Should I upgrade my late 2012 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sinvocales, Jun 11, 2019 at 3:42 PM.

  1. sinvocales macrumors newbie

    Hi all, new to forum here. I have a late 2012 iMac 27. 3.4ghz Intel i7, total of 16GB RAM, 750GB internal SSD and an external 4TB regular hard drive. Runs Yosemite 10.10.5. I haven't upgraded it in the 6 years I have had it, when I bought it I 'went big' on the spec, hoping that it would last me a long time. I used to do a lot of photography editing, but then 2 kids arrived on the scene and now the Big Mac is used for family web browsing, and archiving and browsing our family photos. Recently I feel that it has slowed right down, and I'm wondering why, and what I can do to fix the problem. The SSD is very nearly full (only 10 GB of capacity left), and we have around 2.1TB used on the external drive. The expensive option is a new iMac, but I'm wondering if it will be a big leap forwards from what I currently have. What I am also considering is upgrading what I have - I still have two memory slots free, so could go up to 32GB, and I'm also thinking of changing my 750GB SSD internal drive for a 2TB version. Question is - would those upgrades make much of a difference? Or is it time for a new machine? Anything else I can do to make my system run faster? Thanks.
  2. SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2017
    You should upgrade your internal storage to a larger/faster SSD, or offload more of what is on the internal SSD off. That should improve your performance.

    As for the RAM, 16 GB should be plenty for what you're using it for. Just focus on the SSD.
  3. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    I have the same iMac that I purchased in Dec 2012, except I put two more 8GB RAM sticks for a total of 24GB, the 1TB Fusion, and I have the upgraded GPU. I might replace the HHD with a SSD, but that is all my plans for mine. The iMac still runs like a beast, so I don't think I can justify getting a new Mac quite yet.

    Considering you only have 10 GB of storage left on your internal drive, I would consider off loading some of it, upgrading the SSD, or maybe getting an external large SSD for your boot drive.

    Another though, I am assuming that there is an unused internal SATA port on the logic board, you could install another SSD around the same size of your current internal one, and turn it into a software RAID boot drive. Double your space and almost double your speed.

    The RAM, you can cheaply upgrade it to 32GB, with two more 8GB sticks, although you really didn't list a lot of detail on what you are doing with your iMac, so it may not be worth it. I would do it.
  4. Darajavahus macrumors member


    Aug 8, 2015
    What!? Really? I have the base 21.5 late 2012 iMac (2.7 i5, 8GB, inside HDD broke year ago so I boot form external 250GB SSD with only system and apps on it and have 5TB HDD for everything else) and it works just fine for web browsing and photoshoping. You should never fill up SSD so much, for best performance it is recomended to not use more than half.

    For the stuff you are doing your iMac gonna be fine for another 6 years, just don't keep system SSD so filled up. " iMac 27. 3.4ghz Intel i7, total of 16GB RAM, 750GB internal SSD" you be crazy buying new computer for web browsing and photo editing, unless you have money growwing on trees.
  5. vertical smile, Jun 12, 2019 at 7:20 AM
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    While I agree that getting a new Mac would probably be unnecessary for what the OP is using it for, I personally don't agree with keeping "half" of the storage space free.

    Actually, most percentages that people suggest to keep as free space are just arbitrary. For example, 50% of your iMac's storage is 125GB, for the OP, 50% would be 475GB of free space, which would be way overkill.

    Everything really depends on how the OS utilizes resources and how much RAM is used.

    If the OS rarely page swaps, then less space is needed.

    Actually, I have a Virtual Memory turned off on my Mac Pro, and it never page swaps.

    At a bare minimum, I would keep 10GB space free on the boot drive. A healthy 30GB free space on the boot drive would be more than enough to cover any RAM deficiencies for most people imo.

    Edit: I lowered what I considered a healthy amount of free space from 100GB, to 30GB. In reality, even 30GB might be overkill if you have a decent amount of RAM. Like I stated earlier, you can run your boot drive with zero free space as long as your RAM is adequate.

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4 June 11, 2019