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I have a Mac desktop running OS X EL CAPITAN and Photoshop 2015CC. It is over 2 years old, and has 4GB of RAM. Its hard drive has 243.24GB free out of 999.35GB. The last time I shut down was last night. I have never run a cleanup program.

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OMG damien i was just searching crucial. A friend mentioned them to be very reliable. Now I have to see if they also offer SSD, I was also told to get rid of my HHD and go SSD.

 

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Hi Damien, I'm going to order the crucial 16GB kit from amazon for my mac, can you refer me to a reputable site that can show me how to install this myself? Thanks

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1. I'd run the Crucial Scanning tool to make sure you are buying the correct RAM type. All those little numbers mean something and it's better to get matching sticks. Just buying the cheapest option on Amazon may not be the best candidate  

2. What make model year is your iMac? Hopefully it's a 27". If it's a current 21.5" model, you can't upgrade it yourself. Only the 27" models. 

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Getting a 1TB SSD drive isn't going to do much. Except speed things up. The problem is not your 1TB drive, the problem is that it's almost full. You want to keep 75% free. So I'd free up a few hundred gigs first, before blowing money on a SSD Drive. 

Target 400GB free to start. Time to delete those 75 Raw images of your lunch from 3 years ago. Be ruthless in culling. 

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Also, replacing the HD with a SSD is going to require someone who is either certified, or knows what they are doing. Replacing the HD requires removing the display, and the Macs from 2012 to present use a special glue to keep things together. (No, you can't buy this glue.) It's a real PITA and honestly, I'd invest in a large Thunderbolt EHD than attempt to replace the internal HD. 

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14 hours ago, Brian said:

Getting a 1TB SSD drive isn't going to do much. Except speed things up. The problem is not your 1TB drive, the problem is that it's almost full. You want to keep 75% free. So I'd free up a few hundred gigs first, before blowing money on a SSD Drive. 

Target 400GB free to start. Time to delete those 75 Raw images of your lunch from 3 years ago. Be ruthless in culling. 

I keep all my photos on EHD, I'm comfused when you say to keep 75% free of what? Hard drive space or RAM?

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14 hours ago, Brian said:

Also, replacing the HD with a SSD is going to require someone who is either certified, or knows what they are doing. Replacing the HD requires removing the display, and the Macs from 2012 to present use a special glue to keep things together. (No, you can't buy this glue.) It's a real PITA and honestly, I'd invest in a large Thunderbolt EHD than attempt to replace the internal HD. 

You say you'd personally invest in a large thunderbolt EHD, is this a better option, to just add the 16GB of RAM and getting the large Thunderbolt EHD?

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14 hours ago, Brian said:

1. I'd run the Crucial Scanning tool to make sure you are buying the correct RAM type. All those little numbers mean something and it's better to get matching sticks. Just buying the cheapest option on Amazon may not be the best candidate  

2. What make model year is your iMac? Hopefully it's a 27". If it's a current 21.5" model, you can't upgrade it yourself. Only the 27" models. 

Oh i forgot to mention that I do have a 27" mid 2011 model.

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I wouldn't bother upgrading the internal HD on your iMac. SSD or otherwise, since it's from 2011. Yes, it will speed things up, but it's more of a hassle than anything. I would increase the RAM to 16GB. That will require a quantity of four 4GB DIMMs. Since you have 4GB now, that is a quantity of two 2GB DIMMs. You will need to remove those two existing modules and install TWO 8GB kits. Your machine takes 4GB sticks, not 8GBs So if you are buying a 16GB kit, chances are that's two 8GB DIMMs, which is NOT what you want.

I would purchase this External Thunderbolt Drive. It's cheaper than buying a 1TB SSD Drive, and will give you 4TB of storage. I would transfer all your data files over to it. Get the internal HD cleaned off. Once you hit more than 75% full on a HD when it comes to Macs, performance takes a huge hit. Combine that with 4GB (My God Woman, you need more RAM!!) and if your Mac Desktop has all sorts of files and folders, performance takes another hit.

Now for the RAM. Chances are you will need TWO OF THESE KITS, but I still want you to run the Crucial System Scanner before buying anything.

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The reason why I'm suggesting you purchase the 4GB sticks is that in 2011, Apple started changing things. Some systems would support 8GB sticks, others didn't. Some computers would only go up to 16GB Max, others would go up to 32GB. Apple never really made an official statement, but in my experience, if the iMac as a built-in DVD SuperDrive, I can almost guarantee you that your Mac goes up to 16GB and takes 4GB DIMMs in each socket. The 8GB DIMMs started in the 2012-era with iMacs that didn't have a DVD Drive built in. That said, there were models that took the 8GB sticks. The Crucial Scanning Tool will help determining this.

 

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Here is a video demonstrating the process.

You will want to REMOVE the existing RAM so that all the banks are empty. When you go to install the RAM, it only goes in one way, so if it doesn't fit, flip it over and try again. You will need a little "Umph" to insert the RAM fully in each slot. I had a friend try to do it and she said it wouldn't work. It turns out that she "Had to make her fingers hurt a little..." in order to get the RAM fully seated.

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One more thing, the screws on the access panel do not come off. They have little retainers, so when you unscrew each screw, it will stay on the access panel.

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