memory, hard drive, or new mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ndividual, May 21, 2007.

  1. ndividual macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2007

    I have an iMac with isight (pre-intel circa october 2005). My computer has been running really slow lately (i'm guessing because my iTunes contains close to 20,000 songs). Anyway, my job consists of two major components taking up space on my CPU (music and graphic design). Eventually I would like to have a computer solely dedicated to music and then my other computer be for everything else. Now that the new OS is being pushed back until October I want to wait until I buy a new Mac.

    In the meantime, I need to make my computer run faster. Even Safari takes forever just to open and load. I've run programs, I've free'd up all that I can and backed up files to discs and deleted things. But I cannot delete any of my music. Should I just get an external hard drive? Anybody have any suggestions? And what brands, type, etc?

    Thanks so much!
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    Here's a question- how much HD space do you have? If it's under 4GBs, then you're running into scratch space, which is why your Mac is running slow. Also, how much RAM do you have. It's fairly easy to replace, and not very expensive these days.

    And, yes, if you do graphics design, then you should have an external HD. LaCie makes some decent ones. G-tech are pretty highly thought of as well. The problem, given your needs, is not your mac, but rather the fact that it's stuffed.
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    How much RAM and free disk space do you have?
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    First of all. Yes, get an external hard drive already! You have 20,000 songs and (I am guessing) no backup.... Make it a good sized Firewire drive so you can boot from it. Buying a IDE mechanism and putting it in a good Firewire/USB case is usually the best way to go, as it preserves the full 3 or 5 year warranty on the drive.
  5. ndividual thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2007
    my cpu info

    Machine Name: iMac G5
    Machine Model: PowerMac12,1
    CPU Type: PowerPC G5 (3.1)
    Number Of CPUs: 1
    CPU Speed: 1.9 GHz
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
    Memory: 512 MB
    Bus Speed: 633 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: 5.2.6f1

    Capacity: 152.55 GB
    Available: 71.08 GB
    Used: 81.46 GB

    also in addition to my previous question, does anyone have any recommendations for a setup down the line when I buy a computer that will be only iTunes? just wondering if anyone else also had something like that and if so if I should get something like a mac mini or another iMac, etc?

    thanks for your help!
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Get at least 1 GB more RAM in that thing. You're fine with your hard drive space. I do agree that you should back up though.
  7. volvoben macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    nowhere fast
    Well, disk space is not your issue. It doesn't matter how many songs you have in itunes, it shouldn't slow you down much at all. I have over 60gb of songs and there's no slowdown whatsoever.

    Adding ram (another 1gb or so would probably be most economical) is probably your best bet, but you should also run some diagnostics because you shouldn't be experiencing a big slowdown without cause. It's likely some software or something is bogging you down, so repair disk permissions and perhaps open up activity monitor and keep track of your ram usage, see if something's eating up too much and causing tons of page-outs.

    Truthfully if i was looking for a standalone non-portable itunes dedicated machine I'd look for exactly what you have. you can get them super cheap now, they're compact, and with 1gb of ram it'll run itunes plenty well. If i was looking new I'd go for the integrated graphics 17" imac (no doubt refurb) unless I had a monitor/keyboard/mouse laying around in which case a mini i'd save a few hundy and get that instead. But i say get a faster machine for graphics and/or music production and keep your old G5 for itunes (perhaps with a fresh osx install to keep down overhead).
  8. ndividual thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2007
    thank you for your advice and tips.

    i think i will start looking into getting 1GB more of RAM and either the LaCie or G-Tech external hard drive.

    any suggestions on the best place to purchase these things?
    i'm guessing i can't use education discount since they're not apple brands?

    thanks again for your advice (c:
  9. Roba macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2006
    So one should use a G5 iMac for iTunes and buy a Mac Mini or an iMac with integrated graphics for more serious graphics work? Of course that is your opinion but i do not agree with that at all.

    I expect that the graphic card in the G5 is better than the graphics card that is in two of the models above anyway.

    I think that the OP should definitely upgrade their ram as they are planning to do anyway.

  10. ndividual thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2007
    i think the post about the mini was misunderstood. i plan on getting another mac when the leopard comes out later this year but what i was wondering i was wondering is whether to get a mini to run my itunes off of or get another iMac and run my itunes off of my current computer. either way the computer used for design would end up being the better one of course (c:

    i think i'll probably end up getting a new iMac later this year and turning the computer i use now into an iTunes only computer. when i add up getting a mini, plus a monitor, etc etc it comes pretty darn close to getting a new iMac so i might as well get a new iMac and enjoy the new intel processor.
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    You can just share you iTunes over your network and have it on any Mac you see fit.
  12. ndividual thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2007
    2GB, 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-4200 memory module
    US $144.99

    Module Size: 2GB
    Package: 240-pin DIMM
    Feature: DDR2 PC2-4200
    Specs: DDR2 PC2-4200 • CL=4 • UNBUFFERED • NON-ECC • DDR2-533 • 1.8V • 256Meg x 64

    how about this at
    and is this the best place/deal to order it?
  13. volvoben macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    nowhere fast
    Correct, use G5 for itunes, get new mid-high imac for more intensive work, you got it.

    Sharing itunes is another option that I should have mentioned; I assumed you wanted a dedicated machine for some reason or another (Just like a separate music machine without adding the bit of overhead to your other rig, need a physically separate machine to place near the stereo in another room, etc.). Surely if you don't have the above reasons, you could just use your new machine, but your G5 won't be fetching that much these days so if I was in your situation I'd throw it downstairs with my main stereo and tv, and use it to store my music collection, play music through the stereo and video through the TV from shared network folders.

    If you use it for more than just music though the :apple: tv replacement idea might not be as appealing to you. Even when you have a powerful machine it's nice to have 2 separate rigs next to each other, it seems to make each of them seem faster because, for example, you can use one to run something new in FCP or photoshop or whatever, and use the second computer to browse the web for hints or tutorials. No matter how handy multiple monitors are, how fast your computer is or how good expose is, 2 separate machines have advantages due to their autonomy. I suppose the basic idea is also why xgrids and server farms are made of minis and not mac pros; a larger number of less powerful machines is more efficient than a smaller number of more powerful machines.

    OWC at is a well regarded establishment, they tend to have very good prices on ram as well as good warranties.

    I think I'd just get the 1gb stick for $50, but you only have 1 slot to work with, so if you really think you might need the extra 1gb at some point you might as well go for the $125 2gb module.
  14. gvdv macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2007
    Actually, I have talked with quite a few people who advise staying away from Lacie's because they vary the components that are used in their external hard drive enclosures (so one cannot be sure of consistency with these products).

    The employee of one Mac store here in Toronto actually advized me (in public in front of his manager and other customers) to stay away from the Lacie they then currently had in stock because that particular batch were running very hot and a couple of them had stopped working because of the heat.

    Subsequently, I have heard from several people that when you get a good Lacie, it's good, but that you don't really know what you're getting for the reason I stated above.

    Just passing on things that I've heard.


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