Is it worth replacing HD on a 2012 Imac (27" screen)?

petra.liljestrand

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Nov 30, 2019
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Hi,
My HD is fried. I'm wondering if it is worth replacing it -- mainly bc it will not be able to upgrade the OS beyond Catalina. The computer has 32 g RAM, 3.4 GHz Intel Core I7 processor, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2048 MB Graphics card. And a 27" screen! It starts up frustratingly slow, but I understand that replacing the HD with a solid State one will speed it up. I'm not suffering running LR or PS - only Topaz Plug ins. So, would I be able to continue to run those programs on Catalina for a few years???

Your thoughts will be appreciated!
petra
 
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I'm not suffering running LR or PS - only Topaz Plug ins. So, would I be able to continue to run those programs on Catalina for a few years???
As long as you are sure you won’t want to upgrade your major applications beyond the versions you’re using for a few more years, an SSD should definitely speed up startup and general use. The nice thing is, SATA SSDs are affordable now, so it should not be a large investment.

The potential risk is that it’s a 10-year-old computer. I’ve paid for similar late upgrades, and a fair amount of the time, something else in the computer failed soon after. Sometimes it was the motherboard.

The other risk is that Catalina is no longer supported by Apple, so it no longer gets bug fixes or security updates.
 

Woodbutcher

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The internal drive on my iMac of that generation died and I just started using it with an external drive. I used it that way for over a year before I finally got a faster laptop to become my main machine. I'm an IT guy and used to do lots of hardware stuff, but I just looked at what a pain it was going to be to remove the screen to mess with the drive, I went with the simple solution. But an internal SSD would be faster for disk access.

The limiting factor on Topaz is probably the processor, not the drive though. Anyway, an external spinning drive is a cheap way to get some more life out of the machine. I'd start saving for something new though.
 

petra.liljestrand

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Nov 30, 2019
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As long as you are sure you won’t want to upgrade your major applications beyond the versions you’re using for a few more years, an SSD should definitely speed up startup and general use. The nice thing is, SATA SSDs are affordable now, so it should not be a large investment.

The potential risk is that it’s a 10-year-old computer. I’ve paid for similar late upgrades, and a fair amount of the time, something else in the computer failed soon after. Sometimes it was the motherboard.

The other risk is that Catalina is no longer supported by Apple, so it no longer gets bug fixes or security updates.
Thanks Conrad - very helpful!
Petra
 

petra.liljestrand

New Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
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The internal drive on my iMac of that generation died and I just started using it with an external drive. I used it that way for over a year before I finally got a faster laptop to become my main machine. I'm an IT guy and used to do lots of hardware stuff, but I just looked at what a pain it was going to be to remove the screen to mess with the drive, I went with the simple solution. But an internal SSD would be faster for disk access.

The limiting factor on Topaz is probably the processor, not the drive though. Anyway, an external spinning drive is a cheap way to get some more life out of the machine. I'd start saving for something new though.
Thanks Rusty - I appreciate your comments!
Petra
 

michaelp

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Aug 14, 2019
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The internal drive on my iMac of that generation died and I just started using it with an external drive. I used it that way for over a year before I finally got a faster laptop to become my main machine. I'm an IT guy and used to do lots of hardware stuff, but I just looked at what a pain it was going to be to remove the screen to mess with the drive, I went with the simple solution. But an internal SSD would be faster for disk access.

The limiting factor on Topaz is probably the processor, not the drive though. Anyway, an external spinning drive is a cheap way to get some more life out of the machine. I'd start saving for something new though.
FWIW I have done the same now for two 2017 iMacs that went slow because of HDD. Simply cloned HDD to an external SDD (USB-C 3.1) and boot off that. Both users say their iMacs have never been faster. On an older iMac, using SSD with USB-A 3.0 would probably be an improvement?
 
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