Clogged up 2008 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Medallion, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Medallion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    #1
    Hi everyone.

    I own a 2008 20" iMac. It's very slow and clogged up and I want to get the best out of it rather than purchasing a whole new iMac.

    I use it mainly for safari, bbc iplayer, youtube and my photos.

    It's currently running Snow Leopard. My daughter upped the RAM from 2gb to 3 a few years ago.

    Someone mention 'defragging' to me.. I'm not entirely sure what that means.

    Would anyone be able to recommend what I should do/ buy to improve it's performance as much as I can, without breaking the bank.
     
  2. robkat macrumors member

    robkat

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2
    Clogged up Mac

    I just installe a new sad in my 2008 iMac. Easy to do. have 4gb of ram but intend to upgrade to 6gb soon. these things make a huge difference to how the iMac runs.

     
  3. Medallion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    #3
    What is a 'sad'?

    I will look into a further increase in RAM.
     
  4. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #4
    Replacing the hard drive with an SSD is a great idea. And max out the RAM to 6GB. Made my 2007 iMac seem better than new. In the meantime, however, go into Disk Utility and repair the disk permissions, then do a Verify Disk. If Verify comes up with any problems use your Snow Leopard system disk to do a Repair Disk. You won't lose anything and it may speed things up, unless of course your hard drive is actually failing. If so, make sure you have a back up and replace it.
     
  5. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #5
    It's not *difficult* to install an SSD in a 2008 iMac, but if you've not repaired/opened an iMac before, then you need to follow a guide - there's lots of things that could catch you out (e.g. where to hold the glass so it doesn't break), making sure the PSU is discharged, not damaging the LVDS cable, etc.
     
  6. Medallion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    #6
    Okay, thank you. Seems a bit complicated and I've lost the Snow Leopard Disc unfortunately. I will try and max out ram for now. An SSD would be good but not sure I can afford it.
     
  7. BeamWalker macrumors 6502

    BeamWalker

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    #7
    If you can't or don't want to replace the HDD with a same size SSD you could go for a 120 Gig SSD for System and Programs and put the internal HDD into an USB enclosure.
     
  8. Cbdboz macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #8
    Hi, I have similar machine to OP, albeit 2009 - 2.66gh, 4g 1066 DDR3 ram (2x2)' and a maxed out 640g hd.

    The suggestion to swap out HD for SSD.....presumably I would then need an external drive for all my data and just run os and apps on ssd?

    The suggestion of increasing RAM....I only have 2 slots....and think ( not sure) that this mac can only run on max 6gb. ...is it worth going from 4-6.... And can I go more?

    Also...can I use new 1600 DDR3 ram instead of the 1066??
     
  9. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #9
    If you wanted to make the upgrade easier, you could just use an Optibay and put the SSD where the optical drive currently is (assuming you don't use the CD drive, or don't mind using an external one). That way you could put the OS on the SSD and keep your current 640GB drive for data. You wouldn't lose any speed doing this as the 2009 model only has SATA II anyway.

    If you'd rather keep the CD drive, you can just swap the HDD for an SSD (make sure you get one with a desktop mounting kit in this case), and use an external drive for data. If you go down this route instead of using an optibay you have one more step - you need to short the two pins on the temperature cable that was connected to the original hard drive. The HDD has custom firmware which supplies the temperature via these pins, and if you swap the HDD the iMac will assume it's running hot and will ramp the fans up. Shorting out the pins will make it think it's cool.

    The 2009 (21 or 27" models) have 4 RAM slots, each of which can take a 4GB stick to a maximum of 16GB. There would be no speed increase using faster RAM, as the machine would clock it back down to 1066. There have also been reports of faster RAM causing issues with some models - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - if in doubt just buy the same as what you have.

    RAM wise, you have 3 realistic upgrade paths:

    - buy 2 x 2GB for a total of 8GB.
    - buy 2 x 4GB for a total of 12GB
    - buy 4 x 4GB for a total of 16GB
     
  10. ClamshellOfDoom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    #10
    Hi, I have a 2006 C2D iMac, and I replaced the 5400 HD with an SSD. The speed is completely worth it. The thing flies now. It feels easily twice as fast. However, I did lose the Superdrive in the process, because the iMac must be put back together T I G H T L Y for the Superdrive to have the proper clearance. I did use the guide on iFixit.com, but it..well...left out a few things, so before you crack it open, make sure that you take your time and you know enough about the internals to make good guesses, or that you have another way of accessing the internet so you can ask questions.

    What the others have said about verifying the disk -- definitely do that first. You can even try Onyx if you'd like to tweak things some. You can also try resetting Safari.
     
  11. sharon22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #11
    Before doing anything complicated....

    Here is what I did with my Mid-2007 iMac.

    My Mid-2007 iMac is SUPER-FAST and absolutely SAILS!!! (and it only cost me $400).

    I backed up my data.

    Then I booted from my backup and ERASED my internal drive.

    Then I did an ABSOLUTELY CLEAN install of Mavericks.

    Then, I restored only the files I need (my photos, videos, stuff like that).

    If you have several Apps you need to restore, then don't Cherry-Pick. Rather, use Migration Assistant.

    Then, make ABSOLUTELY SURE you have exactly 4GB of ram. Don't bother with 6GB, and don't try to get away with 3GB.

    You will LOVE your Mac when you are done!
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #12
    Defragging isn't likely to make much of an impact, if any. Bumping the RAM (can go to 6GB) may be helpful, depending on your typical workload. Replacing the HDD with a SSD would be a significant improvement.

    If you're having performance issues, this may help:
    Nonsense. There is nothing magical about 4GB of RAM. How much the OP needs is strictly based on their own workload and memory requirements, not based on your or anyone else's experience. They may not need as much as 3GB, in which case 4GB is a waste of money, or they may need more than 4GB, in which case 6GB would be better.
     
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #13
    The original poster has a 2008 model so this info isn't accurate for their machine.

    4 GB of RAM as opposed to 3 GB or 6 GB means that the machine has a matched pair of SODIMMs and it can use Dual Channel memory access. This gives a small overall performance increase, Barefeats measured a 6% improvement in Photoshop operation with Dual Channel as opposed to Single Channel (same amount of RAM).
     
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #14
    That was a response to another poster who has a 2009 model, with a max of 8GB of RAM, so most of it doesn't apply to theirs, either.
     
  15. sharon22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #15
    Well, "nonsense," yourself! Do you have the same Mac as the OP? Do you even know what you're talking about? What cat crawled into your shoe and died?

    There's a huge difference between 4gb and 3gb.

    So don't go "nonsense" me.

    The OP wanted opinions, and they GOT one from me.

    How much ram did YOU suggest for the OP?

    Exactly. You didn't suggest. Rather, you put it back on them, and they'd be back to where they started from, except for my thoughtful post.

    Think, before you post, next time.
     
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #16
    If the user is maxing out 4GB, the added benefit of having 6GB of RAM would outweigh any advantage of having matched pairs.
    No, there's not, if the poster isn't even fully using 3GB, and your recommendation doesn't consider the possibility that they could need more than 4GB.
    I wisely didn't suggest an amount, because I don't know what the OP's memory demands are. I accurately recommended that the amount of RAM should be determined by their own needs, and not a shot in the dark recommendation that isn't based on facts.
     
  17. sharon22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #17
    Okay okay you and I have totally different styles.

    See, that's you. You are you. Me is me.

    For example, when I post a question on a forum, "Should I get the red car or the green car," I would LOVE for a whole bunch of people pipe up and tell me GET THE RED ONE!

    You, rather, would say, "Colors are a personal preference. You should delve within and pick what feels right in your heart, for your needs, blah blah blah," and your response would drive me nuts.

    Reading your response style would just make me want to shut my computer off, pour myself an 8th glass of beer, and turn on the Tele.

    But that's you.

    And I'm me.

    We are different.

    Actually, now that I think about it, I'm gonna shut my computer off, and pour me another beer.

    Have a good evening, sir!
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    Choosing the right amount of RAM is quite different from choosing a car color. There is a calculation or measurement to determine the appropriate amount of RAM a user needs, based on their typical workload and memory requirements. Also, the OP said they're dealing with performance issues, which may or may not be caused by a lack of RAM. Accurate troubleshooting and assessment is appropriate when answering technical questions, not opinions and personal preferences.
     
  19. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #19
    Not to thread hijack - where can you purchase 3GB RAM sticks x2 for a decent price?

    Seems costly to get 6GB in these iMacs
     
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #20
    You can either use one 4GB module and one 2GB module, or use two 4GB modules. AFAIK, RAM is not sold in 3GB modules.
     
  21. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #21
    Does the 2008 iMac only work with DDR2 PC6400? Crazy expensive for 4GB stick
     
  22. sharon22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #22
    Ya ya, you're right. I'm having a bad day today. It started off wrong when I pulled my shoelace too tight this morning and had to cut it off of my shoes.

    I have trouble wording stuff good, too. Here's what I really should have said (I'm capitulating to the warranted criticism you bestowed upon me):

    "On MY iMac, it was only when I installed at least 4GB of RAM that it ran really, really fast."

    You are right; I improperly said, "Put 4GB ram in the machine," like it was a magic number.

    Anyway, here's my CORRECTED suggestion (which I shall not capitulate upon) (unless my Beer buzz wears off and I realize I typed it wrong):

    Dear OP, Put 4GB ram into your computer. See how it runs. Run some very, very intensive tasks, the most intensive tasks you can imagine yourself running (e.g. Photoshop, and iTunes converting some MP3's, and AngryBirds all at once), and then open up "Activity Monitor," click on "Memory," and then SEE if any Swap was ever used. If no swap was used, you have PLENTY of RAM (and moi is thus correct w/ original demand for you to put 4GB into it). However, if Swap was used, then I need to cut back on self-inebriation. :p

    Good luck, and sorry for all of my nonsense.
     
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #23
    Yes, the spec calls for 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, PC2-6400. I've always installed RAM that matched the specs, so I can't say whether another spec would work. Yes, some RAM is extremely pricey.
    OR, run the test first, before spending any money, to determine if even a bump from 3GB to 4GB is warranted. That's a better approach than buying before you know what you need. If no swap is used with 3GB, there is no need to buy more.
     
  24. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #24
    I think I will keep to my 4GB :)
     
  25. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #25
    Likely a good move, especially if you're not maxing out what you have. If you don't already have one, going from a HDD to SSD will give you a noticeable performance boost.
     

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