Another wait or buy post. Have 27" late 2013 in need of a performance boost

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Onofire, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. Onofire macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    #1
    Things are slowing down. I need more System RAM along with storage. I've made some simple modifications (moving iTunes and Dropbox to an external drive) but am looking at upgrading the installed 4 GB RAM with two more sticks of Crucial 8GB RAM.

    Alternatives: Buy a new iMac 27" retina.
    Buy a mac mini and use the iMac as a display.

    Things I do: Word processing, some minor use of InDesign and Photoshop along with Video.
     
  2. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #2
    I am still waiting myself, my 2009 really needs replacement. I am waiting until we have new mac mini, macbook pro and imac by the end of november, just so i can make a choice based on hardware that's out now.. and not out for 350+ days.
     
  3. Nospig macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    #3
    4GB ain't enough. Add the extra RAM and see how it goes. Are you running off HDD, SSD or Fusion?
    Replacing it with a Mac Mini isn't going to help.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Definitely upgrade the ram, storage is a harder issue. since opening up those macs is a bear. I suppose you need to balance the idea of prolonging the life of your current iMac by upgrading it, or biting the bullet and spending 2k for another iMac only 3 years after getting this one.

    Another option to opening up your iMac yourself is to take it to a authorized Apple dealer and let them upgrade the storage to a larger drive (preferably a SSD) This will definitely add years to your iMac
     
  5. hanser macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    #5
    Use an external ssd and also boot from there. You get a Samsung 1tb for less than 300.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    Good catch, I run off an external SSD and the speed is nice. I had to look up the 27" late 2013 iMac's specs, they do in fact have USB 3.0 so the performance will be there for the OP
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    OP:
    In your opening post, you didn't say whether you had a platter-based hard drive or an SSD running your OS.
    I'm going to -assume- that your iMac has only an HDD inside.

    My suggestion for a "quick fix":
    1. And an SSD.
    2. Add RAM.

    This would breathe a wave of fresh air into the Mac, make it feel like a new machine.

    You DON'T have to open it up for the SSD part.
    Instead, buy a "ready-to-go" USB3 SSD like this:
    https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extreme-Portable-120GB-SDSSDEXT-120G-G25/dp/B00ZTRY532
    Small enough to velcro to the back of the iMac's stand.

    Just plug it in, set it up, and away you go.
    You won't believe the difference it makes.
    You should get read speeds in the 430mbps range.
    What do you get for reads on the internal right now?

    I would also suggest you bump up your RAM to either 8gb, 10gb, or 16gb.
    The iMac has 4 DIMM slots (2 currently populated), right?
    Even adding a single 8gb DIMM will make a HUGE difference in performance.

    The iMac you have now is only 3 years old.
    You can spend $200-300 and give it a good "remake".
    Or you can spend BIG BUCKS for a new one.

    Your choice...
     
  8. Onofire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    #8
    I'm running the HDD.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 11, 2016 ---
    Thanks! I think with all the info, I'm going to go with the external SSD and upgrade my internal memory to 24 with 2 sticks of 8 GB. If that's not fast enough, I can always buy two more.

    I have no idea what my read speeds are...I just know that compared to my Macbook, it's very slow. I guess it's the difference between running a HDD v. SSD. Is there an external Fusion? I mean, if I'm going to spend some money to upgrade this, should I spring for a Fusion?

    And I'm not worried about size. I have a set up that allows me to hide larger items underneath the desk portion.
     
  9. Fishrrman, Sep 11, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016

    Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    OP wrote:
    "I have no idea what my read speeds are...I just know that compared to my Macbook, it's very slow. I guess it's the difference between running a HDD v. SSD."

    There is a utility called "BlackMagic" that can test the speeds of your drives. An externally mounted SSD running via USB3 (in a proper enclosure that supports UASP) will yield read speeds of 430mbps.

    "Is there an external Fusion? I mean, if I'm going to spend some money to upgrade this, should I spring for a Fusion?"

    A "fusion drive" is an SSD -and- an HDD "married together" with sofware. These come pre-installed on new Macs, although one can create a "homebrew fusion" drive using Terminal.

    BUT -- THERE IS NO REASON TO DO THIS.
    Things will run better AND FASTER if you leave your SSD "as a standalone SSD" and your HDD as "a second drive".

    Again, THERE IS NOTHING DIFFICULT ABOUT MANAGING TWO DRIVES ON THE DESKTOP, instead of just one.
    I cannot comprehend why some folks seem so "scared" about this.
    I keep no less than SEVEN drive icons on my desktop at all times.
    Sometimes 8, 9, 10 or more.

    I know "where things are".
    No problems at all.
     
  10. Onofire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
  11. tyche macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #11
    Memory upgrade to 16gb min. Check the prices of 4gb vs 8gb chips. 4x4gb vs your 2x8gb might save some money. Simple and effective upgrade anyone can do.

    Those drive speeds are terrible but expected. An SSD will give you a substantial increase in read/write. Unfortunately opening up an iMac is tricky and error prone so trying an external drive is a good option.

    Either Samsung drive is good in my opinion. It's a factor of size and price.

    My 2010 iMac has an internal sata SSD and 16gb for about 4 years now I'm still very happy with its performance.
     
  12. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #12
    Upgrade your iMac with 16GB memory and an SSD.

    Replacing you internal hard drive with an SSD will give you a big speed boost.

    Samsung 850 EVO is good.
     
  13. Nospig macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    #13
    It really will. I just put a 240GB SSD in my 2011 Mac Mini. Building my current Unity / XCode project is 30% faster even though the processor is maxed out out for 90% of the build time.
     
  14. Onofire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    #14
    Update. 24 GB of RAM, 1 TB Samsung Portable EVO hard drive (man, these things are tiny). Computer is much more snappy. I'm repurposing the internal harddrive as my Time Machine back up and dropbox location.

    Screen Shot 2016-09-14 at 12.09.53 AM.png
     
  15. itsamacthing macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Location:
    Bangkok
    #15
    I have a late 2012 iMac 27 inch, top spec.. i7, 32GB of Ram, 750GB Flash drive, and this thing is still lightening fast... imagine I will use it for many more years to come
     
  16. komiez macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    #16
    or these 2:

    goo.gl/fuiGjb + goo.gl/qa2HH0 (Phison 10 chip) :)

    Scored like 99% the same as the Samsung 850 EVO, sometimes faster in some tests, but to a much lower price. BP5's could be the best buy.
     
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #17
    See how easy the external SSD makes for upgrading?

    I can't understand why more folks don't try this...
     

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