So I finally took the plunge and upgraded the slowing HDD in my late 2010, 27″ iMac. Although it was a scary procedure it’s was surprisingly simple !
Now call me weird but the last thing I was expecting was a full sized 3.5″ Desktop HDD in there, but once I got the screen off – there it was in all it’s glory! So I took it out and simply popped my new Corsair 256Gb SSD into place, put everything back together and booted up (for anyone who’s wondering I used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my HDD onto the SSD before I swapped it).
Wow ! What a difference in speed. Obviously I was a expecting a significant increase but wow – the difference an SSD makes to a computer system is never to be underestimated. Even Outlook just zips now!
But why is the fan so loud?
Anyway as you may or may not know, Apple have a weird Temperature sensor solution on iMacs from late 2009 onwards, the problem is that their solution (which requires plugging a wire directly onto the HDD) is not compatible with most replacement drives – the end result is that your HDD fans will spin up to full speed and will not slow down – meaning you’ll either need to play some bass pumping tunes with the volume right up – or find another solution!
There are some hardware solutions – apparently a resistor shorted across the cable will work – but I’m not brave enough for that so I opted for a software solution.
For those who are interested I tested several options:
This program looks very good and has some good reviews, but unfortunately I didn’t realize it only had a 1 hour demo. So I installed, shutdown and when I came back it had timed out ! So I couldn’t test if it actually worked and being a “penny pincher” I wasn’t prepared to drop $30 in the hope that it did work!
…so next I tested SMCFanControl
This is a free program ( which appeals to me 🙂 ) unfortunately I couldn’t get the program to install properly, so although the app would run and I could see it on my status bar, it didn’t actually control the fans – so it was kinda pointless really !
Finally I stumbled across SSD Fan Control
Again a free program (yeah!), but this one actually installed and worked (double yeah!) – it’s got a dead easy User interface and just sits there working in the background. So all in all a great little program. Please consider sending the author a few bucks if you use the program I think they deserve it !
My iMac is now almost silent and is blisteringly fast – so I guess I can’t justify buying a new 5mm thin model anytime soon ! (“No you can’t ! My wife is yelling over my shoulder as I’m typing this” ).
Anyway hope this helps someone – let me know if you want any further instructions on how I did it.
Bye for now.