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Putting an SSD upgrade in a 24" iMac

Tim Wasson

SSDs, or solid-state drives, are all the rage in portables these days. They come in MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs directly from Apple (with the appropriate upgrades, of course), and we've seen people upgrade their old-school mechanical drives, hack in a second drive to take advantage of the speed of a shiny new SSD, oreven put one in an AppleTV.

Desktop computers are usually left out of the solid-state love-fest. After all, 3.5" drives are usually less expensive than a 2.5" drive of a similar capacity, and desktop machines are less prone to damage to the disk since they are usually stationary when running.

However, there are times when a solid-state upgrade to a desktop machine makes sense. For Jason Siebert, this was one of those times. When the drive on his 24" iMac started showing the tell-tale signs of a drive on the brink of death, he decided to tear the machine apart and throw in a smaller & faster SSD, and use his Drobo for external storage. Installation was simple for the most part, but some adjustments had to be made to allow for installing a 2.5" drive in the space of a 3.5" drive, and some finagling of the drive due to a too-short SATA cable.

The result is a pretty satisfying speed increase when it comes to opening up applications, and especially when running a virtual machine. Check out the installation instructions and first impressions on Jason's website.

Any upgrades like this should be performed only by skilled users, and of course it may will void your warranty. Proceed at your own risk.

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