What hard drive for old iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ccf, May 25, 2017.

  1. ccf, May 25, 2017
    Last edited: May 26, 2017

    ccf macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2011
    I have a mid-2010 27" 3.2 i3. There's a recall on the hard drive, but I've never taken it in to have it replaced. It's been acting up for awhile now.

    At this point, would it be worth getting an SSD drive or would it be better to just have Apple replace it? How much would an SSD drive cost? What kind of hard drive would Apple put in it?

    What would you guys do? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
  2. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    I would say an SSD is worth it if you're running newer versions of MacOS on your iMac. The difference in performance you get from this upgrade is noticeable.

    In fact, I have done the very same myself, and installed an SSD into my Mid 2010 iMac. You can get a kit to do it yourself, as well as follow an online guide, but probably only advisable if you're comfortable with taking things apart. Otherwise you can have an Apple certified repair shop do it for you.

    It will take a normal SATA II or III SSD (restricted to SATA II speed though). You can look up the prices on the capacity you want yourself, but beware of "too good to be true" false eBay listings.

    Apple's repair program has definitely expired by now, so you won't be able to get it replaced for free from them.
  3. Lunder89 macrumors 6502


    Oct 16, 2014
  4. tedc99 macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2009
    Menifee, CA
    I have an early 2008 24" iMac and I have been waiting on the new iMacs. It was getting so slow that I decided to try an external SSD this past January as the boot drive. Bought a relatively small one, 256 GB, for around $170 figuring it would still be useful once getting a new iMac. I used SuperDuper to make an image copy of my current hard drive. The difference in the SSD is not just noticeable but it was like getting a new computer. Since your iMac is a couple years newer than mine, I don't know if a SSD would make as noticeable a difference.
  5. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    The SSD is definitely worth it unless you need to save every penny. Since you'll be running SATA 2 there is no real need to spend extra money on a premium drive like the high end Samsung's. I see 500 Gb SSD's on sale today for $150-ish; 256 Gb drives can be expected to run $100-$120 or so; and 1 Tb drives are about $250. An SSD really does make a big difference.

    To decide on SSD size, look at how much space is in use now and allow roughly 30%; that's the absolute minimum size you need. SSD's generally don't like to be filled up full.

    If you need 1 Tb or more of space and need to save money, you can stay under $100 with a hard drive. I wouldn't put anything slower than a 7200 rpm drive in there.
  6. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    As a rule of thumb, you should replace your 6+ year-old HDD - it's likely near the end of its useful life, and best to replace it on your terms. Choose an SSD. You will wonder why you waited so long to install one. I know this seems like hype, but your iMac will be better than new. (This is because SSDs have essentially zero seek latency, so reads/writes are significantly faster than spinners.) I have them in any system that will take one, as old as a 2006 (white) MB and 2008 MBP. Don't worry about any of the SATA II/III and such (backwards compatible). Just get a good brand (Samsung, Crucial, OWC) and get the GBs you need for the best price.
    If Apple replaces the drive (regardless of who pays), it will be only a drive that was intended for that device, when new. That is, if Apple even support that iMac anymore. Note that Apple doesn't "do" the type of SSD that would go into your iMac. Your current drive is a 3.5-inch package, SSDs are available for your iMac come in 2.5-in packages (you will need an adapter). Apple's use of SSD technology are packaged very differently than HDDs. Early models looked like M.2 packaging (looks like DRAM, but with the connector on the short edge).
  7. sboychuck macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2014
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    I bought the Crucial MX300 525GB ssd's and put them in four of my old macs. They are a good value with good speed. They are about the sweet spot for size and value. They can be purchased on sale if you search around. I also had to buy the temperature sensor from OWC, and the ssd adapter that make the install cleaner. They worked great. I would initiate the ssd in an external enclosure before install. My older macs could not see the new drive until I initialized it before the install. Make sure you have a good backup and maybe even download CCC and clone the hard drive prior, just in case.
  8. ccf, May 26, 2017
    Last edited: May 26, 2017

    ccf thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2011
    I guess I procrastinated too long to get the free replacement, but it sounds like SSD is the way to go anyway.

    I really appreciate all the replies.



    The only issue is I don't think I'm comfortable doing the install. Any idea what it would cost to have someone do it?

    Another option would be to sell it & use the money towards a new iMac. Any idea what my iMac is worth knowing it needs a new hard drive, but in good shape otherwise?
  9. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    With a failing HDD its going to take a hit. Ebay (or your countries equivalent) is the place to go so you can reach a wider market. A fully functioning SSD will actually offset its cost in this case and they appear to be going for $400-500 and even more.

    I would do 1 of 2 things.

    1. Try eBay and set a reserve you feel comfortable with and take the loss.

    2. Risk it and do research and upgrade it yourself. You'll find plenty of information online about how to do it. And if things go terribly wrong you didn't lose much and you can still sell it for parts.

    If the repair is successful you can then sell it and recoup the cost of the SSD since it will be fully functioning and upgraded. Or just continue to use it yourself and enjoy the new/better performance.

    If you decide to repair, especially if its to sell I would use a standard brand name SSD like WB Blue SSD or Sandisk SSD Plus in 256gb sizes. Both of which can be found for well under 100 dollars online.
  10. Fabmac macrumors member


    Apr 5, 2017
    Ssd, cheap and easy! I have an 2007 iMac with an ssd running you will notice it a lot !
  11. ccf thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2011
    Its seems my specific iMac has an extra 3Gb SATA 2.0 connector & power for the 2.5" SSD drive that some models don't have. Does that mean I don't need an adapter for it to fit into the hard drive bay? How will it be mounted? I'm confused.

    I think I've found a certified Apple shop that will do the labor for a reasonable price, but I'm supplying the parts. What else do I need to give them besides the actual drive?
  12. ccf thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2011

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12 May 25, 2017