Best SSD for DIY 2011 iMac 27" Upgrade

Discussion in 'iMac' started by henryonapple, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. henryonapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    #1
    I booted my 2011 27" iMac yesterday for the first time in about 10 months and just realized how incredibly slow it was compared to my Macbook Air.

    Question to those who have upgraded their iMacs with SSDs, which SSD would give me the best performance and reliability?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. MrGimper macrumors 603

    MrGimper

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    Andover, UK
    #2
    My recommendation would be Samsung 840 Pro as first choice, then Samsung 840 EVO.
     
  3. henryonapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2012
    #3
    thanks for the advice, may I ask why you chose these 2 models over others?
     
  4. MrGimper macrumors 603

    MrGimper

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    #4
    Most other SSDs use sandforce controllers which compress data to achieve their speeds. If data is already compressed then performance gets hit. Also there are numerous reports of sandforce controllers being unreliable... for example the toshiba 128GB flash modules on the Air are sandforce controllers and there have been a raft of people, quite recently actually, complaining about failures.

    Samsung SSDs consistently get great reviews and samsung make all the components that go into their SSDs (I believe).

    If you have a look around the forum I think many people run and like the Samsung SSDs.
     
  5. alksion macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #5
    Off topic.. But why do you have the iMac if you haven't touched it 10 months?
     
  6. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    There's really only one choice for SSD vendors right now - Samsung.

    The 840 Pro is for the best performance where cost is no issue. The 840 Evo is for more budget conscious folk who want a little better cost per gig, but who still want decent performance.

    That's not to say other vendors are bad, but Samsung is almost certainly the king right now.
     
  7. henryonapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I came across a deal about 10 months ago that I couldn't pass up, but didn't really need another computer at the time as I have two Macbook Airs

    ----------

    Funny that you mention the Toshiba, if you click on the link in my signature you will see the petition I created regarding that problem.
     
  8. macthefork macrumors 6502

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    Feb 2, 2013
    #8
    I originally used a OWC Extreme Pro 6G SSD in my 2011 iMac, which worked very well. I was unable to update the firmware using OWC's updaters, however, and had to send it back to them for it to be updated. I currently have a Crucial M500 480 GB installed and this runs even faster than the OWC did. No Problems so far, and this iMac is wicked fast.

    The OWC SSD is still working fine in a HP Laptop running Windows 7.
     
  9. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

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  10. alksion macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #10
    Fair enough. If raw speed isn't your thing. The Samsung 840 non pro is a great performer for the price and is also an extremely reliable SSD.
     
  11. henryonapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2012
    #11
    I actually went for the pro version because money wasn't an option, and I'd rather get the best and open up my iMac once versus several times
     
  12. henryonapple, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013

    henryonapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    just wanted to update you guys that I installed the Samsung 840 Pro, enabled trim, and it's now lightning fast.
     
  13. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 31, 2010
    #13
    Of course not, you've got a PCI-E SSD in your Air.
     
  14. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    Dec 30, 2009
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    DFW, TX
    #14
    I'd go with Samsung, there weren't 840 Pro's out when I did this but I installed 2 Samsung 830 drives in RAID0.

    If I had to do it today, Samsung 840 Pro is what I would spend my money on.
     
  15. alksion macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #15
    What exactly isn't fast?
     
  16. NewMacUser20009 Suspended

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #16
    DIY or Vendor

    I am actually considering adding an SSD to my Mid-2011 27" iMac as well, but I'm a little hesitant to do it myself using the kit from iFixit. After watching the video on youtube & reading the instructions on iFixit I think this install may be beyond my comfort/skill level. I can just picture me spending 3 hours being very careful taking my time and then it won't turn on.

    I am pretty sure Apple does not offer this as a service. Has anyone used a 3rd party to install an SSD in their iMac? I was thinking Micro-center may be able to do it.
     
  17. push/pull macrumors newbie

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    Oct 31, 2013
    #17
     
  18. pawtracks macrumors regular

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    Dec 11, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #18
    Not saying I prefer OWC over Samsung.

    OWC firmware update: They have finally developed a solution to update the firmware yourself.
    Prior to these updates you basically had to open your Mac, remove the SSD and put it in a windows machine to update the firmware (or send it to them...)

    USB key: $5.99

    or make your own: $0.00
     
  19. macthefork macrumors 6502

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    Feb 2, 2013
    #19
    Actually, the "Make Your Own" was what I tried, numerous times, even with OWC Support assistance, remaking the Disk and rebooting. The updater would boot fine. However, the updater never saw the OWC SSD that was installed on the internal SATA port. OWC's support verified it needed the Firmware update and eventually just said to send it back under warranty, which I did.

    After receiving the SSD back from OWC, I didn't want a SSD that couldn't easily be user updated back in my iMac. That's why it resides comfortably in the Laptop, now.
     
  20. henryonapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2012
    #20
    disconnecting some of the wires was very tricky, i thought i broke my iMac

    ----------

    i meant to say "now lightning fast." yes i'm running mavericks, all is good
     
  21. nynd, Jan 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014

    nynd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    #21
    Question - I am also doing the same upgrade to a mid-2011 iMac with a 840 pro ssd. How did you enable Trim? Some places say not to enable it others say enable it and it may shorten the lifespan of the drive. Confused to say the least...

    Guess the drive has automatic garbage collection built in... so no need (from Samsung website):

    Special Feature
    TRIM Supported
    S.M.A.R.T Supported
    Auto Garbage Collection Algorithm
    AES 256bit Full Disk Encryption (Class 0)
    World Wide Name supported
     
  22. henryonapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2012
    #22
    this is the site i used

    http://www.return1.at/trim-enabler-for-osx/

    it was already fast without the trim, but not sure if it actually does shorten the life of the drive
     
  23. Lfaraday macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    #23
    Ssd raid...and TRIM

    Hi,
    A month ago did an ssd upgrade to my wife's mac mini server...put 2 samsung 840 evo's and tried the strip raid...the speed was above 900MB/s for write and above 950 for read...my imac, also 2011 with apple ssd in was never hitting more then 180MB/s...
    This weekend i made the upgrade of my imac as well, using OWC tools and videos...i've replaced the original HDD and the optical (had to put the apple ssd into optical's place, since the cable was not long enough) and the opticals sata is sataII...set up the raid and the starting speeds were above 900 but it was dropping back when running constantly the test for 8-10 cycles...the mac mini was not doing that. Then i have tried enabling the trim...currently it's back and holding the speed above 850 constantly...
    The only thing i can think of as difference, since in system info bothe imac and mini had trim off, is the install of the os in the case of mini...mini got a clean install, and the handling of the trim was different on os level. Imac got just a hdd replacement...

    Just wantedn to share, maybe someone runs into a similar situation

    Cheers
     

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