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Old Sep 3, 2012, 03:17 PM   #1
ElwoodP
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SSD Upgrade on 2008 iMac

I have an early 2008 20" 2.4GHZ Core Duo iMac, 3Gb RAM, running ML.

Its starting to feel quite sluggish ( I use it for graphic design, Indesign, Illustrator Photoshop etc..). I've seen a couple of tutorials on replacing the HD for an SSD and it looks like a fun project so I'm considering it.

Is it worth it though? SSDs are not cheap. Will it give a decent performance boost or is it time to cash in the iMac whilst its still has some value.

I'd welcome some opinions, maybe from someone who has done a similar upgrade?

Last edited by ElwoodP; Sep 4, 2012 at 01:17 AM.
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Old Sep 3, 2012, 08:00 PM   #2
Mike in Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElwoodP View Post
I have an early 2008 20" 2.4GHZ Core Duo Imac, 3Gb RAM, running ML.

Its starting to feel quite sluggish ( I use it for graphic design, Indesign, Illustrator Photoshop etc..). I've seen a couple of tutorials on replacing the HD for an SSD and it looks like a fun project so I'm considering it.

Is it worth it though? SSDs are not cheap. Will it give a decent performance boost or is it time to cash in the IMac whilst its still has some value.

I'd welcome some opinions, maybe from someone who has done a similar upgrade?
I installed a 240GB SSD in my 2008 24" 2.8GHz iMac earlier this year. It was a very simple upgrade and very much worth the investment. SSD prices are half of what they were 8 months ago - it's becoming a very affordable upgrade.

I'd also upgrade your RAM to 6GB. Apple states the max is 4GB, but it has been documented many places online that 6GB can actually be installed. That made a noticeable difference in my Aperture work (basically eliminated page outs) and the SSD made working in iMovie and Aperture even that much more enjoyable. Thighs like brushes and blur/sharpening in Aperture are much faster. I was planning on upgrading this machine in August of this year (when it turned 4) but I figure I got another year out of it. Plus, I bought an SATAIII (6GB/s) drive, so I am planning on dropping it into a new iMac as a boot drive when I get one.
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Last edited by Mike in Kansas; Feb 1, 2013 at 09:02 AM. Reason: typo on SSD drive size
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Old Sep 4, 2012, 04:08 AM   #3
ElwoodP
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Thanks Mike I think I'll upgrade then if I can get an SSD at the right price.

I know I can get away with SATA 2 for this model iMac but is there anything else I should bare in mind when looking for an SSD. I can see vast price differences across different makes (a brief search on Amazon and I saw one 250Gb Sata 2 at £800 (GB pounds) and one 240Gb Sata 3 at £150). I am a little confused!

Great advice about the RAM by the way. I hadn't heard about the possibility of 6Gb upgrade.
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Old Sep 4, 2012, 08:11 AM   #4
Mike in Kansas
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Thanks Mike I think I'll upgrade then if I can get an SSD at the right price.

I know I can get away with SATA 2 for this model iMac but is there anything else I should bare in mind when looking for an SSD. I can see vast price differences across different makes (a brief search on Amazon and I saw one 250Gb Sata 2 at £800 (GB pounds) and one 240Gb Sata 3 at £150). I am a little confused!

Great advice about the RAM by the way. I hadn't heard about the possibility of 6Gb upgrade.
Just make sure you are buying a fairly current one from a reputable manufacturer. For some reason on Amazon people sell older technology at very high prices. I'd stick with something from OCZ, Sandisk, Crucial, Samsung, etc. Right now a 256GB SATAIII SSD from these manufacturers is selling for $175USD to $225USD.
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 07:57 AM   #5
ch02ce
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I just did this very thing. Picked up a Samsung 830 256GB for less than $200 CDN. Makes a huge difference, no doubt the most dramatic upgrade one can do, even though it is limited by the iMac's SATA 2.

Also got the 830 because of its reliability and garbage collection, so I don't have to do the TRIM hacks. Would highly recommend it.
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 09:31 AM   #6
Mike in Kansas
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I just did this very thing. Picked up a Samsung 830 256GB for less than $200 CDN. Makes a huge difference, no doubt the most dramatic upgrade one can do, even though it is limited by the iMac's SATA 2.
Don't say that too loud on this forum. There are those who believe that swapping out your HDD for an SSD is frivolous, its benefits are not to be realized and those of us who have are just an impatient lot who can't wait a few milliseconds more for our apps to load or our machine to boot.
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 09:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
Don't say that too loud on this forum. There are those who believe that swapping out your HDD for an SSD is frivolous, its benefits are not to be realized and those of us who have are just an impatient lot who can't wait a few milliseconds more for our apps to load or our machine to boot.
Speed > Storage
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 10:46 AM   #8
paul-n
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A SSD really boost your Mac, HDD is one of the parts you often have to wait for. I have a Samsung 830 which I really can recommend, but also Crucial or Intel is fine.
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 10:52 AM   #9
mmomega
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An SSD is going to be cheaper than purchasing a new Mac.

Like other have posted...Speed > Storage

You could easily purchase or already have a FW800 or USB external for your storage needs and have the best of both worlds.

I'm betting it would dramatically speed up your machines "snappiness"
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 11:01 AM   #10
'73-B
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I just installed a crucial M4 256GB ($175) in my late 2009 iMac. What an amazing difference. Boot up in 20 seconds and shut down in 10 seconds. Applications launch instantly, most notably MS Office apps. I picked up a FW800 enclosure for the 1TB drive that the SSD replaced. Highly recommended upgraded.
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 11:13 AM   #11
J&JPolangin
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My 5,2 whitebook with removable battery & C2D CPU feels great with an M2 Crucial SSD in it!

Put an M4 Crucial or Intel SSD in your iMac and don't look back = you'll really love it!

The one time I had to put my original HDD back into my whitebook was painful to update the HDD to send it in for a minor case swap repair (but I didn't want to risk getting a newer machine and losing my SSD in the process like does some times)...
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 11:16 AM   #12
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I went through this process with my 24" iMac (2008) here:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1325250

It's worth it, not to mention SSD's are cheaper now than when I did this install which was earlier this year.
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 11:41 AM   #13
fig
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Boot comparison on my late 2006 iMac without and with SSD.

BIG difference.
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 11:59 AM   #14
DLary
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Just don't use an Intel ssd 510. I tried this in a 24 inch iMac. Had continuous errors that could only be repaired using Disk Warrior. I pulled the drive out and put it in a windows machine and it works fine. I guess the controller in the iMac has an issue with the controller in the SSD.
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 12:03 PM   #15
boazjoe
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2008 MBP (3,1) 2.4 duo

I know you are referring to imacs but can I put the SATA III drive in here and move my HDD to the optical slot and make the optical an external? I went to OWC site but could not find info on this older machine. Their "kits" were for newer machines.

I would like to get a 128 gb for boot and apps and put everything else on HDD. Anybody make this conversion on this machine and if so, what drive did you use and what mounting hardware is needed.
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Old Sep 6, 2012, 02:37 PM   #16
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I know you are referring to imacs but can I put the SATA III drive in here and move my HDD to the optical slot and make the optical an external? I went to OWC site but could not find info on this older machine. Their "kits" were for newer machines.

I would like to get a 128 gb for boot and apps and put everything else on HDD. Anybody make this conversion on this machine and if so, what drive did you use and what mounting hardware is needed.
You can use a SATA III drive, but you'll be limited to SATA II bandwidth if that is what your MBP has on it.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 11:44 PM   #17
GimmeSlack12
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Just installed 6gb into my iMac. This thing is maxxed out*!

*Well, until I decide to install a larger SSD in it.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 12:20 AM   #18
maxmiles
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Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
Plus, I bought an SATAIII (6GB/s) drive, so I am planning on dropping it into a new iMac as a boot drive when I get one.
Hey Mike, FYI the iMac is only going to be able to work with SATA 3GB/S type. The later SATA speeds came, well, later.
~max

..Oops! Sorry didn't realize this had been noticed and replied too already

Last edited by maxmiles; Sep 11, 2012 at 12:23 AM. Reason: Late to conversation..
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 05:09 AM   #19
PrinceDraven
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Smile 6gb in UK

Has anyone in the UK upgraded to 6GB, if so could you point me in the direction of someone selling the 4GB modules?
Thanks,
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 12:59 PM   #20
Mike in Kansas
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Hey Mike, FYI the iMac is only going to be able to work with SATA 3GB/S type. The later SATA speeds came, well, later.
~max

..Oops! Sorry didn't realize this had been noticed and replied too already
I purchased the faster SSD for "future proofing", in anticipation that it could be used as a boot drive for a yet-to-be-purchased iMac.
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 02:21 AM   #21
cyclotron451
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Yes, UK upgraded to 6GB

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Has anyone in the UK upgraded to 6GB, if so could you point me in the direction of someone selling the 4GB modules?
Thanks,
I have two data points
- my first attempt was this company Diewald advertising on am*zon.de AVOID AVOID AVOID! €61 OEM MEMORY (Mihatsch & Diewald) 1 x 4 GB 200 pin DDR2-800 (800Mhz, PC2-6400, CL6) double sided für DDR2 Notebooks mit 1x 4GB Unterstützung Verkauf durch: DiewaldMemory

The RAM chips had all their markings erased by cutting machine, so obviously a factory test failure and blatant attempt to resell faulty SO-DIMM. My iMac didn't boot! So I returned for full refund, but wasted a month!

- second was another am*zon.de purchase - this time direct for a €96 Corsair PC-6400 Arbeitsspeicher 4GB (800 MHz, Unbuffered, CL5 SODIMM) DDR2 This worked great with a single existing 2GB.

The identical product is available from am*zon.co.uk here http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B..._ya_os_product
a Corsair Value Ram single 4GB module for £70 (claimed reduced from £160!)

check exactly which SO-DIMM your iMac needs here http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3011
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 04:29 PM   #22
nottooshabby
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Originally Posted by ch02ce View Post
I just did this very thing. Picked up a Samsung 830 256GB for less than $200 CDN. Makes a huge difference, no doubt the most dramatic upgrade one can do, even though it is limited by the iMac's SATA 2.

Also got the 830 because of its reliability and garbage collection, so I don't have to do the TRIM hacks. Would highly recommend it.
Where did you guys buy the samsung drives? Crucial has the 512GB SSD for $404. My iMac came with 250 and it's full so I need to go to 512.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 03:51 AM   #23
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Also got the 830 because of its reliability and garbage collection, so I don't have to do the TRIM hacks. Would highly recommend it.
Modern SSDs all have decent garbage collection, but it isn't a replacement for TRIM. You should still enable TRIM if you can, to prevent performance degrading over time.
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Old Sep 21, 2012, 03:54 AM   #24
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I'm in a similar situation & probably going to go for this upgrade in my 2008 iMac. SSD prices are dropping, 240GB is roughly £160 now

I might not max out with 6GB ram though due to the cost, it's practically double the price of 4GB @ around £80 vs £40 from Crucial

Let us know how it goes, I am a little bit scared to take mine apart however there are some excellent guides out there
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Old Sep 21, 2012, 02:43 PM   #25
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I have the exactly the same mac as the OP and there is a ton of confusion on the net regarding SSD's in all of the older macs.....

The problem I'm talking about is the dreaded Negotiated Link Speed issue - only getting 1.5gb/s rather than the full 3gb/s that SATA II is capable of.

It seems some of the intel drives (sandforce, 520, 320) cause a conflict with the Nvidia chipsets used in many macs but the info is really sketchy and some seem to get it to work while others don't.

It's been confirmed that there is no workaround when using an intel 520 in an older mac, but differing reports of a 320/330 series drives working with some patches/fudging/McGuyvering.

Can someone help with input on this problem?!?!? The web seriously needs a definitive answer and I've spent days trawling the net only to get very mixed messages about which drives will sit happily, at full speed, in a Mac.

Personally, I think I'm going with a Samsung 830 250gb drive as it has none of the problems (Marvell controller) and offers blistering performance according to a few reviews out there.
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