Need some guidance to setup SSD on 2007 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Happy Marsden, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. Happy Marsden macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    #1
    I'd like to install an SSD in place of the optical superdrive in my 2007 A1224 7.1 20" iMac. I just dont know how feasible that is, as my research has not drawn any conclusions.

    Option #1: It seems that the A1224 used a slower ATAPI (PATA?) connector for the Superdrive; and that if I were able to install a SATA SSD here, it might not be much faster than the regular hard drive, due to the older interface.

    Option #2: If I install the SSD where the main hard drive is, then I have to use an external hard drive. Changing the internal HD to an external configuration may also slow things down; which I do not want.

    Option #3: Insalling an SSD externally, via USB.

    I don't even know for sure if this option is possible, but if it is, is there also a slowdown here, where an externally installed SSD will be slower than internally installed? Or can an external SSD even be used as a boot drive with the OS installed on it, on the iMac?

    My question is: Which is the best and fastest option and what cables or adapters would I need to do the job on the 2007 a1224 20" iMac?
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    Don't do option 3. Option 1 may be best. Even though you'd be limited by the optical PATA bus, you'd still see a big speed boost. The only slowness would be noticeable when moving large files between the internal drives or copying to the SSD. You want to get an optibay for a 2006-2008 Macbook or MacBook Pro. They make them with a SATA-PATA adapter already built in and they work well. Total cost is less than $20 for the optibay.
     
  3. Happy Marsden thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    #3
    Thanks for shedding some light on all the confusing options and limitations. I understand at least that I need a PATA-SATA adapter if the SSD is to be installed in the optical drive space. But I wonder, how much speed do you lose taking an internal hard drive to external USB? Wouldn't the SSD benefit from being installed on the SATA interface where the main HD is, and then putting the HD in an external configuration?
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #4
    The overall best option would be to put the SSD into the hard drive bay and put the current internal hard drive in a FireWire 800 external case. That way you'll have as close to native speeds as possible for both drives.
     
  5. 8281 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    #5
    You'll notice the most speed increase by installing the SSD as your main boot drive where your current HDD is located. If you need more room, mount the HDD in an optibay and store files/music/movies on the slower platter drive.

    You can easily clone your existing drive to the new SSD with EaseUS. I've done it with a bunch of PCs without an issue. Makes a perfect bootable copy of your existing drive.
     
  6. Happy Marsden thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    #6
    Well the SSD will only be a 128g, so I can't clone it, since the main drive is much larger. The intention is to run Snow Leopard on it, in the hopes of speeding up the overall experience. But the main (mechanical) drive is 1TB. So it will be storing everything else, ie. programs like the internet browser and its files. It needs to be fast too. Fast bootup is great, but I only boot once a day.

    So given that I mostly use the internet, which will give me the fastest overall boost on a day to day basis? SSD on the main drive SATA bay with HD on the PATA optibay, or HD on the SATA bay with SSD on the PATA optibay?



     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #7
    You cannot put the current hard drive in the optical drive bay. The hard drive is a desktop sized hard drive and the optical bay is a slot loading 12mm tall bay. Only a laptop hard drive would fit in there.
     
  8. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #8
    My iMac didn't require an adaptor at all.

    I just installed a Samsung 830 128GB SSD in, installed OS X and that was it.

    The stock HDD is too large to fit in where the superdrive is located and the superdrive uses a different SATA connector
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #9
    The adapter is only needed if installing the SSD in the optical drive bay. In the hard drive bay, an adapter is still recommended to prevent the drive from damaging the LCD display when moving around.
     
  10. Happy Marsden thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    #10
    I don't get it, you appear to have the same iMac that I do?? How is it that you did not require an adaptor for the SSD, if as you say, the Superdrive uses a different SATA connector? And I read the Superdrive connector on the mid-2007 20" iMac is PATA, not SATA? And how is it you're running an OS that hasn't come out yet on the mid-2007 iMac?! :eek: (And can I run that thing on my 4gb 2007?)
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #11
    Read post #9.
     
  12. Kyle-K, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014

    Kyle-K macrumors regular

    Kyle-K

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Geraldton, Western Australia.
    #12
    That's because mmomega replaced there spinning hard drive the original one with an SSD and it sounds like the optical drive is still present. In your original post you refer to this as option 2.

    The question should be mmomega did you use A 3.5 to 2.5 adapter or did you just use double sided tape?

    From what I have read the original hard drive indeed uses the SATA Interface while the optical bay indeed uses a PATA Interface.

    He may be lucky enough to be in the Public Beta or pays to be a Developer you can also get the releases that are available to developers online elsewhere as well.

    Apple says yes personally I would upgrade the memory like mmomega has to 6 GB which is supported with these models.


    The easiest things are going to be to upgrade the RAM and remove the spinning hard drive and replace it with an SSD. Okay options if you want to keep 2 internal drives.

    Option One. Requires you to be an adventurous one and a canary/guinea pig.

    Disassemble iMac and see if you can extend the original connections to the connections for the relevant drives in different locations. This means you would need to re-rout the SATA Cable most likely by extending it so you can put the SSD in the optical bay spot.

    To connect the original hard drive to the optical bay interface you will need to break down one of those adapters extract the electronics and then you will need to use some cables back to the original hard drive location.

    It's been a long time since I've been in a 2007 iMac, but I did look at several installation guides and repair guides online in theory there maybe enough room to do what you would need to do depending on how the relevant cables are routed behind the logic board all the guides I looked at didn't show behind the logic board.

    So you probably going to wanna check by disassembling everything first before making some purchases, Hot glue and the correct double sided tape should be sufficient too make sure connectors stay together and SSD stays in place.

    mmomega's memory may be better than mine and may remember if there will be enough room behind logic board to even attempt this.

    Option Two. You may not like this but anyway.

    Buy a 2 TB or smaller 2.5 spinning hard drive and install that in the optical bay. and install your SSD in the original hard drive's location. Optional buy a 3.5 hard drive enclosure with the interface you would like for original hard drive.
     
  13. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #13
    Yes, that 2007 20" iMac is running Yosemite very very well.
    Is has a Samsung 830 pro and 6GB of RAM and they both help to make you think that this computer really isn't that old when I go from my 2013 i7 32GB SSD machine.
    I completely erased that SSD, removed the front of the iMac to get to the LCD screws. Removed them and disconnected a few display connectors and the drive was ready to come out and show you where the HDD has been living for the last phew year.

    The entire process of upgrading was quite simple and you are left with a very able computer to take you a few more years into the future.
    Don't expect continuity or handoff to work but everything else I have been checking works very well under Yosemite.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    OP wrote above:
    [[ So it will be storing everything else, ie. programs like the internet browser and its files ]]

    You don't want to do this.

    SSD should have
    - OS
    - Applications
    - Home folders (see note below)

    Note: Just because you have a set of "home folders" on the internal SSD, does not mean that you have to keep much in them. You can keep such things elsewhere.

    But I sense the OS will put up far fewer "complications" if you keep a "dummy home folder" on it.

    I like the gist of "option 2" in reply #12 above.
     
  15. Happy Marsden, Sep 6, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014

    Happy Marsden thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    #15
    mmomega: I don't think you mentioned this, but where is your main (mechanical) hard drive connected? On the PATA connection of the optical bay or as an external USB hard drive?

    This remains the last of my niggling concerns about the SSD install; as I will surely be slowing down my main hard drive by taking it out of the iMac and putting it on external (likewise installing a 2.5" HD on PATA). As mentioned, everything but the OS will be on the mechanical HD drive. I'm just not sure how that will affect my overall experience. ie. Whether any gains from the SSD will be negated by interface bottlenecks on the HD.


    Kyle K: RE: Option Two. I would rather not have to buy another drive, but if I did and installed in the optical bay (with the requisite SATA-PATA adapter), then it would be using the PATA interface of the Superdrive, yes? Then, as with putting the present 3.5" hard drive on an external USB interface, it would slow down the device that holds 98% of my system. I'm not sure which would slow the HD more, but I presume PATA.

    Fishrman: I was referring to the hard drive, not the SSD, when I said "it will be storing everything else".

    Then there's this (a quote from Macrumors); that may suggest another option: " I get better performance in a USB3 enclosure from a high end SSD than I do internally on the 13" Retina MBP. "

    Fitting the SSD on the back of a USB port would sure solve a lot of problems.... but I don't think the mid-2007 iMacs had USB 3.0! So it may not be faster than the internal SATA 1.5 interface.
     
  16. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #16
    I removed my mechanical hard drive all together so it is no longer in the system.
    I opened the machine, disconnected and removed the HDD and installed the SSD in it's place and put the machine back together.
     
  17. Happy Marsden thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    #17
    But surely you don't just have 128gb of drive space? So do you have an additional HDD connected as external; on USB? If so, I'd be very interested to know if your iMac is faster with the HDD on USB and the SSD on internal, then it was before the SSD was installed? As that appears to be one of the most viable options in my case....

     
  18. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #18
    I surely do just have 128GB in that machine, mainly because I only wanted to speed it up as it is not my main computer.
    I have a home server where all of my storage is located, so I don't need to buy computer with large amounts of space. That is what the server is for.

    On another note if I had needed more space on that particular computer I would probably install a Samsung EVO 512GB or 1TB SSD.
     
  19. Happy Marsden thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    #19
    Samsung EVO happens to be the model of SSD I bought, but in the 128gb size.
    (I wanted the Crucial m550, but someone snapped up the last one while I was researching the two!)
    I'm going to install the SSD in place of the internal 3.5" SATA HD.
    As for where the HD will go, I haven't quite worked that out yet.

    According to "Intell" (above), there is 12mm of space to use where the Optibay is located.
    The 3.5" drive is more like 22mm thick. The actual iMac is a bit wider than that, so I assume there must be something behind the Optibay that is using the remaining width.
    Given my hardware, that leaves very little choices for the 3.5" HD, other than USB 2.0.

    I know the SSD will speed up boot times and whatnot, but I'm hoping this will all be worth it, given that by going to USB 2.0 external, I will significantly be slowing down my main drive with most of my programs and data on it!

    I also thought about upgrading to 6gb RAM after seeing your system, and researched this. I looked at my memory in Activity Monitor, with a zillion tabs open in my internet browser. I had nearly 2gb of memory left!
    So it turns out I don't seem to need it! At least not with Snow Leopard. Now Yosemite..... I dunno....



     
  20. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #20
    The optical drive is in the space between the LCD and the LCD inverter. There isn't any extra space and it's a tight fit. Trying to put a desktop hard drive in there would damage the LCD panel or inverter and lead to overheating of the hard drive.
     
  21. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #21
    You should have a FireWire 800on that machine. It will should have slightly quicker read/write speeds than a USB 2.0 external if you decide to go the external enclosure route.
     
  22. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #22
    I have a 24" iMac late-2007 (7.1). I upgraded the HDD with an SDD in the main bay. Also upgraded RAM to 6gb.

    Placing the SDD in the OptiBay, that has the PATA port, is not an option since it will vastly limit the speeds of the SDD.

    I bought a 128gb Samsung 830 and to this day wish I got at least 200gb. Though I'm very happy with the drive.

    All large files/libraries have been moved to a Synology NAS (212j).
     
  23. Kyle-K macrumors regular

    Kyle-K

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Geraldton, Western Australia.
    #23
    That does not apply to you as you don't have USB 3.0.

    I only gave you those two options, as you seemed insistent on doing to internal drives from reading your earlier posts. See below for what I would recommended.

    Not going to be able to do this if you want to do this you should look at what I mentioned in option one. You will need to leave the drives alone and remap the connectors to the relevant spots. as I mentioned this is a long shot and will require you to do some investigation before making some purchases.


    I probably should've concentrated on this not your insistence on keeping two internal drives.

    This is a great decision and is the one I would recommend.

    +1 to what mmomega has recommended above, this is exactly what I was going to recommend get a FireWire 800 + USB 3 external inclosure for the 3.5 hard drive FireWire for now, USB 3 for future proofing and devices that do not support FireWire.

    Like mmomega has stated above I would agree you're going to get slightly better performance using FireWire 800.

    Same here, but it sounds like this is not the case for Happy Marsden.

    Tell me about it one can never have enough space.
     
  24. Happy Marsden thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    #24
    Yes, I was considering going that route. I have a good LaCie external HD case with FW800, but its for a PATA HDD. So what I've been trying to figure out is, if I install a SATA-to-PATA board in this case, will my SATA drive then be faster than if I were to install the HDD in my other LaCie case, which has no firewire, but USB 2.0?


    Kyle-K: Thanks for your detailed responses/assistance. Through this and other research, I'm a lot clearer now on what options are viable to me re: this SSD install. I know now the SSD won't benefit from being installed in the Optibay, and the 3.5" HDD can't be installed there at all. I am actually planning to buy a 2.5" 750gb SATA HD, to install in the Optibay, via a SATA-PATA caddy adapter. That should be doable, as others with older Macs have done so. (I'm assuming the SSD does not really need a thermal safeguard as much as an HDD does, so once I'm in there, I'll have to see if I can extend the thermal sensor for the HDD over to the 2.5" HDD in the Optibay).

    That leaves the 3.5" 1TB HD, my main drive, which will probably end up on a USB 2.0 port at the back of the mac.
     
  25. 8281 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    #25
     

Share This Page