April 2011 iMac: How to add SSD speed in a sensible fashion?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by alexjholland, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. alexjholland macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #1
    Hey, I recently bought a 750Gb Seagate hybrid drive with 8Gb SSD for my White Macbook (in addition to 4Gb RAM) and was impressed with what an easy, excellent upgrade it was.

    I planned to do the same for my iMac (purchased in April 2011 - the last model before Thunderbolt was added) to get a speed boost, but it seems this is nowhere near as easy to fit!

    I've heard about the difficult physically replacing the drive; the associated fan problems; and the fact it means your iMac will fail basic hardware approval.

    What are my options: Am I right in thinking there may be a bay specifically for an SSD drive that is feasible to install (or have installed)? I could deal with 256Gb for program files and keep the 1Tb disc for media..

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. gbredneck macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    #2
    Just done the same

    Hi

    I have a 27" imac bought just before april last year (without thunderbolt). Have just had a 256gb SSD installed.

    I have a reasonably priced apple authorised repair guy near me, i had an old 2nd hard drive kit from a dell latitude e series machine. We had to do a bit of chopping the kit, but its now installed (kept the 2tb hard drive in the main hard drive bay), in the DVD bay (bit heath robinson using tape and a couple of screws).

    The machine is now running like grease lightning (well imho).

    One small detail i didnt think of, i thought i was well prepared for the upgrade. I'd created a Lion USB installable USB stick, but for some reason when i tried to configure the SSD and create a new fresh partition the disk utility wouldnt let me install, due to the hard drive being "locked".

    I ended up doing an install from the internet, and like i say the machine is now running amazingly fast. Definitely worth doing and easy if you don't mind losing the optical drive.

    Hope that helps

    Rob
     
  3. alexjholland thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #3
    Bearing in mind you can have a 256Gb SSD fitted WITH the hard drive when you buy it, why did you have to lose the optical?
     
  4. gbredneck macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    #4
    I couldnt afford the drive when i bought the machine unfortunately, and the unit have didnt have the mount for the SSD.

    Cant remember the last time i used the optical drive anyways.
     
  5. alexjholland thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #5
    Hmm.. So the gap is there, but I'd need a mount?.. Did you have to get that software to regulate the fans too?
     
  6. thestickman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #6
    I have a 2010 iMac that I am way to chicken to crack into. I bought a 120 gb ssd, stuck it into a firewire 800 enclosure and run my DAWs (Logic & Studio One) with it. It's pretty zippy. Between this experience & my MBA I am hook. I won't ever buy a compter that doesn't have a ssd are its main drive.
     
  7. plucky duck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #7
    If you want to replace the primary mechanical drive with an SSD the task is not all that daunting really. So far as you can manage to unwire the LCD and unscrew the proper screws you're already 80% done. Now replacing the optical DVD drive, utilising the second SATA connector to pair with the SSD now that's something I dare not do as it requires disassembly of the logic board, a whole whack of wires and screws.

    There's a guide online somewhere with step by steps.
     
  8. All Taken macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    It's very easy, just follow my guide, it differs for the 2011 iMac in that you would use the spare SATA port, it's just a case of unscrewing, lifting, screwing and presto.

    Many people have used my guide so it can't be very difficult ;)

    If you use the spare SATA port you can place the SSD below the optical bay, no mount needed. The fans will behave as normal if you use this method.
     
  9. plucky duck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #10

    Question, if I use the caddy you linked in your tutorial, does that mean I can simply use the existing optical drive SATA cable to power the SSD? Is that a SATA2 or SATA3 connection? I have rarely a need to use the optical drive, would like to make that external and throw in another SSD drive. But if it's a SATA2 connection, I might just spend another $100 and go the external route getting another Goflex Thunderbolt adapter and cable and call it a day.
     
  10. All Taken macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    They are SATA 2 unfortunately. If you have an iMac with the 3rd SATA port you could utilise that connection for your SSD, alternatively you could adapt the optical drive connection to the present mechanical drive and use the SATA 3 Hard drive cable for your SSD in the optical bay.
     
  11. malias4 macrumors 6502

    malias4

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Location:
    Greece and Holland
    #12
    hi man i see u r in holland so if u want have a look here
    http://www.macrepair.nl/
    go through the menu n look, they can instal an 240gb ssd in the place of hdd or optical drive.
    shop is in amsterdam
     
  12. alexjholland thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #13
    Heh, no - Holland is my surname!

    Thanks though!
     

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