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Do-It-Yourself: Upgrading Apple's 27" iMac With An SSD

Do-It-Yourself: Upgrading Apple's 27" iMac With An SSD
By , Benjamin Kraft
Save Some Money By Doing It Yourself

Apple’s iMac is a great machine. Unfortunately, upgrades for it are expensive, particularly if you want an SSD. Currently, Apple charges $500 for a 256 GB solid-state upgrade. A 256 GB Samsung 830 SSD only costs $290, and a Crucial m4 can be found for even less (under $250, even). And both prices include free shipping.

Today, we show you how to enjoy the added performance of an SSD on your 27" iMac without breaking the bank, so long as you're willing to put in a bit of work. Remember, though, doing this voids your warranty, and we aren't responsible if something goes wrong along the way.

One more comment before we get started: our iMac’s fan continuously ran at full speed after we swapped out its drive. This is due to certain firmware hooks that allow OS X to read the drive’s sensor data without involving its SMART attributes. This problem can be taken care of with fan control software.

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  • 31 Hide
    tipmen , May 11, 2012 4:32 AM
    ^^
    I will start the hate amuffin :) 

    Phew! I'm glad the sheeple will save $200+. It is unlikely that a majority of Apple owners would be able to do this. Hell I bet they aren't even willing (besides voiding the warranty). I think they have this belief if apple does the upgrade it will be "better".
  • 28 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , May 11, 2012 5:06 AM
    Pfff. 95% of Mac users don't even know there're swappable parts incide their PC.
  • 20 Hide
    amuffin , May 11, 2012 4:30 AM
    ALLOW THE APPLE HATING TO COMMENCE!!!!!
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    amuffin , May 11, 2012 4:30 AM
    ALLOW THE APPLE HATING TO COMMENCE!!!!!
  • 31 Hide
    tipmen , May 11, 2012 4:32 AM
    ^^
    I will start the hate amuffin :) 

    Phew! I'm glad the sheeple will save $200+. It is unlikely that a majority of Apple owners would be able to do this. Hell I bet they aren't even willing (besides voiding the warranty). I think they have this belief if apple does the upgrade it will be "better".
  • 13 Hide
    amuffin , May 11, 2012 4:33 AM
    $20-30 just to install a SSD which then costs another 200+ dollars. THEN I don't get my HDD Data and STORAGE!!! NO DUAL DRIVES!!!!
  • 7 Hide
    killabanks , May 11, 2012 4:51 AM
    yeah $30 to do it yourself loool only thing it got going for it is that screen
  • -7 Hide
    jprahman , May 11, 2012 4:56 AM
    HeHe [Sits back with popcorn waiting for the Apple haters to show up. :) ]
  • 13 Hide
    Plasmid , May 11, 2012 5:03 AM
    Seems like a lot work given such basic upgrade, now imagine replacing the motherboard. horror story/ true story :) 
  • 28 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , May 11, 2012 5:06 AM
    Pfff. 95% of Mac users don't even know there're swappable parts incide their PC.
  • 9 Hide
    slomo4sho , May 11, 2012 5:09 AM
    Better than paying a 50% premium by going through Apple store.
  • 10 Hide
    The Greater Good , May 11, 2012 5:17 AM
    No wonder Apple users are so stiff. They just got pounded in the rear.
  • 11 Hide
    tacoslave , May 11, 2012 5:28 AM
    99% of mac owners are too busy being the 1%
  • 10 Hide
    manu 11 , May 11, 2012 5:29 AM
    Moral of the day, apple seriously rips you. Your own assembled pc is 100000x better and stronger than the imac thing.
  • 4 Hide
    pharoahhalfdead , May 11, 2012 5:34 AM
    I don't own a mac, but I was always curious of how to do this. I thought most of the hardware was soldered on, I didn't know parts were interchangeable. Good article.
  • -5 Hide
    monsta , May 11, 2012 6:35 AM
    Does Tom's think its Macrumour now?
  • 3 Hide
    molo9000 , May 11, 2012 7:21 AM
    manu 11Moral of the day, apple seriously rips you. Your own assembled pc is 100000x better and stronger than the imac thing.


    Yeah, because you can assemble your own all-in-one PC... oh wait... you can't.

    Comparing a normal PC in a tower case to an all-in-one is like comparing it to a laptop. Completely different form-factor.

    Apple hardware upgrade prices are a joke though...
  • 4 Hide
    KelvinTy , May 11, 2012 7:42 AM
    It's an interesting decision to use black pcb in a never meant to be opened case... Looking at how annoying it is to be serviced, it seems it's just not worth it to buy a factory mac... Just get a hackintosh for god sake.
  • 3 Hide
    razor512 , May 11, 2012 7:49 AM
    apple needs to fit the design flaw of there being a glass shield for the screen.

    that one design flaw requires me to run a air filter for 3 hours before taking the system, then having to work on the system almost completely naked just to keep dust from getting in between the glass and the LCD
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , May 11, 2012 8:46 AM
    @Razor512 ... and then you realize that dust is mostly made from dead human skin and you just got naked during a standard PC upgrade for no apparent reason.
  • 3 Hide
    uruquiora , May 11, 2012 8:50 AM
    it's not likely that a lot of people will do that, especially cos it probably wipes out any warranty...
    And don't Apple lovers love to be ripped off anyway ??
  • 0 Hide
    joytech22 , May 11, 2012 9:41 AM
    Pity, I have the 21.5".
    Just got it too, want to stick my old OCZ drive in there and 8GB of RAM.

    And yes, I know my shit when it comes to computers.. The difference with me is I'm not biased any more.
  • 2 Hide
    andy_newton , May 11, 2012 10:19 AM
    Why keep the superdrive? Apple Superdrive is the pinnacle of stupidity throughout the era of personal computing.

    You'd be better of replacing the HDD with a Hitachi 4TB and putting the SSD on the superdrive's slot with an adapter from MCEtech.com instead.

    The superdrive (if you insist on having it anyway) can be put into a USB 2.0 enclosure and be stashed somewhere until you need it.

    The best way is to partition the SSD into 3:

    1) Mac OSX
    2) HFS+ partition for Adobe's scratch & caches folder and/or for stuff you're using.
    3) Windows 7 64 bit

    And it is best to partition the 4TB HDD:
    1) Scratch folder for your footages, libraries, render files, & etc
    2) Archive of your older projects & Windows 7 Backup Image
    3) Bootable Mac OSX Back Up partition

    Or you can just wipe Mac OSX, install Windows 7 64bit, and just play crisis with the iMac
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