What's the BEST SSD Upgrade for iMac 27" and how do we do it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sanjuvarma, Nov 17, 2009.

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Best SSD Upgrade (MLC) for the iMac 27"?

Poll closed Nov 25, 2009.
  1. OCZ Vertex Series/Mac Edition (60G/120G/250G)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. OCZ Vertex Turbo Series (60G/120G/250G)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. OCZ Colossus 3.5" (NEW)

    10.0%
  4. Intel X25-M G1 (80G/160G)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Intel X25-M G2 (80G/160G)

    90.0%
  6. ANy Other?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. sanjuvarma macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    #1
    Starting a thread to post pictures, videos and tutorials to show how the new iMac 27" can be upgraded to a better hard drive, especially an SSD Drive and which SSD would best fit in it.

    My vote goes to 3 choices so far:
    1) OCZ 2.5" Vertex Turbo (Size depends on the user)
    2) OCZ 3.5" Colossus
    3) Intel X25-G2

    I'll post benchmarks found online for each soon, and I'm intending to upgrade my core i5 as soon as I've made my decision!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #2
    I would get OCZ. Intels have problems with 10.6.2 and are slower because of slower write speed and random read/write. Colossus would be better because it's very fast and you don't need an adapter because it's 3.5". I couldn't find them though so I don't know what their prices are
     
  3. Cockroach macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Intel is by far the best. It wipes the floor in random read/write and doesn't degrade in a used state. I can't see any practical application for >70MB/s sequential writes, either, which the others boast about.
    I will be putting 2 x G2s in my iMac when it arrives. I've seen little evidence of 10.6.2 breaking SSDs. From what I have seen, the problems are with RAID cards.
     
  4. i7QuadCoreMania macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    #4
    I just got my i7 last friday, but I think I will hold off of installing a SSD in there.

    I have a Dell 10v running OSX 10.6.2 on an Intel X25-M G2 80gb, so far no issues. (I originally ordered a OCZ vertex turbo 32gb but was too small and the price $150, I paid about 100 more for more than double the GBs on the Intel, and the scores on Anandtech showed the X25 is a better overall performer.)

    I am waiting for Intel to re-release the firmware updates for TRIM on the X25M.

    Also, if you kept up with the SSD threads in this forum you will know that Apple as a jumper header now that controls fan speeds (use of an internal temperature sensor, instead of an external one like the older models) The jumper header is not standarized so you need to know which one pins to connect, otherwise you will have fans that turn on at full blast all the time.:rolleyes:

    OWC is coming out with a solution for this. If I were you I'd wait, but hey if you want to be cutting edge then by all means.:D
     
  5. Cockroach macrumors 6502

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    Location:
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    #5
    OS X doesn't support TRIM, and I wouldn't expect it any time soon. The Intels don't degrade when used, so it's not useful anyway.

    If you short the jumper, the fans are low the whole time.
     
  6. sanjuvarma thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    #6
    Thanks for sharing guys. I hope to grow this thread till everyone is satisfied with what SSD should get in to the 27" iMac.

    OCZ Colossus looks awesome -- it's got TWO OCZ vertex drives (I think it is Vertex) in RAID 0 config and with 2 Indilinx controllers working in tandem. Some drives have 4. Read and write speeds are terrific. This is where I think it is in stock -- http://www.thebestdealscheap.com/technology-120gb-sataii-solid-state-drive-p-13076.html
    (I don't know if I trust this seller though)

    Intel X25-G2 Mainstream does great Read speeds but poor write.

    OCZ Vertex is a GREAT choice. If I go for a 2.5" I might choose this. But I think I'm leaning more in towards the Colossus 3.5" 120GB drive.
     
  7. Cockroach macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    I would hardly call 70MB/s 'poor'. Where do you think you'll be copying something faster than that? If you wanted to copy something off a USB hard drive, it will probably be ~50MB/s max.

    I'm not saying there aren't other good, or even great choices, but the Intel is the BEST.

    Hopefully those with the built in RAID0 have a decent controller that doesn't restrict its full potential.
     
  8. sanjuvarma thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    #8
    To compliment what you just said about 70mb/s, all I can say is that on a 120GB hard drive, you're doing far more reading than writing, so write speeds are not as important as read speeds. But if you want the best of both, then the Vertex Turbo, or the new Colossus drives match up to the same read speeds as the Intel X25Ms and not the E's.

    I still can't decide which SSD I should get.
     
  9. MesMaker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #9
    The unknown details around :apple:'s new approach regarding the new internal thermo controllers has signaled me to hold off on a SSD or any hard drive mod. It is not worth chancing it and I'm not going to use my i5 as the tester.

    - MesMaker
     
  10. Cockroach macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    I'm only going from the long anandtech document.

    Random reads and writes are what makes for a more responsive system. Large sequential writes are going to take a long time anyway. You've got to be copying more than 1GB internally before you will get annoyed.

    As a quick test, I remuxed an MKV. It wrote data at an average of 50.4MB/s. Nowhere near the 70-80MB/s limit of my G2. Duplicating the file in Finder wrote at 67MB/s and dd-ing 1GB from /dev/zero wrote at an average of 63MB/s and peaked at 86MB/s. Not very scientific, but interesting none-the-less. And FYI I have a 2.4GHz unibody MacBook.
     
  11. gianly1985 macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    #11
    I would do this:
    1) original 2tb hard disk ---> LEAVE IT IN ITS PLACE (with it's thermal magic Stuff)

    2) f*ck the Superdrive (better using a REAL burner like Sony Optiarc 7240 in a USB or FW box)

    3) put an Intel x25-m G2 160gb in place of the Superdrive

    4) "mix it all together and you know you get the best of both worlds" (SSD+HDD inside your iMac, the former for OS and Apps, the latter for storage) (and you don't loose the thermal sensor "magic" of the hdd bay with the original Apple hdd)

    My 2 cents
     
  12. gianly1985 macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    #12
    ps: for those who ignore it, every Mac released after october 2008 has the Superdrive on a SATA connection, so you can do stuff like that without loosing speed. Older macs (before oct 2008) have a slower PATA slimCD connection.
     
  13. jvalente macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #13
    anyone done this yet? Seems much smarter than replacing the HDD, it seems dumb to get rid of a TB to replace it with like 128gb. Plus I don't trust SuperDrives on their side, even though I've never had one before...
     
  14. sanjuvarma thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    #14
    Is there anyone out there who has photos/videos/tutorials on how the SuperDrive is replaced by another HDD or an SSD. I can't imagine a HDD fitting in where the SuperDrive is, but what about an SSD. Seems like a good idea!
     
  15. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    compost heap
    #15
    Prove that the SuperDrive SATA is 3.0 not 1.5 in the new iMacs.
     
  16. gianly1985 macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

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    #16
    For what is worth, I've just done it on my 17" iMac (late 2006, c2d).
    SuperDrives are slim slot-in laptop units, so they're far worse and less reliable then a good regular desktop burner (like the 20€ Sony optiarc I bought). You can even buy a bluray reader. You just need a 5,25" USB to SATA box (I bought one from Hamlet, after my SuperDrive ate a DVD and never spit it back).
     
  17. gianly1985 macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    #17
    Why on earth should Apple build bizzarre motherboards with different generation SATA ports, which clearly wouldn't make Apple save a buck? Maybe you should prove that, 'cause it's the less obvious option.

    Anyway, it just takes a simple benchmark.
    Take an Intel SSD, put it in the hdd bay, boot osx, launch xbench disk test, look at "sequential read", then put the SSD in the SuperDrive bay and xbench again, see if sequential read is the same.
    (I chose sequential read because it is fast enough to be SATA-limited)
     
  18. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #18
    Nobody is going to be pulling apart their iMac to "test" - before people go to the trouble of dismantling something that is so end user non-serviceable as an all-in-one iMac, they'll want to make damn sure this works. They must know ahead of time if this whole operation makes even sense. So they must know if it's SATA 3.0 or 1.5.

    As to "why" Apple would do it - many reasons. First, Apple has frequently gone to bizarre lengths to cripple hardware, even if it didn't make economic sense (so that they can differentiate higher end from lower end machines). And second, have you forgotten the recent scandal where people discovered that their HDD SATA connections on their laptops were 1.5 not 3.0? Apple had to issue a firmware update... so screwups also happen.

    Bottom line: Prove it, or it ain't so. Nobody is going to want to tear apart their iMac otherwise. PROVE IT.
     
  19. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    According to the Intel data sheets the 160GB G2 makes 100MB/s sequential writing speed. The 80GB version peaks at 80MB/s.

    The firmware update (which will hopefully be re-released) adds 10% to that values.

    The Intel G2 runs circles around the OCZ drives. Random Read/write accesses (that's what counts on a OS disk) are much better. Sequential writing speeds are of corse lower by 50%, but honestly, who writes large files to the boot disk?
    I highly recommend the Intel G2 over the OCZ Vertex.
     
  20. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

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    New York
    #20
    Patently false.
     
  21. sanjuvarma thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    #21
    I second that. Just cuz the read speeds on those Intel X25s are better than the OCZ, I'm inclined towards them. I have an OCZ Vertex 60GB on my brand new Macbook 13" 2.53Ghz and I'm really happy with it but it's my work computer so I don't need a lot from it. Intel X25 G2s 160GB have 270mbps read speeds and on newegg especially, are lower priced than the OCZ Vertex Turbos which actually don't deserve that pricing of $550+ ... just cuz they're selling like hot cakes, resellers are pricing these at sky high rates. And yes, no one writes a lot on system disks, especially on low capacity disks. It's all about the READ SPEED HERE!!
     
  22. gianly1985 macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    #23
    Looks like somebody is still angry after his "new imacs? never gonna happen" epic fail...


    I don't have to prove anything.
    Worst case scenario, an Intel G2 SSD on SATA 1.5 is still a blazing fast boot disk. The most important parameters for OS speed and application loading speed are RANDOM WRITE and RANDOM READ, which not even close to the SATA 1.5 theoric bottleneck. In a blind test, you'd never notice if an SSD is on sata 1.5 or sata 3. Only sequential_who_cares speeds are affected. And they're still far better than on a Hdd. Avoiding to "tear apart" one's iMac just because of this doubt is plain stupid, you win anyway, you get the super OS/Apps boost anyway.
     
  23. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #24
    The speeds which are stated by the vendors are basically needless. They don't tell anything about the real life performance of a drive.

    Just check out benchmarks on anandtech or sites like that.
     
  24. Cockroach macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #25
    Glad there's some others who share my opinion.

    Re: SATA 1.5.

    I'm confident enough that it will be 3Gb/s that I'm gonna be ordering a second G2 when my iMac ships. So yes, I'll be tearing it appart and will post the results, but I suspect it will be confirmed by the time I get mine anyway.
     

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