ssd iMac (Mid 2011)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Kian32, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. Kian32 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    #1
    Hi I have an iMac Mid 2011 and am looking at buying an external ssd drive to speed up the boot up time and application speed but not sure what size I will need (I have a thunderbolt adapter that has enabled USB 3.0 and get great USB 3.0 speeds).

    My folder sizes are as follow

    Application Folder: 23.47 GB

    System Folder: 9.11 GB

    Library Folder: 7.43 GB

    The above folders are what I will be transferring to the external ssd drive along with the OS High Sierra version 10.13.3

    The Home Folder I will be keeping on the internal HD (This will just be Movies, TV Series, Music, Pictures, Downloads, Documents)

    Thank You
     
  2. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #2
    I recently bought two things to speed up my 2011 27" imac and also protect it for the future.
    1. like you I bought a thunderbolt to usb 3 adaptor which ive now got a 4tb hard drive plugged into.
    2. separately I bought a 240gb thunderbolt external drive, which I was toying with a 120gb one as I didn't want to throw so much money at my machine which could go towards a new one. however the 120gb one was about £120 and the 240gb £160 so it was worth the extra.

    to be honest I don't notice as much the normal drive being usb 3 rather than 2, I have movies and films and stuff on it. but the SSD drive makes it feel like I have a new computer. everything is instant. 240gb is more than enough for the system, apps, and the only 2 games I play on my mac now, civ vi and football manager.

    sounds like you would be fine on 120gb but it doesn't cost much more to get 240gb.
     
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #3
    Have you tested that Thunderbolt to USB adapter to see if you can boot to an external USB drive?
    Moving data/files/apps through that adapter may work fine, but not all will support booting the system.
     
  4. Kian32, Mar 21, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018

    Kian32 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2018
    #4

    Thanks for the reply, the external ssd drive will be usb 3.0 not thunderbolt.
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

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    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #5
    You don't need to use a USB SSD for this test. You can use a spinning hard drive. You COULD even use a USB flash drive for this test.The test is not about the drive, but the interface. Not all USB adapters support booting, and you want to find out for sure. Just install the OS X system of your choice on whatever USB storage drive you have, and see if that will boot. Your adapter may allow booting, and all will be fine, but it's just a good idea to do a test install to see if booting actually works through your USB adapter. Sometimes you get surprised, and not in a good way. You don't need to find out AFTER you get your SSD external, that the adapter you have now does not support booting. (It probably does, but you should verify that)
     
  6. Kian32 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2018
    #6
    Just checked on my adapter and it says - adapter cannot be used as a bootable device for Mac. Looks like I will have to have a look at doing it another way or go down the road of installing an ssd internally instead of external.
     
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

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    Location:
    Delaware
    #7
    And, the internal SSD will give you the best performance, too - probably even a noticeable difference, even if that external adapter was bootable, and even if it provided full USB 3.0 speed.
     
  8. Kian32 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2018
    #8
    If I install the ssd internally can the original HD still be used internally or is it one or the other either use the ssd or stick with the original HD?
     
  9. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #9
    2011 iMacs have an extra SATA port which could be used to add an SSD in addition to the existing drive. Another option would be to move the mechanical drive outside the Mac in a USB enclosure.

    This is the method that will allow you to keep the original mechanical drive in-place: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing+iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2429+Dual+Drive+Kit+(HDD+or+SSD)/7575

    Replacing the original drive with an SSD doesn't require unscrewing the logic board (only removing the glass, LCD, and hard drive bracket), and I've done it successfully several times. Making the mechanical drive external won't impact its performance nearly as much as a faster SSD. https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2429+Hard+Drive+Replacement/7555
     
  10. Kian32 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2018
    #10
    What I think I am going to do is buy an internal 120gb SSD and take out the original HD (So all that would be on the ssd is the below

    OS High Sierra version 10.13.3

    Application Folder: 23.47 GB

    System Folder: 9.11 GB

    Library Folder: 7.43 GB

    Then transfer all my stuff that is on my original HD to my bigger 3 TB external usb Hard drive that I already have (reason is just looked and the original hard drive only has about 150 gb left out of 1 TB)

    Will the above work fine?
     
  11. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

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    Troutdale, OR
    #11
  12. Kian32 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2018
    #12
    For me works out expensive as I live in the United kingdom and shipping is nearly as much as the item cost. Cheers
     
  13. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

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    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    #13
    You can probably find it online in your country vs shipping from the us. (Delock 42510 is the product you wanted search for, syncrotech is the US distributor, delock itself is from Taiwan I think.)
     
  14. Kian32 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2018
    #14
    Just been offered an internal Samsung EVO 840 120gb ssd from a friend of mine but need to let him know by tomorrow if I want it as if not he has someone else who want's to buy it but he has given me first refusal so will this be big enough?
     
  15. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

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    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #15
    When I had that model used a Silicon Power 240GB SSD which is Thunderbolt and it worked a treat.
     
  16. padams35 macrumors regular

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    Nov 10, 2016
    #16
    Yes 120gb is big enough. That isn't much smaller than the 128GB SSD on my MacBook Air.

    However if you are going through the effort to install an extra SSD behind the motherboard or adding the expense of a thermal sensor cable for a direct HDD replacement then do you really want to settle for minimalist?
     
  17. Kian32, Mar 21, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018

    Kian32 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2018
    #17
    Just had a look and is on sale at the moment for £60 but that is for 240GB internal ssd not thunderbolt
    --- Post Merged, Mar 21, 2018 ---
     
  18. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 26, 2012
    #18
    thats what I've got and its really surprised me how fast everything is now
     
  19. philzaleon macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #19
    I also have a mid-2011 iMac and have had great luck using an external LaCie Rugged 256GB SSD via Thunderbolt 1 (OS 10.11.6). Boot time is fast as is the speed running of my (too many!) applications. Photoshop runs very well, even with 20+ layers in an edit. I also have an internal Apple SSD in my iMac on which I kept my last OS (10.6.8) just in case I need it.

    I have been using this configuration for over a year and it appears to be a stable system with plenty of free space remaining on the external SSD. Good luck!
     
  20. Kian32 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2018
    #20
    Update I have purchased a 128GB SSD


    Question

    1) If I was to keep the original drive installed and install the ssd alongside what cable(s) would i need?

    2) If I was to go with what I was thinking of doing and replacing the original drive for my SSD can i use the already existing cable(s)

    If I go this route my home folder would be put on an external 3TB hard drive that I already have spare.
     
  21. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #21
    OP wrote:
    "I have a thunderbolt adapter that has enabled USB 3.0 and get great USB 3.0 speeds"

    You could try connecting the SSD via USB3 and booting that way.
    BUT... the tbolt-to-USB adapter may not support booting -- you'd have to try it first to find out if it's workable.

    If USB3 booting isn't supported, you could go "straight thunderbolt" and the iMac would be considerably faster.

    The 120gb SSD you mentioned earlier can work fine.
    Keep the OS, apps, and [stripped down] accounts on it.
    By "stripped down", I mean --- leave "the large libraries" (movies, music, pics) on the internal drive. Then, "reference them" when you run your editing apps. Works fine.
     
  22. Kian32 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2018
    #22
    My adapter does not allow booting so will install the ssd drive internal
     
  23. vkd macrumors 6502a

    vkd

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    Sep 10, 2012
    #23
    What adapter is it that you have? What make/model?
     
  24. Kian32, Mar 22, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018

    Kian32 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2018
    #24
    Decided I am going to install the ssd alongside the original drive. ordered the cables I need.

    thanks
     
  25. padams35 macrumors regular

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    Nov 10, 2016
    #25
    1) Just SATA data and power cable(s). Should be included in basic 2010/2011 iMac dual drive kits.

    2) Only if you use 3rd party fan control software, otherwise the iMac runs the fans at full speed. For default behavior you will also need a 2011 thermal sensor cable.
     

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