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SSD for Late 2010 iMac - 27"

1384 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 26, 2012 3:30 PM by Andy9l RSS Branched to a new discussion.
Andy9l Calculating status...
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Feb 24, 2012 11:17 AM

Hi all,


I've been looking at putting an SSD inside my late 2010 iMac recently. It looks like an absolute you-know-what to do, but I figured I might as well take the risk now I'm out of warranty anyway.


The current HDD is one of the popcorn ones - can't remember the model, but it's the HDD they put in the first 27"s and slyly took out later on. What an immense complaint thread that was... Anyway, I digress.


I like the idea of an SSD. No noise, no waiting. Primarily no noise. So I understand I need the following parts:



I'm looking for advice on what SSD to get. It's a 2.5" SSD I need, correct? Any suggestions as to which I go for? Looking for about 250GB on the SSD. I can always use the stock 1TB HDD for storing junk, but 250 should be more than enough - I keep my Macs incredibly clean.


Also, any real risk factors? Assuming I do it right, avoid static charge, and follow these instructions, I should be ok...right?


Thanks in advance!

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2), 27" Quad, 2010
  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
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    Feb 24, 2012 7:29 PM (in response to Andy9l)

    I am not sure you can replace the HDD with an SSD on an iMac that never originally had the additions for a SSD.  The reason is iMac's use a temperature sensor which is stuck to the HDD,  Since SSD run relatively cool compared to HDD's I think you will end up with the iMacs fan running at a high speed.  End result would be just the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish (i.e., lots of noise).



    I did a google search for "replace hdd with ssd on imac" and found lots of hits whiich I recommend you look through and research this before attempting the replacement.  Here's one of those hits:


    How do you upgrade the hard drive in the "Late 2009," "Mid-2010," "Mid-2011" and "Late 2011" (21.5-Inch and 27-Inch) Aluminum iMac models? What type of storage do they support? Is it even possible to upgrade these models?

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (23,400 points)
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    Feb 24, 2012 8:28 PM (in response to Andy9l)

    Think I might use a Data Doubler kit and put the SSD in the optical bay.


    Search Results for data doubler at

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
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    Feb 25, 2012 11:46 AM (in response to Andy9l)

    Not sure what you mean it has a SSD slot.  You won't see anything from the outside.  The imac doesn't ship with the additional mounting hardware for the ssd if you don't originally order the ssd with it. That's why that link you refer to requires getting the additional hardware.  If the part numbers are correct, and you can buy the parts, then yes, of course you could add the ssd.  But this thread started out as you wanting to replace the HDD by just popping it out and popping in a SSD replacement.  So that was the context of my first reply.


    There is no such thing as a totally "silent" HDD either.  You have 7200 rpm motor spinning  one or more platters being read by a bunch of read heads moving rapidly back and forth under control of some electromagnets.  There's a limit on just how quiet it can be.  But in general, unless a drive is failing, the motor sound and head movement is relatively "soft".  Personally I like the reassuring "pitter pattar" of the heads.  It gives me a little feedback sometimes when I expect disk operations.  To each his own I guess.

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
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    Feb 25, 2012 12:54 PM (in response to Andy9l)

    My favorite HDDs are Western Digital blacks (1TB and 2TB).  I don't find them that loud.  Problem is that what one person consider's "noise" may not be the opinion of another person.

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
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    Feb 26, 2012 11:43 AM (in response to Andy9l)

    I've tried to record it with my iPhone, obviously it's louder than the recording, but you get the picture. The loud single clicks are the clicking of my trackpad to open programs. Here's the recording:


    I listened to that recording.  After your countdown I hear what I referred to earlier as the gentle "pitter patter" of the heads all through the rest of the recoding.  What doesn't sound proper are the 5 click I hear after the countdown on top of the "pitter patter".  They stop about 3/4 through the recoding and the rest sounds like normal head sound.  So were those additional 5 clicks coming from you or the drive?  If from the drive, although it doesn't quite sound like any of the recording on this page, that doesn't sound "normal".


    As for "quiet" WDs.  I would say they sound sort of like that "pitter patter" sound in your recording (without those 5 clicks of course).  I am not sure about replacing the drive and reattaching it's temp sensor.  There was a post here recently where someone attempted that and his fans went up to full and was getting a sensor errror report from Apple Hardware Test.  But I think there was another temp sensor problem as well so I don't know what the outcome of that was.  I think he's in the process of ordering replacement HDD and LCD sensors.

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
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    Feb 26, 2012 3:01 PM (in response to Andy9l)

    Well then if the "pitter patter" I hear is the sound you hear (even if it is louder) I suspect you won't be any happier with a different drive, even WDs.  This may well indeed be one of those situations I mentioned where one person considers it a "noise" and another doesn't. 


    Good luck.


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