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Old Sep 21, 2012, 07:12 PM   #26
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Don't worry about taking it apart! It is so mind boggling easy, you'll wonder why you waited. In many respects it's just as easy as dissembling the old regular PC case.

The only hiccup I had was wondering why the drive didn't show as an option to install ML. And...then...I remembered the need to format the drive first!

I was ready to buy a new computer. Now I'm not. Love the 2008 iMac with an SSD! It's better than new.
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Old Sep 22, 2012, 11:37 AM   #27
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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.
Well here is one extra data point. I used to have a 2009 iMac 21.5" with the C2D 3.06GHz and integrated 9400m graphics. I put an Agility 3 120GB drive in there and could not get it to run at 3Gbps no matter what I tried. Only ran at 1.5Gbps which was a serious bottleneck. After lot's of frustration I ended up putting the mechanical hard drive back in and sold the iMac to upgrade to a 27" i7. I put a 1TB OCZ colossus SSD and that works beautifully. Full SATA 2 speeds.

It seems it is a bit of hit and miss with SSD's in the iMac's. I suggest going with a model that others have confirmed are not having issues with SATA bus speed.
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Old Sep 22, 2012, 02:06 PM   #28
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Well here is one extra data point. I used to have a 2009 iMac 21.5" with the C2D 3.06GHz and integrated 9400m graphics. I put an Agility 3 120GB drive in there and could not get it to run at 3Gbps no matter what I tried. Only ran at 1.5Gbps which was a serious bottleneck. After lot's of frustration I ended up putting the mechanical hard drive back in and sold the iMac to upgrade to a 27" i7. I put a 1TB OCZ colossus SSD and that works beautifully. Full SATA 2 speeds.

It seems it is a bit of hit and miss with SSD's in the iMac's. I suggest going with a model that others have confirmed are not having issues with SATA bus speed.
Thanks, this is exactly the sort of info I was looking for.

From what i can tell, the Nvidia chipset/oldermac & *certain SSD* combos causes macs to drop to a lower negotiated link speed, but as you say it's really SSD model dependent.

The intel 320 and 520, although great drives are generally known not to play nice with the chipset in question. It seems the 330 may not have the same level of issues. The weird thing is that some people have got the 320 to work by doing a format before installation, then a PRAM reset, where others with exactly the same drive just can't get it to work not matter what.

The Samsung seems to be the best choice by far for the older macs - no compatibility issues, no need for trim or extra software, amazing performance and decent prices ($200 for 256gb) .

The only problems that have been reported so far with the 830 series is that they tend to exacerbate issues with malfunctioning RAM, but that can't really be blamed on the drives as such, as the problem lies with the RAM.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 03:19 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Electribe View Post
Thanks, this is exactly the sort of info I was looking for.

From what i can tell, the Nvidia chipset/oldermac & *certain SSD* combos causes macs to drop to a lower negotiated link speed, but as you say it's really SSD model dependent.

The intel 320 and 520, although great drives are generally known not to play nice with the chipset in question. It seems the 330 may not have the same level of issues. The weird thing is that some people have got the 320 to work by doing a format before installation, then a PRAM reset, where others with exactly the same drive just can't get it to work not matter what.

The Samsung seems to be the best choice by far for the older macs - no compatibility issues, no need for trim or extra software, amazing performance and decent prices ($200 for 256gb) .

The only problems that have been reported so far with the 830 series is that they tend to exacerbate issues with malfunctioning RAM, but that can't really be blamed on the drives as such, as the problem lies with the RAM.
Well here are my personal results....

SATA 1 Speeds
OCZ Agility 2 120GB SSD in iMac 21.5" 2009 C2D 3.06GHz

SATA 2 Speeds
OCZ Colossus 1TB SSD in iMac 27" 2009 i7 2.8GHz
Patriot Inferno 60GB in MBP 13" 2009 C2D 2.26GHz
OCZ Vertex Plus 60GB in MB Alu unibody 2008 C2D 2.0GHz
Intel 320 120GB in MacPro1,1
OCZ Agility 2 90GB in Macpro1,1
Corsair Force 120 120GB in MBP 13" 2009 C2D 2.26GHz
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Old Oct 5, 2012, 03:32 PM   #30
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Is it possible to keep the HDD and DVD AND add an SSD to the 2008 iMac's?

My guess is no, but thought I'd check. If I could get an SSD in my iMac and keep the HDD I think I'll plan on keeping it longer than I originally thought I would.
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Old Oct 6, 2012, 09:18 AM   #31
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Is it possible to keep the HDD and DVD AND add an SSD to the 2008 iMac's?

My guess is no, but thought I'd check. If I could get an SSD in my iMac and keep the HDD I think I'll plan on keeping it longer than I originally thought I would.
I believe there are only 2 sata connectors on that logic board so you are limited to 2 devices.
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Old Oct 6, 2012, 02:12 PM   #32
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I believe there are only 2 sata connectors on that logic board so you are limited to 2 devices.
If it is the iMac 7,1 (Mid-2007) version then the Optical drive is an ATA-IDE drive and therefore you cannot replace the drive with an SSD. Or at least it is a total waste of money and effort if there is such a thing as an IDE SSD.
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 10:51 AM   #33
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Thanks guys...

Sounds like I'll have to save my penny's for when the new iMac comes out.
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Old Oct 14, 2012, 06:27 PM   #34
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I just installed a 256G Crucial M4 in a 20" early 2008 iMac. It was pretty easy using the ifixit guide. Took about 30 minutes.

The iMac has a new lease on life. Like getting a new computer.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 04:26 PM   #35
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question....

How are you guys mounting your SSD in the bay? Just taping it in or using adapter? If so which one? I had been planning on putting in a 1TB caviar black into my 2008 24" but after reading this thread, might be tempted to put in a SSD instead.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 06:14 PM   #36
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question....

How are you guys mounting your SSD in the bay? Just taping it in or using adapter? If so which one? I had been planning on putting in a 1TB caviar black into my 2008 24" but after reading this thread, might be tempted to put in a SSD instead.
The Samsung 830 I got came with a 3.5" bay tray, it was a simple piece of bent metal with screw holes. Only problem, was the screw holes were too small for my existing screws. So I managed to get in two screws and then electrical taped the tray and SSD into the iMac... so janky.

Now that I've thought about it more I should have simply used my dremel to screw out the holes more. Oh well.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 07:28 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
The Samsung 830 I got came with a 3.5" bay tray, it was a simple piece of bent metal with screw holes. Only problem, was the screw holes were too small for my existing screws. So I managed to get in two screws and then electrical taped the tray and SSD into the iMac... so janky.

Now that I've thought about it more I should have simply used my dremel to screw out the holes more. Oh well.
And the connectors reach okay? Thats the one thing I saw, that the connector cables had no extra reach in them.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 03:39 PM   #38
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And the connectors reach okay? Thats the one thing I saw, that the connector cables had no extra reach in them.
Yeah, there was plenty of length on the cables.
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Old Oct 17, 2012, 05:04 AM   #39
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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 upgraded my 2009 iMac, to a SSD in the optical slot and a 3Tb main HDD for media. But I only use mine as a family email/media server. For this purpose, it was worth it.

For someone using it as a graphics workstation, I would guess the upgrade to a 2008 is not worth it, due to the combination of very limited RAM (photoshop eats RAM like a mo of) and the cost of the parts for the upgrade will come to a third to half of getting a bit more recent computer.

Plus, most importantly, the Optical Drive slot is not a SATA connection, not until 2009 I don't think. So you can only put the SSD in the main slot and firewire a second external drive.

I would sell and trade up to a quad core iMac (from late 2009 onward), which Adobe CSS will make use of those extra cores, then max out its RAM, and SSD this one.

I will say that taking apart an iMac is fun, not that hard if you have the magnetic screwdrivers, two suction cups to remove the glass, and a LCD cleaning kit to put it back together nice n clean.

For those in the UK, i'd suggest http://thebookyard.com for parts to upgrade iMacs, get tray adapters, optical adapters, tools, etc.
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 11:17 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
The Samsung 830 I got came with a 3.5" bay tray, it was a simple piece of bent metal with screw holes. Only problem, was the screw holes were too small for my existing screws. So I managed to get in two screws and then electrical taped the tray and SSD into the iMac... so janky.

Now that I've thought about it more I should have simply used my dremel to screw out the holes more. Oh well.
Where did you buy the 830? Looking at getting one too for my 2008 imac
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Old Nov 1, 2012, 10:07 AM   #41
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Where did you buy the 830? Looking at getting one too for my 2008 imac
I usually keep an eye on Gizmodos deals of the day. They have an SSD category. You can find good deals there.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 09:53 PM   #42
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Well here are my personal results....

SATA 1 Speeds
OCZ Agility 2 120GB SSD in iMac 21.5" 2009 C2D 3.06GHz

SATA 2 Speeds
OCZ Colossus 1TB SSD in iMac 27" 2009 i7 2.8GHz
Patriot Inferno 60GB in MBP 13" 2009 C2D 2.26GHz
OCZ Vertex Plus 60GB in MB Alu unibody 2008 C2D 2.0GHz
Intel 320 120GB in MacPro1,1
OCZ Agility 2 90GB in Macpro1,1
Corsair Force 120 120GB in MBP 13" 2009 C2D 2.26GHz
One more data point. I bought a Kingston V+200 120GB drive based on the Sandforce SF-2200 controller. It is a NO GO to work at SATA 2 speeds on the Nvidia chipset. Updated to latest Firmware 5.0.3 and still NO GO. SATA 1 only. So if you are looking at getting one of these for your Nvidia chipset based Mac look elsewhere. Apparently OCZ SF-2200 SATA 3 drives have a Firmware fix but Kingston does not.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 07:54 PM   #43
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One more data point. I bought a Kingston V+200 120GB drive based on the Sandforce SF-2200 controller. It is a NO GO to work at SATA 2 speeds on the Nvidia chipset. Updated to latest Firmware 5.0.3 and still NO GO. SATA 1 only. So if you are looking at getting one of these for your Nvidia chipset based Mac look elsewhere. Apparently OCZ SF-2200 SATA 3 drives have a Firmware fix but Kingston does not.
And yet another datapoint...

OCZ Vertex 4 128GB (Indilinx controller) works at SATA 2 speeds on my Macbook Aluminum Unibody 2008 with the Nvidia chipset. Seems like the SATA 1 issue is a Sandforce issue.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 07:24 AM   #44
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Smile Upgraded

OK so I did the upgrade after all the great advice.

Upgraded with:
Samsung 830 Series 256GB @ £150
Crucial RAM Module - 4 GB - DDR2 SDRAM - 800 MHz DDR2-800/PC2-6400 @£54

Installation of SSD (using ifixit guide: ) had just 2 minor problems:
I used some brackets so the 2.5" drive could sit properly where the 3.5" was before - £5.99
The 1st problem was the screws securing the existing bracket on the old hdd were too big to attach to the smaller bracket. I just drove the screws home as far as I could and they seemed to hold well enough.

The 2nd problem was that the SATA cable in the iMac was not long enough to reach the new HDD position. I bought an extension cable (£4.99) and luckily there was plenty of room to tuck all the extra cable away.

I've been using the newly upgraded iMac for about an hour and am amazed at how much faster it is. Unfortunately I only timed bootup for a benchmark which went from 60secs to 29secs (to login screen). The most marked difference I can see so far though is opening up and working with large photoshop files (1Gb). Previously the computer was almost unusable taking maybe 3/4 mins to open a file and running a filter on a layer would take forever. Now the same files open in about 15-20 seconds and working on them is snappy and no problem. I definitely recommend the upgrade!

The only question I have is whether I am getting the most out of the drive. I have just run a speed test (black magic) and have
Write: 232 MB/s
Read: 254 MB/s

I thought SATA II was capable of 300 MB/s so was expecting something a bit closer. Not that I'm complaining as I say performance of the computer has far surpassed my expectations.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 11:51 AM   #45
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OK so I did the upgrade after all the great advice.

Upgraded with:
Samsung 830 Series 256GB @ £150
Crucial RAM Module - 4 GB - DDR2 SDRAM - 800 MHz DDR2-800/PC2-6400 @£54
Was yours the 830 with the desktop conversion kit included or just the stand alone drive? Reason I ask is a poster earlier used the desktop kit and stated the cables cold reach okay.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 02:18 AM   #46
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Was yours the 830 with the desktop conversion kit included or just the stand alone drive? Reason I ask is a poster earlier used the desktop kit and stated the cables cold reach okay.
I bought only the drive and some brackets from here.

For me the SATA cable in the iMac had no more extra cable to stretch even a few millimetres further than its original position. I've not seen the kit you refer to but unless it comes with an extension cable I don't think it would have worked for me at least (because the drive is smaller and sits in the middle of some kind of bracket/bay, the connectors will inherently be further away from the original position of the 3.5" connectors).
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 06:34 AM   #47
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I am thinking about doing the same and buying the samsung 830.

Does anyone know what the difference is between the basic, desktop and laptop kit for the samsung 830?
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 06:18 PM   #48
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I am thinking about doing the same and buying the samsung 830.

Does anyone know what the difference is between the basic, desktop and laptop kit for the samsung 830?
The desktop kit has the 2.5" to 3.5" bracket. The laptop and basic kit only have the drive.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 11:20 AM   #49
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So at the end of the day, I realized I just couldn't swing the cost of a shiny new 27" late 2012 iMac, and I upgraded my late 2008 iMac Core2Duo with an SSD.

Picked up the Samsung 830 256GB SSD for $155 to my door. Fortunately I have a drive caddy so I was able to install Mountain Lion to the SSD before I installed it, and over the course of a week or two I would sometimes boot off the SSD in the caddy and set things up - I went for a totally clean install this time, no migrating. When it was near enough ready for prime time I popped the case and pulled out the SSD and so deftly mounted the new SSD.

My current setup is that OS X, all my apps and non multi-media documents are on the SSD. My iTunes and iPhoto libraries are on an external USB drive due to their large size I can't fit them on the SSD.

So at the end of the day - in spite of the 'benchmark' times I noted before and after the HDD -> SSD swap - holy cow my system is so much faster and snappier than before. The difference is truly amazing. I'm so glad that I decided to give the SSD route in an old computer a try because it's blissful.

Here is my jerry-rigged SSD install. You can see that I really went all out. LOL.






And here are images of the times I measured before and after, again - my system feels so much faster than the numbers indicate, it has transformed my tired old iMac into a really quick and fast responding computer again. Sure it will be a relative pig compared to a new i7 machine when it comes to really heavy duty tasks like Pro apps or encoding a huge video, but most of the time it feels fantastic.

















btw - the boot time should be faster, but I'm having an odd delay when I boot, I get just a blank white screen for about 35 seconds before the Apple logo appears. Oddly a friend with an HDD iMac is having the same problem, no idea if it's related. I've reset the PRAM and set my Startup Disk in SysPrefs, but the lag remains… So the real boot time is more like 20 some seconds if not for the delay. Given that I only reboot about once every two to four weeks I can life with the slight delay when rebooting.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 04:02 PM   #50
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A friend figured out the lengthy time to get to the Apple logo on a cold boot, it was because of a USB drive plugged into a hub… Go figure. I fixed the problem buy swapping it out for a Firewire 800 drive.

BTW - putting this SSD in my 2008 iMac was the best thing ever! I can't believe how fast and nice the computer is to use now. I really don't have any 'wants' for a new iMac at all anymore.
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