Best way to speed up 2013 Imac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tshwartz, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. tshwartz macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2014
    My 2013 Imac 3.1 ghz I7 with 16 gig memory seems to go into never never land often. The message i get repeatedly is "Application not responding..."

    How can I tell what the problem is? What solutions are there to fixing it. Currently I have 180 gb free out of my 1 gb internal drive

  2. rapicell macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    Since you have a 1TB drive, probably safe to assume it's a spinning disk drive, which is why your computer is so slow. The fuller it gets, the slower it gets. There isn't much you can do other than remove some stuff from the drive or perhaps gets an external SSD to run off of (via thunderbolt) and use the internal drive for storage of things you don't use often. That would provide a quicker system for you, but it would reduce the amount of space you have for the system, so it is a trade off.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    It's the internal drive that's "slowing you down".
    You need to add an SSD as the boot drive.

    Cheapest, easiest, fastest way:

    Plug in an SSD connected via USB3, put your OS, apps, and accounts onto it.
    Will GREATLY speed up boot times, application load times, run times.

    If your home folder is currently clogged up with a lot of stuff (pictures, movies, music), you would want to "offload" those to the platter based internal HDD.

    You can either buy a "bare" SSD and put it into the USB3 enclosure of your choice (WARNING: DO NOT buy an enclosure unless it specifically states that it supports UASP), or you might consider a "pre-packaged" USB3 SSD that's ready-to-go.

    Here's one of the latter:

    Regarding size, I'd suggest a 240gb as the best value.

    Again, if you endeavor to keep your boot SSD "lean and clean", you will be AMAZED at the speed increase...
  4. monokitty macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2011
    You have a 21.5" iMac with a 5400 RPM 1TB drive - that's the issue. Made even worse if the drive is failing which is always a possibility when it starts to get even slower than it was originally. I agree with everyone else on the SSD recommendation.
  5. Cordite macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2016
    Something to check since your hard disk has a lot on it... Do you have Time Machine running? Do the app hangs occur when Time Machine is backing up? Can you induce the problem by manually starting Time Machine's backup process?
  6. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    More recent Mac OSX versions read and write to disk almost continuously, so disk IO is an important factor in overall performance. SSDs are an easy solution to this (they are essentially zero latency - no waiting for the drive to rotate to the head), but installing one in an iMac is not for the faint of heart. But before jumping to that, bring up Activity Monitor and click on the memory tab. If you're using lot's of swap (like more than 2GB), and don't have very much Cached Files (like less than 2GB) then some program is hogging all the memory. Firefox with multiple tabs is one example. Now click to the CPU tab and see if there's a process that is hogging all the cycles. Just sitting there, nothing should be using more than 10-20%, and most way less than that. Usually browsers are bad actors here. Restart browsers to reset. But as stated above, it's probably a 5400 drive that's too full. Consider a fusion set up as you evaluate your options.
  7. BluAffiliate macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2010
    I would simply upgrade the ram.
  8. BlandUsername macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2016
    In yer server room, fixing the tubes
    An SSD install trumps any RAM install, If you can swap to pure SSD and large NAS or at least USB 3.0 external storage, DO IT
  9. jgelin macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2015
    St Petersburg, FL
    I recently upgraded my 2013 iMac with an SSD and from 8gb to 16 of ram. The SSD puts performance over the top and makes the machine lighting fast. Highly recommended, it is a bit tricky of an install but if you've worked with repair before can be done.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Another vote for SSD, you'll see an instant jump in performance when you install one of those puppies.

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