SSD for 27" imac: from apple or OWC or???

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mother'sDay, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Mother'sDay macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    Hi, I'm new entering the world of macs and have ordered a 27" refurb imac with ssd. It's what I wanted, the ssd, but now I'm bummed seeing how much faster (by numbers) some of the other ssd's are. I also don't know about this TRIM stuff. Can you tell it to me straight? Did I screw up? Should I cancel my order (or send it back) and get a regular imac and send it to OWC? Is the apple ssd that bad?

    Essentially I paid $500 for the apple ssd. So if it's not $500 better, I want to know. It would be a fuzz more, around $750, to have it done through OWC for the same size ssd. Is there another place that could do it for a better price? I could go smaller on the ssd I suppose to get the price down. In general I don't mind a bit of geekiness and tearing apart, but I'm really not sure I want to tackle installing the ssd, meaning doing it myself isn't a good way to save money. I'm borderline tempted, but I'm not sure it's a good idea.

    Any advice on the apple ssd?

    Oh, my reason for the ssd is speed. I want it to boot fast, load fast, and process fast. No gaming, just processing pictures (1-2,000 at a time), that type thing.
  2. wirelessness macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    It all depends on what your comfort threshold is in regards to the Apple warranty and running non Apple equipment. The price of $500 for a 256gb SSD is not that bad in general. That said, the Apple SSD is not as fast as the newest crop of SSD's nor does it's controller provide as effective garbage collection. Once again, these are all variations of pretty significant improvements over existing HDD technology. The Apple SSD is pretty decent and will provide a huge jump in speed over a HDD. It's also the easiest/cleanest way to get the SSD upgrade.

    The cheapest way to get a jump is to do a self upgrade of a HDD only iMac to add an SSD yourself. But if that's not your thing I would just go with the Apple version, $500 is right about retail pricing for a 256gb SSD.
  3. Mother'sDay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    Thanks wirelessness, you're making me feel better! I thought for sure someone would say it was total junk and not even worth it. I wish I were comfortable with doing myself, but I'm just not sure it's a good idea. My experience is pretty limited.

    Didn't I see a link to some kind of software you're supposed to run once a month to help with that garbage stuff? Is there anything like that I should know?
  4. wirelessness macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    The only program for Mac that I am aware of is Diglloyd's Disktester. They claim to be able to recondition an SSD without harming your data. I have never tried this and am a little dubious. If it works that would be great. Many people are going to great lengths to perform a low level secure erase using actual ATA commands to zero out the data. This is a total pain and nearly impossible with an iMac. I would not buy the Disktester app until you can verify you have serious degradation. Just take a benchmark when it's new and monitor it and see.
  5. Polansky macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2010
    I don't want to call myself a technical whizz kid, but I found the installment of an SSD in a 27" iMac actually not difficult at all.

    Remove the glass screen with 2 suction cups
    Untighten 8 screws that hold the LCD screen
    Lift screen with paperclip (see ifixit)
    Disconnect monitor cable (be gentle)
    Get a book to keep the screen lifted
    Untighten the 2 screws that hold the HD
    Disconnect Sata cable
    Disconnect temp sensor and shortcut this cable

    Replace HD with SSD (a vertex 2 in my case)
    Reassemble unit.
  6. wirelessness macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    Just swapping out the HDD for an SSD is in fact pretty easy. With all the how to videos and guides available if you can follow simple instructions it's not hard at all. Where it starts to get a little more difficult is if you want to access the 3rd SATA port to ADD an SSD while keeping the HDD. This requires at least partially removing the logic board. For me, I could not get the cable attached to the 3rd port without completely removing the logic board. Once again, not really all that hard because of the detailed instructions available but it does take some time and a lot of patience to track where all the screws and cable connections go for reassembly.
  7. shanmugam macrumors 68020


    Sep 24, 2008
    Blazer town!
    will it work with 21.5" iMac 2009 model?

    also opening up the iMac is easy route or booting from external enclosure is a good idea? any idea is appreciated! :)
  8. mojoxp macrumors member

    May 18, 2006
    Might I ask what you're using to hold it in place and what cables did you get?
  9. wirelessness macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    I used a standard 12" SATA cable to connect to the 3rd SATA port. Some have used a left angle cable but I didn't find that necessary. I removed my HDD in favor of a SECOND SSD for two total SSD's using THIS bracket. I also cannibalized the ODD and ran a cable out the bottom of the Memory Door for use as an eSATA port. Now I have my OSX installed on two Force SSD 120's in RAID0 and my Windows 7 boot drive running of an external eSATA SSD enclosure as well. You can see my write up on the eSATA mod in THIS thread.
  10. Mother'sDay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    Thanks Wirelessness, that makes a lot of sense. I ended up sending it to OWC for the work. Polansky, that makes a lot of sense that I could have done a trade-out of SDD for HDD myself. I ended up wanting BOTH the hdd and sdd. Hopefully it all works out well.

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