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A1418 | EMC 2889 | Late 2015 | 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 or 2.8 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5. Released October 13, 2015.

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Suggestion for upgrading iMac 21.5inch late 2015

Hi, I'm been thinking to upgrade my iMac.

What should I upgrade in order to get fast performance on video-editing and heavy design works?

Current spec is stated as below:

  • Processor: 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5
  • Memory: 8 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
  • Start up Disk: Macintosh HD
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000 1536 MB


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Sad to say your system is not upgradable! If you review the IFIXIT teardown here: iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2889 Teardown. Jump down to Step 9 where you can see the CPU & RAM are soldered to the logic board.

Your in a bit of a pickle here as this system is just not powerful enough to do any heavy vid or design tasks.

You’ll need to jump to a more powerful model that offers what you need. If you can do it go with the iMac 21.5" with Retina 4K Display if you prefer the smaller display. Most vid artist prefer a larger 27” display models. They offer direct access to the RAM and offer faster HDD’s.

Heres the IFIXIT tear downs for these models:

iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display Görseli


iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display Teardown



iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2889 Görseli


iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2889 Teardown



iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Görseli


iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display 2017 Teardown



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Buy an external Samsung Portable SSD. Use it as a usb startup bootable drive. I bought the T5 500GB drive for $127.00 from Amazon. I increased my system's disk speed from 82 MB/s write & 92 MB/s read, to 420 MB/s write & 460MB/s read.

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Assuming that you are using final cut pro or iMovie, Apple does a really good job of optimizing their software for each of their computers. I would suggest the mid-spec 21.5 inch 2018 iMac with the storage option set to fusion drive. I would recommend this because it has a quad-core i5 and 2gb gddr5 graphics memory so you will be able to edit videos pretty well without leaving you bankrupt. I would suggest you upgrade to a fusion drive because the standard hard drive is very slow for a new computer. The Fusion drive combines a hard drive and an ssd so you will have quick boot times but a lot of storage for your video projects. As for memory, you can leave it stock with 8gb, but 16gb will last you longer and is really a better deal.

If you are looking to upgrade your current iMac, then unfortunately you can't upgrade the graphics performance, ram, and CPU since those are part of the logic board.


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