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Model A1311 / Mid 2011 / 2.5 & 2.7 GHz Core i5 or 2.8 GHz Core i7 Processor

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What kind of SSD I need to buy for my Mac

Hello, firstly thank you for you time.

I want to replace the Hard Disk of my iMac (iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428), for a SSD, I was searching the SSD here in the Store, but is not available. My question is, what kind of SSD I need to buy, or what are the requirements that I need in order to chance it for the HD of my computer.

I saw in others iMacs that they allows to chance the optical disc for a SSD with this adapter ( iMac & Mac mini Dual Drive Enclosure ) My question is, if this adapter is compatible with my iMac, I was searching information in the forum, but i don't find nothing.

That are my two questions, thanks for your time

iMac & Mac mini Dual Drive Enclosure Image


iMac & Mac mini Dual Drive Enclosure


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You don't need this 12.7mm SATA Optical Bay SATA HD enclosure it is intended for the laptops or the older iMacs which don't have a third SATA port.


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First your system has three SATA ports! Currently your Hard Drive & Optical Drive are taking two ports now, leaving one port free.

I would recommend you leave your HD in (as long as its working). As well as leave your Optical Drive alone here.

Instead, use this kit to add in a 2.5" SATA SSD: iMac Intel 21.5" Mid 2011 Dual Hard Drive Kit. While the title implies a second Hard Drive in fact either a HD or SSD could be used! Follow this IFIXIT guide on installing your drive: Installing iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428 Dual Hard Drive Kit.

As to what SSD to install: You'll need a 2.5" SATA unit. I like the Samsung 850 EVO unit. There are others which are just as good.

iMac Intel 21.5" (Mid 2011) Dual Hard Drive Kit Image


iMac Intel 21.5" (Mid 2011) Dual Hard Drive Kit


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If your HD is too small for your needs now or having problems I would think hard here before swapping it out for a SSD. I would recommend getting a hybrid drive like Seagate's SSHD to replace the HD. Or, stick with a replacement HD and add in the SSD as I have outlined here which will give you the best performance bang.


Since it's an iMac, you can add the SSD on the third SATA port, clone your existing hard drive data to an external drive, reformat the HD+SSD as a Fusion Drive using Disk Utility, then clone the data back to the Fusion Drive. That gives you the combined space of the HD and the SSD, and is much faster than the stock hard drive. The SSD is a big cache for the Fusion system; data you use frequently (OS, apps, some user files) is automatically moved onto the SSD, while less frequently used files move to the hard drive. It's a hybrid hard drive, but with a much larger SSD cache (and probably a faster HD, if your current internal drive is 7200 RPM). Formatting a Fusion volume will involve erasing your internal hard drive, so be sure to clone your data first. You can also restore from a Time Machine backup; get a complete backup of your internal drive, install the SSD, create the Fusion volume, install OSX 10.9/Mavericks or 10.10/Yosemite, then transfer data back from your Time Machine backup during first startup.


Thank you for your answer Dan, it was very helpful. I'll try with the Samsung 850 EVO. Thank you.


If you want to use your optical drive space ,OWC gives you this option for $29.

iMac 2009-2011 Optical Bay Hard Drive / SSD Mounting Solution

Optical drive installation videos:

I highly recommend OWC SSD hard drives. They have up to 5 years warranty and pro level models from $97.99. With Blackmagic certification.



You don't need this 12.7mm SATA Optical Bay SATA HD enclosure it is intended for the laptops or the older iMacs which don't have a third SATA port.


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iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428 Hard Drive Replacement


Follow these steps to change it... you can change it for any other HDD or SSD with the same interface (SATA)

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If you do swap out your HD for a SSD you'll need to use this adapter cable: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for iMac 2011 Hard Drive Upgrade. The problem is the built-in temperature control system (SMC) needs a thermal sensor from the HD which the SSD doesn't have. This adapter cable makes up for it. The second issue you have here is you'll need to get an adapter frame to mount the 2.5" SSD to the 3.5" HD frame in the system.


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