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

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iMac Hard Drive upgrade

Would any Western Digital Hard Drive- Model: WD10EALX-408EA0 work in a 2011 iMac without fan issues?

Same drive as in the 27" iMac 2012 [EMC 2546]

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You may want to go with a newer better drive like: Seagate FireCuda SSHD


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It makes no difference who's drive you use in the 2011 models onwards (3.5" drive'd systems)

All of them need a means to see the thermal load of the drive so the systems cooling system is able to adjust to it.

Apple over the years has used a few different ways of getting that needed input by either applying a thermal sensor on the external can of the drive, leveraging the burn-in sensor the HD makers started putting into the drives, and lastly then getting them to allow Apple access to them via custom firmware.

The good news is there is a way to intercept the SMC signal with this: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for iMac 2011 Hard Drive Upgrade which allows you to put in any 3.5" drive or even a 2.5" SSD drive! This is the best method of controlling the systems cooling while some people have tried using software over the years we have found the in-line sensor is better in protecting the system and allowing the system to run quietly when there is no load.

Consider getting a SSHD drive to get some better performance and if you can swing it add in a second drive in this case a SSD. I strongly recommend the dual drive config if you want the best performance! Heres the guides for both:

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Hard Drive Image


iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Hard Drive Replacement



20 - 30 minutes

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Dual Drive Kit Image


Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Dual Drive Kit (HDD or SSD)



1 - 3 hours

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Thanks, so even if the new drive came out of a 2012 iMac the OWC temperature sensor would still be needed?


Things get a bit muddled here as the 27" models from 2012 use 3.5" HD drives and yes they all need the in-line thermal sensor. OWC makes a slightly different version for the 2012 onwards models.

On the other hand... The 21.5" models from 2012 onwards use the smaller 2.5" HD and use a different method SMART.

As far as using a drive that came out of a 2012 system. Can't tell you what you'll encounter as I've never tried stealing from a newer system to put into a 2011 model (3.5" drive). On the surface I would think it would work. As the Apple logo'ed drive would have the altered design. If the drive doesn't have the Apple logo on it its not the original drive.


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