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Want Three SSDs Or An eSATA Port In Your 2010 iMac?

OWC’s Mid 2010 27″ iMac Turnkey Upgrade Program has been incredibly popular since we announced it back in August. After all, once you’ve upgraded your hard drive to an award-winning OWC Mercury Extreme SSD and have added an eSATA port for fast access to your external drives, you’ve got the most hot-rodded iMac out there, right?

Well… almost…

You see, we just made our upgrade program even better. Before, in order to get a third internal drive, you had to sacrifice your internal optical drive. Now, you don’t have to.

Now, you can keep your optical drive while still running three OWC SSDs for high capacity and insanely fast file access and transfer. Just how big and fast is that? How does a whopping 1.44TB of SSD storage accessible at nearly 800 MB/s sound?

Yeah, we thought so.

So, how did we manage to get an extra SATA connection inside the iMac? Unfortunately, it involves disabling the built-in, but infrequently used SD memory card reader. Don’t worry, though; we still have you covered. If you choose the option to replace the SD reader with another ultra-fast OWC SSD, we will include our 68-in-One Media Card Reader at no extra cost.

Now, not only will you have another fast OWC SSD installed, you’ll be able to access the memory cards of all kinds of devices, not just the ones that use SD cards, via a USB 2.0 port at the same speed as the built-in reader.

In other words, now you can have your cake and eat it too!

For more details, benchmarks and order information, check out our Turnkey Upgrade Page.

M. Chris Stevens
the authorOWC Chris S.
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  • I just received a brief update today at 5 PM:

    “We are contacting you about your order for a 400GB/480GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD. The estimated ship date has been changed to 15 days. We apologize for the delay and continue to work with our suppliers to insure you receive your order as soon as possible. If you would like to split off any items that were ordered with your SSD, please let me know and I will arrange to do so for no additional charge.”

  • I have had a OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD 480GB on order since Oct 16 and have never received an update from them. I have to keep checking with them.

    • Hi Michael and sorry for the delay in contacting you. You should have gotten an email from us yesterday and the previous communication regarding product status was on October 1 before you ordered. I know it’s hard to wait when the other sizes are so highly recommended and you want to experience the speed and capacity of the largest sizes offered…just asking you to bear with us and hopefully all conditions will soon be resolved. Thanks!

  • The only update I received was on Oct 1 (30 days ago):

    “We already have the approved, high capacity flash built and ready to go. The recent shipments of flash have transitioned to the new 32nm wafer size and while no different than their predecessor in terms of operating specifications or reliability, there are some differences that require an update to the SandForce processor firmware. As soon as we have that firmware we will update our units and get them out the door. We appreciate your patience.”

    OWC has built quite a reputation for it’s SSD drives and I am dying in anticipation of this product. If I knew it was going to be another month or more away from release I would buy a MX240 to hold me over.

  • @OWC Michael:

    “Despite the previous component delays, we are confident that we’ll be able to ship the 400GB & 480GB SSD models before the end of this month.”

    I noticed the ship date has now moved out another 15 days as of Nov 1 and there still is no communication about the status.

    • Hi James…this delay is frustrating for everyone to be sure. Due to supplier and component circumstances outside of our control (one would be a worldwide shortage of a key part…high capacity flash…hence why no other Sandforce based 480GB on market either) we have had to extend that availability date again.
      A glitch here prevented us from sending out an email last Friday to all those like you on waiting list…but are sending that update notice today. We have been communicating on a regular basis to all waiting list customers from the very beginning and should note for other readers here that no one on the waiting has been charged the purchase price.

      We hope that everyone’s patience will be rewarded soon. Thanks!

  • Apple has unfortunately stopped publishing detailed technical notes on the hardware configurations of various Mac models, so I only have hunches to go on. That being said, my hunch was always that built-in SD card readers on the Mac were internally connected via USB. Is it really true that the current iMac uses SATA to connect the internal SD card reader? Is this SATA connection “equal” to the ones used for the optical drive, the hard drive, and any SSD? In other words, my question is really whether Apple is actually wiring up four different connections to the SATA controller of the Intel chipset.

    If this is all true, what a fabulously wonderful discovery by OWC! I’ve been a customer for years, and I’m almost certainly going to make the Turnkey iMac my next computer. The only thing that might change my mind is a Turnkey Mac mini with an eSATA port. ;-P

    • Hey…thanks for stopping by and for being a customer for years. All I can say is there are certain things we must keep as proprietary information…these upgrades are quite complex and as such, we must ensure they are only performed by our trained certified technicians. While that mini sounds intriguing…doesn’t have the room for multiple drives like the iMac…so I’d say your mind has been made up…your next computer should be an OWC upgraded iMac. The hard thing is which config to choose from:

      OWC Makes Upgrading iMac An Easy Four Step Process:

      1. Start by adding the only available eSATA port offered for the iMac for $169. OR, add an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD up to 480GB in capacity from $319. The eSATA (External Serial ATA) port upgrade provides faster data backup and transfer rates up to 300MB/s…up to 3X faster than FireWire 800, the fastest factory stock interface.

      2. Select from options for additional OWC Mercury Pro SSDs (allowing for up to three total) for the highest performance storage available. OWC SSDs offer read/write speeds in excess of 270MB/s, up to 40% faster than the factory and many other currently available SSDs.

      3. Replace the stock HD with a High-Performance 2TB HD while utilizing up to two OWC SSDs.

      4. Add OWC RAM up to 16GB with kits providing 8GB total RAM starting from $85. OWC memory kits for the iMac are Lifetime Warrantied and offer savings up to 70% compared to same size factory available upgrade options.

  • Ok, it didn’t quite answer the last question though :) well anyway if i can ask one more thing, although perhaps not the most correct place to put this, but: do customers get anykind of proof paper that the updates to particular iMac has been done by Apple certified technician? … for example to show to any apple repair service out of the USA that the Apple warranty should not be void, or at least not because of lack of “correct” technician….

  • Ok, thanks Grant. Yes, i was somewhat thinking a situation that if any component would fail which is linked to SD card connection (like motherboard); it wouldn’t be a problem to change MB in any of the Apple’s service providers for Apple warranty (if applicable)…. like in OWC…. or you guys are one of the Apple service provider right? (couldn’t find you from Apple’s service provider search)…..

    • We are warranting all of our work and other components, as discussed on our warranty pages, would be covered under other consumer protection laws.

  • Ok, but is it easy one; like attaching a sata cable? I mean if a computer would be serviced in other service than OWC; can they reattach the connection easily? Also is it a nondestructive addition: if a customer wants later to get back the internal SD card, is it possible?

  • Some questions, if i may ask:

    What kind of connection the SD card uses? How is the “third” SSD connected? (without losing the Optical drive? If computer needs service, for example motherboard changing, is it easy to reconnect the ssd that uses SD card connection?


    • Hi Anssi…the third SSD is connected using our own special modification of course ;-) Thus then you retain the use of the Optical Drive.

  • “How does a whopping 1.44TB of SSD storage accessible at nearly 800 MB/s sound?”

    This seems to suggest utilizing 3 of the MX480 SSDs however they still are not shipping despite being available to order for quite some time.

    Can we get official updates on the status of the MX480?

    I understand there are Sandforce firmware issues delaying the release but more communication would be appreciated for this highly anticipated drive.

    It seems every other week the ship date is delayed another 2 weeks.

  • So now I have the option of just adding an SSD to my existing mid 2010 27inch imac without losing anything ?

    If I did decide to upgrade to a 2tb hard drive and add an SSD, would OWC move my dada to the new drive or is that a trip through the time machine for me? Would either of these things modify or invalidate my apple warranty or AppleCare?

    • We will not be transferring data. Please make copies of and/or backup your data before sending in your iMac. Even if you choose to have your factory installed hard drive returned to you, please note that OWC is not responsible for any lost or corrupted data.

      Nothing being performed should void your warranty entirely. However, OWC cannot guarantee the actions of the original manufacturer. OWC suggests that consumers familiarize themselves with their consumer rights per US law and regulation. The Federal Trade Commission has very specific laws that provide consumer warranty protection.

      For further questions regarding the 2010 Apple iMac 27″ Turnkey Upgrade Program, check out the program’s FAQ here.

  • So to get this straight…

    I can add an eSATA port and still have an internal HD, an internal SSD and keep my internal optical drive?

    • Yep Bill…pick your jaw up off the floor…;-)

      You can have an eSATA port, keep the stock internal HD (or have us upgrade that to 2TB), add an internal SSD, and keep your optical bay. In fact, that keeps your SD card reader intact as well.