Model A1312 / Mid 2011 / 2.7 & 3.1 GHz Core i5 or 3.4 GHz Core i7 Processor, ID iMac12,2

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Replace hdd with ssd and move hdd to optical bay

I want to replace my SSD with the HDD inside my iMac and then move the HDD to the optical drive.

Is this how it is recommended? Some of the guides mentioned the possibility of bottlenecking the speeds if the ssd is in the optical port.

Also, what about fans and cooling? Will the mac be able to handle it? I bought one of the ifixit kits that has a sataIII cable. Does this matter?


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Yes, this system has a spare SATA connection.

You need to leave the HD in its current location, then using the dual drive kit from IFIXIT for this system add the needed wire harness to add in either a second HD or a SSD.

In any case the optical drive is not disabled.

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That's a slightly convoluted upgrade, so Heads up:

the stock internal 3.5" HDD's have a new type specialty in-line thermal temperature sensor cable, and improper reconnection or removing that is what causes the HDD's fans to go crazy or fail the Apple Hardware Test.

But most importantly, I believe the optical drive bay can only handle a 2.5" HD (or smaller) SSD: I think the 3.5" HD form factor is too fat for that optical bay space.

You have probably already found/googled "27-inch iMac (2011) Hard Drive Installation Video" to see the skill level and tools needed for proper and correct surgery for opening up the 2011 iMac 27".

Also, when you install an aftermarket SSD drive into a Mac, TRIM is not enabled, and you can research what software tools/commands you can use to enable that if you wish. And if after all your upgrades still cause your fans to go crazy, you can stabilize that thru the usage of a 'Fan Control' software for Mac OS X as a last resort.

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Thanks! I looked at my specs and i see three sata ports. 1 empty, 1 with hdd and the other with the optical. The optical has a 3 gb limit. So i guess I can leave the HDD where it is at and plug my ssd into the open ssd port? Then I think I can set the ssd as the boot volume in some setting on the OS?


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You can get all the benefits of putting your OS on a SSD with a Thunderbolt external drive. I have my System folder on a laCie rugged external SSD and I love it. The internal drive is used as storage (you can keep your home folder on the HDD) and both get backed up by TimeMachine on my other external HDD RAID.

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