Hard drive upgrades restricted in Apple's new Thunderbolt iMacs

2456

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 105
    maxincmaxinc Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alanshutko View Post


    Does someone have a picture of the connector?







    On the Hard drive side, there is nothing special about it. Just a standard SATA Power connector as described here:
  • Reply 22 of 105
    Quote:

    Hopefully this just an oversight.



    You're too nice. "Incompetent" is the word that was going through my mind (with regard to OWC) after reading maxinc's comment.
  • Reply 23 of 105
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Thanks Apple for giving me another reason not to upgrade my iMac. Having the drive hard to reach is bad enough. Having it non-standard is even worse. The iMac is becoming something you have to throw away when anything breaks.
  • Reply 24 of 105
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maxinc View Post


    The OWC report is quite inaccurate and I wish they did some more testing or at least read the forums before creating mass panic.



    The SATA data connectors are very standard and so is the SATA power cable feeding the hard drive. The only difference is that they used 7 wires instead of 5, probably some extra grounds.



    I installed a Vertex3 SSD and used a plain 4 wire Y-splitter sata power cable which effectively discards the 3.3V from the apple's wiring and only feeds 5V and 12V to the original drive. Guess what, fan speed is as quiet as it can get and the Apple Hardware Test passes successfully.



    I went further and moved the internal HDD from SATA0 to SATA1 port to better accommodate the SATA connector for the SSD and this didn't create any adverse effects.



    Another member of the forum swapped the 1TB WD Black with a 2TB WD Black and again, no adverse effect, Hardware Test completed successfully.



    With the SSD in place now, the only thing I can hear is my breath reflected by the glass screen



    Thanks for posting this!!!
  • Reply 25 of 105
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Now that *would* be cool. It never occurred to me, looking at those Air HDs that the iMac could one day have installation similar to the way ram is done, but "of course."



    I think it is Inevitable. Next to the CPU/GPU, the hard drive is one of the biggest contributors to internal heat, and also contributes to the thicker vertical footprint.



    We all know how Apple is always going with the thinner-is-better mantra. Removing the drive altogether and replacing it with super-quiet, cooler-running, very reliable MBA-style SSD cards on the bottom of the machine I would think would allow Apple to get their machines even thinner and run quieter as well.



    If/When that day arrives, that will be my next iMac upgrade.
  • Reply 26 of 105
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post


    We don't know that this is a whimsical return to proprietary hardware on Apple's part just yet. There might be a legitimate reason they chose to change the drive connector. Why don't we wait and see what they say, if anything?



    There might be a rational reason but honestly I don't think it exists. At least I can't come up with one. Maybe Apple is trying to get us to go back to running Linux. On the surface this move is stupid enough to impact sales and cause people to look for alternative platforms.
  • Reply 27 of 105
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenThousandThings View Post


    Is the Z68 caching feature something that a firmware/software update could address later? If so, maybe Lion will do so?



    It is a rather stupid idea. Most people would be far better off with a larger SSD. Further people using a conventional HD for bulk storage don't need the speed there.



    Mac Book AIR proves that SSD can be affordable and by itself enough for many users. I may need an external drive for my "media" files but not everyone is so inclined. The Intel feature is just a solution looking for a problem.
  • Reply 28 of 105
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Gots to lock-in that profit margin, right?
  • Reply 29 of 105
    The previous models also had a proprietary temps sensor plug on the drive.
  • Reply 30 of 105
    avonordavonord Posts: 65member
    I've been following up on this story cuz I bought a 2011 iMac, and here's what I learnt:



    - The SATA connector on the iMac is actually standard. What the OWC site meant was -- a few (unused?) pins of the connector are now used for temperature data.

    - Someone posted a solution for those who want to upgrade HDD to SSD.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...3&postcount=59

    - For HDD to HDD replacement yet, some guy posted a software solution somewhere, but I can't find it any more -- Something about a software that controls the HDD fan from data from the S.M.A.R.T. sensor.
  • Reply 31 of 105
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    There might be a rational reason but honestly I don't think it exists. At least I can't come up with one. Maybe Apple is trying to get us to go back to running Linux. On the surface this move is stupid enough to impact sales and cause people to look for alternative platforms.



    I seriously doubt this will impact sales... 99.9% of iMac buyers wouldn't even consider changing the internal HD.
  • Reply 32 of 105
    avonordavonord Posts: 65member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Avonord View Post


    I've been following up on this story cuz I bought a 2011 iMac, and here's what I learnt:



    - The SATA connector on the iMac is standard, but the OWC site says a few (unused?) pins of the connector are now used for temperature data.

    - Someone posted a solution for those who want to upgrade HDD to SSD.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...3&postcount=59

    - For HDD to HDD replacement yet, some guy posted a software solution somewhere, but I can't find it any more -- Something about a software that controls the HDD fan from data from the S.M.A.R.T. sensor.



    Here it is..



    http://www.hddfancontrol.com/HDDFanC...n_Control.html
  • Reply 33 of 105
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    On one side, I can understand Apple wanting to include extra diagnostics on the hard drive to improve performance and reliability. Can't fault them for that.



    However, suddenly I'm finding myself quite happy with my Dec 2009 27" Quad i7 iMac with standard SATA connectors. I'm curious how Apple will respond to those wishing to upgrade the hard drives on their iMacs. I certainly plan on placing an SSD in my iMac as soon as the 512GB models drop more from there stratospheric prices.



    I'm holding neutral on this until I hear more. Perhaps Apple has an inside scoop on the direction of hard drive interfaces and is planning ahead? Hmmm....



    Not feeling warm and fuzzy on this one. \



    I?m all for moving the technology along, but when it specifically comes to the HDD/SSD and RAM connectors they either need to be standard or give vendors plenty of time to get 3rd-party options to market. It?s not like releasing this data months ago for a future Mac(s) would have made their reveal any less notable.
  • Reply 34 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    There might be a rational reason but honestly I don't think it exists.



    Yes, it makes no sense. I can't believe that Apple wants to be the only avenue for repairs and upgrades to the drives, especially after the warranties expire on these machines.



    It's quite likely that maxinc's comment earlier is accurate, and the OWC report that this story was based on was not entirely accurate, especially the bit about there being a "custom" SATA connector. If so, Apple Insider should update this story, since people don't read all the comments, and it is contributing to an unfounded panic.
  • Reply 35 of 105
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by popnfresh View Post


    All through the 80's and most of the 90's Apple loved to put proprietary hardware into their computers. Eventually, this design philosophy wound up biting them in the ass because their systems were too closed. With the advent of the first iMac, Apple seemed to embrace open standards, like USB. Gone were proprietary standards like ADB and localtalk.



    Alas, with Apple's astounding success over the last decade has come an arrogance that believes that open standards are no longer in Apple's best interest. We saw this trend with the latest MacBook Air and its proprietary SSD. And now this. Apple will live to regret returning to its old bad habits.



    The auto industry does not design cars to suit "backyard mechanics" .... that's not their major demographic.



    So why do the loudest/most frequent complainers in the computer industry expect Apple to design a computer to suit the "nerd" demographic?



    The vast majority .... vast majority of consumers are like me. I don't want to work ON my computer .... I just want to work WITH my computer. This is not "rocket science" people .... just good consumer marker analysis 101.
  • Reply 36 of 105
    maxincukmaxincuk Posts: 11member
    I'm not the only one who did this as there are more people on MacRummors Forums who messed with the 2011 iMacs. As far as I can tell, there isn't even a external temperature sensor on the 2011 HDD.



    They may be using the SMART data for temperature reading and for that, perhaps a certain HDD firmware revision is required but as other members have discovered, an aftermarket 2TB WD Caviar Black with standard firmware, works fine.



    I think there would be a certain amount of incompatibility since is not in Apple's interest to create another user customisable PC but I don't think they intentionally altered the design in order to prevent user upgrades and sell their own hdd's. Considering the difficulty of opening an iMac, is more likely to brick the unit in the disassemble process which would only benefit Apple financially.
  • Reply 37 of 105
    peteropetero Posts: 94member
    Where is the photo credit for the picture included in the post?





    The picture is a dead ringer for an iFixit image.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac-...eardown/5485/2
  • Reply 38 of 105
    maltzmaltz Posts: 145member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newbee View Post


    The auto industry does not design cars to suit "backyard mechanics" .... that's not their major demographic.



    So why do the loudest/most frequent complainers in the computer industry expect Apple to design a computer to suit the "nerd" demographic?



    The vast majority .... vast majority of consumers are like me. I don't want to work ON my computer .... I just want to work WITH my computer. This is not "rocket science" people .... just good consumer marker analysis 101.



    That's true, but auto manufacturers also don't go out of their way to make you buy a new car (or take it to the dealer) if you have the skills and tools to, say, change your tires yourself, either.



    I'm really hoping that this report is in error. Apple has never been terribly proprietary in regards to hard drives or RAM. (Yes, they used SCSI drives instead of IDE in the 80's/90's, but that was a performance choice. They were standard SCSI drives.)



    The reasoning behind not supporting SSD caching baffles me.
  • Reply 39 of 105
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,276member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maltz View Post






    The reasoning behind not supporting SSD caching baffles me.



    It's not platform agnostic. Intel has to deliver drivers for the OS to enable the Smart Response Technology under Snow Leopard or Lion.



    Who knows if Apple even wants this. I personally would like it very much with BTO options for 20-40GB SLC SSD for the cache.
  • Reply 40 of 105
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,694member
    This image shows a 7pin connector on a Maxtor drive from 2004. If this is what they are talking about it is not new.



    I can accept that they are using pins for something new, but that wouldn't necessarily make anything incompatible as others have shown with their testing.
Sign In or Register to comment.