iMac

Should I buy a Mac Mini?

Episode 1425

Christina from Irvine, CA
Apple iMac

Christina is thinking of buying a new Mac Mini, but she'll also need to get a monitor and keyboard. Should she do that rather than upgrade her iMac? Rich says Christina should just upgrade her iMac. It may cost her more, but she'll be better served by the larger screen size and the all-in-one design. For a few hundred dollars more, it's a better value.

How long can I still use my old iMac?

Episode 1408

Paul from Long Beach, CA
Apple iMacs

Paul is vision impaired and has an eight year old iMac. How can he update it? Leo says that as long as he can update it to the latest OS, he'll be OK, and it sounds like Paul's is updated. But sooner or later, the machine will be left behind. Should he buy a new one? Leo says these days, computers aren't that much faster from one model to another. The improvement in speed really comes with a solid state hard drive and faster memory, though.

What's a good Windows alternative to the 5K iMac?

Episode 1400

Rob from Vacaville, CA
Microsoft Surface Studio

Rob wants to replace his 5K iMac with a Windows desktop. He loves the hardware, but he's just not a fan of macOS. Leo says that if he wants flexibility with his hardware, then Windows is a far better option. Leo says that he doesn't have to get rid of the iMac if he likes that hardware, he can just run Windows on it through Boot Camp. He'll just need to buy a copy of Windows 10.

How much RAM can I put in a new iMac?

Episode 1397

Steve from Oregon
Apple iMacs

Steve has a 2009 iMac and he's been waiting to upgrade. Now he's ready to get a 27" model, but it says he can only upgrade RAM to 32GB with the midrange models. Steve has read that he can go up to 64GB and it will work. Jason says that the midrange can go up to 64GB, but the lower end is only up to 32GB from Apple. Third party RAMs chips are available, but Apple would rather he spend $200 more to get the next level iMac. He advises buying the iMac with the least amount of RAM available and then upgrade the RAM from a third party. OWC and Crucial are good places to get them.

Should I get a Mac with a Fusion drive?

Episode 1381

Edward from Hollywood, CA
Apple iMacs

Edward is thinking about buying a 27" iMac with a fusion drive because he hears it's faster. Leo says it is, but only faster than a spinning drive. It's not faster than a solid state drive. It made a lot of sense a few years ago, but now it really doesn't because SSDs have gone down in price.

If Edward needs a large drive, it's OK, but Fusion is only slightly faster than a spinning drive. It's better to get an SSD and then add an external drive via Thunderbolt. Leo doesn't care for Fusion technology. It really doesn't give the benefits they want people to think it does.

What's a good computer for making home videos?

Episode 1372

Alex from Los Angeles, CA
Apple iMac

Alex would like to make a video of his daughter growing up using video and pictures. He was thinking about getting a Mac for it. Leo says Macs have a great video editing program called iMovie that comes with all models for free. Leo expects new desktops to come within the next month or so, but even if he didn't wait, he wouldn't be losing out on performance. Apple's iMac would be ideal, but it would cost him more. He could save some money and get a 21", but Leo recommends spending more and getting the 27" iMac. The larger screen really helps.

How can I make my Mac run faster?

Episode 1364

Jeff from Pasadena, CA
Apple iMac

Jeff would like to know how to speed up his Mac. Leo says to try starting up the Mac in Safe Mode and then go into the System Preference pane to see what's starting up in the background. Jeff can also try zapping the PRAM (Command + Option + P + R). That can make it run faster. He should also browse his System Extensions folder.

Jeff should log into his unused Administrator account and see if it runs faster. If it does, then he'll know something is running in his account that's slowing it down.