SSD Options: Buy now or Mod Later?

wirelessness

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 20, 2010
431
62
I really like the idea of being able to add SSD down the road. I just can't decide if it's worth taking short term hit by ordering a new system with the 256GB SSD drive installed just to preserve the Warranty?

It's $540 to add the 256GB SSD drive using the Education Discount. Those drives seem to be selling for around $400. So it's approximately $140 to have the SSD core components installed plus the price of whatever SSD would be used to replace the poor longterm performing stock Apple SSD......

Or OWC can Add and SSD drive for you starting at $449 for 120GB drive. My only concern is this would totally void your warranty.

What are other people thinking of doing? Am I crazy for even wanting to have SSD? I don't think I need it right now but I like the idea of being able to add it later as prices come down.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,741
146
Your money is best spent on the iMac now and the SSD aftermarket.
 

Gregintosh

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2008
1,779
417
Chicago
I'd pay $140 to ensure it's properly installed and has a warranty. Opening and playing with the iMacs innards can be dangerous. There was a forum poster here a few weeks ago who messed up his logic board poking around. I bet he would've paid a small price, if given the option, to avoid that pain (but hey, hindsight is 20/20).

You're already spending around two grand on this computer, what's another $140?

Since you're unsure if you really want it or need It to begin with, another option is to sit this one out and get SSD with your next Mac instead.
 

dagomike

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2007
1,450
1
Some people certainly may find SSD useful, but I don't see it practical at today's prices. Even less so with Apple's BTO prices. It's a hotrod upgrade. I'd dump in more RAM and just keep your apps running.

It looks to be a tricky install, so the best bet might be to keep the OWC route in your back pocket. Maybe next year (assuming they still offer the service) prices should keep falling and you'll be out of your standard warranty.
 

tedus

macrumors newbie
Aug 3, 2010
22
0
With education prices and currency exchange apple wants nearly 1k (AUS) for ssd.

However this is something I would like to do in the future, unfortunately OWC isn't an option: just seems to too hard (and expensive) to ship it around the U.S. from the other side of the world.
I'm hoping a cheaper DIY option will emerge.
 

J&JPolangin

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2008
2,564
5
Thule GL @ the TOW
...a SSD is good in a desktop where you can use a smaller, fast drive as your boot and apps drive but to open up an iMac is a real PITA to DIY and the machine is expensive... I wouldn't take the chance on a DYI project with an iMac.

Improving the performance on a notebook is a much easier task...
 

tedus

macrumors newbie
Aug 3, 2010
22
0
agreed...but

true, but a couple of years down the track it will be worth the risk (for me) to increase the performance (and hence lifespan) of my expensive machine.
 

farmermac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2009
775
2
Iowa
If you add the ssd in the SuperDrive's place it is easy (well...easier) to reverse should you need service from apple. They really should offer a ~60-120gb ssd option.
 

tedus

macrumors newbie
Aug 3, 2010
22
0
If you add the ssd in the SuperDrive's place it is easy (well...easier) to reverse should you need service from apple. They really should offer a ~60-120gb ssd option.
It doesn't seem right gimping one thing to add another.
 

farmermac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2009
775
2
Iowa
It doesn't seem right gimping one thing to add another.
Apple doesn't include the bracket or cable for the ssd if you don't order the drive.

You need to dismantle the computer completely and solder onto the logic board. That irrevocably invalidates AppleCare. SuperDrive replacement is reversible. You throw it in an enclosure and continue on using it once a year.
 

bolen

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2008
351
0
Sweden
Apple doesn't include the bracket or cable for the ssd if you don't order the drive.

You need to dismantle the computer completely and solder onto the logic board. That irrevocably invalidates AppleCare. SuperDrive replacement is reversible. You throw it in an enclosure and continue on using it once a year.
No, you just need to unscrew the logic board somewhat so that there's room for you to plug in the SATA cable in the spare slot. The SATA port is still on the logic board - NO soldering needed. Then get a SATA power Y-cabel to snitch some power from the main drive and finally just do some ghetto mod to make the SSD stay in place.

I will probably attempt to do this on my 27" when it arrives next week.
 

farmermac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2009
775
2
Iowa
No, you just need to unscrew the logic board somewhat so that there's room for you to plug in the SATA cable in the spare slot. The SATA port is still on the logic board - NO soldering needed. Then get a SATA power Y-cabel to snitch some power from the main drive and finally just do some ghetto mod to make the SSD stay in place.

I will probably attempt to do this on my 27" when it arrives next week.
Ha...I thought I read a report when it first came out that soldering a port was required. Old memory failing me. But the bracket is not included, correct? Going to zip tie the SSD in there ?
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
4,883
407
London, UK
I really like the idea of being able to add SSD down the road. I just can't decide if it's worth taking short term hit by ordering a new system with the 256GB SSD drive installed just to preserve the Warranty?

It's $540 to add the 256GB SSD drive using the Education Discount. Those drives seem to be selling for around $400. So it's approximately $140 to have the SSD core components installed plus the price of whatever SSD would be used to replace the poor longterm performing stock Apple SSD......

Or OWC can Add and SSD drive for you starting at $449 for 120GB drive. My only concern is this would totally void your warranty.

What are other people thinking of doing? Am I crazy for even wanting to have SSD? I don't think I need it right now but I like the idea of being able to add it later as prices come down.
Where have you seen 256GB SSD drives for around $400? The cheapest 256GB SSD on Newegg is $519. If you're serious about wanting an SSD drive (they are amazing) then you'd be better off getting it down with your education discount. $540 for a 256GB SSD drive is pretty good and it includes the extra power port, SATA cable and internal mount required for the iMac. You could buy your setup now and get Applecare. Install it aftermarket and you've lost your warranty - unless you're prepared to dismantle the iMac to remove the SSD drive and repartition your other drive with an OSX install if something goes wrong before you take it to an Apple store.

People keep saying that SSD prices will drop loads soon but they've been saying that for a while. I bought a 256GB SSD drive seven months ago and the price is still the same now (actually more since I found an amazing deal).
 

glxyjones

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2007
200
27
Part of the reason I spent the extra for the SSD in my BTO iMac is so that the mount and everything will be there for future installation of a new/updated SSD. I plan on having this machine for a few years and in 3 years Apple's SSD dies or its performance is severely degraded, I should be able to easily rectify it myself without having to worry about power cables and messing with the logic board.
 

nikehair

macrumors member
Nov 27, 2007
33
0
It depends on how long you'll have the iMac for.

I would have it pre-installed to avoid any issues.
 

haukl

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2009
14
0
The price for an SSD from Apple is + 600 USD, also consider that you miss out on the 1TB original HDD.. (100 us value?). Unless the 1tb + SSD option is 600, then my bad.

Where did you guys get the details on how to install an SSD DIY? Link please..!
 
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