iMac mid-2011 OWC SSD installation question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Cheekiermonkey, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Cheekiermonkey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    #1
    Hello all,

    I recently purchased a 27" iMac 3.1Ghz i5 and am very pleased with the performance upgrade from 2007 Macbook Pro :D. That said, I purchased an OWC 120GB Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD to use as a main drive for applications/games, and to store photos/music etc on the 1TB drive that came pre-installed.

    Now, while I would have no problem sending my iMac to OWC for the Turnkey Program, I live in London. There are a number of reasons this isn't ideal: shipping costs, time required, risk of damage during transit. I have found an authorised Apple service center to do the installation. They have explained that in addition to the drive, I would need to include the proper mounting bracket (unless it comes preinstalled in the iMac's SSD bay, which is doubtful) and correct data/power cable.

    OWC's techs, while polite, have given me conflicting advice -- one technician said that only the drive and cable are required, while another said that it can only be done (without fan speed issues) by removing the optical drive and using an OWC bracket in the optical bay (while retaining the 1TB drive as-is), as the SATA cable used in the iMac is not designed for SSD use. Is the latter correct?

    I've looked through the message boards and seen information regarding DIY projects for iMac 2011 SSD installation. As I understand it, the mounting bracket is optional as velcro/some adhesive is a good option and a Slimline 13 pin SATA Female to 22 Pin SATA Female Cable is required to avoid fan speed issues. Is this understanding correct or incomplete?

    Essentially, what do I need to provide the Apple technician in order for him to successfully do the installation and avoid high fan speed issues? if I choose the mounting bracket approach, which mounting bracket will work? (does OWC sell one? I've seen Apple brackets on Ebay...)

    Many thanks for any help/thoughts on the matter!

    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  2. ndriver182 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    #2
    Tagging along. My new 2.7 i5 will be here tomorrow and I'd eventually like to transplant my OWC SSD from my Mac Mini.
     
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #3
    personally I would not do it. I would buy this.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/H7561ZM/A

    or build this

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1280118

    JMO
     
  4. ndriver182 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    #4
    I'm not sure I fully I understand why not. Not to mention I'd rather not spend $900 for an external SSD.
     
  5. philipma1957, Jan 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #5
    putting in an owc voids iMac warranty. if it fails your machine is down and you have to send it to owc for r m a. while buying an expensive piece of gear like an iMac putting in an aftermarket ssd is cheesy.

    JMO . if you read my thread I have a 512gb ssd in my lacie total cost of about 850 I paid 400 for the lacie little big disk I paid 600 for a pair of samsung 256gb ssds total 1000 I sold the drives in the machine for 150 so for around 850 I have a 512gb ssd boot drive.

    speeds are 475mbs read / 390 mbs write. my ssds have separate warranties and since i sold my lacie drives for 150 the cost for the case was 250 while high it is the only game in town. and if my setup dies I am out 250 .. also my samsung ssds have a 3 year warranty. owc will give you a 1 year warranty at best if they put the ssd in the iMac. so you are putting more then 1500 at risk. if you read the fine print apple no longer covers the iMac . you can only use owc if any part of the iMac fails see this pulled from this link

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/turnkey/iMac_2011/UpgradeInstall

    ☟☟☟☟☟☟☟

    "Select the Warranty Coverage for Your Enhanced iMac Solution:


    OWC will assist/fulfill the iMac factory warranty, as well parts and labor, for all OWC installed enhancements. The warranty term start date is based on the serial number of your iMac, and the Apple recorded date of sale for the machine upgraded.


    Standard Fulfillment through term of original 1 year Factory Warranty (up to 1 Year)

    Three Year Extended (Adds 2 Years to standard - maximum of 3 years) (Add $199)"

    ☝☝☝☝☝☝☝

    the quotes are mine.


    So for myself I would have to ship the iMac all the way to owc if anything fails. this means no machine for at least 5 business days.

    (very optimistic with a 5 day guess) 2 days for them to get it 1 day to fix 2 days to get back to me. Plus shipping would be more then 50 bucks one way.

    if i use the lacie and the iMac breaks the apple store is 10 miles from my house. much faster to get it repaired. if i have an issue with the lacie case i am out the money. but if the ssd or the power supply goes down i have spares so the fix is instant.


    also with diy i can make a small one with a pair of 64 gb ssds. kingston had a deal for 64gb ssds at 65 dollars after rebate. making a diy lacie setup is about 400 with them.and it runs at 390mbs/270mbs. once again fast replacement and cost is not that bad. plus I can move the osx from t-bolt mac to t-bolt mac.
     
  6. ndriver182 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #6
    Why is it cheesy? Is pulling out the stock "Apple" RAM and replacing it with aftermarket RAM cheesy? People do it all the time. I added the OWC drive to my 2011 mini and used the stock drive internally as a storage drive. That's cheesy? In addition, who's to say I need an 850gb SSD? In my case, that's completely overkill. I see your logic regarding voiding a warranty (assuming you screw something up and Apple finds out how it got screwed up), but otherwise I fail to see why it's such a bad thing to install an aftermarket SSD. Not trying to pick a fight. I just don't see why it's such a big deal if someone is willing and capable of doing the modification/upgrade.
     
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #7
    I added to my post above.
    I am talking about the owc program. If you diy it that is not a problem. I misunderstood that you wanted to diy it. I do endless diy and I agree with you that warranty voiding is on you if you diy it. I have done. many mac minis and setting back to stock is easy.

    I don't recommend any company unless you can get fast turn around and low cost shipping.
     
  8. ndriver182 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    #8
    Fair enough. Just a little misunderstanding. Yes, *I* am interested in the DIY route and have no problem doing so. I'm just trying to do research on how to do it. I've found a couple more threads, but still sorting through the details and a bit confused at the moment. I have no intention of sending my computer in to a 3rd party to have the work done.

    I'm used to my mini, which doesn't have a Superdrive so in theory only running my OWC 120gb SSD as the main drive plus the stock 1TB 7200rpm drive as a media/storage drive would be adequate. If I can keep the Superdrive and both HD's that would be a bonus. Apple sells the iMac with the option to run one SSD and a standard HD on their site, but I'm confused as to whether that option still includes the Superdrive. If it does include the Superdrive, I'm trying to understand how they mount the additional SSD without the double sticky tape or velcro that some people seem to be using.
     
  9. Cheekiermonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    #9
    Good morning,

    Good to see this thread won't need to have to many "Bueller?" bumps...

    The Lacie external Thunderbolt SSD looks elegant but is too expensive. Thanks for the suggestion though!

    Any other suggestions re: the OP? ;)

    ndriver182 - hope you enjoy the new iMac. Great machine!
     
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #10
    TO the op it looks like you are uk based..
    what apple tech will you use to put the ssd in?
    if you use a local shop how does it affect repairs later?
    are you going to diy the install?
     
  11. Cheekiermonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    #11
    I plan on going to Cancom in Kensington, which is also where Apple recommended I visit. It will just cost me a couple hours of labor.

    As long as he doesn't make a hash of it then I'll be fine if/when I need to use Applecare. Particularly when the Genius Bar sends me to them in the first place. ;)
     
  12. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #12
    Just installed a Corsair ForceGT 120GB SSD in my new iMac 27" and it was as painless and when I installed one in my '09 iMac which my wife uses.

    Read speeds over 495MB/s, daddy likes. Finally this thing is blazing quick.
    This drive was $189 at Frys with a $30MIR. Last week I added another 4GB of OWC Ram I got from them for $16.

    A basic replacement of the stock HDD is ridiculously simple.
    Adding an SSD to the stock location + retaining the 1TB HDD for storage is a little more in depth, as I just disassembled the entire guts and remembered that I did not have the correct 2nd power cable for the new SSD, so I just replaced the HDD until I order the cable.

    While I'm at it I'm just going to toss in another drive in place of the DVD Burner since I have no use for it and I have an external BluRay Burner I use "if" i ever need an optical drive.


    ***** The worst part is having the HDD Fan at full speed until you get OSX back up and running. Then just download SSDFanControl. Which forces the HDD Fan to run at a very quiet 1,400-1,500rpm to make your iMac whisper quiet again.*****
     
  13. Cheekiermonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    #13
    Thanks mmomega for the information. Any other suggestions?

    Is it true that if I choose to install the SSD in the optical bay, I can avoid the fan speed issues? Would I still need a bracket and/or extra power/data cable?

    I suppose I wouldn't miss the optical bay if I got an external blu ray drive...

    Thoughts?
     
  14. G-Money macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #14
    I installed an SSD in my 2011 27" iMac about two weeks ago. As long as you're not replacing the HDD with an SSD, you won't have any fan issues.

    If you choose to install the SSD in the optical bay, you'll still need to buy a bracket, for sure. The SATA cable that the optical drive is using should work for your SSD, though. That being said, there's another cable running from the optical bay to the logic board - but I'm not sure what it is.

    Your best bet, rather than buying an external drive is just to install the SSD under the optical drive. You'll have to buy the bracket and cable, but it gives you full access to your HDD, ODD, and new SSD.

    If you're skittish about taking apart your computer, though, you might want to just go through the service center.
     
  15. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #15
    The SSD actually goes under the logic board. There is a plastic pressure wall in the non-ssd iMacs that is basically a black plastic wall about an inch to inch and a half tall.
    To do everything as close to stock as possible you need to get the SSD pressure wall, it has a bracket added to it to mount the SSD on.
    Then the power cable for the SSD iMac that adds another SATA power plug, or get a SATA power splitter and split off of the HDD.

    The optical drive SATA power connector is completely different than a standard connector.
    ALSO... I accidentally left the optical drive disconnected when I initially put the iMac back together and I had the Optical Drive fan spinning at full speed as well. Once I reconnected the power cable the fan went back to normal.

    So basically if you want your iMac as close to stock as possible you'll drop another $60 for the SSD pressure wall bracket and new power cable with the added data power plug, they are $30 ea.

    Here's the bracket. http://applecomponents.com/items/922-9485_pressure-wall-optical-ssd-mxm/0000004776?pn=1&s=922-9485

    and the power cable. http://applecomponents.com/items/92...backlight-sata-ssd/0000004774?pn=1&s=922-9531

    You'll also need another SATA data cable, preferably one with a 90deg turn on one end.
     
  16. R.OG macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2010
    #16
    Those items are for the 2010 iMac.
     
  17. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    Dec 30, 2009
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    DFW, TX
    #17
    From what I have read and been told the wall is for sure the same since they started installing SSD's in the mid 2010 iMac models.

    The power cable "looks" like the correct cable as well and I have been told it will work.

    Either way I will report back next week, my wall and power connector is on the way. Pics as well.
     
  18. R.OG macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #18
    The SSD cable part number is 922-9875 and the bracket number is 076-1386. Keep in mind that not all 2011 imac's come with the mounting post for the ssd bracket. I own 2 2011 imac's and only one had the mounting post for the bracket under the optical drive.
     
  19. Cheekiermonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 6, 2012
    #19
    Good to know -- if not the mounting bracket / cable suggested above, then is another which people are aware will work? Has anyone used OWC for this?
     
  20. R.OG, Jan 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012

    R.OG macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2010
    #20
    I just installed a owc mercury extreme pro 6g with the cable and bracket i posted above. Some people use double sided tape instead of the mounting brackets.
     
  21. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #21
    Good to know, I wasn't aware that some came with posts and some did not.

    I matched my stock pressure wall to the picture of the SSD pressure wall and it appeared to be identical other than the flat piece for the SSD to mount on.

    I entertained the option of double sided tape as well but it didn't set right with me when I could just order the mount and be good. Even if none else ever saw the insides I'd know ... blame it on OCD or something.
     
  22. Cheekiermonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 6, 2012
    #22
    I see, looks like I would get the parts at applecomponents.com... Also, have you had any high-speed fan issues since doing your install?
     
  23. Exirion, Jan 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012

    Exirion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #23
    There is a test version with a user interface. Feel free to test it :)

    [​IMG]

    http://www.exirion.net/software/SSDFanControl-2.0RC2.dmg
     
  24. handycandy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    #24
    @R.OG: Do you know why there are mounting post not in every 2011 iMac? May it be, that there are only mounting post under the ODD in the High-End-iMacs (i5 3,1 and i7 3,4)? I have the screws #922-6800 and #922-9927. Together that is 2x5 (=10) screws, do I need all 10? Because there are only 7 holes in the brackets. Do I have to put everything out to switch in the SATA-cable? And it would be very nice if you could send me your email-address, because I want to build the SSD in my 2011 i5 3,1 iMac next week. Thanks a lot!
     

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