Maybe need a new Mac? Maybe need more RAM?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by gregthelizard, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. gregthelizard macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    Hi there,

    I'm running a:
    iMac (27 inch, Mid 2010)
    Processor: 3.2 GHZ Intel Core i3
    Memory 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3
    OS X Yosemite 10.10.2
    781GB Free of 999GB

    My issue is that my computer runs terribly slow. I am a designer and use inDesign CS6, Photoshop CS6, and Illustrator CS6 all the time. And it is crazy slow. It crashes all the time.

    No viruses, lots of spare room on the HD, but right now, the only things active are: Finder, Chrome, inDesign, Messenger and Stickies and I only have 449mb of free memory.

    Is my mac just too old? Have I destroyed it in some other way? Should I buy some RAM or a fancy new machine?

    Thanks for your help. Hope this isn't an annoying query.
  2. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    16GB ram is fairly inexpensive and will do wonders! 2010? Certainly time to upgrade. Three years is pushing it for tech for work, five years for non professional use; so you are due for an upgrade.
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I agree with the last poster.

    If you are using these CS applications, 4 gigs isn't going to cut it. Start with an upgrade to RAM. Adjust your application settings as well to reflect the best use of RAM AND also as in Photoshop, learn about settings such as history. You can speed up some facets of PS by reducing the history states.
  4. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    I would:

    1. Create a new user account and use it for a bit to see if it is still slow. If it is slow, then it is hardware related, or else it is something you have installed/have running.

    2. Get some RAM. It is a pretty inexpensive test to see if this helps.

    3. If nothing helped, new computer time.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    For Yosemite, an SSD will yield more benefits than RAM.

    HOWEVER -- only 4gb probably isn't enough, anyway.

    Your main difficulty is upgrading the drive. You don't have an easy way to add an external drive because you don't have USB3 and I don't think you have thunderbolt either, is that correct?

    An internal SSD upgrade is possible, but involves opening the thing up -- a modestly difficult job, and there are perils of breaking stuff inside.

    After about five years of use, it may be time to start thinking "new", unless you are pressed for $$$$. Or at the very least, "Apple-refurbished".
  6. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2015
    San Jose, CA
    As everyone else stated, a RAM upgrade would certainly do you some good. I also recommend an SSD upgrade as well, I recently did it on my mid-2010 MacBook and it's done wonders.
  7. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Unless you're very comfortable pulling apart your iMac, a SSD upgrade will cost between $150 and $200 plus the cost of the drive. Recommended upgrade if you think you can keep using the machine for a couple more years. You won't see quite as much benefit since that model only has SATA II at 3 gbps. It will still be faster than your current drive.

    Fire up Activity Monitor and see what it shows for memory usage and pressure. You can also monitor your CPU usage while performing normal tasks. It's been my experience that most people rarely tax their CPU. They are better served by faster drives and more memory.
  8. Michael Anthony macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    On my late 2011 Macbook Pro, with 16GB of RAM, the system (10.10.2) takes 4GB of RAM just after booting. I remember when it came with 4GB, the extra 12GB did wonders for performance. Well worth it.:apple:
  9. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Adobe Creative Suite takes a lot of RAM to run properly. You want to look not at the RAM used but at the Memory Pressure. Yellow or red memory pressure means you need more RAM! That being said, OS X Yosemite does tend to run better on an SSD, but the performance should be acceptable once upgraded.

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