Brand New Member, Need Advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by SchmashinPrunes, Jan 28, 2017.

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  1. SchmashinPrunes macrumors newbie

    SchmashinPrunes

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    #1
    So let me intro myself I guess...

    I'm Prunes. I own a mid-2015 Macbook Pro Retina 15", and a mid-2011 iMac 21.5". Any more questions, just ask away

    I want to do something I haven't seen a whole lot on the interwebs, and I'm not sure if it's been done here, so if it has, link me and delete this post

    I want to take my 2011 iMac and upgrade the CPU in it. After speaking with an Apple Support associate, I was told the socket was the H2, and so that gives me 2 options in terms of CPU's. The i7 2600s, or the i7 3770. Or does it?

    I'm basically here to figure out what would have to be done to get that 2600 swapped in, and what negative (or postive) effects it could have on my dreadfully slow system. I can't afford an upgrade at the moment, and I need the revitalized speed to do some work, so naturally for a PC noob the first thing I thought of was a CPU upgrade.

    I've read around that an SSD upgrade could help, but I also read about how hard it is to get the OS installed onto it, not saying I believe it since I installed Windows 10 to a 120GB hard-drive, I believe anything is possible.

    Any help here would be greatly appreciated, and I plan on doing a DIY if it can be proven this can work without burning my house down. So drop knowledge on me and help me learn!

    Cheers!
     
  2. SchmashinPrunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    SchmashinPrunes

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  3. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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  4. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #4
    A start would be to locate your machine (or similar) on the ifixit website. That'll show you what kind of project you have ahead of you to disassemble the computer.

    They show tear downs. Reassembly is naturally just the reverse. Plus perhaps any glue, tape, heat sink compound, etc.
     
  5. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    #5
    Sometimes upgrading RAM and adding an SSD can result in a greater speed increase than changing the processor, fwiw...
     
  6. SchmashinPrunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    SchmashinPrunes

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    #6
    I actually took the glass off today and it's just magnetized, and I have already found the iFixit for the mid 2011, so thats all good. If I upgraded the RAM I can't put DDR4 in correct? They aren't interchangable? I was going to add an SSD anyway, but if those 2 things will be better than a CPU change then I would rather do that
     
  7. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #7
    Those two improvements will help the machines overall performance.

    A CPU upgrade will help if you are noticing that programs take a long time to complete tasks.

    For example... on my system, I encode a lot of video. A task that used to take an hour, now takes 15 minutes after upgrading my CPUs. But I also went from a 2.66 GHz quad core, to a 3.0 GHz 8-core in my upgrade.

    Memory helps if the computer is running out of memory, and is relying on virtual memory (writing data to the hard drive instead of RAM).

    SSD helps if your loading data or programs from the hard drive frequently
     
  8. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #8
  9. SchmashinPrunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    SchmashinPrunes

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    #9
    So I should try in this order:

    1) Add SSD
    2) RAM upgrade
    3) CPU Upgrade

    Right?
     
  10. flyinmac, Jan 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017

    flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #10
    I would use the computer as it is, and then observe and make note of what your primary complaints are with the computer.

    Does it seem to take forever loading programs, opening files, etc... then SSD.

    Does the computer run out of memory, and have to use virtual memory? Then RAM.

    Do you seem to be waiting a long time for programs to process information that's already in memory? Calculations, etc... then CPU.

    You could always run the computer as it is, with your typical usage, and have activity monitor running. Then see what the activity monitor says is being used up / struggling to keep up.

    If CPU load stays in the 90% range or especially 100% range, then get a faster CPU.

    If virtual memory is used a lot, or RAM is used up, then get memory.

    If drive activity is in the high percentage range, then get an SSD.

    Asking opinions on what will make the machine work better, just leads to preferences and opinions. But you could actually just be throwing money at something that isn't actually bogging down on you.

    It's kind of like throwing an 800 horsepower engine into a car that will only be driven in New York City. You won't get to your destination any faster, because the engine you already had wasn't the cause of your delays. The problem is traffic congestion.

    In your case, there hasn't been an established cause or problem. Just various ways to improve performance in various areas.

    But, for all any of us knows, it could be that your primary use is web browsing or performing work over the Internet. You may notice better performance by upgrading your internet connection.

    Use the above ideas to try to figure out where your running out of resources. Then establish a sequence of updates to install. It could be that you don't need any upgrades at all for your usage. Perhaps all you need is a faster Internet connection.

    Based on your implied usage, I would go after the CPU and Memory. And if I was going to mess with a CPU, I wouldn't bother if I wasn't going to go as high as possible.

    But you haven't explained how your performance is terrible. So use the above to establish where the problem is.
     
  11. SchmashinPrunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    SchmashinPrunes

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    #11
    This is probably the best advice I've received from anyone. I'm going to basically use the machine for a very CPU intensive program, which is the primary reason I was wanting to do the CPU upgrade. But overall the performance of it is just bad. Slow program loading, slow login, etc. I know its more than likely because its just old, and I need to upgrade, but we just can't afford it right now. Upgrading everything on this list will still cost me a fraction of a brand new iMac
     
  12. SchmashinPrunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    SchmashinPrunes

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    #12
    So what exactly do I put on the SSD? And how big should I get?
     
  13. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    #13
    I can pretty much guarantee that will you will notice a sizable increase from the SSD alone. It affects almost everything.

    SSDs are the greatest advancement in terms of speed in computers in the last 10 years.
     
  14. SchmashinPrunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    SchmashinPrunes

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    #14
    Do I put the OS on it? Do I put certain apps on it? What do I need to do?
     
  15. Bart Kela macrumors 6502a

    Bart Kela

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    #15
    Put the entire macOS on the SSD, meaning make it your boot drive. As for the size, get the biggest one your budget will allow. Generally speaking, bigger SSDs will have faster performance times. They don't behave like the old-school rotational hard drives. Use Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper if desired or rebuild the boot drive from scratch.

    I have a Mac mini server (mid 2010) with a 128MB SSD boot drive and a 1TB auxiliary drive. The latter holds my iTunes library and photos. I also use it as my default download location since there is more room to spare and disk drive speed isn't a priority when I'm downloading bits from the Internet.
     
  16. SchmashinPrunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    SchmashinPrunes

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    #16
    So I don't need to have anything more than the OS on it correct? But the bigger size I get will it increase performance that much more?
     
  17. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    #17
    I can answer a bit on this.

    First off it is generally recommended to have your OS and all your apps on the SSD. The reasons for the OS should be rather obvious but you want the apps on there too because they will load and operate much faster.

    Anything else is not as important to have on the SSD, such as documents or media files. However you want to have as much on the SSD as possible. Essentially everything benefits from the speed increase.

    To answer the other part of your question, contrary to popular belief, larger SSDs (in the same line) often do result in a speed increase because they can access more data in parallel. However the speed increase isn't as large as going from, say, SATA to PCIe.
     
  18. SchmashinPrunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    SchmashinPrunes

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    #18
    Well the most I can actually afford is around a 240gb, so I can do with that
     
  19. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    #19
    That's more than fine. Plenty of people get by with 128gb.

    I personally opted for the 512 SSD directly from Apple in my iMac, but 240 is completely fine.
     
  20. SchmashinPrunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    SchmashinPrunes

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    #20
    Alright sounds good. I'll keep this thread updated with my findings
     
  21. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #21
    With that in mind, I'd see if the program in question actually maxes out your CPU and then evaluate from there.
     

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