iMac upgrade advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by shauhncy, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. shauhncy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    #1
    Hi all,

    I have an early 2009 iMac that I would like to make faster. I work from home and it's just not running as fast as I would like, for any task, but especially my Adobe programs. I could just upgrade my machine to a newer one, I know, but I like to DIY and save money, so I'm looking for DIY help on what I can/should upgrade.

    Can I upgrade the processor to an i3/i5? Should I upgrade the video card?

    Screenshots attached of what I'm working with.

    Thanks so much for any help!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. panzer06, Feb 23, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015

    panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #2
    CPU and GPU upgrades are a real pain if possible at all. However, upgrading the HDD to a fast SSD would speed things up considerably. A 500GB SSD is a couple hundred. Also, bump the RAM to at least 8GB. SSD and RAM upgrades usually provide the easiest upgrades. You'll still need to partially disassemble the iMac to change the HDD.

    Cheers,
     
  3. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #3
    The only components you can really change that are affordable and would satisfy your DIY desires are the HDD and the RAM.

    Upgrading the HDD to an SSD and increasing the RAM would give you a couple more years of usefulness out of such an old Mac.

    Personally, given it's age, I'd seriously suggest getting yourself a new retina iMac :)
     
  4. shauhncy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 23, 2015
    #4
    Thanks for the reply! What type of SSD would I need for this machine?

    ----------

    Ohh my goodness, it's not *that* old. ;) My Macbook was made in 2006 and is still pretty good. Thanks for the help!
     
  5. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #5
    Any sata ssd.

    Check your activity monitor to see what is causing the slowness.
    Also repair disk permissions and maybe reinstall the OS.
     
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    Always a day away
    #6
    Actually yeah, that's pretty old. Consider what it would be worth if you sold it (probably not much more than a few hundred dollars), what it would cost to upgrade it (a few more hundred dollars), and the relative performance boost that would give you relative to a new machine.

    Your 2009 Mac is neck-deep in the tar pit already. The amount of upgrading you can do to it is minimal. I bit the bullet last year and replaced my 2008, since it was well beyond time to do so.
     
  7. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #7
  8. shauhncy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    #8
    Thanks, I run the disk repair tool regularly and it does help some. I attached a screenshot of my activity monitor. I'm sure Photoshop does most of the damage. I typically run that and Chrome all day and that's it. I also clear my history in Chrome to keep it running as fast as possible.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. shauhncy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 23, 2015
    #9
    Thank you!

    ----------

    And I'm assuming the higher the GB, the faster it'll make the system?
     
  10. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #10
    Generally SSDs of capacities of 120GB and smaller tend to be slower.

    I'd recommend at least a 240GB model. More if your current hard drive usage is more than say 200GB of the 320GB it came with...
     
  11. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #11
    Put in an ssd (any ssd!) and upgrade your RAM and your iMac should be like new. :)

    ----------

    The r/w speed differences will make no real world difference for the OP.
     
  12. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #12
    Not true, there are a few SSDs I would avoid (anything by PNY, which seems to be sold cheaply out of Best Buy stores for example) including the Samsung 840 EVO (I'm stuck with 4 of the buggy things).

    Also, with the OWC SSDs, you don't need to enable TRIM, since they have their own garbage collection/wear levelling routines.
     
  13. shauhncy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 23, 2015
    #13
    Thank you for the help!

    Is the r/w speed equivalent to the GB of the SSD?
     
  14. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #14
    Don't get enjoying DIY and saving money confused with each other. Dumping money into your current iMac is a temporary fix to buying a new machine.

    Now if you just enjoy the DIY aspect as a hobby then thats a different story. Making an older machine fast again is fun and rewarding on some level.

    I think if you were genuinely interested in saving money (in the long run) look into selling it ASAP and buying a refurb with the components you want. Worry about it again 5-6 years from now.
     
  15. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #15
    I just noticed that you are using chrome. Don't!
     
  16. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #16
    I don't know what accounts for your bad luck but the Samsung EVO are great. I've been booting from a 500GB 840 EVO for the past year now and it's been flawless. Check the pro reviews out there as well and you will see the EVO are a fine choice.

    ----------

    See, now OWC is a brand I'd avoid. Definitely enable TRIM for an non-OWC SSD you purchase. All modern SSDs have garbage collection but it is not the same as TRIM and is not a replacement for it.
     
  17. shauhncy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 23, 2015
    #17
    Wait, why? I use a ton of different features in it. Like have it synced to my phone's chrome, my son's iPad, for me to monitor his internet usage, etc. Does it run slow on a Mac? What's the best one to use?
     
  18. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #18
    Safari.
     
  19. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #19
    The best browser to use is entirely a matter of personal choice. I have Chrome installed and it is a fine browser.

    My personal default browser is Firefox, and has been for years. It is a bit of a memory hog in comparison to Chrome and Safari but I have a set of FF-only extensions that I rely on and a lot of RAM.

    Use the browser you like best and that works best for you and not what anyone in a user forum tells you to.
     
  20. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #20
    Have you updated the firmware?

    https://www.google.com.au/search?cl...&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=kBvsVNfFKcqN8QeZsYCoAw

    Because even if you update the firmware, there are still speed degradation issues.

    I'm very surprised to learn you're not having issues with the EVO... I have 2 x 750GB and 2 x 1TB which do exhibit a quite dramatic speed degradation on reading older data off the drives.
     
  21. SaSaSushi, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Takamatsu, Japan
    #21
    I have upgraded to the latest firmware as well as run the Samsung Performance Restoration Tool and have not experienced any slowdowns. I ran the updates in Bootcamp Windows 7 with the Samsung Magician.

    Are you noticing this slowdown in actual usage or is it based on benchmarks?
     
  22. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #22
    I am noticing this slowdown in normal usage, like copying files from them...

    I'll wait for the next upgrade before deciding further what to do...
     
  23. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #23
    It is a big resource hog...

    It is badly coded for OSX and uses a great deal of your CPU and RAM. If you are just surfing the web fine.... If you have processes running in the background multiple desktops and flash running then it could be a real issue....

    But as for upgrades 8GB RAM and an SSD will make it feel like new. I'd say go for the crucial MX100 range for best bang for buck with least issues
     
  24. shauhncy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 23, 2015
    #24

    Do you agree that I need a large SSD or would that be investing too much? I found some on Ebay that are smaller for a pretty decent price.

    Thanks for the info on Chrome.
     
  25. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #25
    Not really

    Any SSD will do. I would say keeping costs down on an "old " computer is always good as there comes a point when they can just fail at any time and invested money may be wasted.

    If I remember correctly that model will take an SSD in addition to your HD by replacing the optical drive. You can even set it up as a fusion drive. A 128GB SSD would be plenty for that...

    If you still need your optical drive then an external enclosure can be had cheap on amazon.

    Dual drive installation Guide

    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+I...+SSD+Dual+Drive+Installation+Replacement/9068

    Cheap external caddy for superdrive

    http://www.amazon.com/Micro-SATA-Ca...8-2&keywords=optical+drive+external+enclosure

    Of course you could just buy an external one fairly cheap.
     

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