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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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Best SDD to Install for Photography


I have a MID 2011 iMac 27” and I am in the process of replacing the HDD to a SSD, possibly 1 TB or more if possible.

What is the best SSD drive compatible with this iMac for Photography and Video editing?



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2 Answers

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I would leave the HD alone (unless its failing).

Instead get a 512 GB SSD and adding it as a second drive following this guide Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Dual Drive Kit (HDD or SSD) I’m partial to Samsung EVO drives.

Make the SSD your boot drive and then clean off your HDD making it your photo library drive.

If you are going to replace your HDD you’ll need this in-line sensor for your system to work properly OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for iMac 2011 Hard Drive Upgrade

I would still get an external drive for a backup’s.

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Thank you!

When you say to clean the HDD what exactly needs to be done?

Thanks again,



Make a backup of your stuff then reformat the drive so its clean of any files. Then restore your data to it. You want your apps to be on the SSD. You do want to keep 1/3 or so of the SSD empty for your OS & apps to use.


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Hello! I suggest the Crucial MX500 Line of SATA drives. They're reliable, and Crucial is a big brand under Micron, an even bigger brand. If you really need, a 2TB SATA drive will be rather expensive because of storage density but will also be more than enough storage. You may also like the Samsung Pro line if money is no object, they've got incredibly fast drives.

I suggest you keep the Hard Drive as an extra storage, and move all your information to the faster SSD by creating images of the partitions of the old hard drives through a tool like Macrium Reflect and imaging them onto the SSD.

Then, you can do what @danj meant by “cleaning" the drive: wiping it clean of files, because they're on your SSD, which we'll be calling the “boot" drive from now on. Since the files are on your boot drive, you can now use the blank HDD, which is no longer the drive you're booting from, as extra storage.

A convoluted way of saying that the SSD is now the master and the HDD is now the extra storage, while previously it was the other way around.

Hopefully everything checks out. These are some of the basics of files, as SATA is a standardized port and so any HDD or SSD equipped with a SATA port will fit in that slot.

If you need help with Macrium Reflect, or formatting to Apple Journaled Extended (Apple's special format for bootable drives) please do respond, I will try my best to answer any general questions because I don't own that product specifically.

Also, that looks like one !&&* of a difficult teardown just to put an SSD in.

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