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iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 (Late 2009, Core 2 Duo 3.06 or 3.33 GHz) ID iMac10,1, EMC 2374 (Late 2009, Core i5 2.66 GHz or Core i7 2.8 GHz) ID iMac11,1

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What to consider when adding a hybrid drive to this computer?


I've added an SSD to my own 24" iMac Early 2009, and now am helping a friend to upgrade her 27" iMac Late 2009.

I think we've landed on purchasing a hybrid drive (like this one, I think, unless there's a compatibility issue; any thoughts?

Aside from a SATA connection, can I install either a 2.5" or 3.5" one of these in the computer? If so, would either need a temperature sensor? (Referencing the most helpful answer here, it appears the 2.5" doesn't, at the very least?)

Also, are there any brand-related compatibility issues for SSHDs, as with the HDs (see here)?

1 TB 7200 RPM 3.5" Hard Drive Görseli


1 TB 7200 RPM 3.5" Hard Drive


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On the most part you should use the correctly sized drive for your system. In this case a 3.5" for the primary HD. Yes, one can put a 2.5" drive in as a secondary drive but you really can't use it as the primary.

Apple uses an internal thermal sensor inside the HD to monitor the systems heat buildup to control the systems cooling. A 2.5" drive doesn't offer the needed connection for the SMC service as such the fans will go into overdrive as its missing the sensor it requires.

One of the problems you face in this series is the special cable the different drives require based on the manufacture. Please review the IFIXIT guide: iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Hard Drive Replacement. Jump down to Step10. The issue is are you replacing with the same manufactures drive if not you'll need to swap out the sensor cable with the correct cable.

You'll need this cable: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for iMac 2009-2010 Hard Drive Upgrade or the correct Apple cable for the drive.

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Also the drive you selected does not appear to be a hybrid drive, just faster. Look at this one: 1 TB SSD Hybrid 3.5" Hard Drive


Buy a bigger hard drive. For 2x the money, you can get a hybrid drive that has 4x the capacity. (Typing this on my late 2009 iMac that I just put the 4TB Hybrid Seagate into).


Yes, if you are going this far focus on the hybrid drives (SSHD) for the replacement drive as they offer better performance. As to size I don't recommend over buying. If you are not a packrat a smaller drive will do. Put the money into upgrading the memory maxing the system out VS the biggest drive you could install. 2TB is more than enough for most people.


Dan, it seems the easiest route is just to pick the same manufacturer as the original one. For this model, was it Seagate, as the SSHD's suggested for this seem to indicate?

I guess the original HD for this computer failed, and Apple replaced it. Would they have used the same manufacturer? I'm thinking I will either have to open it up to check, or order the temperature sensor.


I wouldn't focus on the replacing with the same make issue. The OWC cable makes the issue moot. It slides in between the drive and the systems SATA cable (in-line).


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I bought the Seagate 4TB hybrid. I also bought the OWC cable, just in case (I had another use for the Seagate drive if required). The hybrid drive is rocking along very nicely, and now I won't have to replace it again (knock on aluminum!) for the effective lifetime of this machine. Take your time, it's not a hard task.

One caveat: on my machine, at least, the plastic lock releases on the display connector on the cable to the graphics card are fragile (hot environment). One broke, but I was able to reseat the connector without difficulty. Very happy with the hybrid drive. Next upgrade is maxing out the RAM.

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I have an old 20" 2006 iMac that is missing the temperature sensor and hard drive mounting hardware. I was able to get a Laptop SSHD, a Seagate 1TB ST1000LM014, SATA 6.0/3.0/1.5Gb/s NCQ for a VERY good price. Unfortunately, it is a 69.85 mm (2.75 inch) model and the drive bay is made for a full-size drive. For such a light drive, could one avoid the expense of the conventional drive mount and use two thick foam blocks and double-sided tape as a standoff/shock mount on the case back, instead of using more expensive mounting hardware? If one mounted the drive with the electronics facing up and had a thick enough standoff, the temperature sensor could go on the drive case between two foam standoffs. Theoretically this would work and keep the cost way down. Is this a reasonable and "safe" thing to do for an old machine?

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Sorry to here the system is missing the needed hardware. You can't use foam as it will block the drives cooling and besides it could be a fire risk. You'll need to spring for the adapter frame as well as the missing thermal sensor to get this bad boy working again.


Thanks, Dan. I called the shop and they have the Seagate SSHD 3.5" 1TB drive in stock. Oddly; it's actually cheaper than the smaller format. Plus they have the same drive as a 2TB.


Seagate 1TB Desktop SSHD SATA III w/ 64MB Cache COST: $94.99

SKU: MX47667

ILC: ST1000DX001

Part #: ST1000DX001


Seagate 2TB Desktop SSHD SATA III w/ 64MB Cache COST: $129.99

SKU: MX47668

ILC: ST2000DX001

Part #: ST2000DX001


Don't forget the OWC sensor! See the link above.


OWC sensor??? I thought the inline sensor was only required for solid state drives. Isn't the SSHD unit a direct replacement for the old hard drive in the 2008 20" iMac and one only needs to stick on the thermal cable/sensor/clip assembly?



You had me worried! So; I read what you mentioned and contacted Technical Support to check on whether the OWC Sensor Kit was required for an iMac 20" 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo - Early 2008 when installing a Seagate 1TB Desktop SSHD SATA III w/ 64MB Cache, P/N ST1000DX001. They checked my S/N for the iMac and stated that I did not require the OWC Sensor Kit for this Pre-2009 iMac. Apparently the standard drive cables and temperature sensor/cable are all that's needed.


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