Mid 2010, 21" iMac with i3 processor is slow :(

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ThaRagingAsian, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. ThaRagingAsian macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2014
    Hello everyone,

    I have a mid 2010, 21" iMac with i3 processor that is running slow.

    I have my iphoto and itunes library on an external hard drive.

    I just bought a MBA 11" and it's super fast!

    What can I do to boost speed?
    1. swap out the HDD for an SSD or Hybrid drive?
    2. add more RAM?
    3. or simply wipe everything out and start from scratch again.
    4. All of the above.

  2. redhatcode29 macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2014
    Kuala Lumpur
    Hi asian,

    I just aquired an i3 2010, i havent done much wit it...

    When does it run slow ? I am assuming you would have cleared the caches in your browser..

    Since u mentioned external storage.. Wht is the speed of ur storage, what is your connection method...

    Certainly ssd will make a difference.. Ur mba is is no match for the hdd in ur i3. Wiping out will give you a fresh ride, but will that solve your issue! How much of ram power do u hv in ur i3... I just topped mine to 8gb.

    U need to provide some specific details when u mention 'slow'
  3. ThaRagingAsian thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2014
    sorry. iMac has 4gb of ram and i'm assuming external and internal HDD's are spinning at 5200 rpm.

    my macbook air is 128 ssd with 4gb of ram.
  4. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
  5. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    I would say try number 4 first.

    If that doesn't work to your satisfaction, explore a way to have the hard drive replaced with a SSD and upgrade to 8GB of RAM. It will be like a whole new machine and cheaper then buying an entire new iMac.
  6. got556 macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2013
    I have the same iMac. Swap out that HDD for an SSD and throw 16gb's of RAM in there. Should speed it up a bit.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

    What OS are you running?

    If it's either Mavericks or Yosemite, it's certainly going to "run slow" (more like "walking" than "running") on an older Mac with a platter-based HDD.

    With a 2010 iMac, your external connection options for an SSD are limited -- probably to firewire800 at best. The only other course of action is "internal surgery" to replace the drive.
    Are you up to this?

    I wouldn't recommend any OS "beyond" 10.8.5 Mountain Lion for such a Mac...
  8. ThaRagingAsian thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2014
    its Yosemite. I can get more ram and an SSD. an good online store to purchase said products?

  9. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    The Crucial site is a good place to start.
  10. tyche macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    RAM is an easy upgrade on the 2010 model. But I would first check if you need it. Run your usual programs and then run Activity Monitor and see if the memory pressure graph is green, yellow or red.

    Activity monitor should also give you an idea of what is running and if anything looks like it shouldn't be there. Re-installing OS X likely won't change anything unless you've added a lot of extensions and background processes that you don't use anymore. Some of that stuff is hard to uninstall.

    Getting an SSD is a great boost to disk based bottlenecks like booting, running big software or disk i/o applications. It will make things very speedy but cpu and graphic based applications (newer games) won't see a benefit.

    Installing an SSD takes some skill, patience and a lot of review before hand. The 2010 is easier to open but there are a lot of screws and cables you need to be aware of. Also, there is an issue with a non-Apple disk where the iMac fan will run full speed so you need to be prepared either with an additional cable or via a software program.

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