Aging iMac -can I fix it up or is it time?

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Hey there. My main machine has been running slower & slower, with many more crashes these days. I'm pretty okay with understanding macs, but woefully uniformed when it comes to tuning/speeding/decluttering them, beyond the permissions repair and such. I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a course of action to get my mac back into the best state possible. Here are the specs:

Early 2008, 24 inch iMac.
3.06 Intel Duo Core
4 GB (Maxed out) 800mhz DDR2 SRRAM
Nvidia GeFORCE 8800, 512K RAM
1 TB storage.

Of course, I know that the fact that it's 6 years old is the most obvious thing. I guess I'm trying to figure out how much life is left. There have been no major problems and its mostly handled the trip from pre Snow Leopard days to Mavericks alright (besides the things mentioned above). I'm a little afraid to put Yosemite on it, give all the time I've spent watching the spinning beach ball already. Launching any app takes real time. I do a lot of music and video production on it and things are to the point that I take more time waiting than working. Is it just age and the specs (like 4GB memory, processor), or is there anything I can do to try to get some of the speed back. Thanks for any advice!
 

pigoo3

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Your Mac's Specs
2017 15" MBP, 16gig ram, 1TB SSD, OS 10.15
You're iMac can actually be upgraded to 6gig of ram (2gig + 4gig)…but the 4gig stick of ram that you need is sometimes more expensive than the extra 2gig of ram may be worth to some folks.

Two things to look into as far as performance:

1. Install and run the free maintenance app "Onyx".
2. Make sure your hard drive is not more than 80% full. More than approx. 80% & performance can start to suffer.

- Nick
 

bobtomay

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Your Mac's Specs
15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
Using Onyx as noted above is a good first step.

I agree in second place is a full drive. I'd say performance begins suffering at 35% free space - 15-20% free space is just that point where pretty much everyone that uses a computer notices the slow downs that can "only" be solved by freeing up more space on the drive.

Third, since you're doing audio/video production, almost certainly, your hard drive desperately needs to be defragged.

If you've been using that drive for 6 years, doing audio/video production and never defrag the drive, I would guess you'd be seeing your computer slow down with as much as 35%-60% (and maybe more) free space available on the drive because that free space by this time is spread out from one end of the drive to the other with no large contiguous blocks available. iDefrag imho is a great app for those that move enough data on/off their drives and need to keep their drive defragged. Not everyone does. iDefrag has a free version you can download and be able to see how the space is being used on your drive. I've been quite impressed with the improvement in boot time, application launch times, etc. that iDefrag can provide.

However, because the drive is 6 years old, I would also be concerned about the drive dying. A dying drive can cause the same symptoms you're describing. Not worried about running Onyx, but if your drive is beginning to run on it's last legs, I'd suggest you make sure you have a good backup "before" you defrag the drive.
 
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Your Mac's Specs
Silver M1 iMac 512/16/8/8 macOS 11.6
And six years is a pretty good run for such heavy use. Time to start putting aside for a lovely 27" Retina iMac.
 

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