21.5" 2011 iMac SSD Upgrade

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ddeadserious, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. ddeadserious macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2008
    Plymouth, MI
    Considering buying a new 21.5" base iMac.

    I searched and only found solid information for the 27", but very little for the 21.5" model.

    I have an Intel 120GB X25-M that I'd like to put in it.

    I know Apple did some stupid crap with a temperature sensor.

    Can I add my SSD? If I can't add it, can I simply replace the stock HDD? Are the enough SATA ports? Is there physical space for an additional 2.5" drive?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. iLidz macrumors member


    May 19, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Yes you could add your SSD to your iMac. If your iMac only has 1 hard drive now there should be an extra sata port available on your logic board.
    - if you want to replace your drive simply remove your old drive and install the SSD using the oem cables
    - if you want to ADD the SSD, you will need to remove the logic board to access the ports to connect a new cable(s) to.
    - the x25m uses sata II 3 gbs interface. You could also replace you optical drive (which uses a sata II port on the logic board)

    The SSD should fit nicely beneath the optical drive on the 21.5" model
  3. itsmrjon macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2011
    Approach and issues will be the same as 27", I've done both
    He states it perfectly... follow this exact post
  4. ddeadserious thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2008
    Plymouth, MI
    Awesome, thank you for the response.

    As for replacing the HDD for the SSD, there won't be any issues with the temp sensor?

    If I just add the SSD, what cables will I need?
  5. itsmrjon macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2011
    Id say drop the SSD in behind the optibay to prevent any potential issues. This is the same route I took for both my iMacs.

    There is a single cable you need, its a slimline sata/power cable. As far as the exact part number or a link to it, I don't have that off the top of my head, but it has been described in a few of the other imac ssd threads. I just purchased it from a local (non-apple store) apple authorized repair shop.

    You should also buy some good double sided tape, as there will be no bracket for the SSD behind your optibay.
  6. kgian, Jul 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011

    kgian macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2011
    How I understand it, for REPLACING (not adding) the HDD it goes like this:
    1) remove the glass
    2) unscrew 8 screws of the screen (4 on each side)
    3) slightly lift the screen and disconnect the right hand cable
    4) lift some more the screen, disconnect the hard disc and then unscrew it
    5) Connect a new hard disk or SSD using the cables that were connected to the old hard disk and screw it into place
    6) connect the screen cable, screw the screen into place, replace glass.

    This seems to be a much more friendly procedure for novice users than taking out the whole logicboard. So, doing this there is not going to be any problem with the fans right? Or is it ok with selected hard disks and SSDs only and with others there are fan problems?

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