Open heart surgery on my iMac

Last week the guys I work with helped me upgrade my iMac. It is a wonderful computer, 27” screen, fast processor and loads of RAM. It’s a great computer, but it was starting to get a little bit slow. Well, extremely slow actually. I had done in place upgrades of the operating system three times and that had slowed things down a bit. It was time to install a fresh copy of OS X. That would not however solve the problem completely. The problem was the hard drive. It was an older, standard hard drive, and it just wasn’t fast enough to keep up with the latest version of the OS X operating system. What was needed was a solid-state drive, otherwise known as an SSD. An SSD runs about 10 times faster than standard hard drive, and makes an incredible difference when you add one to a system.

It needed to be done
I knew it needed to be done, but there was a problem. You see, the inside of an iMac is not for the faint of heart. It’s all completely integrated, and Apple Computer doesn’t actually want to upgrade your computer from them, And They want you to buy new ones. Nonetheless, it is possible to do it if you have a little bit of know-how in are not afraid to get your hands dirty. It’s so happens, that the 27 inch iMac actually has a slot for Second hard drive. When I bought my iMac, getting an SSD hard drive for that slot would have cost about $1000, Something that I was just not willing to pay at the time. Now however, there’s no problem because the cost of the SSD hard drives has dropped dramatically. I ordered the new SSD, and a kit to help me install it. The technicians at work gave me a hand, and we cracked open the case and we added a solid-state drive. The whole operation took about one hour.

The end result, is like a brand-new computer. We are before it will take 15 minutes to boot up and get everything going, it now takes 30 seconds. All of the software that was sluggish and performing poorly, not working at all in some cases, it Is now working perfectly. It really is performing exactly the way it was when I first got the computer. Now my iMac is four years old. With the addition of this SSD it will last another three years. That’s a total seven year lifespan, which is a very respectable duration for any desktop computer.

Now I am able to process only photos in Adobe Lightroom 5, edit video in Final Cut Pro, and even dictate this blog post directly into the microphone instead of writing by hand. You see, the latest version of OS X, Yosemite, has terrific voice dictation tools. They didn’t work however with my sluggish Mac that had not yet been upgraded. But now it works fantastically and I’m very pleased with the result. In fact, before I had to use Dragon Dictate software which was quite expensive and well, quite frankly, a bit hit and miss on the accuracy side of things..

So how much did this upgrade cost? It was just under $100. A terrific investment considering that I have a extended the life of this computer for at least three years. By then, I will probably give the computer to my children who will continue to use it for a few more years. I think after seven years I can probably justify the purchase of a brand-new desktop for myself.