≡ Menu

Upgrading an iMac 4,1 with an SSD drive

Mac users tend to hang onto their Macs for a while, handed them down through the family or re-purpose them within the office.

At Upgradeable, we are no different. Our 2006 iMac, now lives in our upgrade centre. It has a simple function, browsing the internet, word processing, printing out receipts. It is running OS X Tiger, we have upgrade to the maximum of 2GB of RAM. However, after more RAM, the next most effective upgrade is an SSD drive.

How much improvement could an SSD have on a 7 year old Mac? (with a Intel Core Duo 1.83Ghz processor)

We were skeptical on how much difference it would make, however the results blew us away, and have really confirmed what we have been telling all our customers – upgrading to an SSD is like getting a new computer for the price of an upgrade.

We followed our guide on how to upgrade an iMac with an SSD. We did option 1, simple clone and replace.

Before we replaced the drive, we ran a few simple speed tests to get a comparison to measure the improvement.

The facts (and images) speak for themselves…


Old hard drive speed score (click image to enlarge)


New SSD speed score (click image to enlarge)

Overall the Xbench score saw a four fold increase in speed, from a ranking of 50 to over 200.

What’s more impressive is the uncached randow read write scores. This is really starting to simulate real world computing.
The random uncached write went from 1.67 mb per second to 90.91 MB per second!!
The random uncached read went from 0.24 mb per second to 14.84 MB per second!!

Statistics are one thing, but what was the real world usage like? People will be out there saying the whole Mac is a bottleneck, it can not make that much of an improvement.

Boot time is now 11 seconds.

We have comfortably installed Parallels with Windows XP and it runs fast and smooth.

It is now a pleasure to work on this computer. There are no lag in load times, software loads crisp and fast. It has a new lease on life, and everyone in the office wants to use it, especially when the customers come in, to show off how an SSD can speed up your old Mac.

Realistically, we can not install OS X Mavericks  and in many ways it is not the same as a new Mac. However, we all have old Macs lying around, with a simple SSD upgrade, they’ll become useful again.

We used a Crucial M500 120GB SSD which sells for $137. We also used a Adaptadrive bracket $49  and the USB to SATA cloning cable for $36. You can buy all that and the screwdriver kit for $110 in our cloning kit. For the performance improvement, it was worth more than the $247 cost.

Let us extend the life of your Mac. Read our simple guides, follow the SSD on our top menu, or call our upgrade team on 1800 289 726 and we can help step you through what you need and how you can do it.



About the author: James Hopkin is a part time Upgradeable CEO, and a full time skateboarder. His natural habitat is going fast down your local hills.

0 comments… add one