2009 27" iMac Advice

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Original poster
Oct 31, 2009
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Our family bought a 27" iMac 11,1 in 2009 for my wife's graduate studies. It's a quad core i5 with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB 7200 RPM HDD. It's now a family computer/hub for photos, videos, music, word processing, email, bills, etc. We don't have a viable laptop (2-3 iPads and 2-3 iPhones). The iMac still works reliably but is now slowing down a bit.

Here's my question: what would be the most economical long-term solution?
  • Replace HDD with a SSD?
  • Upgrade memory?
  • Sell iMac and get a new iMac?
  • Sell iMac and get a laptop of some sort?
Can anyone ballpark the cost/benefit of these options? I like technology, but the most significant computer repair I've ever performed is a RAM upgrade in this iMac. :-/

Thanks for any advice you can offer!
Will
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
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Replace the HDD with an SSD. I did that to my similar-speced mid 2010 27" iMac (as well as a clean El Capitan install) and it no longer feels slow like it used to.
 
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willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Original poster
Oct 31, 2009
10,304
8,176
Here(-ish)
Replace the HDD with an SSD. I did that to my similar-speced mid 2010 27" iMac (as well as a clean El Capitan install) and it no longer feels slow like it used to.
If I've never done much upgrade work, do you think this is something that I could do myself, or am I better of letting a local shop take care of it? How much fiscal investment am I looking at for parts? $200-$300 or so?
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,663
7,509
If I've never done much upgrade work, do you think this is something that I could do myself, or am I better of letting a local shop take care of it? How much fiscal investment am I looking at for parts? $200-$300 or so?
It depends how confident you are, but there are kits and online guides you can follow. If you plan to completely replace the HDD (as I did), you'll need the OWC temperature sensor or another way of controlling the fan speed.
 
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Easttime

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2015
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It depends how confident you are, but there are kits and online guides you can follow. If you plan to completely replace the HDD (as I did), you'll need the OWC temperature sensor or another way of controlling the fan speed.
I just went through this. I bought the OWC SSD kit online (excellent service) but then I made the mistake of thinking I could install it myself. I am no stranger to modifying PCs, but iMacs are a different story. In spite of studying every online video and taking what I thought was great care, I broke mine somehow which led to an expensive repair bill. Wish I had just bought the SSD kit and then taken it into the local Apple-authorized repair shop to let them install it. Only a half hour job for a pro. Fixed now, and my old iMac feels like a 2016 model. Very fast boot.

Plan backups first.
 
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willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Original poster
Oct 31, 2009
10,304
8,176
Here(-ish)
I just went through this. I bought the OWC SSD kit online (excellent service) but then I made the mistake of thinking I could install it myself. I am no stranger to modifying PCs, but iMacs are a different story. In spite of studying every online video and taking what I thought was great care, I broke mine somehow which led to an expensive repair bill. Wish I had just bought the SSD kit and then taken it into the local Apple-authorized repair shop to let them install it. Only a half hour job for a pro. Fixed now, and my old iMac feels like a 2016 model. Very fast boot.

Plan backups first.
Ok, that's really helpful. I may buy the OWC kit and call a local shop. Thanks for the advice. Glad it made a difference.

Do you mind telling me what you paid for the kit?
 
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