Model A1312 / Mid 2010 / 3.2 GHz Core i3 or 2.8 & 3.6 GHz Core i5 or 2.93 GHz Core i7, ID iMac11,3

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mid-2010 iMac 27" best way to add SSD to make fusion drive

I think there are two ways to do this, replace DVD drive with an SSD, or add a second drive behind the motherboard? I was wondering if there was a definite advantage to one or the other?

Does the DVD bay support same speed connection as the hard drive bays? I imagine if not that might be one reason to add it rather than replace DVD?

What size SSD would be optimal, is 250GB enough or is there enough to be gained from 500GB to justify extra cost?

As the hard drive is five years old, would anyone think it wise to replace it at same time?

Finally (sorry if this is too long a series of questions) is it ok to do a full restore or would I be best to have a fresh O/S and just restore photos / music etc. and re-install programs?

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what are you trying to achieve?

SSD - quicker

Fusion - larger

Hi, I'm trying to make the iMac faster. My wife is using it's slowness to say we should change to Windows

Can you give us the last four digits of your systems serial number so we can correctly ID which model you have.

Hi Dan, sorry been away. It's SDNR which is a iMac (27-inch, Mid 2010), 2.8 GHz Intel Core i5 with 12GB Ram and one 2TB internal disk

You are very lucky! Here is the dual drive setup: Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2390 Dual Hard Drive Kit. As you can see you don't loose your optical drive.



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Depending on your exact model you might have a spare SATA port so you may not need to replace the optical drive for a SSD.

As to speeding your system up, you may only need to do some housekeeping. To start with make sure you have a backup of your important data. Then next thing here is to create a bootable USB thumb drive so you can boot up under it to run Disk Utility to repair the disk & permissions. But, before you do that you should clean up the drive get rid of the junk. Here's a useful tool to clear out the old log & chase files: Disk Doctor. You do want to free up at least 1/4 of the disk if you can do 1/3 thats even better. Also think about adding memory.


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I did this recently. You'd have to remove the optical drive because the back of the board has only one sata input, and I don't think it's wise to split the power to both devices, especially with one being a boot disk. Remove the optical drive, mount the ssd in it's place, plug the sata cable where the dvd drive was plugged in, and close it up and reformat. I'm happy to help if you need it beyond that. Don't let your wife make you use Windows.


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Chris Monk:

If it is a mid 2010, you only have one sata port in the back of the board. If you have two, you have a 2011 which doesn't change anything except it has the extra sata port.

Repair guide here:

Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2390 Dual HDD or SSD Drive


Even easier: upgrade to a hybrid drive. I just did this on my iMac, and it's ... sweeet. Performance is notably quicker, and there's no changes to be done. Specifically, I had a 1TB Seagate drive (original) in a late 2009 iMac. That drive failed earlier this year; as it was failing, I copied it with SuperDuper to an external hybrid Seagate 4TB drive. I then ran on the external drive until I had time to install it per the drive replacement iFixit article.

And yes, up and running and fast. Loving it. Huge capacity without the premium for an SSD.


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I just did the same thing to a mid-2010 27' Mac (2390).

I replaced the optical drive as I rarely use it, I bought a caddy which comes with an external USB enclosure for the DVD drive:

I'm not sure about which method is better, but now if I ever wanted to I could still add another (3rd) internal drive to the free SATA port on the back of the motherboard.

For SSD I bought a 500GB Crucial BX100 which I "fusion drived" with the original 2TB Seagate.

While I was at it I got a second hand i7-870 processor and replaced my original i3-550.

将iMac Intel Core i3 CPU升级到Core i7

Updated all my apps (system and rest) to latest.

Very pleased with all the upgrades, my mac feels so fast ;-)

And with the excellent tutorials from fixit and others, it wasn't that hard. Only an hour work.


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