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Anyone updated HDD for SSD in an iMac?

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by PeteRob, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi, I'm wondering about swapping my HDD for a SSD and upping the memory in my iMac from 8 to 16 GB. It gets a bit stuck sometimes in Lightroom and I think it gets low on memory and starts swapping to disk. It happens if I step through a folder of 5Ds images too quickly. I'd guess each image needs >200 MB memory space and that LR caches recent images for speed. The HDD is 75% full so I either need to make it bigger or move the photos to an external drive. In Apple eyes a 2012 21.5" iMac is obsolete and hence unsupported but a local independent is more positive about it.

    I have a 1TB HDD. A 2TB SSD would be enough (last 13 years of photos is ~600 GB) and I don't really need all of them "live" but I read somewhere that a bigger disk (3 or 4 TB) would have a longer life because the load balancing would reduce the write density of the various garbage that is written.

    As the computer is 8 years old it isn't worth spending a fortune on but the quoted price of the upgrade is lower than I expected and a lot less than a new iMac similarly specced.
     
  2. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

     
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Thanks Geoff. Much googling later. It seems to relate to use of a custom Apple ‘blade SSD’ rather than conventional SSDs. The shop says they clone the HDD onto the SSD, plug it in and off you go. The problem with iMacs is that the case is sealed so, like ipads, the screen has to come off and be stuck back on again.
     
  4. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    I did this on a pc and impact of the SSD was very noticeable. The RAM less so.

    I still keep all my photos on a HDD as I don’t see the point of using a SSD for this purpose.

    I am also having a few issues with the latest version of LR classic. Still trying to figure out if it is LR or the Topaz plug in.
     
  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Actually, all you need is a caddy for the original HDD and you can do the swap very easily. I upgraded HDD and RAM on a friends MacBook Pro a few months back without problems, we did leave it copying from the old disc overnight.
     
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I could keep my “live” photos on an external drive. I’ll soon have to anyway because the internal drive is 75% full.

    The only issue I’ve had with the latest version of LR classic is that it shut itself down when I was trying to take a crop of a 100% view of a 5Ds image. That was most odd.

    I was a bit surprised that such an old computer ran the “enhanced details” option in LR, which Imtested as part of tge RAF processing discussion. The feature is supposed to be disabled on low power systems.
     
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member


    Yes but I’m not going to be the one taking a heat gun to the imac to melt the adhesive that holds the front on!

    The quote I had only makes sense if labour is minimal. They unglue the case, clone and swap the disk, change the memory chips and glue it all together again. Easy if you’ve done it a hundred times.
     
  8. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Do they really make upgrading that difficult?
     
  9. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    You don't need to remove the screen to add RAM, at least you don't on mine which is a 2011 model.
     
  10. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Yes, they made it harder in 2012. In 2015 they started soldering the ram in so no memory upgrades at all.
     
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Yup, see above!
     
  12. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    One of the reasons do not like Macs.
     
  13. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    As one can rarely upgrade a laptop computer anyway it makes no real difference. I wouldn't go back to Windows.
     
  14. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I don’t regard buying it as a mistake. I think windows 10 has made PC’s more reliable than they were. I have no idea how user serviceable a windows all-in-one computer is. I like the small footprint of the imac and overall I prefer using it to my PC ( running Win 8.1)
     
  15. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    If I ever retire I may consider a Mac, but until then I will continue with my all in one pc and my desktop pc.
     
  16. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I moved away from Windows at Windows Vista, generally acknowledged to be pretty poor, when it told me that I didn't have authority to move some files. Something I considered pretty unacceptable as there were no other users. Windows 10 has improved PCs but it has some way to go in my opinion.

    While typing this I have also installed an update, no disruption to my work and no restart.

    Obviously if one is happy with Microsoft and Windows that is absolutely fine but Mac users tend not to want to return, I wonder why?
     
  17. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    I was not meaning to get into a PC v Mac debate. Our household has several Apple products but no longer any macs. What I don’t like is the control of Apple in making upgrades or using 3rd party products difficult or impossible and restricting you to using their expensive products. Soldering the ram is hardly user friendly.
     
  18. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I don't disagree where RAM is concerned but I can upgrade the SSD, I have the screwdriver, but the problem is finding a reliable brand of SSD. I wouldn't buy a Mac with less than 16GB of RAM so that isn't a problem normally, but I tend to buy used.
     

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