iMAC late 2009 slow

Discussion in 'iMac' started by twink264, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. twink264 macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2013

    My iMAC late 2009 i7 2TB is really slow. Not ready to splash out for a new mac yet so what are my options....

    I ve read some of the existing threads from 2010 but are there any other options apart from?

    1) SSD upgrade HDD plus cable, put existing HDD in an external caddie
    2) SSD upgrade Optical drive and keep HDD and put Optical Drive in a external caddie

    I favour option one with the cable to stop the fan. Thinking of a Crucial m4 500GB SSD.

    Thanks for any suggestions, experiences of people who have done this already.

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    What is slow? Access to your files?

    As for the options, 1 sounds best.
  3. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Before I sold my 09 i7 I put an SSD in the optical slot. I set up the system on the SSD and moved the Home folder to my HD. Really perked up the system. Even though the bus is slower than newer imacs, it was very close in some respects to the one I bought in May 2013 with a 500gb Flash Drive.

    Obviously, the new one drives Graphics much faster, but it was interesting how close they were with day to day stuff.

    Good Luck
  4. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    Another thing to think about is RAM -- how much do you have? Increasing RAM can help performance but it depends a lot upon what applications you're using (for example, Parallels or VMWare Fusion virtualization, video editing, etc.).

    Also, what version of OS X are you running or plan on running? I have an Early 2008 24" iMac; I recently installed an SSD in the HDD bay and a new HDD in the optical bay, and set it up as a "Fusion" drive. So far, I am very pleased with the improvement it makes for this old Core2Duo machine. I upgraded from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion specifically for the Fusion drive support. My opinion is that with a Fusion drive setup, you can use a smaller (cheaper!) SSD and get very close to the performance of having a larger, more expesive, SSD. I would go with a 256MB SSD (or maybe even a 128MB) to save money. (I ended up with a 512 MB SSD, but it's a long story about how that happened and not what I had planned on.)

    I believe the construction of yours is similar to mine. I didn't have any problem opening it up and doing the hardware tweaks, but I had a really good guide from that was invaluable.
  5. twink264 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2013
    Thanks for the rapid replies!

    Its a iMAC 27 inch screen 16GB RAM, 2TB disk 512 MB Graphics, i7 4 cores 2.8GHz, late 2009 OS X 10.8.4 Mountain Lion.

    Basically, it is slow to respond for web browsing, accessing files using a word processor, using iPhoto takes forever now too and iMovie is a waste of time. Also my children play the SIMS game but nothing that needs to much graphical memory at the moment.

    I would like a touch screen iMac so I ll make do until they produce one.

    Typically we use fast user switching for up to five users, who remain logged on all the time. The machine is rebooted occasionally but its always on normally as the machine does not consume much electricity in sleep mode.

    Once the iMAC is running and working its ok but it can just start reading the hard disk and chundering away. It might be the game SIMs thats makes it slow or Adobe acrobat reader always wanting an update - its so annoying that program.

    Certainly MS WORD 2008 is a culprit and unless we exit this programme properly it can for no reason take a whole processor and spins out of control doing excessive disk reads. Maybe its just a reinstall of OS X that's required after all its been 3-4 years of daily use and not much management. I did run a HDD repair a few months back and it found some bad blocks or something and did a repair. But I am now feed up with it and want to upgrade it or ditch it.

    This iMAC does not have thunderbolt port but I guess the 800Mhz firewire with a caddie for the existing drive would be good enough.

    So a Crucial M4 512GB SSD replace the HDD is the way forward.

    Reading list
    Shopping list
    -Cable for HDD to prevent the fan problem,
    - 2 suction pads for the 27" screen
    -Crucial SSD 512GB SSD or 256GB SSD
    -Firewire caddie for HDD+cable
    - two lots of 4 hours probably

    Whats the best way to install OS-X mountain lion and migrate the apps?

    I ll have a look on the forum but any link would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks
  6. twink264 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2013
  7. OasisNYK macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    Did you have a HD that needed to be replaced under the recall? Have you ever replaced your HD? It could be going bad.

    Nothing against you - but I am always surprised to read how many users think their 3-5 year old machine is slow now considering the amount of horse power in these systems there is no reason one can't get a decade out of them.

    That being said - it also sounds like you have a lot of users open and some resource hogs. You also upgraded from Snow Leopard which I would assume would give performance a hit.

    I am on a late 2009 with 1 TB 7200 rpm, 16 GB Ram and it is as fast as the day I bought it. Would an SSD speed it up? Sure, but its not like my computer is crunching and churning just to access the file system. That is usually the symptom of an HD going bad in my experience....
  8. crouchingtiger macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2004
    I decided to replace the optical drive with a 500 GB Samsung Evo SSD in my iMac 27" 2009 with the core i5. I linked up the original 1TB drive as a Fusion Drive with it and have noticed dramatically quicker web browsing, startup, app launching, etc.
    Highly recommended and the installation took about 15 min. I made sure I had the suction cups and drive caddy ($10 on eBay) ready. Used a little bit of electricians tape to secure it.

    Blackmagic benchmark says about 260 MB/s read and write, not bad!

    Think I'll easily get 2 more years out of this machine.

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