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Old Feb 20, 2013, 10:50 AM   #1
Hutchball
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Late 2006 20" iMac SSD Upgrade advice

Hi,

Im seriously thinking about upgrading my late 2006 imac with an 256Gig SSD.

Has anybody any advice I could follow? I dont think i need to go for a top of the range SSD as I think the SATA bus on this iMAc is slow, so a SATA 1 or SATA 2 would be fine.

I also read online thats its possible to run a boot SSD thorough USB but surely I would not get the full benefits of the new drive this way? I'm not worried about taking the machine apart too much.

Anyway, any input would be most appreciated.

Model:MA589LL
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 09:55 PM   #2
toddzrx
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Although it's not an exact comparison, my experience might help:

I upgraded my first-gen 17" MBP to an SSD in late 2010 when I noticed a lot of beach balling and got tired of it. The upgrade was great: pretty easy to do and it definitely breathed new life into the machine. I had been contemplating buying a new mac at the time, but I'm glad I went with the cheaper SSD upgrade.

Fast forward to this past fall: The old MBP is now desk-bound with an external monitor permanently attached because the native screen doesn't work anymore. But that's ok; I didn't need the portability anymore. The problem now is I can't leverage the convenience of iCloud with a growing collection of iToys because I'm stuck running Snow Leopard. And even with the SSD, newer software is starting to bog down the processor and 2GB (max) of RAM.

So I bought a used 2010 iMac, put the SSD from the MBP in it, and got it up to 8GB of RAM (I just found 2 more sticks of 2GB RAM from a guy on Craigslist). I now have a much newer, nicer machine that is far faster than a base new iMac for half the cost, and running the newest OS X (with the ability to upgrade it for the next few years hopefully).

So, I understand if you're sort of attached to your old iMac, but I don't know that putting an SSD in it is the best idea: you'll see performance gains, but the processor and RAM limitations will even hold the gains of an SSD back (the newer iMac, with the same SSD and more RAM, is way faster than my old MBP).

But hey, if you're on a budget and you don't need a lot of storage, the smaller SSD's (128GB or smaller) are getting pretty reasonable in price (I've got a 120GB in the iMac, with another 1TB of external storage).

I would not recommend an external SSD over USB 2 (not that I have specific experience with that setup), but you're just knee-capping it with that connection. You'll be much better off hooking it up internally.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 10:31 PM   #3
spyguy10709
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Location: One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutchball View Post
Hi,

Im seriously thinking about upgrading my late 2006 imac with an 256Gig SSD.

Has anybody any advice I could follow? I dont think i need to go for a top of the range SSD as I think the SATA bus on this iMAc is slow, so a SATA 1 or SATA 2 would be fine.

I also read online thats its possible to run a boot SSD thorough USB but surely I would not get the full benefits of the new drive this way? I'm not worried about taking the machine apart too much.

Anyway, any input would be most appreciated.

Model:MA589LL

Hey -

Check out ifixit.com for directions, they offer free repair manuals for all Macs, including hard drive replacement tutorials.

Just get the cheapest SSD you can with the capacity you want. (Stay away from eBay, too many fakes, check out Newegg for the best prices.)
ANY SSD will scream, and will really help out your iMac.
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Last edited by spyguy10709; Tomorrow at 07:10 AM.
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 07:16 PM   #4
Hutchball
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Ordered a 256 gig Crucial from Amazon. Looking forward to installing it!

One more thing....

Do I need to install Trim Enabler if I'm running latest Lion?
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 09:46 PM   #5
toddzrx
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutchball View Post
Ordered a 256 gig Crucial from Amazon. Looking forward to installing it!

One more thing....

Do I need to install Trim Enabler if I'm running latest Lion?
Probably, but don't worry: it's free. After you do the install, look up TRIM support under SATA in the hardware profiler; it'll probably say NO. If so, download the following and install it:

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/37852/trim-enabler
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 05:18 PM   #6
Hutchball
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Well I have to say... I would recommend into anyone.

It's truly breathed new life into my steam driven iMac.

It was fast running a cloned version of the drive through USB 2 but when I installed it in place of the main HD it flies!!

It cost me around 150 and I think I will get at least another few years out of this computer now.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 10:02 PM   #7
toddzrx
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Join Date: Nov 2012
SSD's are a no-brainer, especially if you've got a machine that is starting to show its age and is out of warranty. Most of the components in older machines are still pretty good, and are just held back by a spinning hard drive as you found out.
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