Late-2009 27" iMac - Worth it to give it a DIY Fusion?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by defektion, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010
    I just recently got my HDD replaced on my iMac and seeing how people have found ways to have a DIY Fusion Drive.

    I'm not really afraid to open my iMac up just wondering if anyone else decided to do this?
  2. macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010
    I have a late 2009 27" i7 imac with 2TB hd too. I'm having the same thought about installing a samsung 830 256GB in the optical bay, but there's still a lot of unanswered questions. e.g. Does the ssd need a "special" firmware, can I use my superduper backup to restore from etc. Think i'll wait a see how thing's work out from others.
  3. macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2009
    I've got a 2010 27" iMac with a 120 GB Intel SSD that I installed myself about 2 years ago. I reconfigured it as a Fusion drive along with the 1TB HDD that came with my iMac. No special firmware required. I've done a full restore from Time Machine, and everything is humming along nicely.

    The only glitch was that I could only restore from my TimeMachine backup after doing a full install of Mountain Lion using OSX Recovery (make sure you follow the directions about making a Recovery USB disk) If you haven't been through a "clean" OSX install before, it gives you the option to transfer settings and files from another Mac once the install is complete. At this point you can direct it to your Time Machine backup.

    I tried many times, but I couldn't ever get a Time Machine restore to work directly from OSX Recovery mode which meant waiting for the entirety of OSX to download over the Internet.

    I'm enjoying not having to manage data between two separate drives. Can't say that I've noticed any kind of performance loss either.

    Standard disclaimer applies: if either drive fails you will lose everything on both drives. A sound backup strategy is recommended.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2007
    I also have a 2010 iMac, seriously thinking about creating a Fusion drive, had a couple questions.

    Polydactyl, what type of speed improvements did you see?

    With prices dropping, anyone know if there is an advantage adding a 240 or 480 gig SSD drive, or does a Fusion set up only see 128 gigs?

    And finally, would it make sense to clone the drive and then clone it back to the new Fusion drive?

    Perhaps stating the obvious on this one, Fusion set up only works with Mountain Lion? Lion does not support a Fusion Drive even with 10.7.5, correct?

    Thanks in advance,
  5. macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2009
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Did any of you install SSD and combined it with the existing iMac HDD into a Fusion drive?
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010
    I finally got around to buying an SSD, took me a few months.

    I ended up ordering a Samsung 840 120GB, and going to pic up the Silverstone TS09 to put the SSD into in place of the optical drive.

    I'll be getting it in the next few days. I will report back :)
  7. Drharrington, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013

    macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2012
    I have the same machine. Removed the optical drive and threw in a crucial m4 256 gb SSD. Easy hardware swap. Just get the optical drive enclosure posted on fix it ~ 54 bucks - bolts right in. As previously posted - good to have a recovery os disk on a USB external you can boot to - to do a fresh install of 10.8.3 (important) - need full install to get the core storage to work like fusion. Then type in terminal commands and then restore a backup. Read the latest OWC blog on it - as well as the other stuff. Not sure about cloning. You want to make have a full install of 10.8.3 - as apple seeded that with the fusion software to the masses.

    I did fresh install of lion via ext recovery then terminal commands via the external recovery then recovery via time machine backup. Again, OWC says the full install of 10.8.3 to trigger the fusion component via OS or you risk just having core storage with no fusion intell.

    As far as speed - remember the connection is 3G on that machine versus 6g on the newer ones so you will not max the full speed of the ssd drive but you should see 4-5 times on the fusion versus the normal speed of the HDD. ~ 225 write/250 read. On my MacBook Pro - with 6g - I hit 300-350 write 500+ read. The fusion drive seems to be work great - I have 700 GB on the combined 1.25 tb and the speeds are very consistent - been running great for about a week - appears rock solid.

    As far as the mix (how large the SSD) - all the write ups point to the os maintaining a 4gb buffer on the ssd - so not sure the right mix. I went with the 256 cause I have the stock 1tb drive and wanted more room without messing with replacing the stock drive. I'm sure I would have been fine with 128.

    Hope that helps. You will really like the upgrade. For the 250 bucks total I threw at it - amazing. Beats any upgrade you can do - should keep you in the machine for awhile. So YES!! Well worth it !!
  8. macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2013
    CT, USA
    You can put any size ssd you want and do a fusion. i have a 256 SSD+2TB HDD fusion my self and couldn't be happier. the difference is you will have more stuff on ssd better performance overall

    Only works with Mountain Lion tho.

    I really recommend doing a fresh install then update to 10.8.3 and then restore with the migration assistant from clone backup!
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010
    Well it's all in there. Results are as expected. Quite snappy :)

    Attached Files:

  10. macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    I wouldn't spend money on my late 09 27" iMac except for the extra 12gb ram i put in it. They run too hot and the screens are not good enough.

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