SSD for 2011 iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AcesHigh87, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I bought a 2011 iMac a few months ago (stats in my sig) and love it but am wondering about my options later on as far as an SSD goes.

    I didn't get one originally with my mac because I didn't figure I needed it but as I start to work with more intensive stuff I'm starting to think having an SSD and built in HDD for storage might be great to have. What I'm wondering are a few things:

    1) If I bought a third party SSD from new egg or macsales could I bring it to an apple authorized service centre and get them to put it into my iMac? I'm fine paying to get this done as I don't trust myself doing it but would a place like that put in a third party SSD or would I need to buy one from them?

    2) How much performance would I get, in theory, from an upgrade? I'm using the iMac mostly for video editing in both SD and HD formats. I need to be able to run FCP X and the adobe suite, not at the same time but it would be a nice bonus to have. I've seen videos on macsales about massively improved load speed of things but will applications actually respond better and such?

    3) Is it even possible to have an SSD and normal HDD in the iMac at the same time? I think I've read that it is but when you BTO a mac it makes it sound like you get one or the other. I need the internal space as my external is pretty full and really slow. So is it possible to run the OS and applications off of the SSD but have files and such saved on the stock internal 1TB HDD.

    4) Assuming 1 and 3 are possible and 2's answer is at least pretty good does anyone know of a quality SSD that is moderately priced?

    This isn't really a "need it right now" kinda thing but thinking of it for the future.
  2. kcossabo macrumors member

    May 25, 2011
    Virginia, USA
    No idea, call a few and ask? might void your applecare, so I would ask that as well.

    So I have a 2011 27" iMac i7 @ 3.4Ghz with 256G SSD 1TB HDD and 16G ram. It is SMOKING FAST. I do use Final Cut X and compared to my i5 MacBook Pro it is significantly quicker. Goes from walking to really fun. I do not have speed tests.

    The boot time is amazing. I do not even think of rebooting now, just like closing apps.

    Now with 16G of Ram PhotoShop E6 has plenty of room to play with photos, so probably not as big of value of the SSD then if I had less ram. With less ram, the computer would swap to the SSD and that would be much quicker than the HDD.

    As you know Video works the HDD/SSD all the time so it is a no brainer how much this is improved.

    I did some 'tricks' to have me boot off of the SSD and put the user accounts on the HDD (plenty of how to move user account how-tos).

    Switching between the MacBook Pro and the iMac, the iMac 'feels' like I can operand close applications so fast that it is like 'hiding' them on the MBP.

    It is so much fun that I am putting a 500G SSD into the MBP.

    You might want to open Activity Monitor and watch you Disk Activity. The MB/sec is what gets improved. My SSD on a 2G file duplicate peeks at 100 MB/sec and sustains between 60-80. The HDD same file peeked at 60, and sustained around 40. So a 100% inaccurate test shows about 50% improvement.

    If your work flow is using the HDD (check with Activity monitor), that part will get a boost. Now if I start Handbrake and re-encode a MP4, the SSD runs at 3MB/S, I am CPU bound, not Disk bound. Each time the CPU needs more data it get's it quicker, but, the HDD was not the critical path. Not saying that the SSD does not improve the performance, I do not think that it is 50% better for Handbrake, where a straight file copy it is.

    On the iMac 27" it is. I have also seen how-tos that take over the internal Optical Drive for another HardDisk.

    But if you can not, then thunderbolt a few HDD, and boot on the SSD. $$$$$$$$ but wow, if time is money, or money is for fun, good choice.

    Moderate price? nope.... I am looking at Crucial for my 500G SSD. The only thing is price per gig is less the bigger the drive.

    64G - $120 = $1.88/Gig
    128G - $225 = $1.76/G
    356G - $440 = $1.72/G
    512G - $860 = $1.70/G

    well when you do it, I bet the computer will feel like a bran new machine.
  3. philipt42 macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2009
    Regarding #3, if it is at all possible (and it is on some of the higher end iMacs), go for it! The best of both worlds right there.
  4. JoeMacDe macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2011
    Go for it!

    I bought the 2011 iMac with the 256GB SSD installed. It is almost unbelievably fast. Everything is faster, startup, shutdown, application loading, EVERYTHING!

    Got to and check their options. It will be worth it. Just go for it! :p

Share This Page