Please suggest HDD replacement with SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rjalex, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. rjalex macrumors newbie


    Mar 27, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    Dear friends,
    I have an iMac 27" late 2009 with 16 GB and a 1TB HDD.

    I'd like to switch to a full SSD drive and am confused by what I've read around.

    A few questions to start:

    a) Can I replace the SSD in place of the DVD driver and leave the HDD as a mass storage of less accessed files ? I also have a firewire 800 external 1TB drive I use for the time machine and a network accessed RAID NAS for long term storage of my photos and other important files.

    b) Is this SSD model good for my iMac ?

    Will I need any additional hardware such as extension SATA cables

    and/or bays ?

    c) a good guide for the disassembly / assembly ?

    Thank you very much

    Here is some detail:

    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac11,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core i7
    Processor Speed: 2,8 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 8 MB
    Memory: 16 GB
    Processor Interconnect Speed: 4.8 GT/s
    Boot ROM Version: IM111.0034.B02
    SMC Version (system): 1.54f36
  2. eduardrw macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2013
    I installed a 240GB SSD with OWC data doubler in my Late 2009 iMac (exactly the same model you have) replacing the DVD drive.

    Leaving the 1TB spinning disk where it was. (careful - don't replace the spinning HBB with anything else otherwise the Fans will always run on high)

    Computer is now pretty fast.
    The way I did it I get to keep the spinning Disk.

    Check OWC's website for Data Doubler - Thats what I used:

    There are install videos at the bottom of the web site.
  3. rjalex thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 27, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    Thanks a lot. That bay looks very useful !!!

    Why does that site suggest those specific SSDs ? Is there a tech reason ? My iMac os an 11,1 late 2009 27".

    The prices of the Samsung 1TB are so much lower !!!

    Also seen what looks as a great Intel drive at around 500GB.

    Take care
  4. ArchAndroid macrumors regular


    Aug 26, 2012
    London, England
    Read the bottom of their page:
  5. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    I'd go with Samsung. A Pro series if you can afford that, if not then the EVO series for more space.
    I put an Intel 80GB in my late 2009 back when the Intel's 1st were released and it is still going strong.
    Since then I've used the Corsair Force GT and liked them but I am now exclusively Samsung SSD's.

    Any good name brand SSD is going to make a world of difference in the machines performance, enjoy!

    Also, you will have fan issues so be prepared to get SSDFanControl or iStat Menus to regulate the fan speed if you end up replacing the stock HDD.
  6. rjalex thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 27, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    Thank you so much everybody for the precious information.

    Can anyone please expand on the SATA protocol matching issue between my 11,1 iMac and the various (Samsung EVO, Samsung Pro, Intel) disks you talk about ? I am not familiar with the 3G and 6G "standards" mentioned about the OCZ disks.

    Ciao from Rome ! :)
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    What follows in my opinion only.

    If I was you, rather than open the iMac up, I'd get an external firewire800 enclosure, put the SSD into it, and connect and boot "externally".

    The boot speeds will be a little slower than if the drive were installed internally, but once up-and-running, I doubt you'll notice much difference.

    And then in a year or two, when you move on to a newer Mac, it will be VERY easy to unplug the SSD and "take it with you"....
  8. rjalex thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 27, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    Wow this sounds such a cool idea !!! I do have a FW 800 enclosure. It's currently where my timemachine backup sits.

    Boot times are not very relevant I think since I usually "Sleep" my iMac.

    Thank you !
  9. rjalex thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 27, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    Upon further reading I seem to understand the FW800 external SDD would kind of defeat the purpose of speeding up program loading and processing time of the files (large raw photos and videos) I work with :-(

    So I'll probably go down the Samsung EVO in place of the optical drive route.

    I think I've understood that the Samsungs are amongst the best price/performance wise, that their speed is good and that as there's still quite a difference between the EVO and PRO models, since my 11.1 is SATA2 the EVO will be good enough.

    I am also considering trimming down a lot of less accessed files and move them to the external disk and maybe go for the 750GB EVO and not the 1TB (around 70 euros difference).

    Only little worry with that is that the external disk is also my timemachine target and therefore the directories I move there will not be backed up.

Share This Page