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What yeeeha says is correct. Roughly after 2009 Apple changed the 2.5" internal hard drives to include a thermocouple output through the SATA plug. If you install a regular 2.5" hard drive or SSD it won't have the thermocouple connection, and your fans won't operate properly. I'm not even sure if the SATA plug will fit. The OWC adapter includes an external thermocouple and special plug adapter to use regular SATA drives with the Apple SATA connector.

My 2009 iMac can use a regular SATA drive (hard drive or SSD), but my 2010 iMac needs the proprietary Apple drive or special adapters.

I thought I'd be smart on my 2010 iMac and remove the SATA DVD drive and replace it with an SSD, since the DVD drive doesn't use a thermocouple. Unfortunately, the SATA connection for the DVD is different from the 2.5" SATA hard drive connector, so you'll need a different adapter for that, although it's probably more readily available.

Apple doesn't make it easy to get at the hard drive in their laptops even if it's possible to change it. OWC has installation videos, so it's best to check those out to see how much work is involved.

I've given up on Mac laptops, and now only use PC laptops. I've had good luck with Dell so far. It's been really easy to upgrade ram and SSD on Dell laptops.
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