Slow Mac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by martymar112, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. martymar112 macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Good morning everyone.

    So i have a Mid 2010 IMAC running Yosemite (should i upgrade OS?). 3.06 GHz memory is 4 GB. I am not to Mac savvy. ha. It is running pretty slow. what are some things i can do to speed it up and run smoother. I am now cleaning out all the files I do not need on my mac.

    One thing i want to do but have trouble is moving pictures from my mac to my Time Capsule.

    Would adding more RAM to the computer help? if so can anyone point me in the right direction to buy it and how to install.

    The computer is mostly used by my wife who has her own business and loading with pictures of our kids.

    Thanks again everyone.

  2. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    It's easy to add more memory. See, but it is just a couple of small phillips screws in the bottom edge, pop out the old and pop in the new. Crucial or sell good price upgrades with good support, as do others. If you haven't replaced it already, your hard disk is going on 6 years. Consider checking/replacing. If you replace with an SSD, you will think your iMac is better than new. A more involved procedure, though.
  3. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    An SSD will do more to speed up your iMac than adding more RAM. You can either open up your iMac and add one internally, or external using FireWire 800. My 2010 iMac with an internal SSD feels a lot faster than it was running Yosemite/El Capitan on the stock 7200 RPM Seagate HDD.

    In addition to the SSD, bumping the RAM from 4 to 8 GB should be fairly easy, as your iMac (probably) has 2x2 GB installed. You can add another 2x2 GB of 1333 MHz 204-pin DDR3 such as this RAM from Crucial. Instructions for how to upgrade are on this page.

    I see nothing wrong with updating to El Capitan from Yosemite, it's mostly an optimization release and may improve your experience slightly.
  4. martymar112 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2011
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    The computer is slowing down because..

    - the internal drive is probably a platter-based "spinner", and is getting full of files and is badly defragmented.
    - OS's since Mavericks don't run as well on older Macs with platter-based drives. Yes, they "run", but it feels more like the computer is... "walking".
    - ram @4gb could probably be bumped up to 8gb, but again, it's the internal HDD that is the bottleneck.

    Your options are limited because of the age of the iMac and the external ports that it has.


    1. Install an SSD inside. This is a -BIG- job, because the computer has to be disassembled and there are numerous connections inside that can be broken in the process.

    2. Add a firewire SSD and use it as an "external booter". You will need a firewire800 enclosure and then put into it the SSD of your choice.

    Others are going to reply that firewire800 is "too slow" to enjoy all the speed benefits that an SSD can offer. Well, they're right -- technically.

    BUT -- if you connect an SSD via firewire800, and install onto it your OS, apps, and basic accounts (you want to keep large libraries of music, picture and movie on the internal drive), once up-and-running I predict the computer will run MUCH faster and you will find the performance increase both noticeable and highly satisfactory (vis-a-vis the time, cost and trouble of opening it up and doing surgery).

    You don't need an expensive higher-end SSD. Instead, pick up a Crucial or Sandisk Plus 128gb SSD from amazon for about $40. It will do the job.

    For an enclosure, I'd suggest:
    This has both firewire800 -and- USB3. At some point when you get another Mac, you can connect the drive via USB3 for more speed...
  6. martymar112 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2011

    Thanks for all the help man. I do have a time capsule and i put the most of my Photos and movies on it. Do you recommend using any app that cleans up the computer at all?

  7. MacRobert10 macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2012
    Steer clear of "cleaning" apps. They usually do more harm than good, often deleting things that are either OS specific or application specific with the end result being problems.

    Yosemite and El Capitan should both be able to run on 4GB of RAM unless you're running a lot of applications simultaneously. The newer high speed hard drives from companies like HGST will be several times faster than a drive that was installed in a system 5-6 years ago, and of course an SSD will be faster than that. Moving from an older HDD to either one of the newer AF formatted HDDs or an SSD will be quite noticeable performance wise.

    That said, even though you don't appear to have a drive problem, you may wish to check out the article on hard drive problems at and scroll down to read the section on HDD problems. In it there are sections on problems that are either user related or system related that can act like an HDD problem. Since HDD problems often show themselves as delays the sections on "user problems," "system problems," and "software problems" may be of help.

    For example, since Mavericks, OS X has implemented a feature called App Nap into the OS that puts a running application to sleep if its not in use for a while. If an application goes into the "nap" state, the program basically goes to near 0 activity, then the user clicks on it to reactivate it and, surprise surprise, it hasn't done much, if anything. People think the system is slow or it has something wrong with it. App Nap can be configured to be disabled. If you go the App Store and read the reviews for El Capitan (or any other newer OS release) there will be tons of comments like "It took 12 hours to download" or "The download keeps locking up." I'm willing to bet they have 3rd party network interfaces (like a VPN client or service provider interface) on their systems that's not App Nap aware, it goes to sleep, and the people think it's locking up. App Nap might be a great energy saving idea if people were aware of it, but apparently few are.

    Other things that come to me are the network connections and the amount of space available on your drive. An intermittent network connection will cause any transfers between a Time Capsule to be slow, and a near full drive, whether SSD or HDD, regardless of speed, will be a definite source of bottlenecks.

    Good luck in any case.
  8. Christoffee macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2012
    Forgive my ignorance, but you often read that OS X doesn't get fragmented. This always struck me as strange. Is it not the case?

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7 April 16, 2016