Open Up the 27"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Kirkle, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #1
    I'd like to see some photos of a customer tear-down of the new 27" iMac (in much a similar way as the 21"). I suppose it will come in time, but I'm still a bit worried about placing my order for one tiny reason: will I be able to change out the HDD with an SSD by myself?

    To be clear, I've built computers from the motherboard up, so I'm not worried about figuring out how to install the drive, but I'm still not sure about the method of taking off the screen; some have said it is the same as the last generation, and others that it is even easier. Somehow I still feel skeptical... maybe it's too much time reading false Apple news over the past year.

    Given the fact that replacing my HDD will void my warranty (which is evil by the way: not offering an SSD and then voiding the warranty of any of those who choose to install one), I don't want to risk screwing up my screen in the process.
     
  2. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    I wouldn't worry. I took the plunge with the 27" with 1TB regular drive because there are two options for me:

    1.) Thunderbolt SSD
    2.) Replace internal drive with SSD

    Either way, speeds should be quite similar with a single SSD, so you can't lose either way, right?

    All I know is if it's not simple to replace the internal disk I'll use a Thunderbolt SSD and will eject the internal disk after boot up. I just can't stand the sound of a spinning disk (yep, I'm certifiably crazy, I know).
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin
    #3
    We'll have to wait but I'm in the same boat.
    Question: where does Apple state, that exchanging your hard drive does void your warranty. I was under the assumption it is ok.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    THOPMedia

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    #4
    Apple uses a proprietary connecter on the drive so you won't be able to go out and purchase a 500gb SSD with a SATA connector and just plug it in.

    I don't have the link to the thread where this was discussed already. Anyone else have it?
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #5
    To be honest, I'm just rumor-mongering: I've heard people say this, people have posted replies to my earlier questions saying that this was the case, but I honestly don't know. I sincerely HOPE they are all wrong.

    I can see it both ways: replacing the hard drive on an iMac is something like major surgery (you have to fully open up the system), so I can see how that might void a warranty. But on the other hand, this is just short-sighted on the part of Apple, is it not? People want the ability to change out their HDD (right? Would anyone disagree on this point?), it was Apple's choice to make this difficult; they could have made a back hatch that allowed access to both the RAM and the hard drive... isn't that the benefit of "redesigning it from the ground up?" :D
     
  6. macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #6
    If you have dealt with computer hardware a lot then you can install an SSD in an iMac (unless something drastic has changed from the 2011 models). The whole teardown to get to only the HDD takes literally 5 minutes. The installation of the SSD can go even faster if you can have another person just hold the LCD screen out of the way, instead of having to remove the screen completely.

    I've done this teardown and replace on my 2008 iMac and it is a bit more complicated than the more recent revisions.

    EDIT: It seems you can't replace the drive on your own. Lame.
    Here's that link:
    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/12/apple-restricts-hard-drive-replacements-on-new-imacs/
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    #7
    there are no good thunderbolt ssd out there right now, the all inclusive ones use older generation ssd and controller, is slow, cost tons more $$ price markup and some of them are big ugly as hell. The thunderbolt adatpers where you can supply your own ssd all have different showstopping issues. Also it's never a good idea to put your os on a removable drive...

    I opted for the $250 fusion drive for the time being, its performance should be close enough to a true ssd. This should hold me over until the smoke clears and everything becomes crystal clear on how to upgrade internal hdd and new better/cheaper thunderbolt ssd comes out.

    $250 for an interim solution that performs similar to ssd is worth it to me, vs use a regular 7200rpm hdd.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #8
    I disagree. It's true that all the enclosures/adapters for Thunderbolt have their own issues (price being a major one), but they will still perform well for this task (I am assuming, I should point out; I haven't actually tried running the OS off of an external SSD yet... but I fail to see why this shouldn't work).

    And what is the disadvantage of having your OS on a removable drive? I see that as a distinct advantage (except for the look of having an external drive plugged in).

    ----------

    People have replaced their hard drive on 2011 iMacs though (this article is about 2011 iMacs), has something changed?
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    #9
    show me a good thunderbolt ssd?

    the elagto is a complete ripoff, it uses a very old crap ssd that performs subpar at best. As for lacie, i wont be caught dead having that ugly orange ssd next to my imac, and their raid0 uses 2x intel 300s yet charges almost double what the drives actually cost.

    then you have the thunderbolt adapters from seagate etc..that has a host of their own issues like losing connection, not able to wake up, incompatibility with ssds etc..

    Show me a thunderbolt ssd/adapter that looks good, not crazy priced compare to the ssd thats inside, uses current generation ssd/controller, and most important stable. There is none.

    As for os on external hdd/ssd, it's a personal preference i am not saying it wont work. But if the cable gets lose, or the port resets etc..(which happens), then your computer goes into a hard reset instantly. Why on earth would you set it up like that.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #10
    I have no idea what you're talking about. I have a Seagate Backup Plus portable Thunderbolt drive, here. I removed the 5400rpm disk from inside and put in my 256GB Samsung 830 series, and it absolutely flies. 400MB read/340MB writes. And that's connected to a 2011 Mac mini. I don't think it's an old-generation Thunderbolt adapter!

    If you seriously think a $250 fusion drive will be close to a true SSD..., I don't know what to say. I'll say that 128GB of that will be, but the rest... not so much. :p
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #11
    The ideal situation, I think, would be to have an internal SSD which could be easily removed, or replaced, as necessary; a 2.5" removable caddie.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #12
    Great tip! I'll keep this idea in the back of my mind for future purchases!
     
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #13
    Is it fairly easy to replace the drives in those Seagate Backup enclosures (never used one myself)?
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    #14
    yes same question, i know there are good thunderbolt hdd, i was focused purely on ssd.

    I dont remember if it was the exact same drive but read somewhere it's fairly difficult to remove the hdd and replace it with a ssd as it's sealed shut using temper proof locks. Is that not the case for this drive?

    1) Can you provide more details on how exactly to replace the hdd in that enclosure wth a ssd, is it as simple as unscrewing the case?

    2) How stable is it? obviously i know it will be fast with a samsung 830 but is the drive always found? for example if your mac is in inactive mode and time capsule kicks in, is it able to backup the external drive you replaced with ssd? Does it lose connection sometimes on boot up? etc..

    If everything is peachy, then that might be an alternative. Because i know for a fact the $100 seagate goflex tb adapter has tons of issues when you connect a ssd to it to an imac.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #15
    I think all the problems with that adapter stem from the power required to use the SSD (which is supplied by the TB cable itself); totally impractical for larger SSDs (you'll get disconnections, etc.) but would probably work well for small SSDs (not that you'd want to run your iMac off of a 64GB SSD, but I'm just saying that it really isn't intended for larger SSDs which pull more power).
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    #16
    hmm dont think so, ssd uses significantly less power than mechanical drives. Look at the raid0 enclosures, they have multiple ssd all stacked together with just a thunberbolt cable, also thunderbolt allows you to chain multiple drives together, it's actually one of their key advantages.

    so really doubt somehow a single larger ssd would draw too much power for the thunderbolt...
     
  17. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #17
    Mechanical drives and SSDs pull power differently; from what I understand, people have experienced problems with running SSDs off bus power (whether thunderbolt or USB 3.0) because of the jump in power consumption when writing files to the drive. This causes the drive to disconnect or err.

    I'm not an expert on this topic. I have seen this discussed on multiple forums for both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt devices though.
     
  18. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #18
    Not especially. But it wasn't mind-numbingly difficult. I got some plastic pry-tools off eBay for a few dollars, and just wedged them into the casing and pried it open. It's just clips. You may break 1 or 2 of them in the process, but there's... 10 or more of them total, so I wouldn't worry. I broke two but it makes zero difference to it closing back up.

    I haven't had any issues, and every system seems to behave differently, so how it behaves with my 2011 Mac mini isn't necessarily relevant to how it works with a 2012 iMac. I'll report back when I have my iMac, though, and let you know!
     

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