Getting a 17 inch iMac some questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pandalover826, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. pandalover826 macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    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
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    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.
  3. pandalover826 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    How can you tell if the ram is maxed out and thanks for the reply
  4. doktordoris, Nov 24, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011

    doktordoris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2009
    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.
  5. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    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,0
    For a core 2 duo machine upgrade look in ifixit for instructions
  6. charlieroberts macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    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.
  7. pandalover826 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
  8. The-Pro, Nov 24, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011

    The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    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. 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.
  9. pandalover826 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    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!
  10. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    Lion can only be put on core 2 duo machines or better. Core duo's won't work.
  11. tom vilsack, Nov 24, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011

    tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    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 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 in cdn..on craigs a good cond late 2006 should run you about 300-400.

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