Hello Lifehacker, I've always wanted an iMac so the other day I went and ordered one at my local Good Guys store, I picked it up this morning (1TB, 2.7GHz, 8GB RAM, 21.5" screen). I've read about set-up and optimising for first time best use, and just wanted to get your opinion on how I can tweak it to get the best performance? Thanks, iMac Daddy
Dear iMac Daddy,
Apple has a reputation — mostly earned — for not letting you tweak much of its product range, but that's largely only true on the iOS side of the fence. Mac OS' UNIX underpinnings mean that there's a wide range of tweaking options open to you to make your iMac work as you'd like it to.
A new clean install of Mac OS will nominally run in a slick fashion, so those of a lazier persuasion may want to simply leave it alone, but that doesn't mean you can't fiddle if you want to, especially if there are aspects of the operating system that don't operate the way you'd like them to. If you're simply interested in pure speed, you can make things a little faster by switching off some of Mac OS X's more flashy eye candy animations, using, say, Tinkertool or other Mac tweaking applications. We've covered a lot of different tweak options you may want to look at, from Mountain Tweaks to making it run as well as it can once you've had it for a while.
Also, without a shadow of a doubt, if you've just purchased a new iMac, go out and buy an external hard drive for Time Machine backup. It's boring and tedious, but the one thing it's quite hard to do with an iMac is change the hard drive when it fails, due to Apple's very sealed design.
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