Add SSD (Not originally configured for SSD) and Upgrade Original HDD?
I have an i5 quad 27" iMac mid-2011 with a 1TB HDD purchased last year. I've filled the drive up rather quickly, and would like to do two things:
1.) Add a SSD (120GB or 240GB OCZ Vertex 3). I've found the guide for this, it looks to be the same high-quality I've used in the past from iFixit. I've found some conflicting info though... Do I need additional mounting equipment or cables? I plan on purchasing the upgrade kit. Is there anything else I need for this install? 2.5" variety, yes? I plan to put all of my apps and OS on this.
2.) While I've got this puppy open, I'd like to also like to upgrade the HDD to 2TB-3TB version. Can this be done? I assume 3.5"... I've only ever upgraded the HDD in Mac laptops. Do you have any recommendations as to brand, size, etc? What would I need to do this install?
Last but not least, what is the recommendation on reinstallation of the OS? Now that Lion came as a download only, what would you think the best corse of action would be?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance guys!
I'm not really sure how you managed to fill up a terabyte hard drive in one year, but I'm impressed. Before getting into what you can do inside the machine, may I make a couple suggestions?
1. Move anything you don't need or use regularly to a large external drive (2, 3, 4 TB, whatever suits you). Most photographers do this since they have RAW, XMP, PSD, and JPGs of every picture that they work with. I also move files for classes that I take after each term off of my laptop and onto my external drive.
2. Delete extra stuff. It seems silly, but I occasionally go through my programs and files and realize that I no longer need the huge PDF solutions manual for physics and math classes I took 4 years ago or three different video editing programs when I don't even make movies.
Now, on to what you can do with your machine.
You should consider yourself fortunate, because you own a machine with 3 SATA sockets on the logic board. Our dual hard drive guide is used to install a second hard drive where Apple installed their SSDs. If you had the machine configured with an SSD from Apple there would be a special bracket there, but instead our kit uses super strong 3M VHT double sided tape. To answer your question, if you purchase our kit you will not need anything else; we include all of the cables and mounting strips you need.
You can, of course, replace the 3.5" HDD with a bigger one (we have a guide for that!). The market for 4 TB doesn't look very diverse right now, but there are a number of choices at 2 and 3 TB. As far as specific manufacturers and models go, I don't really have the experience or knowledge to make an informed suggestion. WD is Apple's manufacturer of choice for their iMac hard drives, so they are probably a decent bet.
Finally, if you don't use your optical drive, you can always replace it with an additional 2.5" HDD in an optical bay enclosure for more internal storage. I believe the 12.7 mm SATA/SATA optical bay enclosure is the one that works with this iMac.
Unfortunately, I'm primarily a hardware guy and I don't know much about installing the OS and which one to go with. I still run Snow Leopard, but I think that's because I'm stubborn. Mountain Lion comes out in about a month, so you might want to wait for that.
I hope that helps!
12.7 mm Internal SATA Optical Bay for SATA Hard Drives — 50+ available at 39.95 each.