the iMac G4's processor performance.
     
  15. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #15
    Due to the design of the lamp shade iMac this is pretty much a certified Apple Tech only job :( The disk itself would be pretty cheap, you can get 300Gb latest generation drives (Seagate Baraccuda 7200.8) in the UK for around £120, so I imagine the US price is somewhere around $300 (obviously lower capacities are cheaper). I've no idea what the installation charge might be. It would require a reinstall of the OS and all apps, although a cheap (less than $40) firewire enclosure would turn the old drive into an external firewire drive and you could drag/drop the apps over.

    You are not going to see massive speed improvements by doing this. At the very best it will be 3-4% and only in disk operations. If you are doing really massive Photoshop work (100Mb+ files) this might be worth it as Photoshop will be using it's own disk caching instead of letting the OS do it.
     
  16. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #16
    I believe that the iMac G4s actually support 2Gb of RAM (1Gb in each slot). At launch time Apple declared the upper limit as 1Gb as available DIMMS were maxed out at 512Mb. Obviously you would want to check this before buying! But you are right, the only way to get a dramatic speed increase is a dramatic new computer!
     
  17. Rhobes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rhobes

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    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Missoula,MT
    #17
    Well, thanks everyone for that information. I think the logical solution here is New Computer. As mentioned, there isn't any serious upgrades available here, & in the long run will get me nowhere.

    Thanks everyone............. :D
     
  18. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #18
    The main limitaion with early flatpanel iMacs is the SDRAM.
    Later models use DDR RAM and are noticeably faster, even if the CPU clock frequency and architecture are similar.

    Another way to improve system responsiveness is install a second HD and controller, then move the Users folder to it. (Macgurus has detailed explanations on this process in their forum FAQ)
    This enables simultaneous access to system/apps and users, and can effectively double your HD cache and transfer rates under some circumstances.
    Not sure if a Firewire drive would work reliably with this setup, but it would be the only real option with any of the iMacs.
     
  19. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #19
    Don't see how a second controller could be added to the iMac G4... :confused: May be a viable idea for machines with a PCI slot but that's not the point of this thread.

    A firewire drive would suffer from the limitations of the firewire 400 buss and the associated controllers, approx half the bandwidth of the same drive on an ATA100 buss.
     
  20. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    #20
    I agree.
    I would thoroughly research the topic at Macgurus before doing anything.
    BTW, wouldn't a Firewire drive operate independently of the IDE bus?
    (ie: offering parallel access, which even at lower speeds would still be better than cooperative access on a single drive)
     
  21. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
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    #21
    Yes, you are right: Try copying a large file from one location on a hard drive to another, then do the same to a Firewire drive. The speed of copying between two drives is much faster than on the same drive (which is using the same heads to jump between reading and writing).

    So the answer for applications that use massive reading and writing of large files (Video and audio come to mind), splitting access between two drives, and even better, two drives on two different busses, is Yes.

    What is unclear is whether this would be a major benefit in day to day use with typical applications. It wouldn't help when you are doing a RAM-to disk write or a disk-to-RAM read for example. The benefit would be seen mainly when there is simultaneous disk read and write operations, or when the OS and applications were too large to fit in RAM.
     
  22. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
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    #22
    You can also try moving the Users directory to the second controller(using terminal), which will allow parallel access to system and User libraries, which will occur far more frequently than simply mapping capture or scratch to the second controller.
    The Energy prefs for drives should be set to never sleep for optimum performance. (otherwise the second drive may be snoozing when needed to complete an operation, such as launching an application)
    [​IMG]
     
  23. applekid macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    #23
    So in what kind of tasks is your iMac "lacking"? I'm still quite happy with my same exact iMac's performance (even down to the RAM!) except for gaming.
     

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