Worth upgrading RAM on a 2010 imac (27")?

redryder

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 7, 2010
96
0
My 2010 imac is shared between four family members and running Yosemite. It currently has 8GB of memory. It seems slower to boot up and also very slow when switching between accounts lately. I have over 600GB free on a 2TB drive.

The mac is mainly used for web browsing and photo editing. Nothing cpu or memory intensive. But it seems like I'm getting the beach ball a lot lately, in Finder, Itunes, etc.

This is my first mac so I don't know what the lifespan is. I don't want to waste money upgrading the RAM if it will die in a couple of months or a year. Even if I were to upgrade the RAM, should I go for 16, 24, or 32 GB?

If I purchase the RAM, can it be used for the retina imac in case the old one dies? According to Crucial, the 2010 model takes PC3 10600, 1333MHZ while the retina imac takes PC3 12800 1600MHZ. I have no idea what the numbers mean though.
 
Last edited:

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2009
1,698
362
England, UK
Worth upgrading RAM on a 2010 imac (27")?

8GB for general usage is plenty. I'm on a 2010 iMac with 8GB for the time being too. You can check if RAM would help by looking in Activity Monitor and checking the memory tab. What are the 'pages out' and 'page swap' values?

Any RAM you do buy for this machine should not be used in a 5K iMac.

A couple of years ago I put a SSD inside the iMac alongside the original HDD, though, so I can't compare speeds - it boots to a logged in state with mail and Safari open in around 10 seconds or so. The HDD would be vastly slower.

Beach balls and very slow start ups suggest to me a dying hardrive or bad install.

Have you got a time machine backup of the iMac?
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
My 2010 imac is shared between four family members and running Yosemite. It currently has 8GB of memory. It seems slower to boot up and also very slow when switching between accounts lately. I have over 600GB free on a 2TB drive.
Bootup is due to the slow hdd.
When switching between accounts, always log out of the account that is not used.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
My 2010 imac is shared between four family members and running Yosemite. It currently has 8GB of memory. It seems slower to boot up and also very slow when switching between accounts lately. I have over 600GB free on a 2TB drive.

The mac is mainly used for web browsing and photo editing. Nothing cpu or memory intensive. But it seems like I'm getting the beach ball a lot lately, in Finder, Itunes, etc.

This is my first mac so I don't know what the lifespan is. I don't want to waste money upgrading the RAM if it will die in a couple of months or a year. Even if I were to upgrade the RAM, should I go for 16, 24, or 32 GB?

If I purchase the RAM, can it be used for the retina imac in case the old one dies? According to Crucial, the 2010 model takes PC3 10600, 1333MHZ while the retina imac takes PC3 12800 1600MHZ. I have no idea what the numbers mean though.
You should consider upgrading the hard drive to an SSD instead. That will improve boot times (just 11 seconds) and apps will open instantly. No more beach balling.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
The mac is mainly used for web browsing and photo editing. Nothing cpu or memory intensive. But it seems like I'm getting the beach ball a lot lately, in Finder, Itunes, etc.
And why do you think that this is memory related? :confused:
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,396
6,965
You should consider upgrading the hard drive to an SSD instead. That will improve boot times (just 11 seconds) and apps will open instantly. No more beach balling.
I think we should name you the SSD guru ;)
 

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,286
127
You should consider upgrading the hard drive to an SSD instead. That will improve boot times (just 11 seconds) and apps will open instantly. No more beach balling.
+1

An SSD will be a remarkable improvement to your iMac.