Speed up iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Cpt.N00B, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    #1
    Dear all, I bought my Aluminium iMac a few years back, it was the mid 2007 iMac (7,1). It is the 24 inch version with 2.4 Ghz Intel core 2 duo processor, 2 gb 667 Mhz DDR2 RAM and with a 320 GB 7200 rpm hard drive.

    It was fast at first but over time it slowed down. My programs easily become unresponsive, forcing me to force quite the program. This happens a lot in safari especially. (I have a super fast internet connection, and this never happen with my MBP).

    I would like to make it fast again.

    Now, I know SSD will help, but the process of upgrading myself is too difficult, (I have looked up the guide). The processor is not upgradable (at least for me). This leave me upgrading ram. This is quite easy, and not that expensive. But will upgrading to 4 GB ram speed up the iMac a little, and reduce the chance of application not responding?

    Other than hardware, is there something I should adjust and improve in the software? (I have snow leopard).

    I don't want to upgrade to a new iMac, because I have a new maxed out Macbook Pro 15, with SSD. I will use that to handle the most exhausting tasks.

    I want to take advantage of the iMac's big screen.
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Sounds like the slow downs are caused by lack of RAM. You iMac supports up to 6GB of RAM. If more RAM does not help, then you could do a clean install of OS X.
     
  3. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    Quite likely. Open Activity Monitor and look at the System Memory tab at the bottom. Check your "page outs" and "swap used". If they're high, you likely need more RAM.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #4
    It sounds like your issues are software related, not hardware.

    Have you tried doing a fresh install?

    Have you cleared Safari caches?

    What happens when you use Firefox?

    Have you created a new user and tried safari there?

    It certainly couldnt hurt to add more ram, add a single 4 gig stick for 5 gigs.

    And replacing the drive is NOT hard. Really. The longest part is removing all the damn screws. I could do it in about 15 minutes, maybe less. Glass pops off in about 1 second.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #5
    There are several software utilities that help clean out the junk files and noticeably improve performance.
     
  6. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    Some of those do more harm than good. Having files stored on the hard drive won't impact performance, unless you're almost out of disk space. It's what apps/widgets/processes you have running, as well as your system hardware, that impacts performance.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #7
    HellHammer was spot on, your computer is starving for RAM. It's very simple to prove too, run your machine like you normally do. Then open Activity Monitor (Applications - Utilities - Activity Monitor) click the System Memory tab in the lower part of the screen then look in the lower left. If you have less than 500MB FREE RAM you need to upgrade the RAM. It will take you 30 seconds to do this test. When I upgraded my mid 2007 iMac to 6GB it was like the machine was transformed into a new machine again.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    #8
    I'm glad I came across this forum this evening. My iMac has been slow for at least a year or more. I checked my Activity Monitor as recommended. My Free RAM is only 27MB. Page in/outs are in the 7 digits range. I have only 1Gb of RAM installed. Looks like it's time to expand....
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    #9
    Can you give me the guide which you followed?

    Will OCZ vertex 2 3.5 work in my iMac?

    What type of connection does it have? (Sata II 3.0 GB/s or 1.5 GB/s)
     
  10. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #10
    IMO if you have less than 4GB of RAM, you should upgrade it. RAM is pretty cheap now and apps use more and more RAM all the time. 1GB or 2GB just don't cut it anymore.

    Your iMac has SATA 3Gb/s, just like the Vertex 2.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #11
    SATA is SATA is SATA, they all have the same connection.

    I followed some guide on youtube, after the first time, I didnt need it anymore. Basically:

    1. Remove ram door.
    2. remove glass with suction cup
    3. remove screws around bezel, 2 at bottom are longer than the rest
    4. remove bezel, dont forget to unplug iSight camera
    5. remove screws around screen
    6. prop up screen (no need to completely remove screen)
    7. remove heat sensor from drive
    8. remove 2 screws from top side of drive
    9. remove SATA cable
    10. slide drive out

    reverse.

    I found that if I put something between the foot of the iMac and screen -- so the foot didnt flop around -- it made it much easier. I used a round foam pillow.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    #12
    Well I just threw in a 2Gb card, bringing it up to 3Gb total. I can swap out the 1Gb card for another 2Gb later if needed. Seems to have improved things :)

    Makes me wonder if upgrading the OS from my existing 10.4.11 might not bring further gains ?
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #13
    I don't think upgrading the OS speeds up that much. In fact, it can be slower as Leopard and SL are heavier and thus use more RAM and other resources.
     
  14. blevins321, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

    macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    #14
    I just had a SSD installed in my iMac because I didn't trust myself to not snap the iSight cord nor break the screen. An Apple-certified center will do it for you. Especially if you opt-out of the data backup/migration it'll be reasonable. Mine (university help desk) charged $30.

    Edit: I used to have a CoreDuo iMac (first Intel release) that came with Tiger. I didn't go the SSD route with it, but I did do a straight Tiger to Snow Leopard clean install (skipped Leopard). The speed difference was noticeable, especially because of the optimization of many software to components to Intel-only.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    #15
    I heard that some people had super loud fans after putting in the ssd, because the SSD does not have the port for the imac internal temperature sensors like the default hard drive. This made the computer to think the hard drive is overheating, resulting in loud fan noises.

    is this true? and I did find some script that can slow down the fans, but will this stop the fan from working properly if other components over heat?

    one more thing, SSDs don't produce high heat right?

    Thank you for taking time on my thread, i am a N00B
     
  16. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #16
    Upgrade RAM

    Run disk utility, repair permissions, verify disk


    There are a few types of SATA. New MBP uses a new high speed type. But for most people and uses SATA is SATA is SATA.
     

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