Wanting to upgrade my fall 09 imac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DrDomVonDoom, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. DrDomVonDoom macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2010
    Fairbanks, Ak
    I have a little extra spending money, and I am thinking about maxing out my ram to 16 gb, or getting a 2 TB internal HD installed.

    I know what I can expect with the hard drive, but in what areas will I notice any significance in the areas I use my Mac if I max out the Ram, anyone else have it maxed out? In what ways is your Mac faster? or better perform?

    I mostly use my Mac for

    Ripping/Burning DVDs
    Light Gaming (WoW,SC 2, Mac App Store Games etc)
    Recording YouTube reviews,

  2. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Installing an SSD would be your most beneficial increase in performance, but of course it requires you to take apart the iMac and install it yourself-- Apple will not do it for you. Not something to do if you're reluctant about it.

    Maxing out ram is next best option.
  3. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    I wouldnt spend very much on it, the Core2Duo chip is its biggest weakness, and theres no changing that.

    Its worth maybe $800-900 as it is.

    You already have 4 gigs of ram in two slots, right? Id spend $100 on 8 gigs of ram (2 x 4 gig chips) for the other 2 slots, and bring it to 12 gigs.

    But not $200 for 16 gigs. Thats essentially $100 for 4 gigs of ram.

    I wouldnt bother with the 2TB drive either. Say you have it done professionally -- that means finding someone to do it and its at least $50, plus $100 for a 2TB drive -- IF -- they let you bring in your own drive. Lots of places dont. With external storage so cheap, you could add a 2TB drive for for the same $100 and have your internal 500 + 2TB.

    So thats about $200 total = 8 gigs ram (12 total) and external 2TB

    But if you go your route, 16 gigs ram ($200) + 2TB internal ($150 minimum) = $350 -- thats a lot of cash.

    You might as well sell your iMac for $900 and add the $350 and then buy a about to come out i3 or refurb i5.

    You get a faster Mac for the same amount of cash.
  4. lee14160 macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2009
    Fruitland, Idaho
    I had the Apple store add a SSD; however, I had to supply the 3.5" converter kit. Cost at the time for the work was $45.00 plus the cost of the SSD.
  5. archer75 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2005
    For what you use it for 16gb of ram is a waste. I have 6gb of ram in my i7 desktop and I can't max it out. Video encoding, high end gaming, doesn't come close to using all my ram. However I have no problem maxing out my CPU.

    In your case I agree with Badger^2, sell that and use the profit plus what cash you have to get a new one coming out soon. You'll get far more performance that way.
  6. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    Your best bet would be to add a SSD via enclosure via firewire.

    It would be the best benefit in performance you can make. Put all your apps and OS on the SSD, and the home folder on the HD.

    Now firewire is not as fast as SATA, but for a SSD the overal speeds does not matter that much, espicially for just OS and Apps. We are talking about 1ms, vs what 4ms. Or 3ms. Not a difference to the user. You will take a hit on write performance. That is a given.

    My computer boots in 20 seconds. As opposed to almost a min. Apps open instantly. The seek time on a SSD is zero.

    Here is my imac:


    VS. a Apple SSD, runs about half the speed, still better than any HD. But what you will be using it for, OS and Apps, the speed difference overall will not matter due to the Apps and OS are not large files. We are talking milliseconds.


    Vs. another i3 mac with a HD.


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