Author Topic: iMac performance upgrade  (Read 3002 times)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2020, 12:39:17 pm »
If I've understood correctly, since I only have USB 2 on this computer, I'd be much better off getting one that connects with Thunderbolt than USB, right?

Looking at the various external SSDs available on Amazon, they all seem to be designed for USB-C. Ones with Thunderbolt connectivity are a lot more expensive...

Back to the internal upgrade probably being the best option...

I've contacted the local (unofficial) Apple repair people for a quote.

Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2020, 12:48:36 pm »
Thunderbolt 2 external drives are rare. Thunderbolt 3 drives (which use the same plug as USB) are more common, but you'll need a £50 adapter, plus a £40 Thunderbolt 2 cable and it only works if the drive has its own power supply.

I can't see it being better value than using an internal drive, even if you're paying someone else to install it.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2020, 12:50:59 pm »
I can't see it being better value than using an internal drive, even if you're paying someone else to install it.

Yes, that's pretty much the conclusion I've come to.

Alternatively, is there such a thing as an enclosure for internal drives that can connect SATA to Thunderbolt? Hmmm... need to do some more googling...

ETA: apparently not - or at least, not one that is cheaper than getting an internal upgrade. Although I did find a nice suggestion on reddit - get a Lacie Rugged Thunderbolt HDD, rip out the spinner and replace it with an SSD.

Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2020, 01:21:32 pm »
Thunderbolt is a wrapper around PCI Express, and most modern SSDs are PCI Express (known as "NVMe") rather than SATA (which is slower), so you're adding an extra step.

Such things exist but they're not cheap:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WAVLINK-UTE02-Thunderbolt3-NVMe-M-2-SSD-External-Enclosure-M-Key-PCIe-2242-22/133411802008

And you run into the powering it problem, since the TB2 adapter does not provide power.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2020, 01:36:54 pm »
Yeah, it's basically the world's way of telling me to fork out for a whole new computer, isn't it?

Would an external SSD connected to USB 2 actually be fast enough for my needs? I mean, I know it's a lot slower than USB 3 or Thunderbolt, but the numbers themselves don't mean an awful lot to me, and maybe I'm overthinking it...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2020, 02:05:07 pm »
If you need a hand.

I have taken a few imacs apart, and one even had its video card heat cycled.

SSD are they way forward to speed any machine up IMO. if using modern OS.

Also clean out the fluff and think about replacing the heatsink compound as it seems to dry, and cooler is better.  But that could be in the users head.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2020, 04:42:55 pm »
SSD are they way forward to speed any machine up IMO. if using modern OS.

Just discussing this with my wife. She says she told me this ages ago, and this is proof I never listen to her. Oops!  :-[

Also, turns out I am a massive div - my iMac does in fact have USB 3, not USB 2 (albeit with the old USB-A style sockets, which is the reason for my misapprehension). So an external USB SSD should be just fine for my needs after all.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2020, 04:57:37 pm »
USB 3 has those sockets, non-Apple ones have blue insert, for some reason Apple didn't go for that. USB-C is the new shaped one.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2020, 10:00:39 pm »
USB-C is the new shaped one.

That’s the bit i didn’t get - I thought USB 3 and USB-C were pretty much the same thing... doh!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2020, 12:31:29 am »
There are USB-3 specific versions of the B and micro B connectors.  The A socket is the same as previous incarnations, but a super-intelligent shade of blue.

C is the sensible one that's always the right way up.

Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2020, 03:37:53 am »
I had - still have, in the garage loft - a 2011 27" iMac. Wonderful device. I upgraded the RAM to 8GB, and changed the hybrid HDD to a SSD, and even with its (4th gen?) i7 it was doing pretty well. But then the GPU died, and the cost of replacing it (upgrading was not an available option) was just crazy, so I built a PC at half the cost of that GPU - and two or three times the performance.

Looks cost.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2020, 05:48:25 am »
I have a 2008 iMac, 27”, which is a thing of beauty.

I downgraded its OS back to the original as updates over 10 years had slowed it down. But I ended up only using it for Adobe Design Collection CS5.5 which doesn’t run on my MacBook Air, and that rarely. Most of the time my iMac is functioning as a monitor for my MacBook Air and it does this brilliantly.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2020, 11:15:04 am »
Last year, we finally got rid of my late mother-in-law's iMac G3, which had been purely decorative for a long time.

Probably should have kept it - I bet there would be a market for gutting the shell and filling it with modern tech, like those cassette-shaped USB storage devices.

Remember the outcry when they first came out over the fact that they weren't fitted with floppy drives? Also for dropping Apple Bus for this strange newfangled USB standard!

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2020, 09:25:08 am »
I have a G4 tower that I took home from my first redundancy (a coming of modern age, I guess). I might have not specifically asked about this (they were closing the office), it sort of joined the rest of my stuff in the back of my scenic taxi ride home. I always figure that if you're leaving a business, you may as well surf out the door on a big wave of expenses. I will, however, quibble, dear taxi driver, whether Rotherhithe and Peckham count as scenic though bonus points for running up a £150 bill getting to zone 2.

Anyway, it sits in the summer house. It weighs a ton, the heatsink in that beast is almighty and yet it still sounds like an idling 747. Lovely machine though. I just like opening the sides for no good reason other than look! innards! I'm not allowed to bring it back to the house for some obscure reason. Somewhere, quite possibly my parents' loft, I have a Mac Plus (hmm, might be an SE). If they've not thrown it out, my dad is far too fat to clamber up there now.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2020, 10:18:45 am »
My iMac was a redundancy acquisition. Got to be done.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2020, 11:07:09 am »
I had to fire it up a few years back to, of all things, send a fax. Only computer that has a modem (actually, I'm sure I have an ancient Windows laptop in a drawer somewhere, though don't ask me the precise somewhere, I never throw computers away). Lugging it down the garden steps was a workout. Lugging it back up there was more of a workout.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2020, 11:21:02 am »
I casually mentioned to Miss von Brandenburg while fitting an anbaric motor to a Perfectly Good Gentleman's Mountain Bicycle she had acquired that I should, during the following week, be visiting the tip.  "Oh goody," quoth she, "then you won't mind taking THESE!" before filling the boot of my motor-car with surplus-to-requirements Babbage-tat.  Including the late Mr Sunshine's late G4.  Miss von B is clearly stronger than she looks, as I think it had an anvil inside it.  Though I think the PS/2 Model 60 I stole acquired in the early 90s may have been heavier, due to the entire case being made of Chobham armour.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2020, 12:12:37 pm »
I had - still have, in the garage loft - a 2011 27" iMac. Wonderful device. I upgraded the RAM to 8GB, and changed the hybrid HDD to a SSD, and even with its (4th gen?) i7 it was doing pretty well. But then the GPU died, and the cost of replacing it (upgrading was not an available option) was just crazy, so I built a PC at half the cost of that GPU - and two or three times the performance.

Looks cost.

There are cheap ways of upgrading the gpu card.  Am just teaching myself how to do it upgrade the card ;)

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2020, 12:14:28 pm »
I casually mentioned to Miss von Brandenburg while fitting an anbaric motor to a Perfectly Good Gentleman's Mountain Bicycle she had acquired that I should, during the following week, be visiting the tip.  "Oh goody," quoth she, "then you won't mind taking THESE!" before filling the boot of my motor-car with surplus-to-requirements Babbage-tat.  Including the late Mr Sunshine's late G4.  Miss von B is clearly stronger than she looks, as I think it had an anvil inside it.  Though I think the PS/2 Model 60 I stole acquired in the early 90s may have been heavier, due to the entire case being made of Chobham armour.

Dibs the heat sinks.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2020, 12:19:38 pm »
I have a G4 tower that I took home from my first redundancy (a coming of modern age, I guess). I might have not specifically asked about this (they were closing the office), it sort of joined the rest of my stuff in the back of my scenic taxi ride home. I always figure that if you're leaving a business, you may as well surf out the door on a big wave of expenses. I will, however, quibble, dear taxi driver, whether Rotherhithe and Peckham count as scenic though bonus points for running up a £150 bill getting to zone 2.

Anyway, it sits in the summer house. It weighs a ton, the heatsink in that beast is almighty and yet it still sounds like an idling 747. Lovely machine though. I just like opening the sides for no good reason other than look! innards! I'm not allowed to bring it back to the house for some obscure reason. Somewhere, quite possibly my parents' loft, I have a Mac Plus (hmm, might be an SE). If they've not thrown it out, my dad is far too fat to clamber up there now.

Barakta's G4 that she was issued as a PSO (because disabled chemists need Macs, apparently) is sitting next to me.  It still works, but it's loud, inefficient, and unless you stick Linux on it (which seems like defeating the point), largely useless.  But it's a lovely piece of design.

The SE30 went to silicon heaven because we neglected to remove the battery, which leaked and ate its way through important bits of motherboard.  Important lesson there for collectors of vintage computing hardware.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #45 on: June 01, 2020, 01:11:51 pm »
I'm currently in the process of resurrecting a 2007 Dell Studio XPS 13 for a friend. The battery is toast (but I scored a new one for less than £20, which is rather good). It had an early version of Windows 10 on it, but I suspect that years of sitting still has scarred some sectors of the spinny HDD, and it wouldn't boot up, even in Safe Mode. However, it is accepting a reinstallation, so there's hope yet. I suspect replacing the HDD with an SSD would be a good move, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort. It is a pretty little laptop, though.

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2020, 01:52:22 pm »
I have a G4 tower that I took home from my first redundancy (a coming of modern age, I guess). I might have not specifically asked about this (they were closing the office), it sort of joined the rest of my stuff in the back of my scenic taxi ride home. I always figure that if you're leaving a business, you may as well surf out the door on a big wave of expenses. I will, however, quibble, dear taxi driver, whether Rotherhithe and Peckham count as scenic though bonus points for running up a £150 bill getting to zone 2.

Anyway, it sits in the summer house. It weighs a ton, the heatsink in that beast is almighty and yet it still sounds like an idling 747. Lovely machine though. I just like opening the sides for no good reason other than look! innards! I'm not allowed to bring it back to the house for some obscure reason. Somewhere, quite possibly my parents' loft, I have a Mac Plus (hmm, might be an SE). If they've not thrown it out, my dad is far too fat to clamber up there now.

Barakta's G4 that she was issued as a PSO (because disabled chemists need Macs, apparently) is sitting next to me.  It still works, but it's loud, inefficient, and unless you stick Linux on it (which seems like defeating the point), largely useless.  But it's a lovely piece of design.

The SE30 went to silicon heaven because we neglected to remove the battery, which leaked and ate its way through important bits of motherboard.  Important lesson there for collectors of vintage computing hardware.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #47 on: June 01, 2020, 04:05:23 pm »
Well on the way to a faster iMac - this just arrived in the post...


And this, folks, is what a terabyte of storage looks like in 2021. A whole fucking terabyte. Boggle.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #48 on: June 01, 2020, 05:41:17 pm »
Yoinks! Absolutely gobsmacked how much difference the SSD makes.  :o

I am just restarting my computer every five minutes for the fun of it now.  ;D

Really simple process to set it up as well. Took about 40 minutes to clone the whole drive using Carbon Copy Cloner, then just told System Preferences to use the new disk for startup. Job done.

Thanks for the advice, folks.  :thumbsup:

Might still upgrade the internal disk and memory some time in the future, but this will certainly do for now!

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: iMac performance upgrade
« Reply #49 on: June 01, 2020, 06:24:27 pm »
That's great!!
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.