2006 (Late) iMac - S/L to Lion?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tungstentim, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. tungstentim macrumors regular

    tungstentim

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    #1
    Hi,
    Has anyone upgraded their late 2006 Imac from Snow Leopard to Lion. I'm thinking about it, but a little worried about how slow my machine might go if I upgrade?

    I've plenty of HD space and 3Gb ram (4 installed but not recognised).

    Tim
     
  2. Sam Spade macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    #2
    I have a late-2006 unit, as well. 2.16 Core 2 Duo.

    Like you, I had 4GB RAM installed when I was running Snow Leopard, but the system was only recognizing 3GB. I upgraded to Lion and all has been well. The machine seems to run as smoothly as before and Lion now recognizes 4GB RAM.
     
  3. kgapp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    This is very interesting. Are you saying the system recognizes 4GB is installed or it actually utilizes all 4GB? The difference being whether or not it can actually take advantage of the extra 1GB or if it just tells you its installed and doesn't actually use it. Can you check in Activity Monitor for me to see if it is really utilizing all 4GB? My understanding was that 3GB was a chipset limitation and not an OS limitation.

    I also have a late 2006 iMac with a Core2 Duo that was recently upgraded to Lion. Lion runs well but it definitely can be a bit short on memory at 3GB. As long as your needs are somewhat minimal and you remember to quit programs when you are done with them it should be ok. It also helps to restart the machine from time to time to clear any memory leaks. If you use a lot of memory intensive applications I would definitely be cautious with Lion on only 3GB as you will start seeing the spinning rainbow wheel more than you would like.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    It recognizes, but can't use 4GB, except in certain situations. For more details, read this.
     
  5. tungstentim thread starter macrumors regular

    tungstentim

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    #5
     
  6. kgapp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #6
    No, Lion is not measurably slower than Snow Leopard at all (it may geekbench a few points lower but its not noticeable under actual use). All UI elements seem to be nice and fast. It is however pretty easy to reach the ceiling on ram usage with only 3GB at which point you will start seeing beach balls unless you quit some unused applications to free up memory.
     

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