SSD upgrade Late 2011 27" iMac i7 1TB?

BarkingGhost

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 18, 2011
212
1
Atlanta+35 miles
I watched a video on one of the Mac-centric upgrade websites on how to perform the physical installation of replacement hard drive. I think the video was for an SSD physical install, but I would imagine it is the same for a SSD.

Anyway, while trying to find a shop to do this for me, I was wondering if the standard off the shelf Samsung EVO 850, if bought in 1TB size, can make for an upgrade, and how might go about the migration. Considering the age of the iMac, bought in October 2011, I presume the connectors are the same SATA connectors.

I think Samsung makes OS X compatible Migration software, but I wondered if anyone had personal experience. I've used Samsung EVO 840/850 in Windows and Linux, and their migration software in W7 is nice, but I didn't know about the OS X/iMac environment.
 

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,286
127
A 1TB Samsung 850 EVO will do nicely as an upgrade from a hard drive. The Migration software Samsung provides is for Windows only :/

You will need an enclosure or drive dock and software such as Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the hard drive to the SSD.

Once that's done and you install the SSD (for which you'll need an adapter bracket), you should be able to boot from it after changing the startup drive in the same-named preference panel.

This is the type of bracket you'll need:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/ADPTADRV/
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,209
5,554
Do you have a thunderbolt port on the 2011?

If so, it would be a LOT easier to just buy an external thunderbolt drive with an SSD inside, and hook it up that way.
The difference in speed will be all-but-unnoticeable...
 

Dreadnought

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,055
14
Almere, The Netherlands
I've put a Evo 850 1 TB into my 2010 27" i7 myself with the OWC kit. I love it! It's so much speedier and snappier. Also the temps are way down! I added the drive next to my old HDD so that you don't have to mess with the temperature meter. With time-machine I've put ox X and my files back onto the ssd. Worked like a charm, only took a lot of hours, just do that overnight and you'll be fine.
 

Mr. Buzzcut

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2011
1,037
486
Ohio
I did this and ditched the HDD completely. Got sick of hearing it. To do so, you just need the 5.25 adapter bracket and OWC temperature sensor. Hardest part of the whole job was dealing with dust between LCD and glass cover.
 

Dreadnought

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,055
14
Almere, The Netherlands
I did this and ditched the HDD completely. Got sick of hearing it. To do so, you just need the 5.25 adapter bracket and OWC temperature sensor. Hardest part of the whole job was dealing with dust between LCD and glass cover.
As I'm almost completely on the ssd, and only use the hd for windows and an old version of os X, the hd powers down and you don't hear it and it doesn't generate the heat. So, it's a bit of a compromise, now having 2 TB of storage inside, and only the noise and slowdown when using the hd.
 

toddzrx

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2012
719
246
I watched a video on one of the Mac-centric upgrade websites on how to perform the physical installation of replacement hard drive. I think the video was for an SSD physical install, but I would imagine it is the same for a SSD.

Anyway, while trying to find a shop to do this for me, I was wondering if the standard off the shelf Samsung EVO 850, if bought in 1TB size, can make for an upgrade, and how might go about the migration. Considering the age of the iMac, bought in October 2011, I presume the connectors are the same SATA connectors.

I think Samsung makes OS X compatible Migration software, but I wondered if anyone had personal experience. I've used Samsung EVO 840/850 in Windows and Linux, and their migration software in W7 is nice, but I didn't know about the OS X/iMac environment.
Absolute no-brainer, given the year of your machine and how cheap SSDs have gotten over the past 2 years. Use Carbon Copy Cloner as others have suggested, and be slow and cautious when swapping the drive.
 

mattDC5R

macrumors member
Mar 12, 2009
75
16
Perth, W.Aust now Austin, TX
I added the drive next to my old HDD so that you don't have to mess with the temperature meter.
So you added the SSD in behind the DVD drive, using a second SATA cable, but you haven't installed the OWC temperature sensor correct?
You're not having any issues with the fan speeds after install this set up are you?

I was planning to do this same set up and I didn't think there would be any fan issues given the original drive is still in there. However, after reading the iFixit guide there was some conflicting comments with some people having fan issues but it wasn't clear if they also replaced their original drive as well.

How did you find the install process?
 

stuartak

macrumors member
Feb 21, 2016
50
3
So you added the SSD in behind the DVD drive, using a second SATA cable, but you haven't installed the OWC temperature sensor correct?
You're not having any issues with the fan speeds after install this set up are you?

I was planning to do this same set up and I didn't think there would be any fan issues given the original drive is still in there. However, after reading the iFixit guide there was some conflicting comments with some people having fan issues but it wasn't clear if they also replaced their original drive as well.

How did you find the install process?
You wont have any fan problems as long as you leave the existing HDD in situ (along with its temp cable to the logic board) I have done this installation its fairly straight forward , in fact you dont need to fully remove the logic board , just remove the top screws , remove the video card and ease the logic board forward enough to fit the "new" sata cable into the existing spare sata socket on the 2011 machine. You get the power from a splitter fitted onto the HDD. Cables cost me $6 off ebay. Tucked the ssd under the vertical arm to the video card heat sink and replace screws , you can also set the HDD and SSD up as a "Fusion" drive enable "Trim" and your done. Just take your time and be careful taking the screen on and off. Get some cotton gloves , it will save you time trying to clean fingerprints off the LCD and inside screen cover , you also dont need the suction cups , just strong finger nails!!
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Absolute no-brainer, given the year of your machine and how cheap SSDs have gotten over the past 2 years. Use Carbon Copy Cloner as others have suggested, and be slow and cautious when swapping the drive.
You dont even need Carbon Copy Cloner , just make a bootable USB with OSX on , boot from that and use Restore from disc utility to transfer from the old drive to the new. You can either leave the old drive in situ as extra storage , or remove it if you get a big enough SSD , you will need to get the temp sensor gadget if you remove the HDD though.

I picked up a cheap USB to sata gadget on ebay that enables you to connect any drive to USB so you can restore from the old drive using that just takes a bit longer, the sata to usb gadget cost about $15
 

Dreadnought

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,055
14
Almere, The Netherlands
So you added the SSD in behind the DVD drive, using a second SATA cable, but you haven't installed the OWC temperature sensor correct?
You're not having any issues with the fan speeds after install this set up are you?

I was planning to do this same set up and I didn't think there would be any fan issues given the original drive is still in there. However, after reading the iFixit guide there was some conflicting comments with some people having fan issues but it wasn't clear if they also replaced their original drive as well.

How did you find the install process?
Just look at OWC. Find the right iMac model and the correct kit for the upgrade. There is a kit for replacing the hd and one for a ssd next to the hd. I have the last one, which is easier to install. Look at the step by step video's and have that present when installing.

My ssd is sitting on the right of the hd, between the hd and the dvd drive. In the OWC kit you have everything, the sata cable, Y connector cable and double sided tape to fasten the ssd to the back of the iMac.

Temps are a lot lower, with intensive use (hours of gaming) about 20 degrees celsius lower. Highest temps are now 65-67 degrees celsius instead of 85. Fan noise is a lot less. Sometimes you hear the hd spinning up for a few seconds, which is the loudest component. A traditional hd really consumes a lot of power (30 W) and generates a lot of heat. A ssd a fraction of that and doesn't generate heat. Also, my iMac now flies!!

If you have a backup with bootcamp, use this for installing the ssd after you built it into your iMac. Took me about 6.5 hours for putting back 600 GB over usb2. Just let it run overnight.

If you have any doubts, don't! You kick yourself and wonder why you haven't done this before! Really, it a very big dofference in overall performance and snappyness.

Ps, when you have you iMac open, blow out the dust!
 

mhafeez

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2013
103
51
I put both my SSDs (1TB Samsung 840EVO) on the main storage bay in RAID0 setup (total 2TB) in order to have smooth air flow behind the OpticalDrive.

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