2011 i7 iMac upgrade (SSD), opinions needed

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MacR5, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. MacR5 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    #1
    Hi All,

    I have a 2011 2.93ghz i7 iMac 27" with 12gb of RAM.

    I'm currently interested in putting an SSD in the computer and would like to hear people's opinions. (currently I'm using around 350gb of the 1tb HD)

    1) Buy a 480gb SSD and install in the iMac, transfer all files to it and run as the main hard drive.

    2) Buy a 128 or 256gb SSD and install, move system, program files, and some photos to the SSD and keep the old drive for extra capacity.

    Obviously option 2 is more cost effective - if I was to do option 2, how hard would it be to re-setup the computer with OSX, applications and some files installed on the SSD - keeping in mind my total used memory is more than the capacity of the SSD? Would I have to reinstall the OS from scratch and reimport all my photos, music, files in, or is there an easy way?

    The processor is plenty fast for what I do now, the RAM is sufficient, but I think an SSD would really improve the performance, thanks in advance for your input!
     
  2. MacR5 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
  3. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #3
    I think I had a 2010 iMac at one time and it had a spare SATA interface and space to mount another (small) drive (3 SATA interfaces total). I added a SSD to mine, leaving the hard disk and optical in place.

    A third option would be to create a "Fusion" drive with your SSD and existing hard disk as is available on the newer machines. There are many threads here on how to do it, and Fusion manages the drives to keep the most frequently accessed blocks of files on the SSD for speed, and the rest on the hard disk.

    Basically:
    -- A full SSD system is best, but can be expensive for large drives.
    -- A separate SSD and hard disk works fine, but requires manual management of files.
    -- A Fusion drive is a automated compromise between the first two and provides most of the speed advantage of SSD with the large capacity of the hard disk, without any user management of the file location mix.
     

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