1.83 GHz Core Duo or 1.83, 2, or 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo A1208 (EMC 2104/2110/2114/2124)

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How can I rejuvenate and update my Mac?

Model Name: iMac

Model Identifier: iMac5,1

Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo

Processor Speed: 2 GHz

Number of Processors: 1

Total Number of Cores: 2

L2 Cache: 4 MB

Memory: 2 GB

Bus Speed: 667 MHz

Boot ROM Version: IM51.0090.B09

SMC Version (system): 1.8f2

Serial Number (system): YD64506ZVUX

Hardware UUID: 00000000-0000-1000-8000-0017F2C4E50F

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Apple iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 17-Inch Specs

Identifiers: Late 2006 - MA590LL - iMac5,1 - A1208 - 2114

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I can't thank you enough for your expertise. Unfortunately I upgraded to Lion based on the advice from an apple "Genius". Now I can't run Photoshop :( That was a painful upgrade day.

Will upgrading the RAM actually improved speed and function? Or should I call it a day and buy a new machine. I miss my Photoshop and can't manage to get another copy.

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Do a clean install of your last OS that let you use your Photoshop. If you're told you can't drop back, or install an older OS there's information about how to do that ON MAC FORUMS (search the web) - this is not a software help site - policy is hardware, occasionally a bit of software advice. The BEST and most cost effective upgrade a DIY can manage is RAM upgrade. Maxing out RAM always pays off - unless your HD is full you need ~20% of your HD free at all times for VMEM and swap files. ( a 80 GB drive needs 16 free, a 350GB drive needs 70GB free and so on).

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When a machine can no longer accomplish the main reason for which you bought it , (obsolete software or hardware) then its time to get a new one.

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Ouch! - Sorry to say your between a rock and a hard place on this one. It sounds like your Photoshop is OX-9 early OS/x with Rosetta services (OS-9 emulation) so it's not OS-X compliant. At this point I would recommend making a full backup and reformat the HD with the earlier OS-X (Leopard or Snow Leopard) or OS-9 which ever you had before. If you really need to run Lion or Mountain Lion for some other software with an external disk you could set it up with your other OS and then use the Startup control panel to swap which disk to boot up from (keeping things isolated per the disk).

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Double the RAM, Upgrade your OS. This system can run versions of OS X up to 10.7 "Lion". Although it has a 64-bit processor, it has a 32-bit EFI and is not capable of booting into 64-bit mode. It does not support "OpenCL" either. Please BEWARE that OS X Lion is not capable of running Mac OS X apps originally written for the PowerPC processor as it does not support the "Rosetta" environment. So if you have some old Apps you like/need you may not want to upgrade the OS, or Only upgrade a version or two. 'This model cannot run versions of OS X newer than 10.7.x "Lion."' Run software updates

That's about it.

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I would also add upgrading the HD if it is on the small side and/or better than 2/3rds full. In addition I would defragment the HD at least one a year using something like Drive Genius which I personally prefer.

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After reading everyone's great replies (now mind you I am a "crib" teardown genius at best), I've read my Mac's description above and it states my memory at 2GB (RAM). So Ifixit sells 1GB (RAM). So I am assuming my Mac has 2 slots for a total of 2GB of RAM. So correct me if I am wrong, is my RAM maxed out? If not what is the most RAM this machine can actual use? Also the fan is starting to be a bit noisy. Should I open it up and clean it or just throw it in the pool and go shopping?

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Two 1GB chips from the same manufacturer works best. Some of these models were able to access 3GB (unmatched pair one 2GB one 3GB from same manufacturer but this doesn't appear to be reported as one of those models.

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Blowing out dust shouldn't be to daunting... if it's still able to accomplish what you want keep using it, but start making a list of what you'd like to accomplish with a new machine, do some comparison shopping.

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Adding a SSD really speeds up older computers...My 2006 IMAC runs just fine with a SSD, two gigs of ram...run xp profession with parallels. Office and CS Suite is also ran.

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