Adding SSD & RAM after Purchase - iMac 2011

Discussion in 'iMac' started by LRO, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. LRO macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm taking the plunge on a 2011 iMac today/tomorrow as I work out all my finances and 'buying plans' over the next few months. Starting a basic audio/video production studio in my room - splurging on Canon 7D, iMac, Audio Interfaces the works - going to be very poor xD but satisfied!

    I'm trying to save cash on the 2011 iMac 27" where I can. I was resigned to spending £3500 on ticking every top spec box on the store sheet. However, I can see that I can save alot of money if I leave the RAM at 4GB and just 1 2TB HDD.

    I was originally going to go for 16GB (but I have been told if I buy 4GB I can then buy some crucial RAM up to 32GB and put that in myself at a saving, could this be clarified?) and also a 2TB HDD + a 250GB SSD.

    My question was if I was to just go for the 2TB drive, could I then buy a crucial 512GB SSD and put that in with an Apple Dealer as an ADDITIONAL drive? Or do I only get it as 2 drives if I buy with apple. I'm sure they'd let me swap the one drive but I want both?

    If I went for the basics I would only be spending £1800 on the initial purchase (i7 3.4, 2GB GPU) rather than £3500 which is a massive difference!!

    I will also be buy a third party thunderbolt raid backup storage, which again is about £600 cheaper.

    I don't mind paying extra on the top spec mac setup, but saving on the add ins is invaluable where I can, as long as it doesn't hold me back too much.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. Moneymiike420 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    #2
    Just bought my First iMac a week ago tonight..I got the 4gb 1 tb hd 27" from best buy. I'm
    Not a big software user mainly
    Needed a new computer for streaming Netflix websites,pandora movies etc. I felt
    The core model would be sufficient l. Gonna max out the ram to 16 sometime
    Before summer ends I'm not sure if u can do 32 unless you have something external with the thunder port like u mentioned? IMO I think 1 tb hdd is more hen enough but this being my first mac I could be wrong with te tasks u plan to use
    Yours for . I'm sure you'll be satisfied with w.e iMac u choose and I hope u enjoy it as much as I've been enjoying mine..money isn't everything you gotta treat yourself here and there!! #
     
  3. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

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    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
  4. LRO thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    #4
    Judging by the existence of SSD drives on there, it is possible! lol
     
  5. LRO thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 24, 2012
  6. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #7
    As a second drive it will work, as a primary it's a problem as the current iMac's have the temp sensor on the HDD. Pull it and the fans run full tilt.

    Memory is easy
     
  7. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #8
    Does this mean the OS can't be on the SSD in that configuration?
     
  8. sol123 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #9
    Ram goes up to 32 gb with i7 only, the ssd can be done even by yourself you can buy a kit from owc ( macsales.com)with the proper cables to avoid fan issues, it is a very advanced install. macsales has youtube videos that show you how to do it. If you are not a computer tecjh and imac trained dont try it just my 2 cents. I recently had a tech replace the lcd on a 27 inch imac and he showed me besides for removing the lcd you must remove the logic board to get at the cables so there is lots of reassembly. Fwiw macsales says that this wont void your warranty
     
  9. Adz76 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Location:
    Dagobah System
    #10
    I was looking into this a while back when I was in the market for a top spec iMac similar to what you are looking at. The best option is to do as you said and buy the iMac from Apple with the CPU and GPU upgrades you want. Whilst thats in the post search out what SSD you want ( size and make ) and get that from Amazon ( Don't think Newegg is in the UK yet ) You can also buy your Ram from there too, I bought from Crucial who have an Amazon shop but there are other places too.
    Once you have all new hardware delivered you want to search for an Apple Authorised Repair agent, ( via Apple's website ) these are outlets with Mac qualified agents that can do any upgrade/ repair whilst still maintaining the warranty. When I looked into it Apple would only open my machine to repair something and supply and fit any problem component. They wouldn't fit a secondary drive that I supplied , so I researched it and this is the only other option which gets you the hardware you want fitted whilst keeping a full warranty intact.
    Last point, check which apps will use 32GB RAM, photo editing apps may and audio editing but outside of this not much else will so depending on what you will use and how often you use it, you may never need the other 16GB. Its £125 for 16 and x2 for 32 so I'd start with 16 and see how you go.
    Good luck!
     
  10. New Apple macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Location:
    Kristinestad
    #11

    it means ' installed as primary drive INSTEAD of the normal HD Apple sells you (1 or2 TB)

    but you can keep that HD where it is and add the SSD behind the Optic Drive THEN SET IT UP AS PRIMARY booting drive and it will work like a charm

    you cannot substitute the HDD without having Fan Issues (for my knowledge)
    you can add a secondary SSD and make it as booting Drive(no issues).
     
  11. ggpike macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    #12
    I just went through this. Purchased a base 21" iMac. Ordered a Samsung 256gb SSD from Amazon. Took them to the nearby Apple Authorized Service Provider and had them install the SSD plus an additional 4gb of RAM. They made the SSD the main drive and the HDD a secondary. They make a notation on your AppleCare account so that the computer's original parts are all still covered (minus the SSD).
     
  12. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #13

    Awesome, thank you for the clarification.

    That's a great idea. How much did they charge for the installation?
     
  13. ladysman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #14
    I have a late 2009/early 2010 i7 27" iMac. My location Apple authorized service center noted $250 with parts and labor plus the drive. It's still less than what apple charges. i'm probably going to jump on it.
     
  14. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    #15
    Another option for the SSD (if you don't want to void your warranty) is you can grab a Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter and run the SSD as your main OS as an external. I'm using a Lacie Thunderbolt HDD that I gutted and put a 128GB SSD in one side and a 120GB HDD in the other for Time Machine. Admittedly, the Lacie is limited to only SataII speeds, so its not a fast as it could/should be, but the Seagate adapter does run at full SataIII speeds. Sure, its not cost effective (for the most part) since the adapter is $100 and a Thunderbolt cable is $50, but it was a good option for me at the time. My warranty is now expired and I'm planning on putting the disk inside the iMac one of these days.
     
  15. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #16
    This is probably the best idea. I am sure someone would charge you $100 or so to install the SSD for you and you would still have to provide the SSD. This way, you spend ~$50 more and you get the peace of mind knowing that your AppleCare can't be voided by accidentally messing something up while working on your iMac. :)
     
  16. SBacklin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #17
    I came across this thread when searching for information about adding an SSD to my mid-2011 27in iMac. I called an a place and they said that in order to add the SSD as a primary drive and keeping the regular HDD as storage, they said I would have to make the optical drive an external optical drive while the SSD went where the optical drive was inside. I'm reading in this thread that the drive can sit behind the optical drive so I can keep the optical drive as an internal one?
     
  17. freshe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #18
    I'm in a same place with my new iMac. I'm getting 4x4GB memory from crucial and was looking into getting a SSD for system and then replacing the 1TB I have installed for something else. Now sure what at the moment, but I'm sure I'll figure it out at some point.

    Not sure if this would make any difference at all if I went for some big 2TB or more but slower 5400RPM to lower the heat produced comparing to 7200RPM HDD ?

    And I am going to bring it to autorised mac reseller so I'm keeping my warranty. The only downside of that is, if any of the HDDs fail it will cost me few quid to have them taken out / installed plus the delay inbetween claiming the warranty on the hard drives.

    If this new drive is installed by the qualified technician from the reseller will there be no "heat issues" that someone mentioned here earlier ? Or is it the case that there will always be some sort of problem with that ? I would not want to lose the ODD or have it as external eiter.
     
  18. New Apple macrumors regular

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    Mar 29, 2012
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    Kristinestad
    #19
  19. freshe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #20
    I just check macsales.com and can iMac i5 take 32GB of RAM ?? I thought it's only 16 max ?

    Also does anyone from europe (UK) bought anything from macsales ? Would there be any customs added ?
     
  20. SBacklin, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012

    SBacklin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #21
    Is this process offically supported by Apple? I'm curious as to why a authorized repair company told me I had to "remove" the optical drive completely and make it an external one.

    Then I got to find an authorized repair center that will actually do it and not make me take out the optical drive completely and while not voiding warranty/applecare. Assuming that's actually possible. Lol
     
  21. New Apple macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Location:
    Kristinestad
    #22

    Custom check (and fee) is pretty random (too much mail to check)
    i was prepared to pay the tax+go pick up elsewhere, but was lucky :), another time for another product -too big envelope- i had to pay extra

    ----------



    do you have the 27'' 2011 ?
    cos i think you can even order online (for example) the BTO including 2 hd (hdd+sdd) KEEPING the ODD in place

    older and smaller models i have no idea.
     
  22. myuserid08 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    #23
    Just to answer your RAM question, yes upgrade yourself. DO NOT use Apple's RAM as its over twice the price. Buy it from Crucial.
    The upgrade takes seconds to do, it's the only user serviceable part on the iMac - so make the most of it!
     
  23. xiaomei macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    #24
    I bought 32GB ram from amazon.co.uk, 2x Corsair CMSO16GX3M2A1333C9 and I paid little over £130 and it's working perfectly fine on my Imac 27 2011 i5.
     
  24. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #25
    For some models, there's a difference between what Apple officially supports and what the hardware is capable of.
     

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