iMac Upgrade Options

On this page, you will find an overview of the SSD (Solid State Drive) and HDD (Hard Disk Drive) upgrade options for your iMac, as well as the equipment you need. Would you like to know the possibilities for your iMac? Scroll down and find out!

An SSD can really improve the performance of your iMac. Apart from the SSD, the speed of your iMac depends on the processor, video card and memory. The SSD and memory are both quite easy to install yourself. On this page, we will explain – per iMac model – the possibilities for installing an SSD or replacing HDD, and the equipment needed.

The most important thing to consider when installing an SSD is the temperature sensor. In 2009 iMac models and later, Apple has installed firmware on its HDDs for measuring temperature. If you replace your drive with a new HDD or SSD without taking care of the temperature sensor, sooner or later you will be confronted with a fan operating at full speed. This will not harm your iMac, but it can be a nuisance, and what’s more, it is unnecessary because with the right products it can be prevented.

iMac 27-inch 2012 – 2017

What are my options?

  • Replacing the HDD with a fast SSD
  • Replacing the HDD with a new HDD up to 8TB

What do I need?

  1. To replace your HDD with an SSD you need the following:

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac 2012 and later; this kit is placed between the iMac’s SATA power connector and the HDD or SSD. Using this kit, your iMac will fully meet Apple’s Hardware Test standards and fans will run at normal speeds without the use of any third-party software or hacks.

The NewerTech AdaptaDrive: this is a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch SATA convertor bracket, which is used to mount an SSD in an iMac’s drive bay. SSD’s are smaller in size than HDD’s, so you cannot install them in the existing drive bay without it. This drive converter bracket enables you to install a 2.5-inch SSD in a 3.5-inch SATA drive bay.

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac 2012 and later

  1. To replace your HDD with a new HDD you need the following:

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac 2012 and later; this kit is placed between the iMac’s SATA power connector and the HDD or SSD. Using this kit, your iMac will fully meet Apple’s Hardware Test standards and fans will run at normal speeds without the use of any third-party software or hacks. This kit also contains the necessary cable and adhesive strips to reattach the Display Assembly to the frame.

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac 2012 and later is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac 2012 and later

Please note: On the product page of both kits, you will find an instructional video. We strongly advise you to watch it completely before proceeding with the upgrade.

 

iMac 21.5-inch 2012-2017

With the 21.5-inch iMac models Late 2012 through Late 2017, the HDD can be replaced with an SSD. No extra cables are required. Apart from the SSD you will only need adhesive strips to reattach the Display Assembly to the frame.

Attention: disassembly of the iMac needs to be done with great care, do not pry or use excessive force. First, undo the adhesive strips completely.


iMac 2012 (with 2.9GHz or 3.1GHz processor)

This iMac model has a PCIe slot in addition to the HDD SATA connector, where a SSD can be installed. If you would like to keep the HDD and add a second, you can install a fast PCIe SSD. Then, you will have access to two drives. An HDD and a fast PCIe SSD.

The 2.7GHz Late 2012 iMac models have been initially manufactured without a PCIe slot. It was not until later that the 2.7GHz was manufactured with a PCIe slot. So, it could be possible that this upgrade is suitable for your 2.7GHz Model too. The only way of finding out however, is by opening it up. That’s why we indicate this upgrade is only suitable for the 2.9GHz and 3.1GHz iMac models. They all have a PCIe slot.

The PCIe SSD’s are available with and without tools:

240GB PCIe SSD iMac Late 2012 / 240GB PCIe SSD iMac Late 2012 incl. tools

480GB PCIe SSD iMac Late 2012 / 480GB PCIe SSD iMac Late 2012 incl. tools

960GB PCIe SSD iMac Late 2012 / 960GB PCIe SSD iMac Late 2012 incl. tools

 

iMac12.1 / iMac 21.5” Late 2011

iMac12.1 iMac 21.5” Mid 2011

iMac12.2 / iMac 27” Mid 2011

What are my options?

-       1. Replacement of the HDD with a fast SSD
-       2. Replacement of the DVD Drive with an SSD
-       3. Installing an SSD in addition to the HDD and DVD Drive
-       4. Replacement of the HDD with a new one up to 8TB

What do I need?

  1. To replace the HDD with an SSD, you will need the following:

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2011; this kit is placed between the iMac’s SATA power connector and the HDD or SSD. Using this kit, your iMac will fully meet Apple’s Hardware Test standards and fans will run at normal speeds without the use of any third-party software or hacks.

The NewerTech AdaptaDrive: this is a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch SATA convertor bracket, which is used to mount an SSD in an iMac’s drive bay. SSD’s are smaller in size than HDD’s, so you cannot install them in the existing drive bay without it. This drive converter bracket enables you to install a 2.5-inch SSD in a 3.5-inch SATA drive bay.

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2011 is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2011

  1. To replace the DVD Drive with an SSD, you will need the following:

The OWC Data Doubler for iMac 2009-2011: this is a converter bracket, which is used to mount an SSD in the iMac’s DVD slot, re-using the plastic frame around the DVD Drive. 

  1. To install an SSD in addition to the HDD and DVD Drive, you will need the following:

The OWC SSD Upgrade Kit for iMac 21.5-inch Model 2011OWC SSD Upgrade Kit for iMac 27-inch Model 2011: These kits are connected on the back of the iMac’s Logic Board and enable you to install an extra SSD.

The OWC SSD Upgrade Kit is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY SSD Upgrade Kit for iMac 21.5-inch / OWC DIY SSD Upgrade Kit for iMac 27-inch

  1. To replace the HDD with a new HDD, you will need the following:

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2011; this kit is placed between the iMac’s SATA power connector and the HDD or SSD. Using this kit, your iMac will fully meet Apple’s Hardware Test standards and fans will run at normal speeds without the use of any third-party software or hacks.

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2011 is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2011

Please note: On the product page of both kits, you will find an instructional video. We strongly advise you to watch it completely before proceeding with the upgrade.

 

iMac11.3 / iMac 27-inch Mid 2010

What are my options?

-       1. Replacement of the HDD with a fast SSD
-       2. Replacement of the DVD Drive with an SSD
-       3. Installing an SSD in addition to the HDD and DVD Drive
-       4. Replacement of the HDD with a new one up to 8TB

 What do I need?

  1. To replace the HDD with an SSD, you will need the following:

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010; this kit is placed between the iMac’s SATA power connector and the HDD or SSD. Using this kit, your iMac will fully meet Apple’s Hardware Test standards and fans will run at normal speeds without the use of any third-party software or hacks.

The NewerTech AdaptaDrive: this is a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch SATA convertor bracket, which is used to mount an SSD in an iMac’s drive bay. SSD’s are smaller in size than HDD’s, so you cannot install them in the existing drive bay without it. This drive converter bracket enables you to install a 2.5-inch SSD in a 3.5-inch SATA drive bay.

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010 is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010

  1. To replace the DVD Drive with an SSD, you will need the following:

The OWC Data Doubler for iMac 2009-2011: this is a converter bracket, which is used to mount an SSD in the iMac’s DVD slot, re-using the plastic frame around the DVD Drive. 

  1. To install an SSD in addition to the HDD and DVD Drive, you will need the following:

OWC SSD Upgrade Kit for iMac 27-inch Model 2010: This kits is connected on the back of the iMac’s Logic Board and enable you to install an extra SSD.

The OWC SSD Upgrade Kit is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY SSD Upgrade Kit for iMac 27-inch Model 2010

  1. To replace the HDD with a new HDD, you will need the following:

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010; this kit is placed between the iMac’s SATA power connector and the HDD or SSD. Using this kit, your iMac will fully meet Apple’s Hardware Test standards and fans will run at normal speeds without the use of any third-party software or hacks.

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010 is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010

Please note: On the product page of both kits, you will find an instructional video. We strongly advise you to watch it completely before proceeding with the upgrade.

 

iMac10.1 / iMac 27-inch Late 2009 and iMac 11.1

iMac10.1 / iMac 21.5-inch Late 2009

iMac11.2 / iMac 21.5-inch Mid 2010

What are my options?

-       1. Replacement of the HDD with a fast SSD
-       2. Replacement of the DVD Drive with an SSD
-       3. Replacement of the HDD with a new one up to 8TB

Please note: For iMac Model 11.1, 10.1 and 9.1 we recommend the OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs. Although the later SATA3.0 (6Gb/s) SSDs will work in these iMac’s, it will be on SATA1.0. The OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs are SATA2.0, who match the iMac’s SATA connection speed and will work faster than later SSD’s because of it.

These SSD’s are available in the following capacities: 120GB, 250GB, 500GB and 1TB.

What do I need?

  1. To replace the HDD with an SSD, you will need the following:

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010; this kit is placed between the iMac’s SATA power connector and the HDD or SSD. Using this kit, your iMac will fully meet Apple’s Hardware Test standards and fans will run at normal speeds without the use of any third-party software or hacks.

The NewerTech AdaptaDrive: this is a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch SATA convertor bracket, which is used to mount an SSD in an iMac’s drive bay. SSD’s are smaller in size than HDD’s, so you cannot install them in the existing drive bay without it. This drive converter bracket enables you to install a 2.5-inch SSD in a 3.5-inch SATA drive bay.

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010 is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010

  1. To replace the DVD Drive with an SSD, you will need the following:

The OWC Data Doubler for iMac 2009-2011: this is a converter bracket, which is used to mount an SSD in the iMac’s DVD slot, re-using the plastic frame around the DVD Drive. 

  1. To replace the HDD with a new HDD, you will need the following:

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010; this kit is placed between the iMac’s SATA power connector and the HDD or SSD. Using this kit, your iMac will fully meet Apple’s Hardware Test standards and fans will run at normal speeds without the use of any third-party software or hacks.

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010 is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010

Please note: On the product page of both kits, you will find an instructional video. We strongly advise you to watch it completely before proceeding with the upgrade.

 

iMac9.1 / iMac 20-inch Mid 2009

iMac9.1 / iMac 20-inch Early 2009

iMac9.1 / iMac 24-inch Early 2009

What are my options?

-       1. Replacement of the HDD with a fast SSD
-       2. Replacement of the DVD Drive with an SSD
-       3. Replacement of the HDD with a new one up to 8TB

Please note: For iMac Model 11.1, 10.1 and 9.1 we recommend the OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs. Although the later SATA3.0 (6Gb/s) SSDs will work in these iMac’s, it will be on SATA1.0. The OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs are SATA2.0, who match the iMac’s SATA connection speed and will work faster than later SSD’s because of it.

These SSD’s are available in the following capacities: 120GB, 250GB, 500GB and 1TB.

What do I need?

  1. To replace the HDD with an SSD, you will need the following:

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010; this kit is placed between the iMac’s SATA power connector and the HDD or SSD. Using this kit, your iMac will fully meet Apple’s Hardware Test standards and fans will run at normal speeds without the use of any third-party software or hacks.

The NewerTech AdaptaDrive: this is a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch SATA convertor bracket, which is used to mount an SSD in an iMac’s drive bay. SSD’s are smaller in size than HDD’s, so you cannot install them in the existing drive bay without it. This drive converter bracket enables you to install a 2.5-inch SSD in a 3.5-inch SATA drive bay.

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010 is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010

  1. To replace the DVD Drive with an SSD, you will need the following:

The OWC Data Doubler for iMac 2009-2011: this is a converter bracket, which is used to mount an SSD in the iMac’s DVD slot, re-using the plastic frame around the DVD Drive. 

  1. To replace the HDD with a new HDD, you will need the following:

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010; this kit is placed between the iMac’s SATA power connector and the HDD or SSD. Using this kit, your iMac will fully meet Apple’s Hardware Test standards and fans will run at normal speeds without the use of any third-party software or hacks.

The OWC HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010 is also available with the necessary tools to carry out the upgrade: OWC DIY HDD Upgrade Kit for iMac Model 2009-2010

Please note: On the product page of both kits, you will find an instructional video. We strongly advise you to watch it completely before proceeding with the upgrade.

 

iMac8.1 / iMac 20&24-inch Early 2008

iMac7.1 / iMac 20&24-inch Mid 2007

What are my options?

-       1. Replacement of the HDD with a fast SSD
-       2. Replacement of the HDD with a new one up to 8TB

Please note: For iMac Model 11.1, 10.1 and 9.1 we recommend the OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs. Although the later SATA3.0 (6Gb/s) SSDs will work in these iMac’s, it will be on SATA1.0. The OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs are SATA2.0, who match the iMac’s SATA connection speed and will work faster than later SSD’s because of it.

These SSD’s are available in the following capacities: 120GB, 250GB, 500GB and 1TB.

  1. To replace the HDD with an SSD, you will need the following:

The NewerTech AdaptaDrive: this is a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch SATA convertor bracket, which is used to mount an SSD in an iMac’s drive bay. SSD’s are smaller in size than HDD’s, so you cannot install them in the existing drive bay without it. This drive converter bracket enables you to install a 2.5-inch SSD in a 3.5-inch SATA drive bay.

  1. To replace the HDD with a new HDD, you will need the following:

For these models, there are no adapters, brackets or kits required to replace the HDD with a new HDD.