Is it time to upgrade Late 2009 27" iMac? - ehMac.ca
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Jun 24th, 2015, 01:16 PM   #1
Full Citizen
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 232
Is it time to upgrade Late 2009 27" iMac?

My trusty 27" iMac is starting to lag performance wise (beach balls, slow to open programs). I'm willing to put $300-$400 into some upgrades (SSD?), but don't know what kind of ROI I can expect performance-wise. Looking at newer gen iMacs but having a tough time justifying the investment in a new unit unless it brings significant performance improvements. Any suggestions on how to breathe new life into my 2009 machine?

Here's what I'm running as my daily work machine:
Late 2009 27" iMac
2.8 Ghz i7
12 GB Ram
1 TB HD (about 30% full)
OSX 10.8.5

Primary tasks include graphic design (Photoshop, InDesign Adobe CC apps) and some light video editing in iMovie etc.
__________________
*************************************
Mac mini 1.83 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
17" G4 iMac 800 Mhz
G4 Cube 500 Mhz
17" Cinema Display
40 GB Apple TV
Niagaramark is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old Jun 24th, 2015, 01:41 PM   #2
Honourable Citizen
 
CubaMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Zacatecas, México
Posts: 15,606
Send a message via AIM to CubaMark
If performance is degrading with the same apps that you've always used (no major upgrades), then you should be able to spruce it up a bit without doing anything drastic. Perhaps a re-install of OS 10.8.5 and/or reinstall of your apps. Or a cleaning out of caches, deleting preference (.plist) files and re-setting parameters... a good run of Onyx to clean things out.

Your iMac can also easily (with 12gb RAM) run Yosemite (10.10). For me at least - and user opinions vary widely - 10.10 was a massive improvement over 10.8 and 10.9. But I'm also using a newer laptop with an SSD for speed (and 8gb RAM).

It's also possible that your HD - now 6 years old - could use an upgrade to something newer / faster (if it's a 5400 rpm drive, go to a 7200rpm or an SSD). The SSD would be the fastest option, if you can swing the $$ for the equivalent amount of storage.

EveryMac.com has the following warning (and more details here) on problems with upgrading the internal HD (to a larger HD or an SSD), to do with the temperature sensor:
OWC also discovered that the "Late 2009" -- and subsequently introduced "Mid-2010" -- models use a "connector that seems to use the drive's internal sensors" rather than an external sensor like earlier 20-Inch and 24-Inch Aluminum iMac models.

This means that the most straightforward way to upgrade the hard drive is to "replace the drive with another model from the same manufacturer that [OWC or another third-party has] confirmed works properly with this thermal sensor cable". OWC provides a list of compatible drives. Readers have shared reports that taping an external temperature sensor to a hard drive or SSD that does not have an internal sensor will work in these models, but this method could be risky when data is important.
__________________
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Cuban Revolution as Socialist Human Development Brill Books (Amazon Paperback)
CubaMark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24th, 2015, 01:52 PM   #3
Honourable Citizen
 
CubaMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Zacatecas, México
Posts: 15,606
Send a message via AIM to CubaMark
Proprietary cable can put the brakes on upgrading Late ’09 iMacs. | Other World Computing Blog
UPDATE: No longer is swapping out brand for brand even necessary!

OWC has just released the Complete HDD Upgrade Kit with in-line OWC Digital Thermal Sensor for all Apple 2009-2010 iMac 21.5″ and 27″ Models.

You can now upgrade your iMac with any brand 3.5″ SATA hard drive. No software hacks necessary and it’s AHT diagnostic compatible.
CM: This runs about $40-$60 for the kit, plus the cost of whatever drive you wish to install

(OWC)
__________________
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Cuban Revolution as Socialist Human Development Brill Books (Amazon Paperback)
CubaMark is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old Jun 24th, 2015, 02:35 PM   #4
Honourable Citizen
 
pm-r's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brentwood Bay BC
Posts: 11,632
You've got a potentially faster 27" iMac than my mid-2011 2.7GHz i5 20GB RAM iMac (Mavericks 10.9) that shows very little speed loss, at least for my use.

From a suggestion a member supplied some time ago, and my apologies for not recalling their name, their method has worked for several Macs I've used it on.

Bacisally, clone you existing volume to a backup drive, and CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) is strongly suggested, boot from the clone, (that tests that everything works), then use Disk Utility to nuke and erase the old drive volume.

But also wipe the volume with a zero-out, or one pass secure erase. CRITICAL!!! Do not skip this step!!!

Then use CCC to clone back the clone to the clean boot volume and set it to be the Startup Disk, and boot from it and you're done.

But also use Disk Utility to do any possible repairs first and maybe run the basic default Onyx, but I find that's overkill.

I'll buy you a few beers if you iMac isn't sustantially faster after doing the above.

Plus, you'll have a good bootable backup if you keep using CCC.
pm-r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24th, 2015, 02:58 PM   #5
Honourable Citizen
 
bmovie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,084
I have the same machine, except mine is 3.0 GHz Core 2 Duo with 8GB of ram, running Yosemite, recently my HD crapped out on me and what I ended up doing was putting an SSD in place of the optical drive and upgrading the 1TB to a 2TB drive in the drive bay....I love the response i get from opening up apps and the reboot.
so I would recommend getting an SSD drive and use that to boot from.
Now I just have to get the same amount of ram as you.
__________________
When Hell is full, the dead will walk the earth.
bmovie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24th, 2015, 03:25 PM   #6
Full Citizen
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 232
Sounds like I should be able to get some more mileage out of this unit.
The HD was replaced in late 2012 by Apple under warranty (WD 7200RPM). Screen was also replaced in summer of 2012.

I've had problems running full 16 GB ram (kept crashing) so I've pulled out 4GB and things have run fine for a few years now.

SSD is looking like a good performance boost. I should probably check out CanadaRam or another Canadian supplier for pricing and recommendations.

With Adobe's newest CC suite now available, it looks like I need to upgrade my OS. Hope the upgrade doesn't result in a performance slump? I'm a few versions behind on my OS.
__________________
*************************************
Mac mini 1.83 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
17" G4 iMac 800 Mhz
G4 Cube 500 Mhz
17" Cinema Display
40 GB Apple TV
Niagaramark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24th, 2015, 03:28 PM   #7
Honourable Citizen
 
pm-r's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brentwood Bay BC
Posts: 11,632
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmovie View Post
I have the same machine, except mine is 3.0 GHz Core 2 Duo with 8GB of ram, running Yosemite,…
… … …
Now I just have to get the same amount of ram as you.

Hmmm…??? Not even close comparison between a C2D and i7 core iMac at close to the same speed. The i7 will be almost twice as fast, even if you stuff the C2D to its maximum RAM limit!!!
pm-r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24th, 2015, 05:12 PM   #8
Honourable Citizen
 
pm-r's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brentwood Bay BC
Posts: 11,632
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niagaramark View Post
Sounds like I should be able to get some more mileage out of this unit.
The HD was replaced in late 2012 by Apple under warranty (WD 7200RPM). Screen was also replaced in summer of 2012.

I've had problems running full 16 GB ram (kept crashing) so I've pulled out 4GB and things have run fine for a few years now.

SSD is looking like a good performance boost. I should probably check out CanadaRam or another Canadian supplier for pricing and recommendations.

With Adobe's newest CC suite now available, it looks like I need to upgrade my OS. Hope the upgrade doesn't result in a performance slump? I'm a few versions behind on my OS.

Your iMac would probably speed up a bit and would appreciate the 16 GB RAM if it could use it properly, and memory usually has a lifetime guarantee.

Have you tried using Rember to test it?
Rember | Kelley Computing
or contacted the seller.

Otherwise contact canadaram.com for RAM that usually just works.
pm-r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24th, 2015, 08:42 PM   #9
Honourable Citizen
 
bmovie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,084
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niagaramark View Post
Sounds like I should be able to get some more mileage out of this unit.
The HD was replaced in late 2012 by Apple under warranty (WD 7200RPM). Screen was also replaced in summer of 2012.

I've had problems running full 16 GB ram (kept crashing) so I've pulled out 4GB and things have run fine for a few years now.

SSD is looking like a good performance boost. I should probably check out CanadaRam or another Canadian supplier for pricing and recommendations.

With Adobe's newest CC suite now available, it looks like I need to upgrade my OS. Hope the upgrade doesn't result in a performance slump? I'm a few versions behind on my OS.
I have had no issues with performance running Adobe cc
I just need more ram
I know it's not an i7 but it's my work horse
An ssd is a great upgrade
Check out canada computers for the ram and ssd
__________________
When Hell is full, the dead will walk the earth.
bmovie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24th, 2015, 10:17 PM   #10
Honourable Citizen
 
CubaMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Zacatecas, México
Posts: 15,606
Send a message via AIM to CubaMark
I had intended, but forgot, to add the CanadaRam.com links for upgrades in SSD / HD. Always good to go with a Canadian supplier, and CanadaRam - besides being a longtime ehMac member & supporter - has always given me good service. They also keep OWC units in stock, if you'd rather get your thermal sensor kit from a Canadian source.
__________________
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Cuban Revolution as Socialist Human Development Brill Books (Amazon Paperback)
CubaMark is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wanted To Trade 2012 MBP Retina 256GB for late model 27" iMac jdurston Mac Portables 1 Nov 23rd, 2014 02:59 PM
27" iMac or 21.5" iMac? DavidH Anything Mac 15 Oct 26th, 2012 05:25 PM
updating RAM in iMac (late 2009) yendor4100 Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod Help & Troubleshooting 5 Dec 17th, 2011 05:33 PM
For Sale Late 2009 Apple MAC MINI Core 2 Duo 2.26MHz simon Mac Desktops 0 Jul 20th, 2011 11:13 PM
iMac G3 Upgrade Help K2ACP Anything Mac 84 Feb 12th, 2011 10:06 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:38 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © 1999 - 2012, ehMac.ca All rights reserved. ehMac is not affiliated with Apple Inc. Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, Apple TV are trademarks of Apple Inc. Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2

Tribe.ca: Urban living in Toronto!