SSD advice 2008 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by darkenedhue, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. darkenedhue macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2012
    Hey there Macrumors,

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    I am (or should I say have been) a happy 24" 2008 iMac owner- 3.06gHz, 6GB RAM, 512GB HDD. Two things recently have crippled my speeds- a) upgrading to Mountain Lion (dumb idea for my specs) and b) my girlfriend buying a 15" MBPr. I drool over the MBPr's speeds. It takes me 90 or so seconds to boot up, and beach balls all the time. This is after a fresh install and total clean out of my HDD. At best I get 70MB read/write speeds.

    Now FWIW I am planning to upgrade to a new iMac or MBPr w/TBD when the Haswell update come out but in the interim, want to get some extra speed to tie me over and increase the re-sale price (be it only slightly) when I lump it on ebay in 9-12 months time.

    Was wondering if folks out there had some advice on SSD selection for a 2008 iMac.

    The only real pre-requisites I have are:
    between 300-512GB; and
    under $450
    Looking to replace internal HDD and not the optical drive (this would be limiting to PATA and dumb anyway)

    I understand that the 2008 iMac's are limited to 3G SATA speeds but I am still willing to put a 6G drive in it. From what I have researched I have found that:
    There are little to no 3G exclusive 512GB SSD's out there
    All of the benchmarks of 512GB are 6GB
    Read/Write speeds between sizes do vary a lot, thus making a 512GB 3G decision very hard.

    From pure observations by sites like anandtech I have deduced it down to:
    OCZ Agility 4 512GB
    Corsair Force GS series 3 360 GB (because of the Sandforce controller)
    Samsung 830 512GB
    Crucial M4 512GB

    I'd be most grateful, if people had thoughts and especially experiences with any of these drives and/or with a similar spec'd machine.

    Thanks :)

  2. benjai macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009
    My 24" iMac is the first aluminium one so is slightly older and 2.8ghz. I replaced the hdd with an sdd late last year as it was pretty slow on SL and loats of beach balls. From then until now, my iMac absolutely flies. Pretty much all apps load instantly with no beachballs at all. Its been pretty much the most dramatic upgrade I've ever seen in an computer. That said, I'm still on SL so I'm not sure on ML performance.

    I put in a Corsair Force 3 but the Crucial also has great reviews. The process was also a bit simpler than I thought.
  3. darkenedhue thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2012
    i just got all of the parts I needed on the way home from work. I actually opted for the 256GB Samsung 830 due to its good reviews from others.

    With a bit of luck I'll be able to have a go at replacing the drive tonight (aus time).

    Will post speed differences upon completion!
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    I recently bought a used 2011 27" iMac and switched from using the internal hard drive to an external SSD connected via USB 2. Even though the connection maxes out at 20 MB/s it's still a very noticeable speed improvement over the internal drive. I plan to get an external FireWire enclosure for the SSD since that should increase the throughput from 20 MB/s to about 80 MB/s but regardless of how you connect an SSD it will be an upgrade.
  5. darkenedhue thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2012
    Well all the sweating I did, stressing on whether I could do this upgrade was not justified, this upgrade is simple as! I used the ifixit step by step guide.

    Went from:
    500GB Western Digital 7200RPM
    Read: 74mb/sec
    Write: 68mb/sec

    256GB Samsung 830 SSD
    Read: 256mb/sec
    Write: 214mb/sec

    *Test completed on BMD Disk Speed Test.

    Start up times are stupid fast and no more beach balls, hurray!

    I couldn't recommend this enough. The total cost for me (Aus$) was a shade over $300 which included the HDD sled, torx screwdriver kit, SSD and suction cups.

    These kinds are speeds make it feel like a new iMac! Only one real question, do I need to enable TRIM and if so how do I go about it exactly?

  6. Zmmin3 macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2009
    Which Ifixit guide did you use, I am leaning on doing this with my 2008 Imac as well.
  7. darkenedhue, Oct 31, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012

    darkenedhue thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2012
    this one:

    for some reason my screw arrangement was ever so slightly different (type wise, alignment was the same)

    It took me about an hour to do everything, including preparation, clean up etc.

    I used a USB install version for Mountain Lion as outlined by osxdaily, then used a time machine backup of my drive. This takes a bit longer than superduper etc, but was easier IMO. Also, I had trouble accessing my time machine straight from my external drive in the time machine app, so I had to use the USB again to add it to my new drive from the bootup screen. Hope this makes sense?

    It took me another hour to update the new drive with the TM backup.

    I'm currently using 85GB with all of my apps installed and still getting the before mentioned read/write speeds- no signs of bottlenecking to date.
  8. Zmmin3, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012

    Zmmin3 macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2009

    I plan on using carbon copy cloner and just clone my current drive onto the SSD( after I delete enough to bring my current drive down under 200gb).
    Then just swap out drives and be good to go with out having to bring everything over from Time Machine.
    I am still using Snow Leopard on my Imac due to compatibility issues with Mountain Lion and my printers.

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