Model A1311 / Mid 2010 / 3.06 & 3.2 GHz Core i3 or 3.6 GHz Core i5 Processor

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Do I need an in-line digital thermal sensor for 21.5 iMac(mid 2010)?

A few sites I've visited say that you need an in-line digital thermal sensor to prevent iMacs turning on its fan at full blast when replacing the hard drive with a third party SSD.

Is this the case when replacing the optical drive with an SSD rather than the hard drive?

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First, here is the IFIXIT guide for the dual drive setup: Installing iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389 Dual Hard Drive. While it implies dual Hard Drives it also will support a SSD instead.

If you jump down to Step12 here is the point you take the optical drive thermal sensor off the optical drive and then carefully place it back onto the drives case. This will preserve the SMC signaling so the fans will not go into safe mode (running at full blast).

If you decide to replace the HD with the SSD. You'll need to buy a replacement thermal sensor as the built-in sensor in the hard drive will now be missing. What I do here is get an extra optical drive sensor cable, Apple P/N: 922-9624 Cable, Temp Sensor, Optical Drive to use instead of the drives sensor. Follow this IFIXIT guide for all of the details: iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389 Hard Drive Replacement.

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