Speed up my old iMac

iamchrisstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 18, 2018
25
3
As some of you may have seen my other posts, my home iMac is a beast, in my opinion. Anyway, my work iMac and Macbook Pro are just slow and lag and don't perform well. Any opinions on what I can do to speed up the performance? I don't do any video or photo editing on these 2 machines. Spreadsheets, websites, databases and stuff like that. I run no extra monitors (i want to run one more monitor) and and i run chrome for my one set of work and safari for my other. Yet they both lag a lot. Assuming because of ram and processor. Please advise:

MacOS High Sierra
Version 10.13.3

iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2015)
Processor 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 8 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 6000 1536 MB
Display 21.5-inch (1920 x 1080)
Storage Macintosh HD 1 TB Sata Disk
 

Razzerman

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
274
170
IMHO, it's a combination of all the things you've listed (except the display).

The biggest boost to the performance of that machine would be to change the hard disk to an ssd, and go back to Sierra, unless you really need HS.

Good luck,

Razzerman
 
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iamchrisstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 18, 2018
25
3
IMHO, it's a combination of all the things you've listed (except the display).

The biggest boost to the performance of that machine would be to change the hard disk to an ssd, and go back to Sierra, unless you really need HS.

Good luck,

Razzerman
So Sierra would help? How so? I didn't even research the improvements or lack thereof. And if I switch out the HDD for an SSD, I'd void the warranty, correct?
 

Razzerman

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
274
170
Well, I don't have any personal experience with HS, but I can well imagine it will slaughter the performance of my machines as most of them don't have ssd's. And I won't be risking installing it any time soon.

Yes, I'd say it would void the warranty I'm afraid.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,207
5,550
A 2015 iMac is not very old -- only "one generation back".

It's not the computer's motherboard or RAM that is "slowing you down".
IT'S THE PLATTER-BASED HARD DRIVE.
That's without question.

Fastest, easiest, cheapest and least invasive way to GREATLY increase its speed:
Add a USB3 SSD and make it your external boot drive.

I would consider something like a Sandisk Extreme external SSD or perhaps a Samsung t5.
500gb in size is all you really need, even 250gb will do the job.

Then -- erase it to HFS+ with journaling enabled.
Either install a clean copy of the OS onto it, or (if there's room), you could just "clone over" what's on the internal drive to the SSD.

Designate it to be the startup disk using the startup disk pref pane.

Doing this will TRANSFORM the iMac into a much speedier performer.

Again, did I mention that it's the fastest, easiest, cheapest and least-invasive way to do it?
 

iamchrisstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 18, 2018
25
3
A 2015 iMac is not very old -- only "one generation back".

It's not the computer's motherboard or RAM that is "slowing you down".
IT'S THE PLATTER-BASED HARD DRIVE.
That's without question.

Fastest, easiest, cheapest and least invasive way to GREATLY increase its speed:
Add a USB3 SSD and make it your external boot drive.

I would consider something like a Sandisk Extreme external SSD or perhaps a Samsung t5.
500gb in size is all you really need, even 250gb will do the job.

Then -- erase it to HFS+ with journaling enabled.
Either install a clean copy of the OS onto it, or (if there's room), you could just "clone over" what's on the internal drive to the SSD.

Designate it to be the startup disk using the startup disk pref pane.

Doing this will TRANSFORM the iMac into a much speedier performer.

Again, did I mention that it's the fastest, easiest, cheapest and least-invasive way to do it?
This is great! thanks!!!!
 

Loke2112

macrumors regular
May 11, 2011
189
23
3 blocks off the Atlantic
A 2015 iMac is not very old -- only "one generation back".

It's not the computer's motherboard or RAM that is "slowing you down".
IT'S THE PLATTER-BASED HARD DRIVE.
That's without question.

Fastest, easiest, cheapest and least invasive way to GREATLY increase its speed:
Add a USB3 SSD and make it your external boot drive.

I would consider something like a Sandisk Extreme external SSD or perhaps a Samsung t5.
500gb in size is all you really need, even 250gb will do the job.

Then -- erase it to HFS+ with journaling enabled.
Either install a clean copy of the OS onto it, or (if there's room), you could just "clone over" what's on the internal drive to the SSD.

Designate it to be the startup disk using the startup disk pref pane.

Doing this will TRANSFORM the iMac into a much speedier performer.

Again, did I mention that it's the fastest, easiest, cheapest and least-invasive way to do it?
Thank Fishrrman I am seriously considering doing this for my late 2012 iMac. I'm not that tech savvy but I am guessing the SSD will help with all performance issues even though the internal drive has everything else on it correct? I am using almost 600 gigs on the internal.
 

sublunar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
817
482
I am using an external Thunderbolt dock to boot an eSATA SSD for my Mac Mini. A very smooth performance and the best possible upgrade for older hardware. If you can get inside your Mac to upgrade then great but i'd suggest an external solution as a cheaper way around it.
 

Loke2112

macrumors regular
May 11, 2011
189
23
3 blocks off the Atlantic
I am using an external Thunderbolt dock to boot an eSATA SSD for my Mac Mini. A very smooth performance and the best possible upgrade for older hardware. If you can get inside your Mac to upgrade then great but i'd suggest an external solution as a cheaper way around it.
Its an iMac so Im not getting inside to change the HD. I just dont understand how the external HD and the internal work together and the internal doesn;t slow down the external.
 

Glmnet1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2017
953
1,049
Thank Fishrrman I am seriously considering doing this for my late 2012 iMac. I'm not that tech savvy but I am guessing the SSD will help with all performance issues even though the internal drive has everything else on it correct? I am using almost 600 gigs on the internal.
Its an iMac so Im not getting inside to change the HD. I just dont understand how the external HD and the internal work together and the internal doesn;t slow down the external.
You would need to run macOS from the external drive and then use the internal as additional storage or simply stop using it.

If you buy a big enough SSD you can simply clone everything to it and then boot from it. You can use Disk Utility or a 3rd party such as Carbon Copy Cloner to do that.

Else you can make a fresh install of macOS, boot from it and then transfer the files you use the most to the SSD. You can keep the internal for the rest of the files that don't fit.

To boot from the external drive simply hold the 'alt' key when your computer is booting and select the external drive.

I hope it can help!
 

Loke2112

macrumors regular
May 11, 2011
189
23
3 blocks off the Atlantic
You would need to run macOS from the external drive and then use the internal as additional storage or simply stop using it.

If you buy a big enough SSD you can simply clone everything to it and then boot from it. You can use Disk Utility or a 3rd party such as Carbon Copy Cloner to do that.

Else you can make a fresh install of macOS, boot from it and then transfer the files you use the most to the SSD. You can keep the internal for the rest of the files that don't fit.

To boot from the external drive simply hold the 'alt' key when your computer is booting and select the external drive.

I hope it can help!

Thank you so much that does make it clearer. I'd prefer to keep the costs down and the 250 gig is only $99 I'm juts not sure how much I really need.
 

Glmnet1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2017
953
1,049
Thank you so much that does make it clearer. I'd prefer to keep the costs down and the 250 gig is only $99 I'm juts not sure how much I really need.
250gb would be fine, you'll just have to keep most of your files on the internal and move only what you use to the SSD. You should have plenty of room to install macOS and all your apps.
 

sublunar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
817
482
Its an iMac so Im not getting inside to change the HD. I just dont understand how the external HD and the internal work together and the internal doesn;t slow down the external.
Simplest way to do it is to use a USB3 enclosure with an SATA3 SSD in it. There's slight performance issues doing it this way though but it's by far the cheapest way. More expensive is to connect via Thunderbolt 2 dock which is what I do. I have my SSD inside an eSATA enclosure and connect that to a Thunderbolt 2 dock.

To all intents and purposes I have another internal SSD drive, external monitor, plus extra ethernet, USB3, and audio/headphone sockets which are easier to reach. The Thunderbolt 2 port has plenty of bandwidth.

The internal drive is still available but is not the boot drive.
 

Loke2112

macrumors regular
May 11, 2011
189
23
3 blocks off the Atlantic
Really confused. Tried to erase to MAC OS Extended journaled but Mac wouldnt recognize it. I picked up the SanDisk 250 GB SSD by the way. Not sure what to format it to it came as ExFAT and I got it back to that but where from here?
[doublepost=1524016553][/doublepost]
A 2015 iMac is not very old -- only "one generation back".

It's not the computer's motherboard or RAM that is "slowing you down".
IT'S THE PLATTER-BASED HARD DRIVE.
That's without question.

Fastest, easiest, cheapest and least invasive way to GREATLY increase its speed:
Add a USB3 SSD and make it your external boot drive.

I would consider something like a Sandisk Extreme external SSD or perhaps a Samsung t5.
500gb in size is all you really need, even 250gb will do the job.

Then -- erase it to HFS+ with journaling enabled.
Either install a clean copy of the OS onto it, or (if there's room), you could just "clone over" what's on the internal drive to the SSD.

Designate it to be the startup disk using the startup disk pref pane.

Doing this will TRANSFORM the iMac into a much speedier performer.

Again, did I mention that it's the fastest, easiest, cheapest and least-invasive way to do it?

There is no HFS+ option?
 

Glmnet1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2017
953
1,049
Really confused. Tried to erase to MAC OS Extended journaled but Mac wouldnt recognize it. I picked up the SanDisk 250 GB SSD by the way. Not sure what to format it to it came as ExFAT and I got it back to that but where from here?
[doublepost=1524016553][/doublepost]


There is no HFS+ option?
Follow the instructions here: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204904

The subtitle "Install macOS" is what you want. If something is not clear let me know and I'll try to guide you.
 

Loke2112

macrumors regular
May 11, 2011
189
23
3 blocks off the Atlantic
Follow the instructions here: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204904

The subtitle "Install macOS" is what you want. If something is not clear let me know and I'll try to guide you.

For whatever reason I was able to erase and format MAC Os Extended Journaled where as last night it couldnt read the disk. I am downloading the OS now and will install on the external. I'll let you know how it goes thanks again for the help.
[doublepost=1524060657][/doublepost]
Follow the instructions here: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204904

The subtitle "Install macOS" is what you want. If something is not clear let me know and I'll try to guide you.

Having an issue dont see the option to do this partition is not even clickable. Screen shot attached.
[doublepost=1524060952][/doublepost]
Follow the instructions here: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204904

The subtitle "Install macOS" is what you want. If something is not clear let me know and I'll try to guide you.

Fixed it installing now :)
 

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Loke2112

macrumors regular
May 11, 2011
189
23
3 blocks off the Atlantic
Thanks for the feedback. I have been running my 2012 iMac off of the 250 Gig SSD for a while now but things are slowing down a bit. Wish I could add more RAM or figure out how to get it back to it's peak performance.