Getting a 17 inch iMac some questions

pandalover826

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 11, 2010
29
0
Hey all I'm getting an 17 iMac later today and I have some questions

1. Can I upgrade the ram and hard drive of the Mac and how hard would it be to do that

2. I'm not sure wat year it is or any details cause I'm going to check it out later but should I upgrade the processor or leave it how it is

3. Would I be able to download the new os software on it or since it's pretty old it won't be able to handle it

Thanks for the help
 

rkaufmann87

macrumors 68000
Dec 17, 2009
1,760
38
Folsom, CA
1. Yes to both if the RAM isn't already maxed out. The HD can be upgraded to but it's not simple, you should look for some video instructions and you will see what I mean.

2. The CPU is NOT upgradeable therefore leave it as is.

3. No this machine is too old for Lion, I believe the maximum it will go is Leopard 10.5.8. The CPU used in these machines will not support Lion and as already stated the CPU cannot be upgraded.

However if it runs OK it should be a good little machine for awhile.
 

doktordoris

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
532
1
I have no experience with such elderly machines, but can you not just check the system profiler to see if you have free slots? Or failing that take it to bits and see if any slots are free? And, of course, if the slots are all full you may be able to sling the old memory in the bin and buy some bigger dimms.
But as I said I have no experience of old macs.

If you are unfamiliar with ASP have a look at the site below, it has some rudimentary system profiler instructions. If you find the info insultingly obvious, allow me to profer my apologies.

http://www.brighthub.com/computing/mac-platform/articles/2314.aspx
 
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The-Pro

macrumors 65816
Dec 2, 2010
1,449
35
Germany
depending in the iMac model the max RAM is as follows:
iMac 5,1 (2.0 or 2.16GHz C2D): 3GB (4GB can be installed, 3 is recognized)
iMac 5,2 (1.83GHz C2D): 2GB
iMac 4,2 (1.83GHz CD) : 2GB
iMac 4,1 ( " ) : 2GB
PowerMac 12,1 (iSight) (1.9GHz G5) : 2.5GB
PowerMac 8,2 (ALS) (1.8 or 2.0 GHz G5) : 2GB

I really doubt it would be an older one than a 2005 Model.
To run Lion you need at least a Core Duo machine. However because so little RAM is supported upgrading to Lion wouldn't be the wisest decision as Lion needs a lot of RAM to run smoothly. So I'd suggest you go Snow Leopard max.

Upgrading CPU's: The CPU's in all 17" Core Duo (CD) or Core 2 Duo (C2D) are socketed and thus can be upgraded.
This link shows you how to do it on a Core Duo machine
http://www.maclife.com/article/upgrade_your_imac_core_2_duo_processor?page=0,0
For a core 2 duo machine upgrade look in ifixit for instructions
 

charlieroberts

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2007
592
104
Im only nitpicking, but I'm pretty sure Lion requires Core 2 Duo.

However as per the previous post, you can upgrade a CD into C2D with relative ease, so that should not be a prob.
 

The-Pro

macrumors 65816
Dec 2, 2010
1,449
35
Germany
So I can install this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115056
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115056

And add 2gb of ram I could install lion on it and is it worth all the money and time to get lion or should I just keep leopard and upgrade the ram to 2gb thanks for all the replies
well that CPU is 65W, the one in the iMac is 34W. That nearly double the power requirement and it is a lot more heat.They are also different series/generations, Wolfdale vs Merom. I don't think it would work
Look for a Intel Core 2 Duo T7800. Its the quickest CPU of the same series of processors used in the iMac.
http://ark.intel.com/products/series/23516 These are the CPU's if the same series as those used in the iMac you will be getting. Those should work.

Like I said I'd recommend you stay away with Lion with only 3GB RAM or less as a maximum. Its not going to be a nice experience. Your gonna see a lot of beachballs. Get snow leopard.
 
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pandalover826

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 11, 2010
29
0
Thanks for the reply then I'll probably stick with snow leopard and upgrade the ram so the computer can last me til I can afford a new one
Thanks for the help!
 

ditzy

macrumors 68000
Sep 28, 2007
1,715
161
Lion can only be put on core 2 duo machines or better. Core duo's won't work.
 

tom vilsack

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2010
1,880
62
ladner cdn
don't forgot 17" imac also came in ppc version G5...i would make sure it's at least late 2006 model (1.83/2.0/2.16 GHz) intel core 2 dual.....

i had a 17" late 2006 2.0 GHz with 1 gig ram,160 gig hd,sl osx...it ran great,quiet (relatively cool compared to lastest imacs) never had any worries about low mem slow speed ect....and im guessing had i changed to 2 gig mem (real easy to change...unscrew two screws at bottom,flip to levers pop old ram out and reverse) that lion would have ran just fine...

edit: depending were you live...here in cdn..on craigs a good cond late 2006 should run you about 300-400.
 
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