SSD upgrade

Discussion in 'iMac' started by djfearny, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. djfearny macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2016

    Quick question. I'm soon to upgrade my 2010 i7 27'' with a Samsung 850 SSD.

    Ive watched the videos and will be setting aside some decent time to ensure this goes well.

    Seeing as my machine is 6 years old I'm tempted to chuck a replacement 1tb standard drive in at the same time. Is there any downside to this. I've read somewhere about a temp sensor on the original drive and the fans going mental if that drive is replaced.
    For the small amount extra for a new drive to use as the second it seems silly not to when the machine is open and accessible.
    Are there any suggestions for a drive to replace the existing 1tb.
    I will be doing a fresh install so data is really not an issue.

  2. stuartak macrumors member


    Feb 21, 2016
    Hi , your machine has lots of life in it yet the i7 2010 is a good imac , If you are going to change the HDD I would go for at least 2TB the extra $ cost is minimal . With respect to the fan , the temperature of the HDD is now measured via software communicating with the HDD rather than a temp sensor , Apple used three makes of drive and the only difference for the smart temp cable is the plug on the HDD end. The easiest option is to get the same make of drive as the existing machine , you wont have any fan problems then. If your machine is the mid 2010 , you will already have a spare SATA socket on the logic board for an SSD that Apple used to make the "Fusion Drive" along with the HDD. Unfortunately you need to take the logic board out in order to access this socket , it will be marked SSD on the logic board. There is only the SATA socket on the board so you will need a power cord splitter from the HDD power and a SATA cable to go to your new drive. You can mount the SSD anywhere it will fit it does not need to be cooled. Dont be tempted to remove the Superdrive which some folks do , unless you get a caddy which you can mount your ssd in . The reason I say this is because the case of the superdrive is the duct for the cooling air for the video card. I have recently repaired an overheating Mac where the owner had fitted an SSD in place of the Superdrive but without thinking about cooling , his video card was crashing as it was 20C hotter than it should be as the RHS fan was just blowing into an unducted case.

    This model of IMAC is really easy to work on just do your research and take your time all the connectors require zero force to remove .
  3. djfearny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2016
    Thanks for your detailed and very helpful reply.
    Are you saying that any hard drive to replace existing one will work and not cause issues with the fans or will I need to used the same model as the original to ensure the fans don't go crazy.
    I've seen the temp sensors mods which can be purchased but are these not required on newer versions of osx or do you mean newer machines.

    Which HD make and model are the originals.

  4. stuartak macrumors member


    Feb 21, 2016
    Dont bother with the temp sensor mods that third parties sell you dont need them. All the Imacs from late 2009 used the Smart Disc protocol which all drive manufacturers use , where the HDD is monitored by the OS to gather data about how it is performing including its temperature. On all of the drives used there are three connections , the SATA in /out , the power , and two wires which gather the data, the only difference between the drives used are the pins on the drive they connect to and the size of the little plug that fits on the drive. The three drives Apple tended to use are Western Digital , Seagate and Hitachi, If you click on "about this MAC" then on "system report" then SATA/SATA Express You will get the info of the Intel 5 Series Chipset and then the Drives they are connected to , shown in bold , if you dont understand the info just copy the bold string and plug it into Google and it will tell you the model and make of your drive. To make matters easy purchase a drive from the same manufacturer , and when you replace it make sure you plug the two wire plug on the same pins, you wont have any problem with the fans then. You can put in a different make of drive but you will find that the connections for the data and size of the plug may be different. I recently put a 4TB Western Digital drive in a machine with a 500GB SSD set up in Fusion mode in OSX and I now have a 4.5TB Fusion drive. The Smart Drive polling was I think used from Yosemite on, it has nothing to do with the machine past late 2009.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 1, 2016 ---
    I gave you a bit of incorrect information in my first reply , if your machine is a mid 2010 it may not have the extra SATA plug for the SSD as standard , some machines did in early 2011 but apple did not introduce the "Fusion" option until 2012 , however you can still fit the an SSD with your hard drive and make a "Fusion drive" but you will have to sacrifice the Optical drive and use its SATA connection , but everything else i said is correct.
  5. andy9l, Apr 2, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016

    andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    FWIW, my mid-2010 iMac (top i5 model) did have a spare SATA slot.

    I added an SSD to my mid-2010 27" iMac a few years ago – a SATA II 256GB SSD from OWC. I didn't replace the existing 1TB Seagate drive since I the SSD space is enough for me. Removing the HDD would have caused the fan issue, so I just left it be.

    Are you saying I can replace my Seagate drive with another Seagate drive and the temp sensor would work? When I was doing my research a few years back, I read you need to buy the EXACT same model of drive for it to work properly - not just same manufacturer. The temp sensor is proprietary.

    @OP, I followed this video (there's now an updated version) to add my SSD. Worked first time without a hitch. I took my sweet time though, being VERY cautious. Just be careful removing the LCD from the chassis, and the rest is just annoyingly fiddly rather than dangerous.

    It's worth doing the upgrade - I bought a max-spec 2014 5K iMac last year, but returned it. For my personal day-to-day usage, it gave absolutely no performance boost. The screen was lovely, though. I'm waiting to pick up a 2016 5K.
  6. stuartak macrumors member


    Feb 21, 2016
    You were lucky not all mid 2010 Imacs have the extra SATA drive socket. You can replace the HD drive with any model of HDD its just that you will have a SMART lead and connector for the drive that your machine had when it was manufactured this lead is no longer just a temperature monitoring lead. All current drives have the SMART protocol built in which allows the OS to read all sorts of "Health " data from the drive , not just temperature, the only difference is the plug on the drive end is manufacturer specific . However I have just put a Western Digital 2TB drive in a late 2009 i7 machine that originally had a Hitachi drive , the plug was not a perfect fit on the WD pins (you put the connector on the two vertical pis farthest from the SATA connector on the WD) but it went on and worked , you can see if it is working by going into "About this MAC" "system report" "SATA/SATA Express" and it will show you that S.M.A.R.T is verified which means you are ok. But if you want to be sure the plug will fit get the same make of drive in your case a Seagate. I dont bother now I just fit whatever I can get at the best price , I tend to fit 7200rpm drive rather than the original 5400rpm. You can also enable "Fusion Drive" with your existing SSD to give you a single volume drive.
    Just follow this link for how to its really straight forward , you will have to back everything up first as it erases the disks

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5 March 30, 2016