Questions about updating memory and hard drive after 4 years.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mur.e, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. mur.e macrumors newbie

    mur.e

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    Hi all, I've owned my 27" iMac mid-2011 since new and over the past year have noticed it's finally beginning to slow down. This is probably just from the HDD gradually filling up over time but I've also begun to hear a "crunching"(best word to describe it) sound that is most definitely coming from the HDD. I've been considering it for a while, but only recently have I decided to upgrade to a SSD alongside the existing 1TB HDD. I have also decided to upgrade from the existing 4GB of memory to 8GB due to concerns of possible bottlenecking. I plan on using parts from OWC. I have a few questions regarding these upgrades.
    1. Will adding an SSD to the system have ANY negative effect on the life of the machine or on system performance? I do not have any evidence to make this a credible fear, but checking coudn't hurt.
    2. Once done installing the new parts, will I need to restore from a backup on Time Machine?
    3. I have a Bootcamp partition with Window's 7 and other data installed on my 1TB HDD. Will adding the SSD require me to repartition my HDD with Bootcamp, effectively requiring me to reinstall the programs on the Windows side of the machine?
    4. How would I go about installing OS X on the SSD and using the 1TB HDD as "deep storage" for things like old documents, videos, photos, etc? i.e. Can I choose which files save to the SSD and which files save to the HDD? Also: Could a Bootcamp partition load the OS(Windows) from the SSD and save data to the HDD?
    5. If it is possible to load OS X from the SSD, can the rest of my files/programs be restored onto the HDD and sorted between the two drives later?
    6. Would a 120GB SSD be enough, considering I want to load OS X and Windows from the drive while still having space for some files, or should I opt for the 240GB option from OWC?
    7. Can I just add two 2GB sticks of memory to the system for a total of 8GB, or should I purchase two 4GB sticks instead?
    8. Is OWC a good company to use for parts regarding price, quality, warranty, etc? Are there better options?


    I've attached screenshots of the "About This Mac" window for my machine. As you can see from the "Storage" section, I have a Bootcamp partition of 150GB which is where Windows 7 and a few programs I use for school are located. I do use Time Machine to back up this machine.

    I have also included a screenshot of the items I plan on purchasing from OWC. Also, sorry if this is in the wrong section, this is my first post. :)

    Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 2.04.58 PM.png
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    Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 2.05.17 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 2.05.24 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 2.50.21 PM.png
     
  2. toddzrx macrumors 6502a

    toddzrx

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #2
    Wow, that's a handful of a first post!

    First, a lot of your questions can be answered by just doing some Google searching on the internet. I did an SSD surgery on my 2010 iMac 3 years ago and found answers pretty quickly. I'll answer some of yours below, in bold:

    1. Will adding an SSD to the system have ANY negative effect on the life of the machine or on system performance? I do not have any evidence to make this a credible fear, but checking coudn't hurt. No, in fact, you could argue an SSD will help lifespan because it'll run cooler than with an HD.
    2. Once done installing the new parts, will I need to restore from a backup on Time Machine? You can go that route. My preferred method was to use CarbonCopyCloner with a large external drive. If you use this, it should carry over everything including your partitions for Windows.
    3. I have a Bootcamp partition with Window's 7 and other data installed on my 1TB HDD. Will adding the SSD require me to repartition my HDD with Bootcamp, effectively requiring me to reinstall the programs on the Windows side of the machine? Use CarbonCopyCloner.
    4. How would I go about installing OS X on the SSD and using the 1TB HDD as "deep storage" for things like old documents, videos, photos, etc? i.e. Can I choose which files save to the SSD and which files save to the HDD? Also: Could a Bootcamp partition load the OS(Windows) from the SSD and save data to the HDD? If I remember right, CCC will let you choose where you want to save files to when you go to clone the external back onto the SSD. So you can put just the OS and apps onto the SSD, and all data onto the HD. By the way, are you looking to make a Fusion Drive, or just run to distinct internal drives?
    5. If it is possible to load OS X from the SSD, can the rest of my files/programs be restored onto the HDD and sorted between the two drives later? Sure.
    6. Would a 120GB SSD be enough, considering I want to load OS X and Windows from the drive while still having space for some files, or should I opt for the 240GB option from OWC? Depends. I have a 120GB SSD in my iMac, and it holds everything except for music. I would suggest putting media data (music, photos, and movies) on the HD, and keep OS X, apps, and all other data (like docs, pdfs, etc.) on the SSD.
    7. Can I just add two 2GB sticks of memory to the system for a total of 8GB, or should I purchase two 4GB sticks instead? Yes. When I got the iMac (used, in 2012), I found a guy on Craigslist that sold Apple RAM. I bought 2x2GB sticks for $20 from him. Works like a champ.
    8. Is OWC a good company to use for parts regarding price, quality, warranty, etc? Are there better options? Quality and Warranty are about the best in the business, but you pay for it. You'll get better prices if you shop around, but you may not get as good of a warranty or quality. I usually shop Newegg for this kind of stuff.
    Good luck!
     
  3. mur.e thread starter macrumors newbie

    mur.e

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #3
    I know, it's a lot and thanks for the quick reply. I should have done a bit more research but you have definitely answered my questions. I think I will end up leaving them as distinct drives because I have seen some things mentioning issues between Bootcamp and fusion drives. I will look more into this though to determine which route is best.
     

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