Reviving an ageing iMac with PATA SSD? - thoughts & genius advice please!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by va1984, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. va1984 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    #1
    Ok. This is a subtle one.
    I am looking for some thoughts and opinions from the MacRumors intelligent readership.

    I have an 'old' iMac. There is some controversy as to which iMac it actually is as the model number/EMC/system profiler do not actually match up. Anyway this is not the issue - unless someone feels like elucidating that for me.

    So let's say "despite" being A1224, EMC 2133, system profiler and I think this is an:

    iMac 8,1; 2.66 GHz C2D; 2 GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

    (yes before you say it - I am going to up the RAM)

    I also learn via system profiler that the HDD is a 7200rpm SATA. The ODD shows under ATA and not under Serial-ATA in SysProf, and iFixit.com state that it should be a PATA connection (is this right?). I don't ever use the ODD for anything. Ever.

    So the two options are:

    1) simple: swapping my HDD for a larger one, and keeping the ODD collecting dust, or alternatively carve out a flower-pot from it.

    2) installing a larger 2 TB HDD (SATA) in lieu of the current one, AND removing the ODD, placing instead one of these PATA caddies that you can find on eBAY and installing on it a 64 GB SSD to run OS X from.

    Now the question really is: is it worth it to go for the second option?

    Is, in other words, running OS X from an SSD which is connected to the motherboard via PATA faster or slower than running OS X from an HDD which is connected to the motherboard via SATA?

    I sort of like the 'idea' of having my OS on a separate, small, SSD. But cost and hassle here are not negligible. So would I be better off just plonking both OS and files on a mammoth HDD via SATA without messing with the ODD?

    (I am aware that there is a third option: to put an SSD on my SATA where the HDD currently is, and putting an HDD where the ODD now is via PATA. Speed-wise this would make more sense, but I don't want to do it because I want to get a large (2 TB) drive, and I don't think I'd find one slim enough to fit in the caddy at a reasonable price).

    I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughtful thoughts on this one. Thanks!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Get a small SATA SSD and replace the HD with that and get a 2TB FireWire 800 external HD. Gives you the benefits of the SSD and a big but still fast HD without hassling with the ODD
     
  3. logandzwon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #3
    I have an MBA and the SSD is very nice. However, I would not bother with the expense of upgrading from an otherwise perfectly fine 7200 disk just to try and make my machine faster.
    I don't think it's worth it. If you need a new HD anyway, well then I think it's really a question of if you want speed or size. Personally, I think the dual set-up is only worth it to a very small set of users. If Lion introduced a file-system that could automatically manage which files are keep on which drive transparently to the user then that would be different. (ZFS was at one point support to support this.) Anyway, with my MBA SSD + USB mechanical works for me.
     
  4. MacHamster68, Jan 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #4
    get a small SSD , by small i mean 32gb and max 64gb its big enough for the OS and apps, more important is affordable too, if you consider for the price of a 32gb ssd you could get a 1 tb harddrive

    but i would not , just because i dont really care about boot times ,and dont care if a app is bouncing twice or 5 times in the doc before loading ,and a real gain you will actually only see in apps that constantly read and write big amounts on the harddrive like photoshop for example
     
  5. va1984, Jan 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011

    va1984 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    #5

    Thank you. I guess even more than a slow computer I detest a cluttered desk! So I was trying to avoid external drives - in fact I have one at the minute (320GB internal + 640GB external) and I would like to get rid of it.

    So the removal of the superdrive option doesn't have many fans then?

    Logandzwon, I had the original MBA with the slow-spinning PATA HDD. I guess part of my innate scepticism towards PATA stems from that experience. Nice to know things have changed since!
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    I wouldn't start hassling with the ODD, especially as it's PATA. Just get a 2TB 7200rpm internal drive and use that. Sure, it's not as fast as an SSD but still much faster than your stock drive
     

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