Should I install an SSD to late 2013 iMac?

combossa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 28, 2017
2
0
Hello,

I was considering buying a new iMac as my current late 2013 21.5 is glacially slow.

After several weeks of wasted time trying to sell it on Gumtree & Facebook I'm now thinking it might be easier and less expensive to fit an SSD to it instead.

Does anyone have experience of doing this and will it make a significant difference to the speed? Currently I get the beachball on the most simple of tasks. I also switch the machine on and click to open mail, indesign etc. then go for a shower and hope it will be ready to start work when I am.

Cheers,

Richard
 

iriejedi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2000
814
119
Nor Cal
I put a OWC 1 TB drive in my 2008 Mac Pro - it is like a new computer (to me) - boots faster then my company gifted engineering grade Dell laptop....

cant say about the fit stuff - but if you can make it work - I'd do it.


Hello,

I was considering buying a new iMac as my current late 2013 21.5 is glacially slow.

After several weeks of wasted time trying to sell it on Gumtree & Facebook I'm now thinking it might be easier and less expensive to fit an SSD to it instead.

Does anyone have experience of doing this and will it make a significant difference to the speed? Currently I get the beachball on the most simple of tasks. I also switch the machine on and click to open mail, indesign etc. then go for a shower and hope it will be ready to start work when I am.

Cheers,

Richard
 

Mr_Brightside_@

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2005
3,309
1,398
Toronto
Hello,

I was considering buying a new iMac as my current late 2013 21.5 is glacially slow.

After several weeks of wasted time trying to sell it on Gumtree & Facebook I'm now thinking it might be easier and less expensive to fit an SSD to it instead.

Does anyone have experience of doing this and will it make a significant difference to the speed? Currently I get the beachball on the most simple of tasks. I also switch the machine on and click to open mail, indesign etc. then go for a shower and hope it will be ready to start work when I am.

Cheers,

Richard
Yes, it will make an enormous difference in speed and I highly recommend it. That said the slim iMacs are a beast to work on and if this were your first upgrade, I would suggest against it:
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2638+Hard+Drive+Replacement/28781
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
It’s a brilliant upgrade and will make all the difference, HDD’s are the biggest bottleneck in any computer less than 10 years old, also that sort of slowdown probably indicates a dying hard drive or failing SATA cable anyway so it’s the fix you would do anyway.

Take a look at the link in the post above it’ll give you an idea of how hard it is to do, you can also get third party Apple repairers to upgrade for about a hundred dollars plus the cost of the drive.
 
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Heebeejeebies

macrumors regular
Nov 9, 2011
242
10
New Jersey
When I did my upgrade I bought a kit that replaced the CD drive with an SSD. This let me keep my HDD. It was perfect. I installed the OS and programs on the SSD, and kept files I didn't use much on the HDD.

Well worth the upgrade.
 

combossa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 28, 2017
2
0
Thank you all for the advice. I have been in touch with a third party installer who would do the install for me. I'm in the UK and have been quoted around £60 for the install. Looking at fitting a 500GB SSD so hopefully that will do the trick and save me making up new swear words on a regular basis.
 

nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2007
1,835
432
Nambucca Heads Australia
Make sure the installer is familiar with glued iMacs. They can be terrible to work on. I have a friend whom owns a large Mac Reseller business in Sydney, and after his technicians broke five glued screens, at AU$500 per pop, he sends them across town to Apple to work own.

The difference between cracking an older magnet held screen and the newer glued screens is like chalk and cheese.
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,609
6,825
You can save the install fee by buying a USB3 external SSD, plugging it into one of the USB3 ports, and setting the drive up as "an external booter".

It will run fine and within 85% (or even better) of the speed of an internally-installed drive. You'll see read speeds of 430mbps and writes in the 250-350 range.

And... when the day comes to get a -new- Mac, you can just unplug the external SSD and "take it along with you". Not so easy to do when the drive is installed internally...
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,736
444
The Sillie Con Valley
These are not that difficult to do. Get rid of the HHD and your iMac will run much cooler and way faster. You will need am SSD, an adapter bracket, the OWC temp sensor, the right tape kit and a tool that looks like a pizza cutter but with a plastic wheel plus a few small tools. OWC has all the parts and there are instruction videos. Consider installing more RAM and replacing the NV RAM battery at the same time. You can get the BR2032 on Amazon.
 
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