Pushing the 2013 iMac to its limits using 350$ budget!
From our previous article, we talked about upgrading the Apple MacBook using a 100$ budget. Since everyone doesn’t have a MacBook, we thought it would be good to do write something about the iMac computer. So in this article we are going to talk about the 27” iMac which was released in late 2013.
If you have an iMac and you are expecting some performance boost you have two ways to choose. The first one is buying a new iMac which costs more than 1000$. Obviously it is worth buying if you are looking for a 4K retina display and a configurable to 32GB memory. The second is replacing your outdated iMac parts without a sweat.
Originally, the 2013 iMac has a 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 processor, an 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory that can be upgraded to a max memory of 32GB and a 1TB hard disc drive. Now we are going to replace those three parts with latest and much more efficient parts.
These are the steps that you need to follow,
- Removing the display
- Replacing the parts
- Reattaching the display
It looks like four simple steps but trust me it isn’t.
1. Removing the display
The display of an Apple iMac is very thin and glued to the back panel. It is a very careful thing to remove it without scratching the screen. So, what you need is a prying tool and a something sharp and thin (like a very small knife or using a sharp plastic object). If you don’t have the suitable tools you can buy a specific tool kit which is specially made for this job from Amazon (it also includes adhesive tapes for reattaching the display).
First of all, slowly put the sharp object (or the tool) between the display and the back panel and drag around the display carefully and slowly. Start from a corner and return to that corner again (it means do it twice to make sure the adhesive is cut off properly). Now gently use the pry tool to lift up the display (start from the top and leave the bottom for a moment). When you are done prying it, use a hand to pull it for a little (don’t rip it off, be patience). Now you will be able to see two cables connecting the display to the motherboard, disconnect them from the motherboard. Now again, use the sharp object to remove any adhesive left in the bottom part of the display and carefully put the display aside. Now we are done with this step.
2. Replacing the parts
As I said before we are going to replace the outdated processor, RAM and the storage device with something new. What are they?
- Processor – i7 4771 @3.5Ghz
- RAM – 16GB
- Storage – 512GB SSD
The most difficult thing in this process is removing the motherboard (or logic board). It is a bit difficult process to explain but I’m going to make sure you don’t miss anything at all.
As you can see there are the hard disc, speakers and the board. You don’t have to remove the speakers and the disc drive. Disconnect the fan from the board, then use a suitable screwdriver and remove all the screws from the fan and pull it out. Now disconnect every connector that is attached to the board and remove all the screws. It is not easy as it sounds but you will figure it out.
If you are done removing the board it is time to replace the parts. Let’s go one by one.
I think it is better to replace the processor first (for no special reason). Okay, remove the heat sink and the old processor from the board. And then place the new i7 processor in the slot carefully and lock it as it was before. Since we are putting a brand new processor in the board we have to use some thermal paste onto the processor. Use a little amount of thermal paste (do not over use it) on the processor and replace the heat sink correctly. Now replacing the processor part is over.
Let’s go to the storage replacement.
There is a free slot for a NVMe SSD in the exact opposite place to the processor. You can’t directly connect the NVMe SSD to that slot. You must use an adapter specially made for those SSDs. Once you have that adapter connect it to the NVMe SSD and then connect the adapter to the slot in the motherboard (and you will have to find a screw to tightly fit the SSD). After doing all those things, you can proceed to the easiest step of this process, installing the RAM.
Unlock the RAM slot and take out the old RAMs out. Then place the new RAM set tightly and lock the slot again. That’s it!
Now we are done replacing all those parts. It is time to reattach the board!
Put the board back where it was, as it was and tighten the screws. Reattach the fan, connect it to the board and tighten the screws.
3. Reattaching the display
When we were removing the board we cut off all the adhesives around the display. So it is not going to stick again to that old adhesive strips. Hence we have to replace those strips too. First of all make sure all the old adhesive strips on the display and the back panel are removed. And then take the new set of adhesive strips and attach them to the exact places where the old ones were. Now connect those two wires again to the display and fit the display tightly to the back panel (just reverse the removing process).
Now we have finished all the hardware related works. But still you cannot get the maximum performance boost because the Mac OS still runs on the normal hard disc drive. So you will have to clean up the storage and reinstall the OS on the NVMe SSD, and then you will see the real difference in performance.
Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of replacing those parts!
Replacing the old 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 processor with a i7 4771 @3.5Ghz processor will give about a 25% performance boost. That means you can complete more tasks significantly faster than you did before. And we replaced 8GB RAM cards with a 32GB RAM cards, that’s a x4 better than before. When you have that much of Random Access Memory, the computer will be able to hold lots of tasks at one time and the latency will be considerably less than before for sure. And the storage, one of the most important things in the computer is now a NVMe SSD. It should be 3 or 4 times faster than the previous one. The advantage of the SSD is less boot time. You can boot up your iMac in matter of seconds (less than 10secs) and you can open any app installed in the SSD with a blink of an eye.
So we just told you how to upgrade your iMac computer for a small budget and keep in touch with BestCaseEver.com for more and more interesting and valuable articles.