Mid 2010 iMac (EMC 2389)

insamoufonyx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2014
2
0
Hi all,

After a HDD failure on my Mid 2010 iMac (EMC 2389) i replaced the failed HDD with a standard drive but also replaced my optical drive with a 60gb 2.5" SSD to run the OS from (with the hope that it would run alot better and reduce the risk of HDD failure again), i carried out the modifications/repair myself and all went seamlessly. There is a noticeable difference in performance from my old failing HDD to my new SSD! This has propted me to do some more upgrades and first on the list is RAM.

My iMac is the 3.2GHz i3 with a measely 4GB of RAM, what is the maximum i can upgrade to? i belive it is capable of 16GB but i have seen mixed responses?

My other queery is in what form? i note that my iMac has 4 RAM slots and currently 2 are utilised with 2GB sticks, If i went to the 16GB capability do i replace the two 2GB sticks with two 8GB's or do i fit four 4GB's.

Alternatively is 16GB overkill with the i3 processor? would 8GB remove the bottle neck? as in get two more 2GB's in the other two slots

Thanks,

Rob
 

Twimfy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2011
882
228
UK
Hi all,

After a HDD failure on my Mid 2010 iMac (EMC 2389) i replaced the failed HDD with a standard drive but also replaced my optical drive with a 60gb 2.5" SSD to run the OS from (with the hope that it would run alot better and reduce the risk of HDD failure again), i carried out the modifications/repair myself and all went seamlessly. There is a noticeable difference in performance from my old failing HDD to my new SSD! This has propted me to do some more upgrades and first on the list is RAM.

My iMac is the 3.2GHz i3 with a measely 4GB of RAM, what is the maximum i can upgrade to? i belive it is capable of 16GB but i have seen mixed responses?

My other queery is in what form? i note that my iMac has 4 RAM slots and currently 2 are utilised with 2GB sticks, If i went to the 16GB capability do i replace the two 2GB sticks with two 8GB's or do i fit four 4GB's.

Alternatively is 16GB overkill with the i3 processor? would 8GB remove the bottle neck? as in get two more 2GB's in the other two slots

Thanks,

Rob
The max for your machine is 16GB.

You can do it either way in which case just go with whatever is cheaper, 4x4GB or 2x8GB.

As for it being overkill, well it depends on what you use your machine for. I would consider myself a mid-level power user and I get by on 8GB without any trouble at all but if you go with 16GB you're future proofed at least and the CPU has very little to do with it.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,283
2,702
Delaware
I don't think the RAM slots will accept 8GB sticks, so if you want to go to the max, you will have 4 x 4GB installed.

Of course, you could just add 2 x 4GB, keeping the 2 x 2GB already installed, to give you 12GB….
 

Twimfy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2011
882
228
UK
I don't think the RAM slots will accept 8GB sticks, so if you want to go to the max, you will have 4 x 4GB installed.

Of course, you could just add 2 x 4GB, keeping the 2 x 2GB already installed, to give you 12GB….
That's a good point actually, I didn't think of that.
 

insamoufonyx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2014
2
0
I don't think the RAM slots will accept 8GB sticks, so if you want to go to the max, you will have 4 x 4GB installed.

Of course, you could just add 2 x 4GB, keeping the 2 x 2GB already installed, to give you 12GB….
Thanks for the reply guys,

Ive not been into computers for a few years now so dragging memories from the past but i seam to remember un matched RAM sticks being i no-no?

It is entirely possible that i made this up!

Thanks
 

Twimfy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2011
882
228
UK
Thanks for the reply guys,

Ive not been into computers for a few years now so dragging memories from the past but i seam to remember un matched RAM sticks being i no-no?

It is entirely possible that i made this up!

Thanks
Unmatched sticks will result in dual channel mode being disabled, however I'm not sure how this works on a per-pair basis in iMac's. I'd imagine it'll pair the first two slots together and then the second so as long as slot one and two are matched they'll be fine and so on. In which case you could 2x2GB and then 2x4GB giving you 12GB as suggested and I think (but don't trust me on this) the 2x2GB will be channelled and the 2x4GB will be channelled which will be fine.

However if I'm wrong and they don't channel I really don't think you're going to notice any performance difference. I ran 6GB in a 24" iMac which was one stick of 2GB and one stick of 4GB and didn't notice any change at all in terms of speed.

For the average user 12GB is more than plenty so it's definitely an option for you if you're looking to save money.
 

toddzrx

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2012
722
261
Turns out I have the same iMac that you do. The difference in my mods is that I replaced the 3.5" HDD entirely with a 120GB SSD and left the OD alone. The original HDD now serves as my Time Machine backup drive in an external enclosure.

As far as the RAM is concerned, I am now running 8GB in a 4X2GB configuration. The machine came with the stock 4GB, and I bought some used RAM (harvested from other Macs) from a guy I found on Craigslist for only $20. While the performance increase was not nearly as dramatic as the SSD install, there was still a slight but noticeable increase in speed from installing the additional RAM. I did not even bother considering trying to upgrade to 12 or 16GB, simply because of how cheap I got the extra 4GB.

Given that Apple recommends a minimum of 2GB for Mavericks, I doubt the next release or 2 of OS X will need more than 4GB. I am thinking that 8GB will probably serve me fine for the next few years, and by the time I feel the need for more, I'll probably be looking at replacing the whole machine anyway.
 
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