Model A1311 / Late 2009 / 3.06 or 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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All Around Upgrades for 3.06 Machine!

Hej guys,

i was wondering if anyone can answer some of my questions.

I am running a 2308 Imac with 3.06 E7600 CPU, only onboard graphics and 4 GB 1066Mhz RAM.

Currently the system is performing very (graphics wise) poor under OSX, Linux and Windows. Even streamed media like vimeo isn´t running smoothly in full HD and it´s not a software thing, i tried very much everything.

Recently i started working with Siemens NX 8.5, a powerfull engineering CAD software and i am very much desperate.

So i tried to find out what upgrades i can do max:

A q9550 Quadcore should fit socket wise, bring FSB up to 1333 but is rated at 95Watts instead of 65W like the original. Is it worth a try or nonsense?

A E8400 was an apple option, would bring FSB up to 1333, i would change RAM accordingly to have at least 8 Gb if not 16 Gb depending on price. Is it worth the faster FSB or not worth the money?

My third option would be to stay with the 3.06 1066 Mhz and add another 2x2 Gb of RAM, so the cheapest option.

Still another biggie is the absence of a graphics card. Can i install one to the empty slot and it´ll override the 9400M? Which is the strongest card that was available as an option and is likely to work with either of the RAM CPU combinations above? I guess the 1333 Mhz E8400 version can take different cards than my orignial setup...

I hope someone can shed some light into this, i really can´t afford an all new computer

thank you in advance,


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From your description I don't think you have a CPU bottleneck issue here. I would focus on the HD and RAM side of things.

  • HD: Have you defrag'ed your HD and cleaned out the old stuff? You should try to have 1/2 ~ 1/3 of the drive free (1/3 for larger drives - 1TB). A fragged drive can be a real drag on performance.
  • RAM: While 4 GB is not bad 8 would be better for Mountain Lion and likely Mavericks. It also makes a difference if you are using VM to run Windows and/or Linux (if you do use them concurrently a lot think about going to 16GB). You will need to update the EFI firmware.
  • Apps & OS's: Running a lot of concurrent Apps or VM's requires a lot of paging. I would strongly recommend cutting down as much as possible and you may want to look into getting a newer 1TB or 2TB hybrid HD (SSD/HD). So you have more space and faster loading OS & Apps. You still have a SATA I/O limit here as your system is only SATA II (3 Gb/s). But even still a hybrid will offer much better response.

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Thanks for your answer but:

HD: I am running a new system right now.

RAM: More is always better, but I´ve been running 10.6 Snow Leopard all the time and it´s the most stable and best looking OS. Currently i have no bootcamp partition with windows or Linux installed. Since there´s mostly plenty left as Snow Leopard is consuming less RAM, this can´t be the reason for seriously poor graphic performance.

Apps: I´m thinking about a SSD in my optical bay but this is something i won´t consider until my graphics problem is solved.


it´s still about hardware updates!


So you reformated the HD and installed a fresh copy of OS on already? Just copying the OS on the drive alone doesn't defragment the HD formatting or using a defrag program like Drive Genius will do that. Given the age of your system I would strongly recommend doing either method.


At to RAM if you are planning on staying with Snow Leopard thats fine but it's not able to leverage your CPU as well as the newer 64bit OS's. As you are using Windows & Linux as well here both are better served with more memory (more so than OS-X). I would still upgrade it here to 8GB.


As to SSD you'll need to upgrade your OS to Lion at least as you do want TRIM support so your SSD is no worn-out prematurely. As you only have one SATA port in your system I do think a hybrid drive would be better than a SSD only option. You could swap out your optical drive for a HD/SSD carrier. But the I/O of the optical drive port is PATA which is very slow (the carrier converts the connection to SATA for the HD or SSD).


Re-read what I stated under APPS you missed the point. Your system is still quite good for todays apps but you can still over do it. Running things concurrently and under a virtual machine {VM} (running Windows & Linux) requires more RAM & HD space just to run, let alone the storage needs for all of your stuff. One point I did forget was 32bit OS's & Apps use more cycles than 64bit OS's & Apps.


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