Will a new HD give a performance boost to a 2006 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by furry-ninja, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. furry-ninja, Nov 10, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012

    furry-ninja macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2012
    First post so hi there!

    I have another iMac in the house that needs to be backed up before going for its' hard drive recall, and also the drive on my late 2006 17" iMac has filled up rapidly since I took up photography so I need to think about storage.

    I was just going to pick up a cheap external hard drive but now my head is spinning from all the options and I can't decide whether to
    a) go ahead and buy a cheap USB backup drive
    b) spend more on a firewire equipped external HD (2TB WD My Book Studio)
    c) replace my internal drive with a bigger, faster one (Western Digital Blue?)
    d) give it an internal SSD drive instead maybe plus external

    I'm truly lost! I'm aware that the old iMacs hardware is limited and won't see all the performance gains of an SSD, so I'm wondering if a newer HD might be just as good for a little day to day performance upgrade? (The RAM was maxed to 2Gb just after I bought it.) I was thinking WD Black but I read they run too hot. This would also be the cheapest option.

    If I get a cheap SSD I imagine I'd need an external drive for storage. Would USB 2 be too slow for the /User folder?
  2. furry-ninja thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2012
    OK, well I've worked out that FireWire is not worth spending the money on - while it would be nice to have for now, a USB 3 drive would be cheaper and more future proof.

    So I guess my question is:

    Would a modern hard drive with a bigger cache squeeze the last bit of performance out of this old mac?

    Or would a SSD + external drive for storage be the way to go?
  3. N0ddie macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2011
    SSD is the way to quicken your iMac up. SSD and RAM would be even better.
  4. MeFromHere macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2012
    I also have a 2006 iMac, and I've decided not to spend any money on internal upgrades. I'd rather save for a much better modern iMac.

    You might consider a drive like these:

    Their version with FW 800 and USB 3.0 is fairly new; they weren't offered the last time I needed an external drive. The FW 800 is ideal for your current iMac, and the USB 3.0 would work great on any future Mac you get. (You also get eSATA, which makes the drive more attractive for use on PCs, but not on Macs.) Note that these drives aren't bus powered, they use an external power connection. 3 year warranty, 7200 RPM, up to 4 TB capacity, generous cache on the higher capacity drives, cables and power supply included. You might find better performance, price, or features if you hunt, but this is a reasonable starting point for comparison.

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