Upgrading A 2010 iMac: What would you do?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Conradm2000, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Conradm2000 macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2004
    Hi all

    Long time lurker here.

    My iMac is getting old. Its a 2010 27" i3 model, 8gb ram, etc. It certainly does its share of chugging. I want a faster computer, use for general use and occasional raw editing in Aperture.

    Which would you do?
    1) Upgrade the CPU to an i7 870 (should be just a direct swap), and add an SSD to try to create a homemade fusion drive
    2) Get a refurbished 27" iMac, may or may not have a fusion drive.

    I'm torn, and would love to hear what you guys think. Thanks!
  2. Lucianrider macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2012
    St. Lucia, West Indies
    If you can afford to get a late 2013 i5 with 1 or 3 TB Fusion drive that is the way I would go. You might have to wait and keep checking the refurbished store a lot to get one with a Fusion drive...

    It will be way faster than anything you could do to your 2010 iMac. It would also have a 1 year warranty that you can extend with Applecare.

    Upgrading the CPU on the old iMac would not be for the inexperienced.... It would be a lot cheaper than the refurbished however so it really comes down to how much are you willing to spend...

    You would get a lot of personal satisfaction from upgrading your old iMac. I recently installed a SSD and 3TB HD in my mid 2011 iMac and am very happy with the performance increase and sense of accomplishment.
  3. Conradm2000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2004
    Based on the benchmarks that I've looked at on Geekbench, it looks like the i7 870 processor would get me about 80-85% of the benchmarks of current iMacs. Coupling that with the fusion drive upgrade, I suspect I'd be in pretty good shape.

    Technically, I suspect I would be capable of doing this. I don't think thats an issue.

    But at the end of the day, I am spending about 300 ish with a few hours of work to make this happen. Still not sure this is worth it...

    Anyone else done something similar? Thoughts? Regrets?
  4. BESLC macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2010
    You can certainly change the processor on your current machine, however in the end you are adding a new processor to a 4 year old unit. I am not sure of the specs on the 2010, I would think there would be slower bus speeds than the current models,the ram speeds have certainly increased. Additionally,hardware does fail with time. If you can pickup a rtefurb with the specs you want,it may in the end be a better choice for you.
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I have an older iMac and was in the same boat re upgrading.

    I decided on a hackintosh. Love it.

    Since you do photo stuff you might consider something that could use the old iMac in TDM. Maybe a mini, MBP, whatever. You still have the iMac, which can then be used for file storage, media serving, all sorts of stuff. And you still have that great monitor.

    If you upgrade the drive you're still stuck with slower sata speeds, although that probably won't matter much now. Only USB 2 for externals though, while a new one would give you Thunderbolt. And older graphics.

    I love DIY and saving old technology, but investing too much in it can be a losing proposition. I'd move on to new stuff to supplement what you have.
  6. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Another potential suggestion would be to buy yourself a Mac mini and use your 2010 27" iMac as a display. That combination with Apple's Target Display Mode will work just fine. Then, should you choose down the line, you could upgrade the display (and sell the iMac in the process). Then, further down the line, you could replace the Mac mini and keep the display.

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