Mid 2010 Upgrade options?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Azzin, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Azzin, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014

    Azzin macrumors 68040

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    #1
    Hi gurus,

    My dad has been asking me about upgrades for his iMac (I think he's been listening to folks in his office!).

    Anyway, here's what he asked me about:

    • Buy and install 128 GB SSD - clone applications and system software (OS X Yosemite)
    • Buy and install HDD Fan Control software
    • Buy and replace HDD with 1TB / 8GB SSD hybrid drive - clone all other data from existing HDD (except system and applications)
    • Buy and replace i3-540 chip with i5-680

    So I thought I'd put it out here, to see how easy/hard/feasible the above options are.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Azzin thread starter macrumors 68040

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    London, England.
    #2
    One more thought:

    Would it be possible to fit an SSD, keeping the existing 500GB HDD purely for data?

    So if I installed Yosemite on the new SSD, would it be possible to move any applications to the SSD and leave the HDD as just a data storage drive?

    Ta.
     
  3. jsolares macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    From the specs you put up it seems like a 2010 model and not 2011. Mine has an i5 760 (2.8ghz), i think you could put up to an i7 870 in it. although probably safer to use the i5 680 since it has the same TDP as the current cpu.

    Depending on the model you can install an SSD without removing anything else, the 27" have 3 sata ports, if you have the 21" you would need to disconnect the dvd drive as those only have 2 sata ports.
     
  4. Azzin thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #4
    Thanks, you are indeed correct. :eek:

    According to EveryMac, putting in the last 3 characters of the serial (DAS) reveals it's a mid 2010 21.5" iMac: http://www.everymac.com/ultimate-mac-lookup/?search_keywords=DAS

    It's a 21", so does that change any of the options in my opening post?

    Thanks for your help here. :)
     
  5. jsolares macrumors 6502a

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    #5
  6. Azzin, Oct 21, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014

    Azzin thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #6
    Mid 2010 Upgrade options?

    Thank you.

    What do you think would be the "best" way to go?

    First off, I'm thinking SSD in the optical bay and having the iMac use that as it's main boot drive-but what about the applications that are currently on the 3.5" drive? :confused:

    With regards to the 3.5" drive, is it actually worth swapping it out with a Hybrid drive, seeing as it will just be used as data storage?

    I think what I'm trying to say is that I'd like to put an SSD in the optical bay and then just run certain applications from the 3.5" drive-is that possible seeing as it's currently got Mavericks installed on it?

    Is it simply a case of moving the Applications folder from the 3.5" to the SSD for specific applications and leaving the rest to run from the 3.5"?

    Thanks again.
     
  7. wrongmark macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    #7
    I've just posted my experience of fitting an SSD in my late 2009 iMac.

    I was contemplating leaving the existing HDD in place and loosing the optical drive (as I have an external one anyway) and putting the SSD in its place. But as my old HDD was starting to fail anyway I took it out and put the SSD in its place.

    I did a fresh install of Yosemite on the new SSD and use it as the main boot drive. I copied across apps from the old Applications folder on the old HDD to the new one, some worked, some didn't so just re-downloaded the ones that didn't.

    My opinion is that if you're going to fit an SSD, you want to be using it to boot from and have external HDDs for big things like iTunes library, videos, large data files etc. Making sure you have suitable backups. Or if you wanted, you could fit a larger HDD to replace the existing, use that for the big stuff and fit the SSD in place of the optical drive (and boot from it).

    About a year ago, I put 16Mb of RAM in mine too but to be honest I barely noticed the difference from the factory fitted 8Mb (I think). The SSD however has made a HUGE difference to speed when it comes to boot up, apps opening etc.
     
  8. nrubenstein, Oct 22, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014

    nrubenstein macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Hybrid drives are very, very risky. Seagate is the only vendor, so you get the joy of a crap Seagate hard drive (see BackBlaze's blog for reports on their reliability), combined with their crap firmware.

    Every single hard drive failure of mine in the last decade has been a Seagate. It's tempting to use them because they are usually the cheapest, but it's not worth it.

    Pick a high quality platter drive. When you are just using it for data, SSD isn't needed anyway. Just put applications and the OS on the main drive and you'll be fine.

    Edit: And to be clear, yes, Seagate's SSHD are even LESS reliable than their regular drives. Which is, frankly, a towering achievement.

     
  9. Azzin thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Thanks folks,

    So potentially the best way to go is to simply replace the existing HDD with a better spec one (not a hybrid) and fit an SSD air the optical drive bay and set the SSD as the boot drive?

    Then, move the apps folder from the HDD (leaving the HDD to be just a data storage drive) to the SSD & job done?

    Thanks again.
     
  10. jji7skyline macrumors 6502

    jji7skyline

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    #10
    It'd be best to backup your whole iMac for this overhaul.

    - HDD can be upgraded to 2TB or more for around $100. Newer hard drives are faster, and they're cheap. Use this for storage.

    - Replace optical drive with SSD, you can find instructions on ifixit.com. Get something like a 128GB for less than $100, 840EVO is a good choice in terms of value for money.

    - CPU can be upgraded, but only do this if you are able to find a good deal on the new one. Can be hard because some corporations need loads of old parts to keep their old hardware running, and there is a limited supply of old parts.

    - Upgrade the RAM, you should be able to bring it up to a reasonable value, possibley 8GB or 12GB for under $100.

    Don't get a hybrid drive there is very little performance difference compared to the price.

    You don't need to install HDD fan control software, that's only required for 2011 iMacs.

    All up, you'll be spending around $300 without the CPU upgrade. Probably around $500 if you do the CPU upgrade as well. Might be worth considering selling and buying new. This way you get newer hardware and another year of warranty.

    Avoid the new Mac Minis and the 21" iMacs, they are hard to upgrade.
     
  11. Azzin thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #11
    Yes, I've got Carbon Copy Cloner ready to go!

    That sounds like a plan. I've been reading up on the hybrid drives and it's put me off, so thanks to everyone that pointed that out.

    Perfect, thank you.

    I'm not sure there will be much 'bang for buck' upgrading the CPU to be honest, so I don't think it's worth the effort/cost.

    Nice one, thanks.

    I'll upgrade the existing drive with a newer/faster/larger HDD to leave it as is.

    Ah, good to know, thanks.

    I think this is what we'll go with:

    1. Clone and replace existing 500GB HDD to newer/faster/larger HDD.
    2. Install SSD (120GB Evo?) in optical drive bay, install Yosemite and set as boot drive.
    3. Move Applications folder from HDD to SSD (what happens if for somes strange reason the folder movies ok, but <whatever app> then doesn't start-presumably just redownload/install?
    4. Upgrade RAM.

    How does that sound?
     
  12. jji7skyline macrumors 6502

    jji7skyline

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    #12
    When you say move your Applications folder from HDD to SSD, I'm assuming you mean from the backup? If so, most of your apps should work, but if any don't just reinstall them. That is, delete them and redownload. Exactly.
     
  13. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

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    #13

    I would just re-download and re-install. Why transfer old crap over?
     
  14. questioner76 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    #14
    I have the exact same iMac. I bought an SSD upgrade kit from OWC at:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYIM27SSD10/

    I bought my own 256 gb SSD from Amazon, installed in using the 3rd SATA port, created a Fusion drive with the existing 1 TB HDD, and used Time Machine to restore my prior configuration.

    It was very simple actually. Just watch the video 2 times and buy the kit. It's well worth the money. The SSD install took maybe 30 minutes. The software setup took maybe an hour or so.

    The computer is blazingly fast. If I hadn't recently done this, I'd probably be shopping for the Retina iMac right now!
     

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