Well, we have good news and bad news for you.
The good news is that the SSD bay available in the new iMacs holds a standard 2.5″ form factor drive, which means you can install a high-performance OWC Mercury Extreme SSD for the speed advantage over Apple’s SSDs.
The bad news is that, unless your Mid 2010 iMac originally came with an Apple SSD, there’s no graceful way to install an OWC one. The appropriate mounting bracket and connector cables are nowhere to be found on the non-SSD models.
This unfortunate development continues Apple’s proclivity toward making the iMac’s inner workings less “accessible” than they could (or some may say “should”) be.
In case you were curious, here’s what the new 27″ iMacs look like on the inside. We’ve outlined the area where the SSD should go in red.
The SSD would go underneath that metal lattice and circuit board, and would sit in its carrier against the back wall of the iMac. Connections would be made with a special power cable that would power both, and the data cable would run to the third SATA channel on the logic board.
Of course, you can still install that second drive on a non-SSD iMac if you:
- Connect a data cable to the empty SATA port on the back of the logic board (a process requiring the removal of several screws and partial removal of the logic board.
- Get a Y-cable that goes from 1 SATA male power connector to 2 SATA female power connectors. (This step is actually pretty easy.)
- Find a way to secure your 2.5″ drive in the space that the carrier would normally hold it.
While these steps aren’t particularly egregious, they’re not elegant, either. At one point we half-jokingly suggested that we just dremel a hole in the back for an eSATA port, instead, as it’d probably be easier.
As rough as it may seem, though, initial tests seem to indicate that this methodology actually does work. We’ll fill you in as more develops.