What performance difference between early 2009 iMac and Late 2015 iMac


macrumors P6
Original poster
Jun 22, 2009
Still debating replacing my 2009 2.93 dual core iMac with 4GB memory with a late 2015 3.2GHz QC i5 with 8gb (likely upgrade to 16gb) and was curious as to the % performance increase I'll see. My current iMac is really dogging now.

It's either the newer iMac or a new MacBook Pro - but bang for the buck and more conventional inputs has me on the fence with keeping to iMac.

Are we looking at a machine that's 2x, 4x, 10x faster than what I have now? Anyone know?

OS X Dude

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2007
I use a Late 2009 21.5" iMac at work, and honestly it amazes me what it copes with: Database software, iTunes, live camera feed, Safari, Mail and other software is open at all times and it rarely ever beachballs. That to me is the Apple difference, I love Windows and have used all versions since XP but that kind of continued, almost day-one stability and speed is a rare find in that world. It is still using all stock components, too.

That said, a new Mac would definitely feel faster for you. The SSD alone will make it feel Ferrari fast. The performance difference you feel will be greater in line with the more demanding work you put the Mac through, but even at a basic level you will absolutely feel a difference. The Retina display alone will make you glad you bought it.
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macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2012
San Francisco
Can you explain ?
Sure, the spinning HDD is a relic and is so slow it will render the computer nearly non-usable from the start. Every single operation will feel slow as molasses.

The 2tb fusion drive is a better option or pure SSD. I went with the 512 SSD in mine which makes for an insanely fast and snappy experience. I have used the 2tb fusion before too and it performs well.

The m380 is a pathetically weak card and struggles to power the 5K screen + OS X combo. Nearly every animation lags and the experience is insanely choppy. As an example, google maps didn't even work properly with it.

The m390 is sufficient or I went for the m395 which are powerful enough to handle the various ui animations and other graphically intensive processes.
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