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1.83 GHz Core Duo or 1.83, 2, or 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo A1208 (EMC 2104/2110/2114/2124)

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Max hard drive limit on an Early 2006 iMac

Greetings all,

I'm going to rebuild a relative's Early 2006 iMac, currently with a Core Duo processor.

First thing - upping the storage capability. I come from the Windows world (no offense) and older machines have a BIOS limit (like 8.4 GB for real old machines, 137 GB, etc), where the BIOS could only see a certain amount of drive space, but the OS would create 2 partitions.

I am aware that Mac doesn't have BIOS, but I've heard everything under the sun about the capacity that can be used, like 2 TB, 750 GB, then 2.2 TB, then really anything.

I was shooting for 3 TB - is that doable with this machine, or am I going to hit a HDD limit?

Also, side question somewhat related - the replacement processor (T7600) - is Socket M, correct?


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Sorry for the delay - but I finally installed the hybrid. Good to go!


Hows the speed looking? Also did you boost the RAM to the max? It should be much faster now.



Sorry for the delay - had a bit of a CPU fan issue (fixed) and my semester is wrapping up! Speed is dramatically improved! Videos are no longer choppy and everything is working fantastic. Thanks for the advice on the Hybrid!


Your welcome! Some last things I would do here is don't over fill the drive, leave at least 1/4 free (1/3 is better) so your system has some work space. Next get a defrag tool (i.e. Drive Genius) and run it once a year to compact the files. Enjoy!


Wow thanks Dan! Knew about leaving some space but did not know about Drive Genius!


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OK lets start at the beginning here:

A SSHD is a special kind of HD. It is a HD which then has a SSD added as a deep cache. So it leverages the SSD for cached hits, so it acts like a stand alone SSD! But, unlike a SSD it also has the deep storage of a HD.

Lets look at the boot up process, the OS is held in cache so the boot up is quicker. But, if you load something thats not in cache it will take longer more like a HD in that case.

The size of the drive only becomes a factor in its physical size that it will fit is tight spaced systems (that shouldn't be an issue here).

The Seagate SSHD desktop drive offers SATA auto I/O speed sense. Review the specs sheet: Seagate Desktop SSHD spec sheet. Note the line: SATA Transfer Rates Supported (Gb/s) Here we can see all three SATA specs are supported 6.0/3.0/1.5. Not all drives (HD or SSHD) can do this! Some use a jumper and may only offer two options (were neither is the correct setting you need) and others, no options at all.

The SSHD comes in three size options 1TB, 2TB & 4TB any one will work here Seagate Desktop SSHD

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Thanks Dan and sorry for the delay in response. Cool I get that on order and look forward to breathing new life into this machine. Thanks!


If this answer answered your question please remember to rate (score) and mark it accepted.


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Mac's don't have the same issue as that other OS ;-}

Here's a good reference: Mac OS X: Mac OS Extended format (HFS Plus) volume and file limits.

As far as the socket there are a few different models in this series. I would strongly recommend you review the EveryMac web site to double check which system you have using the last three digits of the systems serial number. Once you locate the system locate the CPU and then refer to the Intel ARC web site to then cross reference what is possible with that series system. Be careful here! You need to not only worry about the socket but also the Max TMP as well as the North & South bridge chips needed for the replacement CPU.

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HD Interface: Serial ATA (1.5 Gb/s) - so no new 3 or 6Gb/s drives will work, I do not think there were TB drives even built for home machines in the days of SATA 1 and SATA II (I could be wrong).

Details: This model supports hard drives larger than 128 GB the definitive site.

As to upgrading the processor (from the same site).

If this answer is acceptable please remember to return and mark it.


because the comment string is so long it disappeared I moved my comment/reply here:

Some of these Automagic detecting" drives do not perform as advertised. There have been many users here who came in with a variety of problems that turned out to be self-adjusting drives that didn't (self-adjust that is). I do not have a list of deceptive drives, nor one of reliable automagic adjusting drives.... maybe someone else has kept track.

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According to this link, the higher data rate can work:

Sure it will be slower, but your thoughts?


Nope, Machead is correct. You'll need a drive that runs at SATA I (1.5 Gb/s). With that said there are drives which auto sense the ATA I/O speed and will match to the systems data rate. As an example a Seagate SSHD hybred drive will do this. I recommend these drives as being reliable and will offer some zip over a HD. I don't recommend SSD's in this series.


So let me get this straight - if I get a Hybrid, it can be, say 3 TB, since it'll match the I/O rate, correct?

But aren't there drawbacks to Hybrids? Sorry, I've heard of them before but not too familiar with them.


And adding to the above comment, it can be 6 Gb/s as long as it's hybrid right?


But then I go to Seagate's site:

And it says that drive is compatible but it's not a Hybrid. Man I'm confused.


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