New Here: I need help with my old iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ludmilla, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. ludmilla macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2014
    Hello all.

    I am not very computer savvy and so was recommended to come here by my daughter.

    I have an old iMac (I believe I bought it in 2007/2008. It is running 10.6.8.

    It is 21", 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3 GB of RAM.

    It's incredibly slow, despite having over 150GB free.

    I would prefer not to buy a new iMac and get this one up and running faster, but not sure how it is possible.

    Can anyone give me advice on how to maximise it's performance?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You don't really say what you use the iMac for, or what is specifically slow, i.e., navigating around the Finder, surfing using Safari, etc.

    If I were to hazard a guess you're ram is one of the culprits to the performance. The slow hard drive is also impeding your speed. Upgrading to 8GB of ram and/or installing a SSD (removing your current HD) will be your best (and only) options for boosting the performance.
  3. ludmilla thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2014
    I use the computer for mainly browsing the internet (I use youtube, bbc inlayer, Facebook etc, occasionally streaming a film). I also use it for iPhoto and iTunes.

    Do you think that upgrading the RAM & Buying an SSD would be more beneficial considering this Mac's age than buying a brand new/ or good condition second hand Mac?
  4. ludmilla thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2014
  5. DIN209 macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2014
    iMac performance question

    I have same system. Here is what I did:
    1. Increase RAM to 4GB (though 8 is better!)
    2. Run utility program such as "Clean My Mac 2" (I have no affiliation with the company, just a user!), to clean off junk files in HDD.
    Do these first and you will likely NOT need an SSD, which can be expensive to buy and have installed.

    Lastly, there are YouTube videos that show you how easy the RAM upgrade is to do!
    Good luck!
  6. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
    That iMac officially takes up to 4GB of RAM. However, 6GB has been shown to work in these 2007-2008 iMacs.

    When you say it's slow, do you mean when opening applications, or when on the internet, such as streaming, or watching Youtube? How is it when using iTunes or iPhoto. Slow after it's opened... like switching between photos in iPhoto?

    An SSD would speed up certain things, like opening an application, and some things that read or write to the hard drive, such as editing photos. But wouldn't do much to help with things like streaming video from the internet. (That would have more to do with 1. your internet connection speed, and 2. your RAM and processor speed)

    Is it worth upgrading? Or would buying a newer used iMac be better? That depends. upgrading RAM would be inexpensive, and is easy to do. With an SSD upgrade, it will take a couple hundred bucks and dissasembly of the imac to do (unless you use an external firewire, which would defeat the total speed boost you could get from a SSD)

    A newer iMac, would likely serve you better in the long run, and allow for efficiently running the newer Operating Systems. But, it would also likely cost more than upgrading the one you have.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    My opinion only (and others' will differ).

    I don't think RAM is the problem.

    I'll bet your hard drive has become hopelessly fragmented and that is slowing down hard drive operations to a crawl.

    You need to defragment the drive. There are apps out there that can do this (like "idefrag").

    Another way to do it (but you need an external drive).
    - Clone your internal drive's contents to the external using CarbonCopyCloner (free to download for 10.6.8, you can find it on this page:
    The version you need is 3.4.7 -- it will work fine.

    - Boot from the clone by restarting and holding down the option key until the startup manager appears -- then select the external drive and hit return

    - Use Disk Utility to re-initialize the internal drive

    - Use CCC to "re-clone" the contents of the external BACK TO the internal drive.

    When you do this, all the files will be copied "contiguously", and the fragmentation will be gone.

    I have a white Intel iMac that is late-2006 and it still runs "good enough" after defragging.

    Another thought, unrelated:
    If you use Safari as your browser, I suggest you use the "reset Safari" option.
    WARNING: this will wipe out the history, cookies, etc. I suggest you "un-check" the options for "removed saved names and passwords" but check everything else.

    Also -- restart once a day (unless you're turning the thing off at night already). Just cleans things out and gives you, literally, a "fresh start"...
  8. thedeske, Jul 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014

    thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Agree with Fishrrman & perhaps a fresh OS install and Migrating settings/files from the clone would be even better. Just A Thought
  9. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Given the age I would suspect the hard drive is on its way out. There are guides on youtube to show you how to replace the hard drive so look at a few and see if its something you want to do. I have done the upgrade a few times on that model and it was pretty easy. I assume you have the 320GB hd and given you have 150GB left you could easily fit everything on a 256GB SSD. You should also get a 2.5 to 3.5" adapter since SSDs are smaller than desktop hard drives. 6GB RAM is the maximum.

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