Rollback OS X Lion on iMac MA710LL

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DonCarlos, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. DonCarlos macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2009
    Las Vegas
    Hello all

    I am open to suggestions concerning my iMac 5,2 (late 2006), 17", C2D, 1.83 GHz. MA710LL

    I bought it used and someone had OSX 10.7 Lion, on it.

    I noticed it runs okay, but is very sluggish when viewing (web) videos in a full screen mode, or when two web sites are open. Videos on a Small screen are fine, but full screen, it gets choppy at times and poorly syncs sound with video. The graphics card GM950 is just not the best, I know. But it is what it is.

    I am not an expert by far, but I wonder if what is slowing it down is running Lion, with only 2 GB of RAM.

    It is my understanding after researching this, that unlike the 2.0 Ghz model, I cannot upgrade the RAM above 2 GB (per Apple, OWC, Crucial, and many many posts by owners of that model). It definitely is limited to that maximum amount of memory.

    So if that's the case that I cannot upgrade the RAM any further, perhaps the unit is meant to run it's original Leopard or even Snow Leopard (I have an original install disc from my mac mini). Perhaps Lion is not using the existing RAM efficiently.

    This is all conjecture based upon my limited knowledge.

    So to finally get to the questions:

    -Anyone have experience with this situation, of running limited RAM on a higher resource-using operating system like Lion?

    -Does anyone have a response or experience, concerning running Leopard or Snow Leopard, on 2 GB, on a unit with this particular configuration?

    -Any opinion on my "rolling back" the OS, in order to get a better performing machine? Or am I just wasting my efforts by doing that.

    Comments, suggestions, opinions are all welcomed.

    Thanks in advance

    -Oh BTW, I already have cloned this system to an external, so I have no issue with "rolling it back", since I can bring it back to present state if needed. As I mentioned before I have a SL install disc, and too I have a Lion installation on USB, from my Mac Mini days. And yes, I do have the capability of running from a FW external a version of SL or Leopard, but I would just rather run the appropriate OSX internally in the iMac, if that improves performance.
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    My mother had one of those and I think what you are seeing is about as good as it gets. Check the CPU tab in Activity Monitor and if there are no rogue utilities chewing up CPU cycles, I think you are sort of at a dead end IMO.
  3. DonCarlos thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2009
    Las Vegas


    Any others comments or suggestions if it is better to roll back my OSX to SL, since I am limited on memory for this particular iMac running Lion. Wondering if anyone else has had to do this.

  4. jdphoto macrumors 6502


    Jan 13, 2014
    What does memory usage look like in Activity monitor? System lag like you describe (from my experience) is usually a holistic problem as in it is a combination of CPU, Memory, Graphics, HD. Migrating back wouldn't hurt anything and the OS may be a bit lighter on the system, but what you are trying to do (play videos full screen ect.) won't change how much it taxes the system, in fact it could be worse as you will probably lose performance optimizations that released with each OS. So you may or may not see a difference. However, wiping a computer clean and reinstalling fresh can help sometimes, so that alone might be a benefit.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you have it backed up to an external drive, I'd suggest you try installing OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) onto it, and then upgrading SL to 10.6.8.

    It's been quite some time, but it seems that I recall that I once was able to use SL's Migration Assistant to migrate "downwards" from 10.7 to 10.6 (account, apps, settings, data), and it actually worked.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you find things run a bit better in SL -- probably requires slightly less memory.

    Also, consider that the internal drive may be badly fragmented if the current copy of Lion has been there for a while. Reinitializing the drive and "clean-installing" 10.6 will clear this up...
  6. DonCarlos thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2009
    Las Vegas
    In response. I am only using this mac for web surfing and simple tasks. Nothing intensive. But it does struggle with you tube videos or dvd's when put on full screen. I believe it should be able to handle that at least. My memory use during these times are at about 3/4 to 1 GB (of the max 2 GB installed).

    I may try just rolling back the OSX to SL with a fresh install. As I said I have a full backup of this hard drive running Lion.

    I will leave an update for those that may have the same concerns or questions.

    Thanks again for your all of your input

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