I've been looking to upgrade to an SSD.

And I've read a couple of options:

  1. Swapping the mechanical drive for an SSD.
  2. Swapping the optical drive for an SSD.

My question is, is there another SATA port available on the motherboard that could be used to insert an SSD, possibly behind the existing optical drive, so you could have a total of three drives?

And is there physical space to do so?

I'd ideally have the SSD as the boot drive, the old mechanical for data, and the optical to watch the occasional film.

This post suggests that there is room in the 2011 imac 21.5 inch: https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/38040/358026 Is it still applicable here?

  • The post about the 2011's is correct. For more details see EveryMac.com and look under the Supported Hard Drive & SSD Types for confirmation. – Allan Jan 4 '20 at 19:08
  • Quoting from your above link: "The education-only iMac "Core i3" 3.1 21.5-Inch (Late 2011) supports a single 3.5" hard drive using the 6 Gb/s Serial ATA 3.0 standard. It does not support a 2.5" SSD simultaneously with an internal hard drive." There's a table that suggests the 21.5 mid 2010 i3 also doesn't. – Progrock Jan 5 '20 at 17:28

That model does not support SSD and HDD in addition to the optical

The 27” from 2010 does, however. It just needs a mounting bracket and the SSD. It’s SATA 3 Gbps bus and this link has lots of upgrade referrals:

You’d want to get a hybrid SSD/HDD drive if you needed size and space on the 21” unfortunately.

Your mac would need to move the Optical external and put the SSD in place of the optical slot if you chose to retain a full size HDD.

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