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Old August 10th, 2012, 04:18 PM   #1
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iMac and eSATA

This afternoon I spent about an hour dismantling my 2010 27" iMac to install an eSATA connector to the back of the motherboard. Long story short, it worked, and for just $5 I nearly tripled the read/write speed of all my hard drives. While Firewire800 maxed out at around 70Mbps, I'm getting 230Mbps consistent speeds on my OWC 4-bay enclosure, 190Mbps on my G-RAID Mini, and 95Mbps on a single drive.

The 18" SATA to eSATA cable cost about $5, and attaches to the back of the motherboard in the free SATA port. I then ran the cable down behind the screen and out next the RAM slots. The cable extrudes about 6 inches out from the bottom of the Mac and terminates in a female eSATA port. All four sticks of RAM still fit just fine, and I didn't need to cut or modify anything in the computer, so it's 100% reversible. Right now, I don't have the RAM door on the computer, but I may take a Dremel tool and cut a small slot in it for the cable.

All in all, very worth it, and all you need is a Torx T10 screwdriver, the SATA cable, some courage and the video found here:

I'm quite excited!
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Last edited by Nate Haustein; August 10th, 2012 at 10:22 PM.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 03:49 AM   #2
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Re: iMac and eSATA

very cool. I was just coming to the forum to work out how to use my esata bluray burner with an imac and found this, sweet.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 09:05 AM   #3
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Re: iMac and eSATA

Good luck, it's not too bad of an operation. Just take your time and don't break off any of the tiny little heat sensors. Remember that the internal SATA port isn't hot swap, so you need to re-boot in order for things to show up. Not usually a big deal but something to keep in mind.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #4
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Re: iMac and eSATA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Haustein View Post
While Firewire800 maxed out at around 70Mbps, I'm getting 230Mbps consistent speeds on my OWC 4-bay enclosure, 190Mbps on my G-RAID Mini, and 95Mbps on a single drive.
I'm assuming those numbers should have been expressed as MBps (MegaBYTES per second) and not Mbps (MegaBITS per second)...
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Old October 5th, 2012, 07:23 PM   #5
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Re: iMac and eSATA

Yes, MBps. Thanks for the clarification Shaun.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 06:25 AM   #6
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Re: iMac and eSATA

Can you advise what cable you used? Was it something like this: Newegg.com - Tripp Lite Model P952-18I 18" SATA to eSATA Transition Cable
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Old October 6th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #7
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Re: iMac and eSATA

It was actually a PCI eSATA bracket like this one: Newegg.com - KINGWIN 15.63" eSATA PCI Bracket cable Model ESAC-02

You unscrew one if the cables from the bracket so you don't have to deal with the big metal piece. Thiis way you have a female eSATA sticking out of your mac instead of the male. It allows you to add standard male to male hard drive eSATA cables instead of needing to plug directly into a hard drive.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #8
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Re: iMac and eSATA

PS. I'm pretty excited by this... just need to wait until I'm done with edits IN the system before I try taking mine apart... Thanks for the update, Nate.
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