27" 2011 Imac - RAID 0 - 2700K - 7970M - Success!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JDLang76, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. JDLang76 macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    #1
    I am currently in the process of upgrading my iMac for those who are interested.

    I bought it new in 2011 with the i7-2600 but I'm ordering the 2700k tomorrow. I've already got it apart.
    I have 2 OWC 240gb Extreme SSDs and a 4TB HDD.
    I also got 32gb RAM from OWC.

    I'm going to remove the optical drive, put the 2 SSDs in that bay and stripe them.
    I'm replacing the optical bay sata cable with a mini sata to sata cable that is going to the HDD in the main bay. That will of coarse be on the SATA 2 port and the 2 SSDs will be on the SATA 3 ports.

    While I'm inside, I've pulled everything apart and dusted. (it needed it)
    I also got rid of the 7 year old themal paste on the GPU and replaced it with good paste.
    QUESTION - I used paste, not pads, on the memory modules, bad idea???? Looks connected to me?

    I have sierra with my apps pre-installed on an SSD in this system with the 2600 that I'm going to clone over to the RAID array. Then I'll install a fresh copy of Windows 10 on the RAID array as well.

    I read once (back in the lion days) that Lion worked with the 2700k but mountain lion didn't. Hoping Sierra won't have any trouble. I have no plans to move to High Sierra anytime soon.

    I uploaded pics. Just thought this would be an interesting project some of you may want to follow. I'll keep it updated as time goes on. I'll finish it once the 2700K arrives. IMG_2564.jpg IMG_2565.jpg IMG_2566.jpg IMG_2567.jpg IMG_2568.jpg IMG_2569.jpg IMG_2570.jpg IMG_2571.jpg
     
  2. vertical smile macrumors 68030

    vertical smile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    #2
    Nice!

    A friend of mine with a 2011 iMac recently asked me about what kind of upgrades he can do. Maybe I might suggest the removal of the optical drive, and add a couple SSDs
     
  3. JDLang76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

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    Jan 1, 2018
    #3
    Sweet. Remember that the optical drive SATA cable is a Slimline Sata, so you'll need an adapter. Also, the optical drive port is SATA 2, so to get more performance or RAID them, you'll have to switch it around with the SATA connector currently connected to the HDD.
     
  4. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

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    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #4
    how do you get 2 drives to run off one sata cable?

    and I only seen optical bay adaptor for one drive.

    please enlighten me as I'm interested genuinely in your upgrades.
     
  5. JDLang76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

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    Jan 1, 2018
    #5
    Sorry, not everything was pictured, it was kind of a mess.
    You can't get 2 drives to run off one cable (at least as far as I know)

    The logic board has three SATA ports.
    SATA 3 - Apple Proprietary Port (goes to Main HDD Bay by default)
    SATA 3 - Slimline SATA (Unused by default)
    SATA 2 - Slimline SATA (goes to Optical Drive by default)

    I'm re-routing the Main HDD SATA cable to the optical bay.
    I'm adding a Slimline SATA to SATA cable in the unused port and routing that also to the optical bay.
    I'm replacing the short Slimline SATA Cable that went to the optical drive with another long Slimline SATA to SATA cable and routing that to the Main HDD bay.

    I don't have brackets to hold the SSDs in place in the optical bay. I'm just going to use double sided tape.



    IMG_2579.jpg IMG_2580.jpg IMG_2581.jpg
     
  6. vertical smile macrumors 68030

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #6
    So, you plan on using the "red" and "green" SATA3 ports for the two SSDs to use in a software RAID, and the 4TB HDD on the SATA2 port.

    What type of RAID are you going to do? Can you use a software RAID0 as a boot disk? I always thought you could not. Is the HDD for a boot disk?
     
  7. JDLang76, Feb 2, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018

    JDLang76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    #7
    Your wiring is correct. And you can absolutely use software RAID 0 for a boot disk.
    Simply stripe them using the sierra install usb and then install on the new volume.
    Done that several times with other macs.

    Im going to clone my current SSD though. So Im going to put the SSD in the HDD spot, boot to that, create the RAID array, then clone to that. Then put the HDD in
     
  8. vertical smile macrumors 68030

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #8
    I vaguely remember doing it in the past with my Mac Pro, but I think I tried doing it sometime in the past 5 years and it didn't work, or maybe I read that it couldn't be done.

    Either way, I might try this and see what happens. I wonder if you could do your set up, have a RAID0, and put the HDD on the SATA2 port, and make them into a Fusion Drive using the Terminal.

    Are you using Terminal for this? I know that Apple removed the RAID feature from Disk Utility a few MacOS back.
     
  9. Brian Y macrumors 68040

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    Oct 21, 2012
    #9
    Exactly the same setup I had in my 2011.

    How did you get on with the 2700k? I upgraded mine from the base i5 to the 2600, but there were reports at the time that 'k' series CPUs wouldn't boot.
     
  10. JDLang76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

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    Jan 1, 2018
    #10
    I hate fusion drives lol.

    And oops. You're right. Not the sierra usb. What I did last time is I put a lion usb in, used it to create the RAID array, then swapped it for sierra usb and installed.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 2, 2018 ---
    Its not in yet. But Ive read it works. I guess Ill let you know.
     
  11. vertical smile macrumors 68030

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #11
    I have the original 1TB Fusion Drive in my Late 2012 iMac, and I have mixed feelings about it. I wished I would have just gone with the SSD.

    But, the reason why I like the idea of combining a software RAID0 of two SSDs, and a large HDD into a Fusion, is to have the best of both worlds. You could still have a large drive like the Apple's Fusion, but you could have a larger SSD than Apple's too small 128GB one, plus it would be two SSDs in a faster RAID0.

    Anyways, maybe I might give that a try on my Mac Pro, just to see if it can be done.
     
  12. JDLang76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

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    Jan 1, 2018
    #12
    Update -

    Got the CPU in today. Got the logic board back in.
    Booted up my last OS to a bot loop. (crap)

    tried booting high sierra, sierra, el capitan, yosemite, and mavericks install usbs. Boot loops.
    Tried booting to windows 10 ssd that was in there before. Booted and read CPU perfectly. So I know its OS X problem now.

    I then tried Lion. Lion installed and booted perfectly. Tried to upgrade to El Capitan form Lion. Crashed.
    Right now, Im reinstalling Lion, and will try to upgrade to mavericks. Hopefully I can upgrade in smaller steps.
    Really hoping that I can get this to work. Its nice that windows boots but I really want OS X.

    I'll update tomorrow. IMG_2619.jpg IMG_2620.jpg IMG_2621.jpg
     
  13. RyanXM macrumors regular

    RyanXM

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #13
    Try a PRAM and SMC reset. I would do the PRAM reset three times and then try to do an install of something higher than Mavericks. I've had an upgrade cause a weird issue when trying to do a fresh install right after the upgrade.
     
  14. JDLang76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

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    #14
    First things I did. Thanks though
     
  15. pier macrumors 6502a

    pier

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    Feb 7, 2009
    #15
    Maybe you could try asking in Hackintosh communities. IIRC model definitions affect which CPU you can use.
     
  16. RyanXM macrumors regular

    RyanXM

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    #16
    Given your thoroughness, I assumed so. Just thought I'd make sure. What OS were you running before the upgrade?
     
  17. JDLang76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

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    Jan 1, 2018
    #17
    Update- IT WORKS!!!

    To answer the above question, Sierra.

    I installed a fresh copy of Sierra on an SSD in my mac pro.
    I deleted the file "AppleHWSensor.kext" which checks for compatable hardware in between post and OS load.
    I disabled Secure Boot using terminal in recovery mode.
    I put the SSD in my imac, booted it up, and BAM! It was up.

    My 2nd SSD for RAID 0 is coming in today so I should finish this afternoon.
    I'm pumped. I'll post disk benchmarks. :)
     
  18. TC_GoldRush macrumors 6502

    TC_GoldRush

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  19. JDLang76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

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    Jan 1, 2018
    #19
    So I got over a couple of hurdles.

    Good News - Software Updates (including restart security ones) are working perfectly!
    I posted pics of the semi-finished inside 9needs to be cable managed better for the screen to lay flat lol)

    Things to do
    -Try instaling Windows 10 on a another partition of the raid array

    Things I may try.....
    I'm thinking I'm going to get crazy adventurous here.....

    I'm going to try another CPU upgrade and a GPU upgrade.
    Apple added Ivy Bridge suport to their logic boards around that time and the socket and chipset and TDP all match. TDP is actually lower. I'm going to try the i7-3770K. Its same clock speed but about 35% faster of a CPU.

    Also have the 2gb Radeon HD 6970m. Going to try the 2gb 7970m. Its a big step up for only 25w more TDP (almost made up by the lower TDP in the ivy bridge chip) The card is about 45% faster.

    I'm in a bidding war for the GPU and I'll wait on a cheap enough 3770K.
    I'll keep updating as I go. IMG_2640.jpg IMG_2641.jpg IMG_2642.jpg IMG_2644.jpg
     
  20. JeepGC macrumors regular

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    #20
    Subbed. Very interested in doing something similar to this to my iMac. Where did you find the 2700k? I haven't been able to find one for sale anywhere. Also interested to see how the 3770k works as I would rather use that than the 2700k if possible.
     
  21. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #21
    Glad it works! I know there were issues with the K CPUs, at least they were easy to get around.

    You may struggle with installing windows onto the raid array - remember it’s software raid. You may have to relegate windows to the HDD.

    Tip from my build - velcro works wonders for holding the SSDs in place ;)
     
  22. JDLang76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

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    Jan 1, 2018
    #22
    They're all over ebay. Got mine for $135


    If it can't be done, I'll probably scratch the HDD, grab a 2TB SSD, partition a couple hundred gigs for windows, and use the rest for storage that can be shared between the 2 operating systems. That's really ideal for the shared storage anyway. Just used that HDD cuz I had it laying around doing nothing.
     
  23. JDLang76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

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    Jan 1, 2018
    #23
    Just won the bid on a 7970m. Itll be here in 2-3 weeks. Ill update with GPU upgrade results then.
     
  24. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

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    NYC
    #24
    More GPU options are welcomed, as I've had quite a few of those 6970M's fail out on me over the past 12+ months.
     
  25. JDLang76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    JDLang76

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    Jan 1, 2018
    #25
    The 2gb model? I’m surprised. Ive worked mine to death for 6 years with zero issues. Are you sure you’re getting good contact between the heatsink and chip? Have you tested temps?
     

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