When adding an SSD to an iMac, what are my options?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Star Nuts, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Star Nuts macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2012
    From what I understand, I have 3 options:

    1. Keep the HDD and add an SSD. But this requires removal of motherboard and many other things, right?

    2. Replace HDD with SSD. This requires an optibay and once the iMac is open, just swap out the HDD with SSD, correct?

    3. Use an external SSD. From what I've seen, these are more expensive and they seem more inconvenient in the long run.

    Is it true that these are my only options for self install?
  2. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    I am going to buy a Thunderbolt cable, case and run an SSD externally, that way as they come down in price, ill just swap it out without having to perform surgery on the iMac (its just not worth the hassle of trying to keep dust and marks from getting between the screen and the front magnetic glass panel IMO)

    Oh, and options 1 and 2 both require you to take the iMac apart and remove the motherboard, (logic board) the HDD is buried right at the back of the iMac, as are the Sata connections, trust me, go for the external option, or go to an Apple authorized re seller and get them to fit it. Don't attempt it yourself, unless you have a clean room handy, the dust alone between the glass and the LCD panel is worth the cost of going for an external SSD on its own just to avoid
  3. ACint24 macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2011
    Can you boot from the external is the question!
  4. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    You can boot from a Thunderbolt drive without any additional setup...Firewire and USB sometimes require a bit of tinkering to get them to work and aren't always reliable as boot drives.
  5. excommie macrumors regular

    May 12, 2009
    I've been booting off my FW800 drive for few months. Not a single issue. iMac is way faster than when I was booting from the internal Hard Drive.
    All apps that I use (iMovie, iPhoto, Safari, Mail, Handbrake, etc..) launch in a single bounce. Mountain Lion boots in 20-25 seconds (older Core2Duo iMac).

    I haven't had to do any tinkering, simply installed Mountain Lion on my external SSD and it hasn't crashed once.
  6. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    Since when do USB and especially Firewire require tinkering to get them to work _with a Mac_?

    Also at least since OSX hit the market you could easily boot a Mac from a Firewire drive - no reliability issues anywhere!

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