Performance issues after upgrading RAM on 20 in. mid-2007 iMac running El Capitan

Discussion in 'iMac' started by BanthC, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. BanthC macrumors newbie

    BanthC

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    #1
    Have 20 in. mid-2007 iMac with 3GB RAM. I removed the 1GB and replaced with a 2GB maxing out the RAM for this model. The 4MB RAM shows up in the settings as "good", but the computer is running incredibly slow with the rainbow pinwheel showing up every time I try a new task. El Capitan was running fine before albeit a bit slow. Nothing else changed. Any thoughts?
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    A Mid-2007 iMac actually can go to 6GB maximum. 1 x 2GB and 1 x 4GB.
    So, you could have replaced that 1GB stick with a 4GB stick.
    That would not answer your question about the (lack of) performance that you are experiencing.

    How full is your hard drive?
    Have you checked in the Activity Monitor, then the CPU, or the Memory tab to see if you have some process that is taking a lot of CPU, or using large amounts of memory. Memory pressure, for example, would normally be low (and green)
    Yellow may show occasionally - and red would mean that you are really running short on RAM, and getting LOTS of pageouts (which will show in the Memory tab as Swap Used)
    What number is showing for Swap Used right now?

    Leave the Activity Monitor window open, with CPU selected, and you can sort by %CPU. Watch that window when you get real slowdowns, with the rainbow wheel. What's the top 4 or 5 items at the top of the CPU list? (OTHER than kernel_task, which will normally be near the top of the list.)
     
  3. gertruded macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Northwestern Illinois
    #3
    --- Post Merged, Feb 4, 2016 ---
    I also have a mid 2007 iMac, 20 inch. I had that problem when I put the wrong speed ram in. Just saying.

    What a great machine, I bought mine as a refurb and it has bee running steadily the last 8 years.
     
  4. BanthC thread starter macrumors newbie

    BanthC

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    #4
    CPU is mostly 95%+ unutilized. The biggest user is the Activity Monitor. Usage spikes when certain processes are opening (Mail), but there is no obvious spike when the pinwheel shows up (I got the pinwheel when I opened “About Finder”, but there was no spike).

    Swap Used is 7.3MB. Memory Used is 3.36GB (does this mean it is using almost the entire RAM?).
    --- Post Merged, Feb 4, 2016 ---
    I put in the DDR2 667MHz which was recommended so unfortunately I don't think that is my problem.
     
  5. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #5
    If you go back to the original RAM, does the performance improve over what you have now? An aspect of Mac memory is the CLS spec. That is, not just any DDR2 667 memory can be used. Macs of that era were finicky about memory.
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    There's a couple of things that I would do.
    1. Reset PRAM.
    2. Open your user folder/Library. Drag the Caches folder to the trash (yes, the whole Caches folder), then restart.
    The Caches folder will be recreated on that restart, and the files in that folder will be created when the system wants to make them again. Empty your trash after that restart.
    3. Reset the Spotlight database. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201716
    You will find that the spotlight database can take a good 30 minutes to several hours to complete. Your system may drag at times (not a lot!) while that database is rebuilt.
    So, give that rebuild about 2 hours to complete, --then, restart to clear memory

    and step 4 to think about...
    4. If the hard drive is the original hard drive, then it would be a "wonderful" upgrade to replace that hard drive with an SSD. Your Mac's apparent speed will be much faster. You will be amazed (and pleasantly surprised) with your nearly-nine year old iMac.

    Keep in mind, too, that your 2007 iMac is at the Bottom Edge (oldest Mac) for supported upgrade to El Capitan.
    It will do its best, but may not be really comfortable with that new-fangled operating system, and all of its graphics and CPU needs. Give it the best chance by giving it more RAM (you can go to 6GB, but your 4GB may be "OK", too.
    And do consider the SSD. IMHO, that's the OTHER link to a "best job" upgrade to El Capitan.
     
  7. BanthC thread starter macrumors newbie

    BanthC

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    #7

    Thanks, will give it a try. I was considering wiping the hard drive and doing a fresh install. I suppose that will accomplish the first three in one shot?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 4, 2016 ---
    The old one doesn't seem to work at all. I may have damaged it when I removed it as it was jammed in pretty good.
     

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