iMac late 2009 27" ssd upgrade?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dwd3885, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Dec 10, 2004
    I have the iMac i7 bto late 2009 model with the 1tb hard drive. WIth the new air out, I've been considering the advantages of ssd storage. So I'm contemplating upgrading my iMac's hard drive and replacing the 1tb with an ssd model and using the 1tb as external storage. Is this possible? Is this difficult for me to do myself? If so, is it something a third party or Apple Genius could install? Is it even worth it?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
  3. alanmcdonley macrumors newbie


    Feb 18, 2010
    Boynton Beach, FL
    Success: Late 2009 27" iMac SSD upgrade

    Last night I replaced the superdrive in my Late 2009 (11,1) 2.66GHz 27" Core i5 iMac with the OWC 3G SSD.

    "$286 and 2hours" upgrade now allows playing 17Mbps 1080p60 MP4 without stutter in QuickTime player. The improvement varies from 2x to 20x over the 7200 rpm 1TB hard drive, depending on what kind of disk access is measured.

    Restore of 200GB Mountain Lion from USB time machine took about 3 hours. Old xbench disk benchmark 79, new 370.

    I used:

    Newer Technology 2.25" Suction Cup
    Quantity: 2 at $7.99 each

    OWC DIY Kit: Data Doubler + 240GB OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSD Drive Bundle + 5 Piece took kit
    Quantity: 1 $269.99 each

    I first read detailed disassembly instructions with pictures:

    and watched this 11 minute video specific to upgrading with the OWC superdrive SSD carrier:

    (Also: Be sure you have the slim bent tweezers shown in the video. )
  4. dborja macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2007
    Northern California
    I did mine last weekend with a 256GB OCZ Agility 4. A lot quieter and faster now. I left the temp sensor floating and bought HDFANCONTROL ($30) to control the drive fan.
  5. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011

    Depends on how comfortable you are with tech DIY. I just did my early 2009 iMac with a new main large HDD, removed the optical drive and replaced with a boot SSD in that slot.

    If you did the same, the 1 tb would have SATA II speed access in the main slot, as opposed to a firewire 800 external. The SSD would have SATA II. And you could then make the optical drive the external usb item.

    Consult the instructions on iFixit, including looking at their videos on youtube (cute girl mac tech), which gives you an idea whats involved.

    As far as I'm concerned, if you can operation small screws without loosing them, you can do it, I just work slowly - as not to make mistakes - and have the right tools and parts i.e. LCD cleaning stuff to put it back together neatly.

    Cheaper to do it yourself, but I bet an independent apple certified tech might do it for a few hours labor.

    It is very worth it in my book.
  6. yaneevt macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    imac late 2009 ssd instead of superdrive

    thank you, to everyone who's posted on this thread so far.
    just had discussion with a technician about replacing the superdrive with an SSD, in my late 2009 iMac 27".

    he told me that from his past experience, some revisions from that product line do not allow installing and running a system from a drive connected to the connector, to which the superdrive was previously connected to.

    has anyone heard of such a case, or could offer a solution, in case this turns out to happen on my machine?

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