Has anybody swapped or upgraded their 2011 iMac SSD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by g-boac, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. g-boac macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2007
    Question, has anybody swapped their 2011 iMac BTO Apple SSD with an aftermarket SSD (e.g., OWC, Vertex) in an effort to either increase speed or capacity? If so, I have two questions:

    [1] did you notice a perceivable real-world increase in boot times, shut down times, or application launch times?
    [2] if your computer had the SSD + 2TB HDD option, and you ONLY swap out the SSD, does this cause you problems with the fan speed issue experienced by users if who attempt to upgrade the HDD?

  2. Dresevski macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2011
    Can't tell you about perceivable increase in speed but you can just swap it out and not have any fan issues. The temp for the SSD won't show up correctly in iStat but that's not really something to be worried about. The only bonus to BTO is that you have somewhere to screw the SSD into the case and you don't have to tear the thing apart to install cabling
  3. th0rr macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2011
    If you'll just swap the BTO SSD for other SSD, there are no problems. I would recommend OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD, because they figured out how to "convince" iMac not to spin fans at full speed, but only when needed.
  4. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006

    Don't get me wrong - we all feed on others pushing the boundaries where we don't have the money or guts, but I don't see where the massive benefit is when you are spending so much for another SSD whilst losing the warranty, certainty that it will work as well as possibly TRIM support.

  5. g-boac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2007
    David - a fair question to ask. In this case the benefits to my needs are as follows:

    [1] larger SSD capacity (512 GB vice 256 GB)
    [2] greater speed (550 MB/s vs 180-220 MB/s)
    [3] warranty issues

    The capacity is objective an unarguable; if a customer needs more space, the only way to get it is with a bigger hard disk (or SSD).

    Speed - my question of course is whether this is actually felt in the real world (start times, shutdown times, application launch times) or only in benchmark tests. Yes, it may be a second or two, and clearly this benefit is one that's ancillary and secondary to [1].

    Warranty - my computer as a whole is under a three-year warranty from Apple. An OWC SSD would be covered under a 5 year warranty from OWC. Replacing a hard drive (or SSD) does not void Apple's warranty any further than installing the hard drive (SSD) into my iMac void's OWC's warranty. Granted, if I botch the installation and damage the iMac (say, I accidentally tear or break a ribbon cable), I shouldn't expect that damage to be covered, but that is a risk I'll need to take. Similarly, if I install the OWC SSD and the computer doesn't function properly, then it's not within Apple's scope (necessarily) to get the iMac working with the OWC SSD - although they may choose to do so - the burden would be on me to reinstall the Apple SSD. Now, if I reinstall the Apple SSD and the computer is still not working, then I would have a valid warranty claim with Apple, UNLESS, the damage were caused by the aftermarket SSD itself, and if it were directly attributable to it and verifiable.

    Finally, TRIM support is fine and that is essential for SSDs which don't have garbage collection (GC). TRIM and GC effectively perform the same function. The Apple SSDs do not have GC, so they need TRIM. OWC SSDs are renowned for very effective and aggressive GC, and thus TRIM support is moot.

  6. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the reply - that is the most polite and comprehensive answer I think I have ever had to a forum post! I hadn't realised that the speed difference was so large. For me, I'd be surprised if I saw a big difference, and the idea I understand is for the applications, system and swap files to be on the SSD, and so I can't see myself ever needing more than 256Gb for that. Combine that with my inbuilt fear of frying a machine every time I open it, and it's still not an option for me, but I can now understand why some would see the benefit.

    All the best,


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