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Old Jun 28, 2012, 10:27 AM   #1
peglegjack
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Best SSD for Mid 2007 iMac

So I have a Mid 2007 iMac C2D 2.4 Ghz w/ 6G of Ram, and I was thinking of doing really the last thing I can do to it (besides Mountain Lion) which is install a SSD. I figured with what I do I can drag the system out for at least another couple years if not longer if I do this seeing as I have a 1 TB Firewire 800 drive for media anyway.

For myself, I just really want the fastest and best drive that my Mac can take at the best price. I also know that you have to factor in the bracket and the tools to remove the screen (which I'm not pumped up about doing but will since it's so old at this point anyway). I was looking at this drive:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820226152

but read to where it wouldn't recognize SATA II speeds on some Macs.

My question is has anyone recently put an SSD in this model iMac? How well does it work?
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Old Jun 29, 2012, 11:42 AM   #2
rich121
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I just finished installing an ssd in the same iMac, it went well, not that bad of a job. I must say it is much snappier, applications open instantly and boot time is about 25 seconds from pressing the button to desktop. I used a similar ssd


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005CGFU4I/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00
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Old Jun 29, 2012, 12:34 PM   #3
peglegjack
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Originally Posted by rich121 View Post
I just finished installing an ssd in the same iMac, it went well, not that bad of a job. I must say it is much snappier, applications open instantly and boot time is about 25 seconds from pressing the button to desktop. I used a similar ssd


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005CGFU4I/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

Thanks for the reply. Yeah I think those are basically the same drive except yours is SATA III (which is backwards compatable).

Would you happen to know if you can get SATA II speeds out of that drive? If so, I may go ahead and get it since it already comes with the desktop bracket.
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Old Jun 29, 2012, 01:31 PM   #4
rich121
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Yes, system profile reports 3Gb/s speed for the drive so SATA II seems to be working. I have not tested actual speeds though, will do that when I get home.
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 07:33 AM   #5
peglegjack
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Originally Posted by rich121 View Post
Yes, system profile reports 3Gb/s speed for the drive so SATA II seems to be working. I have not tested actual speeds though, will do that when I get home.
Did you ever get to test those speeds?
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Old Jul 3, 2012, 08:43 AM   #6
peglegjack
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Oh well, I ended up getting this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227706

Taking a leap of faith, but we'll see.
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Old Jul 3, 2012, 09:06 PM   #7
rich121
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Sorry it took so long to post , speeds I am getting using black magic on this drive are 170MB/s up 180MB/s dl. Not quite as fast as I had hoped via sata II but it is still a huge performance boost from the original HD. I am happy with the upgrade. I would be interested to know how you make out with the OCZ.
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Old Jul 14, 2012, 10:41 AM   #8
peglegjack
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Well I have everything I need but I haven't done it quite yet.

I heard that the more you write onto a SSD, the more it slows down. And I don't want to install an SSD with Lion only to turn around and install Mountain Lion a couple weeks later, potentially slowing down the hard drive.

Is there any way to completely restore a OCZ Vertex 3 to factory settings so that I can go ahead and install the SSD without worry of degradation when I purchase Mountain Lion?

Or is this possible to do for any SSD?

Last edited by peglegjack; Jul 14, 2012 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 02:52 AM   #9
peglegjack
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Originally Posted by rich121 View Post
Sorry it took so long to post , speeds I am getting using black magic on this drive are 170MB/s up 180MB/s dl. Not quite as fast as I had hoped via sata II but it is still a huge performance boost from the original HD. I am happy with the upgrade. I would be interested to know how you make out with the OCZ.
OK, so I spent half the night putting this thing in.

I dropped one of the screws that held in the data display connector into the logic board (the other one is screwed in) and I broke the microphone (which I don't really need) cable because there was no way to disconnect it, but the firmware was already updated (big plus) w/ a fresh install of Lion. My speeds are:

Read speeds: 265 MB/S
Write Speeds: 164 MB/S

So yeah, it's definitely quick and the boot up time is also around that 25 second mark. I'm just pissed right now about the microphone because on the ifixit guide the way they said to do it didn't exist. It was just there and I had to keep flipping the bezel around to get to other things which was pretty tough.

All in all though, yeah it's flying.
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 05:07 AM   #10
AngryRedPlumber
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Hi,

I stumbled upon this thread and since I am trying to do an almost identical upgrade, I thought I would jump in and ask a few questions. That being said, I believe this post confirmed the aforementioned OCZ SSD as my drive of choice. So, thank you.

I have a mid-2007 20" iMac and I believe the stock hard drive is starting to fail. I figured I would go all out and replace it with an SSD if it isn't too much trouble to do so. While I have found a few helpful walkthroughs on how to replace an iMac hard drive, I did have a few questions I was hoping to have some light shed on:

Tools aside, will I need anything else for this upgrade other than the SSD and a 3.5" mounting bracket? I have seen conflicting information on whether or not I might need a longer SATA cable for this conversion.

Secondly, do I need to format or otherwise prepare the hard drive before it is installed? Or, will the iMac simply recognize the drive and allow me to pop in the OSX discs that came with it?

Lastly, are there any recommendations on a 3.5" bracket that will fit and mount without too much fenangling?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 09:29 AM   #11
peglegjack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryRedPlumber View Post
Hi,

I stumbled upon this thread and since I am trying to do an almost identical upgrade, I thought I would jump in and ask a few questions. That being said, I believe this post confirmed the aforementioned OCZ SSD as my drive of choice. So, thank you.

I have a mid-2007 20" iMac and I believe the stock hard drive is starting to fail. I figured I would go all out and replace it with an SSD if it isn't too much trouble to do so. While I have found a few helpful walkthroughs on how to replace an iMac hard drive, I did have a few questions I was hoping to have some light shed on:

Tools aside, will I need anything else for this upgrade other than the SSD and a 3.5" mounting bracket? I have seen conflicting information on whether or not I might need a longer SATA cable for this conversion.

Secondly, do I need to format or otherwise prepare the hard drive before it is installed? Or, will the iMac simply recognize the drive and allow me to pop in the OSX discs that came with it?

Lastly, are there any recommendations on a 3.5" bracket that will fit and mount without too much fenangling?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Tools? I used this website for the repair:

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac-Int...acement/1008/1

I used all of that stuff except for the spudger; that seemed kinda pointless. The suction cups are a little pricy but they work like a charm. But yeah the torx and #1 screwdrivers are essential.

I used this thread to help me download a utility that you'll want to have:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1395431

You can do secure erases, firmware updates (mine was already updated as delivered) and other things with it, though it does have to boot from a CD-R. I think you can actually just install the OS as is, though it's been awhile. Once I got the hang of it, it wasn't hard at all. I actually did a secure erase when Mountain Lion came out so I could do a clean install without degrading the SSD.

As for a 3.5" adapter, the one that came with the ocz is way too small and doesn't come close to fitting. I used it anyway and have it held steady by scotch tape! Hopefully it'll be alright since I'm not moving it anyway. BTW, I ended up opening my iMac back up to remove that loose screw by shaking it around and removing it with some tweezers. I wouldn't recommend doing this. This screw is from Step 8 on that guide, by far the hardest part. You just have to be super, super careful. Anyway, I think this one is supposed to fit the iMac perfectly, so I would look into it:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...OCK-_-17994083

I just don't have the desire to buy one and open up my iMac AGAIN, but if I did I'd probably get it.

So yeah, I'm farrrrr removed from all this stuff so I may not be as exact as I should be, but hopefully it's a start. Sorry I don't know how to do the multiple quotes thing.

One more thing, I think my boot speed has actually gone down to around 20 seconds. Don't know if that's Mountain Lion or something else.

Last edited by peglegjack; Sep 12, 2012 at 09:30 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 09:57 AM   #12
AngryRedPlumber
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Thanks so much for the quick response and the thorough explanations!

It looks like that mounting bracket is made for MacPros, but perhaps it would still be a better bet than any other mounting bracket.

Thanks again!
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 10:04 AM   #13
peglegjack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryRedPlumber View Post
Thanks so much for the quick response and the thorough explanations!

It looks like that mounting bracket is made for MacPros, but perhaps it would still be a better bet than any other mounting bracket.

Thanks again!


No problem.

I think with the SATA cable, I believe that's used when transferring info from your old hard drive. I had mine backed up from a Firewire disk so I didn't need it.

Again I'm not a computer whiz or anything so you may want a second opinion.

As far as the 3.5" drive, I just remember in some MacRumors thread a guy using it for his iMac. Looks like it would fit to me just from recalling the amount of space in the iMac.
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 11:18 AM   #14
AngryRedPlumber
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peglegjack View Post
As far as the 3.5" drive, I just remember in some MacRumors thread a guy using it for his iMac. Looks like it would fit to me just from recalling the amount of space in the iMac.
Cool, I will do a bit more hunting and then probably give that bracket a shot. As far as transferring data, I was just going to do a clean install on the SSD and transfer files over from my external HD. Or maybe I could use Time Machine to make that easier. Either way, I am not worried about getting my old stuff on the SSD.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 08:30 AM   #15
amm203
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Mid 2007 iMac with Fusion Drive

I just did this upgrade and wish I would have found this forum sooner. Regardless, I managed to get a Fusion Drive running with a EMC 2133 20" iMac (Mid-2007) with ML. It is not that bad at all price-wise and I feel was worth every penny of the upgrade given the performance results. My configuration involves the following:

1 - SSD (Crucial M4 - 256GB) - This can be found relatively cheap at Amazon.

2 - HDD (WD Scorpio Black 750GB) - Same place as above.

3 - I wanted the SSD as my main disk (disk0). Therefore, this piece is a perfect fit for mounting a 2.5" in the 3.5" HDD bay of the 2007 iMac - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o04_s00_i00

4 - Next, the optical drive adapter - this allows your PATA optical drive to be converted into a 2.5" SATA HD/SSD adapter and was found here - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o05_s00_i00
It was not the most perfect fit but it works and it beat the 60$ some other website is asking for.

5. Finally these websites served as perfect guides that got me up and running with a brand new Fusion Drive OS in no time:

A: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installi...d+Drive/8951/1 - This is for installing the second drive in the optical bay (where I put the 750GB WD SB)

B: http://www.macworld.com/article/1167...all_drive.html - This is how I managed to get 10.8.2 bootable onto a USB drive (now that there's no optical drive.)
NOTE: 10.8.2 is required to get Fusion Drive enabled.

C: http://www.macworld.com/article/2014...ion-drive.html - This will be the final step before you install the OS - it guides you through creating the Fusion Drive - which worked flawlessly.

TRIM isn't necessary for the M4 SSD (it has its own garbage collection) but it also doesn't hurt to enable it. Unfortunately Apple doesn't outright support it on 3rd party SSD's so every major OS X upgrade will require a new fix. However, for 10.8.2 the TRIM enabler commands can be found here:

https://gist.github.com/clarencesong/3768688

I get the same 25 sec boot time and now waking from sleep is under 1-2 seconds! The great thing about Fusion is you get the SSD speed with the 1TB total storage - the OS handles all the transferring of data between drives in the background.

For around 300$ total this is a good deal considering my almost 6 year old iMac is still relevant and will be for at least another 4 years.

Last edited by amm203; Feb 12, 2013 at 09:13 AM.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 10:57 AM   #16
icemantx
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How is your performance of iPhoto with Fusion?

I have an early 2009 iMac that I upgraded this week to Fusion (WD Caviar Black 2TB + Crucial M4 256GB SSD in Optical Bay). One thing I have noticed that is somewhat puzzling is that iPhoto simply does not launch and quit as fast as it should. Often times I get the app to come up in one or two bounces then watch the spinning circle before the library is displayed. Same thing on shut down - does not instantly close but can take anywhere from 10-30 seconds.

This is with fusion enabled. My iPhoto library is about 190GB and has 44k photos. The most frustrating part is really the shut down which is instant on my wife's old 2007 Black MacBook with a 5400 RPM HDD that has 22k photos! That shuts down instantly.

Any ideas?

Jeff
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:25 AM   #17
amm203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icemantx View Post
I have an early 2009 iMac that I upgraded this week to Fusion (WD Caviar Black 2TB + Crucial M4 256GB SSD in Optical Bay). One thing I have noticed that is somewhat puzzling is that iPhoto simply does not launch and quit as fast as it should. Often times I get the app to come up in one or two bounces then watch the spinning circle before the library is displayed. Same thing on shut down - does not instantly close but can take anywhere from 10-30 seconds.

This is with fusion enabled. My iPhoto library is about 190GB and has 44k photos. The most frustrating part is really the shut down which is instant on my wife's old 2007 Black MacBook with a 5400 RPM HDD that has 22k photos! That shuts down instantly.

Any ideas?

Jeff
I'm not entirely sure how Fusion works but it could be splitting the storage of your iPhoto library between the SSD and HDD and then when you want to open iPhoto it could be trying to read two drives at once. If this is the case there may be a software fix in the works from Apple? Also - make sure you enable TRIM! It also doesn't hurt to make sure your SSD's firmware is up to date. I have the same SSD you have and 040H is the latest firmware revision. (you can see this in the system report through "About this Mac")

In general, it seems like the size of your library has something to do with it (190/256GB) I'm sure Fusion is moving some if not all of the library to the HDD.

Last edited by amm203; Feb 12, 2013 at 11:32 AM.
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 08:13 AM   #18
ivar89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amm203 View Post
I just did this upgrade and wish I would have found this forum sooner. Regardless, I managed to get a Fusion Drive running with a EMC 2133 20" iMac (Mid-2007) with ML. It is not that bad at all price-wise and I feel was worth every penny of the upgrade given the performance results. My configuration involves the following:

1 - SSD (Crucial M4 - 256GB) - This can be found relatively cheap at Amazon.

2 - HDD (WD Scorpio Black 750GB) - Same place as above.

3 - I wanted the SSD as my main disk (disk0). Therefore, this piece is a perfect fit for mounting a 2.5" in the 3.5" HDD bay of the 2007 iMac - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o04_s00_i00

4 - Next, the optical drive adapter - this allows your PATA optical drive to be converted into a 2.5" SATA HD/SSD adapter and was found here - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o05_s00_i00
It was not the most perfect fit but it works and it beat the 60$ some other website is asking for.

5. Finally these websites served as perfect guides that got me up and running with a brand new Fusion Drive OS in no time:

A: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installi...d+Drive/8951/1 - This is for installing the second drive in the optical bay (where I put the 750GB WD SB)

B: http://www.macworld.com/article/1167...all_drive.html - This is how I managed to get 10.8.2 bootable onto a USB drive (now that there's no optical drive.)
NOTE: 10.8.2 is required to get Fusion Drive enabled.

C: http://www.macworld.com/article/2014...ion-drive.html - This will be the final step before you install the OS - it guides you through creating the Fusion Drive - which worked flawlessly.

TRIM isn't necessary for the M4 SSD (it has its own garbage collection) but it also doesn't hurt to enable it. Unfortunately Apple doesn't outright support it on 3rd party SSD's so every major OS X upgrade will require a new fix. However, for 10.8.2 the TRIM enabler commands can be found here:

https://gist.github.com/clarencesong/3768688

I get the same 25 sec boot time and now waking from sleep is under 1-2 seconds! The great thing about Fusion is you get the SSD speed with the 1TB total storage - the OS handles all the transferring of data between drives in the background.

For around 300$ total this is a good deal considering my almost 6 year old iMac is still relevant and will be for at least another 4 years.
Hi! great project. I'm planning on doing the same. Couple of questions, why would you use fusion drive, doesn't it slow down your mac because of all the extra processes? I was thinking of doing the file management myself, running the applications and OSX from the SSD and all the less used files from the ordinary HDD.
Why did you choose this SSD? do you know the maximum speed of the SATA and your SSD? do they match?
How about the drive you put in the dvd bay? how fast is it and how fast is the connection in that bay?
could you post some test results from, for example, Blackmagic speed test?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 12:12 PM   #19
staceym
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icemantx View Post
I have an early 2009 iMac that I upgraded this week to Fusion (WD Caviar Black 2TB + Crucial M4 256GB SSD in Optical Bay). One thing I have noticed that is somewhat puzzling is that iPhoto simply does not launch and quit as fast as it should. Often times I get the app to come up in one or two bounces then watch the spinning circle before the library is displayed. Same thing on shut down - does not instantly close but can take anywhere from 10-30 seconds.

This is with fusion enabled. My iPhoto library is about 190GB and has 44k photos. The most frustrating part is really the shut down which is instant on my wife's old 2007 Black MacBook with a 5400 RPM HDD that has 22k photos! That shuts down instantly.

Any ideas?

Jeff
Do I understand correctly that you have the SSD installed in the optical bay? If so, that is likely the problem. You are limiting the performance of the SSD because of the PATA connector in the optical bay. To get the most performance from your SSD, you would want to have it installed in the HDD bay using the SATA interface and install the HDD in the optical bay using the PATA interface. This is based on my mid-2007 iMac, so you may want to confirm that the same limitations apply to 2009 models. Hope that helps.
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 12:18 PM   #20
Intell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staceym View Post
Do I understand correctly that you have the SSD installed in the optical bay? If so, that is likely the problem. You are limiting the performance of the SSD because of the PATA connector in the optical bay. To get the most performance from your SSD, you would want to have it installed in the HDD bay using the SATA interface and install the HDD in the optical bay using the PATA interface. This is based on my mid-2007 iMac, so you may want to confirm that the same limitations apply to 2009 models. Hope that helps.
2009+ iMacs have a SATA interface in the optical bay.
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Old Dec 18, 2013, 10:39 AM   #21
raystrack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amm203 View Post
.... I managed to get a Fusion Drive running with a EMC 2133 20" iMac (Mid-2007) with ML.... I feel was worth every penny of the upgrade given the performance results. ......For around 300$ total this is a good deal considering my almost 6 year old iMac is still relevant and will be for at least another 4 years.
Great post - I've been looking for a long time for something llke this.

Is there any reason, other than cost, why you didn't fit two SSDs?
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Old Feb 3, 2014, 01:36 PM   #22
Hexley
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I have a question for those who replaced their Superdrive with a bracket to allow for Fusion Drive.

Is the PATA interface UDMA 5 or 6? If so your read/writes are limited to 100MB/s & 133MB/s respectively.

I only bring this up as I feel putting an SSD there would choke its potential. It would be better to put it in the original spot of the HDD that had the SATA 3Gb/s interface.

Now, storage maker WD recently introduced a newer 4TB WD Black HDD (WD4003FZEX) that do sequential read/writes at faster than 170MB/s.

Just putting it out there for those who may be interested.

For $259 4TB WD Black you can get a 480GB Crucial M500 for $291. The Crucial should be able to do sequential read/writes of 200-240MB/s.
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