Early 2008 iMac 20"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Simon89, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Simon89 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    #1
    Hey guys,

    Just traded my iPad mini 3 for my brothers old iMac 2008 as he doesn't use it anymore.

    Originally it was the base spec but he upgraded the ram to 4GB but that is all that has been touched. I've already ordered a 512GB SSD for it (overkill but will pull it out when I build a new machine and will replace with a smaller SSD when doing so).

    Aside's from the SSD is there anything else I could change? I've read up the CPU is replaceable with a higher clock speed and same with the graphics; are these worth changing?

    Eventually I will either be buying myself a new iMac or MacBook Pro but won't be until the end of the year once I've a house deposit put together.

    Thanks

    Simon
     
  2. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #2
    Only thing I'd recommend is an AdaptaDrive for the SSD so it mounts properly. Otherwise, you can just use some double sided tape (did that on my '07 20"). Make sure the temp sensor is plugged in and secured and it should be good to go. Newer iMacs are very picky with third party drives and temp sensors, but the '07-'08's are fine.

    I doubt it would be worth it changing the CPU or video card, not really cost effective and it should still run perfectly fine. My 2007 is a base model 2.0 GHz with a 128MB 2400XT in it and it has no issues on El Capitan, though disabling translucency helps with fluidity. Safari, iTunes, Office 2016, Adobe CS5 etc all run just fine and dandy. Only changes are 4GB RAM and an SSD from a few years back.

    iFixit has great guides to help you make sure you got all the screws and cables back where they were, so I'd use those as a disassembly/reassembly guide.
     
  3. Simon89 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    #3
    Thanks for your reply.

    I successfully fitted the SSD last night after cloning the contents from the original HDD, I was glad to see the Apple logo when I booted it up. I did order an Icebox for the SSD to sit within but I was unable to reuse the mounting hardware from the original HDD, luckily I had an Akasa 2.5" to 3.5" adapter in my PC which I managed to use instead.

    It sounds like our iMac specs are very similar, albeit the iMac I have runs the 2.4Ghz; aside from that video card and ram are the same.

    First impressions are things do load quite a lot quicker and the machine is near silent now, I was maybe expecting faster speeds but I need to remember this machine is only SATA2 whereas my i5 PC is SATA3.

    Overall impressions are great though!
     
  4. Simon89 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    #4
    After doing a fresh install of El Capitan it's much quicker, I'm not sure cloning OS X from a HDD to an SSD was probably the best idea.
     
  5. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #5
    Simon -- You should check Everymac.com (or elsewhere) to see if the 20" will work with 6GB RAM. I know for sure that the 24" Early 2008 models (Intel "Core 2 Duo") work great with 6 GB (one 4 GB stick and one 2GB stick), even though Apple says that 4 GB is the maximum. I've been running my 24" one that way for years, as have many others, so I think there's a good chance that Apple's claimed 4 GB limit on the 20" may be incorrect, too. (Sorry, I'm too lazy right now to look into it further!)

    (My 24" 2.8 GHz with "homemade" Fusion drive (512 GB SSD + 1 TB 2.5" HDD and 6 GB RAM) has been a real pleasure to use for the last 8 years -- until about a week ago... it seems the ATI graphics card has finally failed. Haven't decided whether to get a used graphics card (around $200) and put it in myself, or if it's time for me to try a 5K iMac....)
     
  6. Simon89 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    #6
    Hi Brian,

    I recollect reading somewhere that the 20" does accept 6GB RAM, problem is finding a 4GB stick that doesn't cost a fortune! I was hoping to upgrade this on the cheap as my plans are to purchase a new iMac later on this year once me and my partner have purchased a house.

    That's a shame about your iMac, hopefully this one should last another couple of years as it was sat unused for a while as my brother had built himself a Windows machine and uses a 27" Apple cinema display with it.
     

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