Late 2009 iMac 27" Optical bay to SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by hardtofin, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. hardtofin, Nov 3, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013

    hardtofin macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    Hi guys,

    I would like to install an SSD in my GF's iMac (in the optical bay). This would I hope enable me to make a fusion drive with the existing HDD that is already in there. Does anyone have any experience of doing this on this exact model (see title).

    Specific things I would like to know are:

    Does it need 3g or 6g SSD? Is this the Sata speed that can be checked in system info?

    What are negotiated link speeds and are they important and dependant on the drive used?

    Do i need TRIM?

    Do I need to short the fans out are some are suggesting or is that only if you are replacing the original HDD?

    Do I need any special leads? I think I may need mini-sata to sata?

    What mounting case are you guys buying to hold the SSD in place in the optical bay?

    Specifically, if anyone from the UK has done this I would be very interested as the only company I can only find that supplies the mounting is OWC in the States.

    I have spent 2 hours reading through threads on various websites, but am nervous about getting it exactly right and of course, most people's thread are relating to different imacs.

    Many thanks guys.

    hardtofin :)

    EDIT: Would something like this do the job to 3.5 adapter&src=16 or do SSD's not have the mounting holes in the same place (note this is a kingston converter).
  2. hardtofin thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
  3. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2010

    It only runs up to 3GBit/s SATA - you can use the faster drives but it won't max them out.
    You can use TRIM Enabler.
    You don't need to short anything out as long as you transfer the temperature probe (use a razor to peal it off the DVD drive).
    No special leads required.
    I used this one: You have to take the superdrive apart from the mounting plates - you'll understand when you have the thing apart. It's easy. Took me 20 min start to finish.

    Be careful putting it back together - the cable that goes from the display to logic board is fragile.
  4. hardtofin thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    Many thanks for your reply Red.

    It is indeed very helpful. I see you say no leads needed. I am then incorrect in thinking that the superdrive lead is mini-sata? As this is what I have read online.

    Do you get a SATA lead with whatever drive you buy or you used the superdrive lead?

    Many thanks.

  5. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2010
    So with the drive mount... the SSD slips into that - plugging into a board that connects to the SATA data and power connectors on the drive. The cable that previously connected to the superdrive connects right to the drive mount.
  6. hardtofin thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    And with the superdrive cable connector, do you get a link speed of 3gb cos I read that the superdrive is only a 1.5gb link.

    Sorry for all of the questions Red. Many thanks once again for all of your help.

  7. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2010
    Yup, not a problem. Definitely negotiates to 3gbit. :)
    I haven't used TRIM enabler on my iMac - it's working on my MBP though.
  8. hardtofin, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013

    hardtofin thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    Final post, them I'm going to order. Can you see any reason why this drive wont work/will be a bad choice?

    The first comment mentions using the 2.5" to 3.5" converter kit that comes in the box:

    "I removed the old system drive, installed the SSD in its place using the 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch conversion kit that comes in the box, and temporarily installed the old drive in a spare slot (luckily I had a spare SATA cable and power cable too)."

    Would I be able to use this or will I need the caddy that you linked?

    If I needed to buy a lead, which would I need? As I'm not sure whether leads will come with the drive I have ordered.

    Thanks again! :)
  9. skrondo macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2010
    Maybe someone has tested but I'm thinking to take a double step: Mount a ssd Samsung 840 (256gb) on Imac late 2009 with snow leopard and after switch directly to Mavericks for fusiondrive.

    could be risky?
    better that I star to reinstall all my stuff?

    any suggestion? :confused:

    thanks in advice
  10. hardtofin, Nov 6, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013

    hardtofin thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    I have now fitted the above drive and had no problems with the install. However I now have two major issues.

    Firstly I only get read/write speeds in blackmagic disk test between 90-110mbs on the fusion drive and secondly, it only links at 1.5gb instead of 3gb. Is this to do with the age of the machine? (It's late 2009 27" iMac) or something else?

    Finally, on the caddy I bought, there is a switch next to the slim sata connector, I have found vague posts on the net saying this is a compatibility switch for different makes of laptops i.e Dell/HP etc. Is this correct or should I disassemble my imac once more and push the switch to the other setting in hope of getting faster read/writes and a better link speed?

    Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    hardtofin :)

    EDIT: Does 1.5gbs to 3gbs actually make a noticeable difference in performance?
  11. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2010
    The 1.5gbps is why you're only getting ~100mb/s transfer rates. I am able to max my SSD out on 3gbps, but bigger (and therefore faster) drives will be limited by 3gbps. Really strange that you're negotiated at 1.5gbps..... It's worth trying to flip that switch, mine is working fine at a negotiated 3gbps.
  12. hardtofin, Nov 7, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013

    hardtofin thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    From what I read on the net, there's basically no "real world" difference between the 2? People say you only notice it in a server transferring huge amounts of data and very large files?

    What make is your drive Red?

    EDIT: Have now taken out my drive and ordered the samsung 840 evo, same one as you Red. My understanding is there is a known bug with nvidia chipsets and the sandforce controller that is on a lot of SSD's. I will post and let you know the outcome. :)
  13. hardtofin thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    UPDATE: Samsung 840 evo now installed, STILL only connects at 1.5gb/s regardless of what position HDD caddy is in.

    It's either the caddy slowing it down (which I doubt) or the crappy nvidia chipset on the logic board.

    Anyway, using a diff make of drive with a different controller made NO difference.


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