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SSD Installation in a Mid-2010 27″ iMac

Last updated on August 15, 2011

This weekend I fitted my 27″ iMac with an SSD and I now have that running as the boot and OS drive, with large-stuff-storage on the internal 1TB drive. I’ve been considering an SSD for a while, and with prices finally becoming reasonable (~$225 for 120GB) it was time to give it a go. Due to Apple’s screwup last year I ended up with a mid-2010 iMac; a model which could have been ordered with an SSD from the factory. While this 27″ iMac didn’t come with an SSD, thanks to this post by Tobias Müller I found that it was possible to buy the plastics and cabling and add one with a factory-type fit. So, I did.

After receiving the parts and reading through Tobias’ post and the Apple factory service manual I set about fitting the drive. I won’t go into details of the install here, but it would easily rate 4 out of 5 for difficulty of non-custom computer work that I’ve done. Because the SSD sits in a carrier behind the logic board I had to remove the display, power supply, LCD power supply, Airport card, a blower, hard drive, optical drive, logic board, and an IR receiver to get the job done. The SSD, mounted in the pressure wall / plastic carrier and connected with a new wiring harness, settled nicely into the case and everything went back in.

Beyond the SSD, if you’d like to try this modification yourself you’ll need the following Apple parts:

922-9531: Power Cable / Wiring Harness
922-9485: Pressure Wall
922-9538: SATA Cable

I purchased all of these new from Usedmac for a total of $84.24 shipped and installed them along with a 120GB Intel 320-series SSD. These parts, with the SSD attached, can be seen here. If you don’t want to pay ~$20 for an Apple-specific SATA cable, a 10″ cable with a right angle connector on one end (only) which bends towards the top of the drive will suffice.


  1. James
    James August 15, 2011

    There’s a lot of random looking junk inside that thing. I suppose that dispels the theory I had about them just putting a Macbook inside a big box with a screen on.

  2. c0nsumer
    c0nsumer August 15, 2011

    James: I only wish the power cable and some of the board to board stuff was a little easier to work with, but it’s definitely well integrated. Those large framework-looking pieces are the supports for the two heatsinks and heatpipes. The bulk of stuff in there is definitely the logic board.

  3. […] Opening the case of the Mac Mini required the usual care of ramming two metal “pry tools” (paint scrapers) into the sides of the case, and the multitude of minute screws were an equal faff to extract and replace, but beyond that the upgrade was very easy. Much easier than doing a similar thing to an 2010 model iMac. […]

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