1. Arthur Tassinello's Avatar
    I use MS Office a lot and have started to use xcode to build apps and I typically have several programs running at once and I'm tired of wheel of death and delays. I want to know if upgrading to an SSD drive will help or do I need to add more RAM or both. My iMac is a 21.5 late 2013 with an Intel quad core i5, 2.7GHz, 8 GB memory, L2 Cache (per core) 256 KB and L3 Cache of 4MB. Thank you.
    02-16-2018 08:35 PM
  2. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    I would add more RAM first and then see how it goes.
    Lee_Bo likes this.
    02-16-2018 09:44 PM
  3. Lee_Bo's Avatar
    I would add more RAM first and then see how it goes.
    Agreed. I think apple started using flash drives in late 2012 and I'm not familiar with the SSD upgrade from flash. I have a 2011 model that I did upgrade from optical to SSD and also from 4 gigs to 16 gigs ram and oh boy what a difference if made.
    Just_Me_D likes this.
    02-17-2018 11:04 AM
  4. dcoke22's Avatar
    Apple has some advice on how to use Activity Monitor on your Mac to understand if you would benefit from more RAM.

    Monitor RAM with Activity Monitor

    Xcode is a fairly resource intensive application. I would guess that you would benefit from more RAM, but Activity Monitor will help you understand. Your Mac will hold up to 16GB of RAM. https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/iMac/2012_21.5/DDR3L

    SSDs will in general make your machine noticeably snappier and more responsive. They're more expensive for an equivalent amount of space and they don't get as big as hard drives do. SSDs go to about 2TB in size (and cost more than $500 at that size typically). Hard drives go up to 12TB these days with 6TB drives being less than $200. So, how much storage do you need?

    Finally, while opening an iMac is more complicated than opening a normal PC or Mac Pro, it can be done. But, if you're going to do it, perhaps you'd prefer to only do it once? (OWC has install videos to show you what is involved.) Almost all the work required to open an iMac to change the RAM is the same as changing the hard drive. If it were me, I'd do both at the same time. I'd put in the maximum RAM my machine could hold and I put in the largest SSD I could afford. If I needed more storage, I'd connect some external drives to the Thunderbolt port on the iMac.

    One last note, generally speaking, Apple's 27" iMacs have a door on the back to allow users to upgrade the RAM in the machine easily. Apple's smaller iMacs do not have this door. As such, I always recommend the 27" model.
    03-08-2018 12:17 PM

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