SSD Upgrade for 2011 iMac, Model 12,2

Discussion in 'iMac' started by wacomme, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. wacomme macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #1
    I have a mid-2011 iMac with a 1TB drive. I'd like to speed it up with a SSD drive at minimal cost. What is my best solution? Internal or external (LaCie Rugged)? I just watched the OWC video for the 6G drives - looks a little daunting. Is their an easier method for internal SSD drives? I've read a little about the EVO 850, but is this just a different SSD than OWC's 6G?

    I suppose the LaCie Rugged would be the easiest method, but at $300 probably not the cheapest. 250G will fit my OS and apps onto the SSD, but is a bigger SSD that much better - for overall speed? I access music and photos, but those files are too big to fit onto an SSD, so the OS and apps will suffice.

    Thanks.

    Michael
     
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    #2
    It is daunting and if it makes you feel that way it is best left to a professional. Call your local AASP and ask them about the cost involved. Getting an external SSD would be good however in order to take advantage of the speed you should get a Thunderbolt enclosure. Take a look at what OWC (www.macsales.com) offers and then you can take your pick.
     
  3. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #3
    My choices seem to be:

    1) LaCie Rugged 240GB SSD with Thunderbolt - ~$300
    2) OWC 240GB SSD ^G - ~$150 (self-install - looks a little daunting, but probably doable)
    3) Local store - 240GB SSD - ~$350

    I'm interested in other possibilities - mostly for cost and ease of installation. What's the best solution for a 2011 iMac nowadays?
     
  4. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    #4
    If you decide to do a do-it-yourself route, don't forget to factor in the cost of a tool kit and the correct cable. Get both from OWC. Again, factor in the cost of an AASP doing the work too.
     
  5. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #5
    I can't find a cheaper external 250GB SSD Thunderbolt solution than the LaCie Rugged SSD Thunderbolt Drive (i.e., SSD + external Thunderbolt enclosure). So, aside from cost over internal solutions is there any downside to getting the LaCie Rugged over the internal options? Any advantage (other than ease of install)?

    And when I get a SSD, what is the best method for transferring my OS and apps to the SSD drive? And with the LaCie external SSD, can I make a fusion drive with my interval 1TB drive? Is there any real advantage to doing this?

    Thanks!!!!
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    OP wrote above:
    "1) LaCie Rugged 240GB SSD with Thunderbolt - ~$300
    2) OWC 240GB SSD ^G - ~$150 (self-install - looks a little daunting, but probably doable)
    3) Local store - 240GB SSD - ~$350"

    I suggest choice #1 as your best option.

    An external thunderbolt drive will boot and run the iMac as well as an internal one. You won't notice the difference, except for the fact you have a small drive connected to it.

    Why this is better:
    Let's say you either have a store do the install ($$$$) or you do it yourself (and consider that there are always the possibility of problems once you "get into it")...

    Now -- when it's time to get a new Mac -- your old one has that expensive SSD "inside"...
    If you had chosen to "go external", it's a trivial matter to unplug the external SSD, and "move it right over" to the NEW Mac, whether it be an iMac, MacBook, Mini, or something else.

    My opinion only.
     
  7. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #7
    I like this idea. So, is the LaCie Rugged 250GB SSD Thunderbolt the best option? I ask because I don't know if the 250GB SSD in the LaCie can be replaced with a bigger drive in the future. Also, I've read the USB3 port on the LaCie isn't the best. And do newer Macs have Thunderbolt connections? Or is Thunderbolt a dying breed? Would a different external Thunderbolt enclosure be a better option? If so, which one(s)?

    Michael
     
  8. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #8
  9. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #9
    I also see the Buffalo 1TB drive for $149. http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Buffalo/HDPA1.0TU3/

    Is one better than the other? Would the OWC 6G fit into either of these enclosures? Is there any real difference between the 6G Electra and Pro SSD? Any other SSD suggestion?

    And can a fusion drive be created between the 1TB HD and an external SSD drive? Is this a good idea?
     
  10. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #10
    I've found the OWC SSDs to be pretty substandard as far as speed is concerned.... I would recommend either an Intel 530 or Samsung 850 EVO.

    The Buffalo drive is cheaper, but it's not designed to be opened up easily as the Mercury one I linked to is.

    I would not in slightest even consider building a fusion drive from an external SSD... if the SSD is somehow not detected by the Mac at any point, it will break the fusion drive and revert to being a standard hard drive.

    BTW, you can get 1TB SSDs for about $350 and then you can keep all your files on the SSD.. that with the enclosure, you're looking at around $600 all up for the ideal solution, which you can use on future macs.
     
  11. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #11
    Since I'm keeping my 1TB internal HD, do I need to be concerned about TRIM for the SSD drive? Also, do they sell the Mercury drive, or a similar enclosure, sans the HD? I have plenty of HD's for backup already.
     
  12. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    I also assume I don't need a temperature controller with the SSD external option, correct?
     
  13. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #13
    no, that's only something you need if replacing the internal hard drive with an SSD...
     
  14. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #14
    Since 10.10.4, Apple allows you to enable TRIM for all SSDs, not just Apple ones.

    And yes, I wish OWC sold the Thunderbolt Mercury enclosure sans drive, but they do not... a mistake in my opinion.
     
  15. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #15
    Thanks for your help, and sorry for all of these questions.

    How do I "enable" TRIM, or does it just happen?

    And, is the Samsung or Intel the better SSD? Also, I'm now thinking 500GB SSD, as my current HD uses less than 400GB; my music and photos are stored on a separate drive.
     
  16. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #16
    http://www.macrumors.com/2015/07/01/os-x-trim-ssd/

    I named both the Intel and Samsung as the best choices, the Samsung has a longer warranty, but both are excellent.

    Just make sure you DO NOT buy the Samsung 840 EVO (the older model). Buy the 850 EVO.
     
  17. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #17
    OK. Hopefully the last question.

    Is the bus-power of the Mercury drive enclosure a problem compared to powered enclosures? Is heat a problem?

    And, what is the best way to transfer the OS and apps (actually whole HD if I get a 500GB SSD) to the SSD drive? Once switched over, do I use the 1TB HD for data and or backup (reformat the drive)?
     
  18. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #18
    I've encountered no problems running an Intel 480GB SSD in one of the Mercury enclosures for several months. They do run rather hot... about 20 degrees hotter than SSDs I have in an OWC Thunderbay 4 mini enclosure, which has a fan in it.

    The easiest way to do it is to use an app like Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your HDD to the SSD... once you know you're reliably booting/using the SSD for a few days, then I would feel comfortable (after doing a time machine backup) erasing it and using it as you see fit.
     
  19. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #19
    There's also the OWC Elite Pro Dual enclosure with a fan and two bays for about $50 more than the Mercury; with the dual bay I might be able to get rid of one of my three external HD enclosures: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/External-Drive/OWC/Elite-Dual-RAID

    However, it's only Thunderbolt, not with USB3; not sure if future Macs will continue to support Thunderbolt. I would love to find an inexpensive enclosure with both Thunderbolt and USB3. Multi-bay would be nice too (to consolidate), but these seem pricey.

    A cheaper option is a refurb 1TB LaCie rugged on eBay - $117. However, can one exchange drives on this device?
     
  20. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #20
    If you mean one of these:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/External-Drive/OWC/Elite-Dual-RAID

    I have one of those and they definitely have USB 3.0. But they're really only for using as a HDD enclosure, not good for SSDs as the Thunderbolt-SATA bridge is comparatively slow.

    Others have reported using LaCie Rugged and swapping out the hdd and putting in an SSD. Make sure it's the Thunderbolt model tho.

    Edit: This appears to be the cheapest on offer:

    http://www.macmall.com/p/LaCie-External-Hard-Drives/product~dpno~9597442~pdp.icbeahb
     
  21. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #21
    I called OWC and asked if the Mercury On-the-go drive could be purchased sans HD. Unfortunately, that's not an option.

    There's also a G-Technology enclosure (with 1TB HD) right above the listed Mercury drive - http://eshop.macsales.com/search/thunderbolt+bus-powered

    This drive has USB3 and Thunderbolt. Do you have any idea how it compares to the Mercury enclosure? Also, how does the LaCie Rugged compared (speed-wise) to the Mercury enclosure? I watched a video how how to swap out the HD for a SSD drive and it looks easy. Perhaps the MacMall LaCie drive/enclosure would be my best option - at least on par with the Mercury enclosure, and I could save myself $100. Thoughts?

    So, I'm thinking of the following:

    1) Refurb LaCie Thunderbolt 1TB Rugged - http://www.macmall.com/p/LaCie-External-Hard-Drives/product~dpno~9597442~pdp.icbeahb

    2) Samsung 850 EVO 500GB -
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...lVLQdExKwgaAu0y8P8HAQ&is=REG&m=Y&Q=&A=details

    Remove the 1TB drive from the LaCie and replace with the EVO.

    Cost: $258 for an external 500GB SSD Thunderbolt drive.

    Good idea? Is there anything else I need to buy or do?

    Michael
     
  22. bassjunky macrumors regular

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  23. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #23
    No idea on the G-Tech drive, but it looks harder to open up. I'd go with LaCie/Samsung combo.

    You'll also need a Thunderbolt cable, which is $29...
     
  24. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    I think the refurb LaCie comes with a USB3 and Thunderbolt cable.
     
  25. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25

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