putting SSD into 27" Imac 2011, few questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by madeirabhoy, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #1
    project for the weekend is putting an SSD into wife's 2010 macbook which seems straightforward, but after that the obvious thing would be to consider adding SSD to my imac, which is more complicated i think, not just installation but also space, bootcamp.....


    can someone help with a few questions

    realistically its financially much better to get a 256gb SSD for about €130 than €250 for a 512gb, so its better if i can still use my internal hard drive.

    am i right in thinking there is space in there for a 2nd drive? but do i need some form of bracket or something as well or does it just fit in?

    is it easy to take part my imac

    one of the limitations of my mac is the usb 2 rather than usb 3, so i was already thinking of buying a Kanex thunderbolt to USB 3 adaptor. would there be benefits / drawbacks to going with an external SSD and then not having to take my imac apart?


    what problems would moving to a SSD have for my bootcamp partition?


    thanks for any advice.
     
  2. rkaufmann87, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015

    rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #2
    OWC provides install SSD instructions for a 2011 27" iMacs. Please look them over at:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/imac_mid27_2011_ssddiy/

    This video will detail all that is needed to install the SSD.

    I also have a 2011 27", I used the above instructions successfully and use the SSD for my startup disc and store some files on it. After formatting the SSD and then migrating my cloned backup to it I set the SSD as my startup drive. After I did that I used Disk Utility to do an erase on the internal HD which I now just use for data storage.

    Doing the work is not easy, so I recommend watching the video multiple times and taking your time to perform the work.

    I would recommend contacting OWC to get the OWC install kit too, which includes the cable for the SSD and the tools. Small investment but absolutely necessary.
     
  3. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #3
    I think you can get a 3.5" to 2.5" adapter, and I think your model supports two internal hard drives. If not, you may have to remove the optical drive and put an SSD instead. Regardless, you need either a short cable or the optical drive adapter, whichever path you choose (respectively). Adding an SSD shouldn't be too difficult, but it is quite challenging (especially if this is your first time doing it), so you can find a guide on iFixit (I did a similar procedure myself).

    Regarding the boot camp thing, in order for your Mac to be able to boot from Windows, you will need to re-partition your SSD through the Boot Camp Assistant, then use Windows' installer to restore from a full Windows backup. All of that, assuming you want to install Windows on the SSD rather than keeping it on the hard drive.
     
  4. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #4
    He can have the SSD (placed behind the Optical Drive) and the internal HD. This retains all three devices. This is exactly how I have mine set up. To install the SSD behind the Optical Drive is easy, the drive is held in by one cable and 2-4 screws. The video link I provided above will show in detail. I found the iFixit instructions okay but preferred the OWC video. Also I'd recommend to the OP to get the OWC install kit too, which includes the cable he needs and the tools.
     
  5. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    #5
    I've got a 2011 iMac I'm thinking about getting on SSD for, but haven't done it yet. To me, for the effort involved, I'd go with the 500 GB. Maybe you can't get the same deal I'm seeing, but $179 for a Samsung Evo sounds pretty cheap to me.
     
  6. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #6
    I would suggest a higher quality SSD, something like the OWC SSD. It is more expensive than the Samsung but at least TRIM can be used without possibly compromising the SSD. The comparable OWC SSD is currently $219 but sometimes goes on sale for $197.00.
     
  7. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 17, 2013
    #7
    The 500gb Evo 850 has dropped to 150.00 2 times in the past weeks. That's a good deal ;)
     
  8. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
    #8
    I wouldn't go for the EVO, especially if you plan on using TRIM. As mentioned, the OWC, or even Crucial has better reliability. If you want to go cheap, and use the EVO, I'd back up and clone very often, and also boot from the backup or clone often to be sure you're not just backing up corrupted files.
     
  9. joe8232 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    #9
  10. madeirabhoy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #10

    now I'm confusing myself and my thunderbolt port has gone from useless to wishing i had 2. realised it'd be easier just to buy a thunderbolt external SSD, but at the same time if i move to SSD my external hard drives become more important and they are only plugged into usb 2. so i cn only use my thunderbolt for 1 or other, either a usb adaptor or an external SSD.
     
  11. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
    #11
    The 2011 27" imac has two thunderbolt ports. I'm using them both for External SSDs. My internal SSD holds my current Operating System (Mavericks). The two external ones run different OSs.
     
  12. madeirabhoy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #12

    now I'm embarrassed but happy, yes it does, just looked. so i could get an external thunderbolt SSD and then for about 80 quid i can get a thunderbolt to usb 3 adaptor, not sure if there's any benefit either way as to whether i choose the one thats usb 3 + eSATA or usb 3+ gig ethernet.
     

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