External or internal SSD to run iOS on iMac late 2009

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mikaelsundkvist, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. mikaelsundkvist macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2016
    I need expertise here.

    I want to boost my old 21,5 iMac late 2009, 1 TB 5400 rpm with a SSD drive to run iOS from.

    a. Would you recommend replacing the internal drive or buying an external SSD with thunderbolt?

    b. What do I need to run iOS if I go for an external solution, 128, 256 or 512 GB? (videoediting is my most advanced task. no gaming)

    c. any recommended brands? Best place to buy from?

    Thanks a lot. Real experience feedback is much appreciated.

  2. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    I think you mean running OS X rather than iOS.

    late 2009 (iMac 10,1 probably) doesn't have a thunderbolt port. it's just mini display port even though they look the same. I think you have a FW800 port (not sure about the 21.5" version, my late 2009 is 27")- FW800 isn't really fast enough to keep up with an SSD, so that's not a good option.

    replacing the internal drive on an iMac requires removing the screen. many people have done it and there are plenty of how-to videos out there. make sure you look at some before you decide to go forward. personally, I will buy a new system before I try to upgrade my late 2009 27" - it's just not worth the hassle.

    If you want to go for it, see OWC for both compatible drives and the tools that you'll need to remove the screen...

    Also note that this model iMac has a non-standard temperature sensor in the drive. OWC has a solution for that as well - it's near the top of the link above.

    Pretty much any 3 Gb/s SATA SSD will work as long as you get the temp sensor and appropriate mounting bracket - I think your iMac has a built-in 3.5 inch drive, but it might be 2.5", in which case the SSD should fit without needing a bracket.

    OS X takes very little space, so even a 64GB SSD can be used for System drive. You're lucky in that you have no need for the fastest available drive ( the 3 Gb/s SATA speed will be your bottle neck), so you can probably get a larger capacity for a good price.
  3. mikaelsundkvist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2016
    Thanks a lot for the help. Much appreciated.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 26, 2016 ---
    Thanks a lot. Much appreciated :)

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