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Old Nov 30, 2012, 08:34 PM   #1
jediDev
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OWC teardown pics and video

Great resources if you want to look inside:

http://blog.macsales.com/15913-a-pee...de-the-imac-21

http://blog.macsales.com/15932-what-...2012-imac-21-5

Key points:

1) Display is kept on case by adhesive, but they were able to slice through the adhesive with a round pry tool (looks like a guitar pick).

2) SSD bay is only in higher end 21.5, but it uses the same sort of SSD blade as is in MBPr

3) The main drive is a standard 2.5" drive, but they haven't established whether there's any funky fan sensor issues as there were with the previous generation imac.

----------

I should probably add a 4th: It's not obvious to me how easily the screen goes back on the case. Unfortunately, it's not held in place by magnets. I'm definitely not opening mine until braver souls answer that question.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 08:36 PM   #2
yezza
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Good info - thanks for the heads-up!
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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Well. There is the reason for the funky ssd options. It uses blades not real drives.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 08:42 PM   #4
jediDev
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Originally Posted by yezza View Post
Good info - thanks for the heads-up!
BTW, I've just started playing around with mine, and so far, the screen is fantastic—seems uniform, unlike so many previous iMacs. And I have barely heard any noise at all from the hard drive—not even seeks. Maybe I'll hear them when I'm in a quieter room, but if you're someone who gets annoyed by noisy drives (as I am), this drive is quiet. That's fortunate for me because I'm planning to make my own fusion drive using an external Thunderbolt SSD in the buffalo ministation enclosure (at least until OWC comes out with a reasonably priced blade and can convince me it's possible to put the screen back on without a lot of mess).
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 12:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jediDev View Post
BTW, I've just started playing around with mine, and so far, the screen is fantastic—seems uniform, unlike so many previous iMacs. And I have barely heard any noise at all from the hard drive—not even seeks. Maybe I'll hear them when I'm in a quieter room, but if you're someone who gets annoyed by noisy drives (as I am), this drive is quiet. That's fortunate for me because I'm planning to make my own fusion drive using an external Thunderbolt SSD in the buffalo ministation enclosure (at least until OWC comes out with a reasonably priced blade and can convince me it's possible to put the screen back on without a lot of mess).
Cool. Do you know of the requirements/tweaks required for a non-factory fusion setup?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 12:54 AM   #6
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Ouch, the low end doesn't have the socket to accept and SSD.

I guess with they deciding to solder the GPU they now have all these different motherboards instead of the same one as before :S

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by yezza View Post
Cool. Do you know of the requirements/tweaks required for a non-factory fusion setup?
At the very least the high end 21.5" if you want the SSD to be inside.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 01:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jediDev View Post
2) SSD bay is only in higher end 21.5, but it uses the same sort of SSD blade as is in MBPr
Oh that sucks. So the lower end model doesn't even have the SSD blade connector. Wonder how much that saved them in terms of money per logic board. My guess is a couple of pennies...
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 01:55 AM   #8
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It will be interesting to see how many people actually decide to pry open their iMacs.

I was a little nervous the first time I tried to remove the glass cover on my 2011 iMac, but found out that it was actually very easy to do. I don't think I'd try and open up the 2012 iMac.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:05 AM   #9
Yeroon
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So they've used adhesive instead of magnets...? How do you get it back together then? New adhesive?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 08:31 AM   #10
uptownnyc
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So if you were to buy the 27" with just the 7200rpm hard drive, could you remove it entirely and replace it with your own SSD in its place?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 08:57 AM   #11
Fishrrman
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"It will be interesting to see how many people actually decide to pry open their iMacs."

What will be MORE interesting are the posts we are certain to see here from people who pry open their Macs, and then can't get them back together!
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 09:17 AM   #12
uptownnyc
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Originally Posted by Yeroon View Post
So they've used adhesive instead of magnets...? How do you get it back together then? New adhesive?
iFixit says new double-sided tape.

"You'll have to masterfully peel off the old double-sided sticky tape and apply new tape in order to reseal this iMac into original condition."

link
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 09:21 AM   #13
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So if you were to buy the 27" with just the 7200rpm hard drive, could you remove it entirely and replace it with your own SSD in its place?
Yeah, I'm curious about this, too.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 09:22 AM   #14
All Taken
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Apple have known about people using third party SSD's in the iMac for a few years now. It has become so common place that they finally wanted to stop the practice and get more money from it's customers - Using it's own connectors for the SSD makes sense on a Slim Notebook but this is an iMac!

There is actually room - even in these slimmed down models for a full size 2.5" SSD. They are stopping users upgrading by swapping out the connection, if you think it's for 'speed', 'fusion' 'thermals' or 'space' you're kidding yourself. The screen is also now glued, another way to stop users upgrading meaning more money for Apple.

Add in the fact - they took away 2 SATA connections in this 'upgrade' - You used to have 3 ports, Optical bay, Hard Drive and SSD. Now you have one SATA connection and one Blade SSD connection making fusion the only choice, that sucks. I'll take the ability to add a couple of large traditional hard drives and my own SSD over these models any day. This is not an upgrade, it's the beginning of Apple telling its customers what they will need, I prefer them listening to customers - they could see people wanting control of SSD and Hard drive choice.

They really need to stop limiting choice, Fusion? It's just another way of controlling the components for more money. Sure you can pay the fusion fee and use it but it's software based with no extra hardware needed, if the SSD breaks outside of warranty you're looking at buying a Apple blade SSD - Win Win for Apple.

I won't be purchasing the new models, they have limited the life of the machine to the end user, it's pure greed.

If the 2012 Mac Mini can use a full size 2.5" SSD for 'fusion'?!?! They responded to people modding the machine that's the only way to answer this. I would have so much respect for them if they had remained with a 2.5" drive but again it's very very perculiar how they use a Blade SSD on the new iMac but the Mac mini remains at full size. They are greedier than I ever imagined.

Last edited by All Taken; Dec 1, 2012 at 10:10 AM.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 09:49 AM   #15
Zackmd1
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Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
Apple have known about people using third party SSD's in the iMac for a few years now. It has become so common place that they finally wanted to stop the practice and get more money from it's customers - Using it's own connectors for the SSD makes sense on a Slim Notebook but this is an iMac!

Their is actually room - even in these slimmed down models for a full size 2.5" SSD. They are stopping users upgrading by swapping out the connection, if you think it's for 'speed', 'fusion' 'thermals' or 'space' you're kidding yourself. The screen is also now glued, another way to stop users upgrading meaning more money for Apple.

Add in the fact - they took away 2 SATA connections in this 'upgrade' - You used to have 3 ports, Optical bay, Hard Drive and SSD. Now you have one SATA connection and one Blade SSD connection making fusion the only choice, that sucks. I'll take the ability to add a couple of large traditional hard drives and my own SSD over these models any day. This is not an upgrade, it's the beginning of Apple telling its customers what they will need, I prefer them listening to customers - they could see people wanting control of SSD and Hard drive choice.

They really need to stop limiting choice, Fusion? It's just another way of controlling the components for more money. Sure you can pay the fusion fee and use it but it's software based with no extra hardware needed, if the SSD breaks outside of warranty you're looking at buying a Apple blade SSD - Win Win for Apple.

I won't be purchasing the new models, they have limited the life of the machine to the end user, it's pure greed.

If the 2012 Mac Mini can use a full size 2.5" SSD for 'fusion'?!?! They responded to people modding the machine that's the only way to answer this. I would have so much respect for them if they had remained with a 2.5" drive but again it's very very perculiar how they use a Blade SSD on the new iMac but the Mac mini remains at full size. They are greedier than I ever imagined.

Why couldn't we just replace the 2.5 spinning drive with a 2.5 ssd??? Why would we need to use the blade ssd for anything other then giving the iMac two drives?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 09:51 AM   #16
All Taken
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Why couldn't we just replace the 2.5 spinning drive with a 2.5 ssd??? Why would we need to use the blade ssd for anything other then giving the iMac two drives?
Because of the cost to capacity ratio SSD's. Would you rather the ability to have a 1TB 2.5" drive and a say 256GB SSD? Or would you rather just a 256GB?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 10:00 AM   #17
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Because of the cost to capacity ratio SSD's. Would you rather the ability to have a 1TB 2.5" drive and a say 256GB SSD? Or would you rather just a 256GB?
Well I'm working perfectly fine off 128gb so I'm probably not the best person to ask. There is always thunderbolt and USB 3? But that kinda defeats the purpose of an all in one.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 10:06 AM   #18
All Taken
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Well I'm working perfectly fine off 128gb so I'm probably not the best person to ask. There is always thunderbolt and USB 3? But that kinda defeats the purpose of an all in one.
Exactly, it's all about personal choice at the end but I loved the fact that I could pick and choose 3 SATA devices in my iMac, now the new 2012 I figured okay loss of optical will mean 2 SATA devices but no, you can now only swap out 1. A reader of my rant might figure it's a small customer base that did these kind of mods anyway, just look how many have viewed my upgrade tutorial alone. It was a massive part of the market for Apple to control in terms of repairs, now you need Apple for SSD replacement, for charging customers more up front - by this I mean you either buy the best you can at purchase or suffer the shortfall over period of use. Lastly, you will be forced to upgrade to another machine quicker.

All this points to a company not thinking of its customers wishes (evidenced by many people using my guide and similar) but instead milking people for every single last penny.

One last viewpoint, you paid X amount for your new iMac... You say 128GB suits you now. Allowing updates over 2 years and larger programs etc etc do you feel it will suit you in 2 years?

You will probably just upgrade to a newer model or buy external storage?

That's a solution, Apple prefer you upgrade, but if you had the option of adding a drive internally retaining the all-in-one concept you bought into then surely that's the win?

Last edited by All Taken; Dec 1, 2012 at 10:24 AM.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 10:07 AM   #19
drawnacrol
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Damn that looks a lot more difficult to take apart than the previous Gen iMac. So no SSD option and no user upgradable ram on the 21.5. Well Apple won't be getting a penny from me.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 10:40 AM   #20
Zackmd1
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Exactly, it's all about personal choice at the end but I loved the fact that I could pick and choose 3 SATA devices in my iMac, now the new 2012 I figured okay loss of optical will mean 2 SATA devices but no, you can now only swap out 1. A reader of my rant might figure it's a small customer base that did these kind of mods anyway, just look how many have viewed my upgrade tutorial alone. It was a massive part of the market for Apple to control in terms of repairs, now you need Apple for SSD replacement, for charging customers more up front - by this I mean you either buy the best you can at purchase or suffer the shortfall over period of use. Lastly, you will be forced to upgrade to another machine quicker.

All this points to a company not thinking of its customers wishes (evidenced by many people using my guide and similar) but instead milking people for every single last penny.

One last viewpoint, you paid X amount for your new iMac... You say 128GB suits you now. Allowing updates over 2 years and larger programs etc etc do you feel it will suit you in 2 years?

You will probably just upgrade to a newer model or buy external storage?

That's a solution, Apple prefer you upgrade, but if you had the option of adding a drive internally retaining the all-in-one concept you bought into then surely that's the win?
I agree with you on all of your points. I have used a 2010 baseline MBA for 2 years now so going to a 2012 baseline imac is a massive upgrade for me. That and the fact that I have gotten into the habit of storing all of my media on my external USB 2 drive so storage really isn't much of a concern for me. I do agree however that it would be much more desirable to retain the all in one setup.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:41 PM   #21
uptownnyc
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Because of the cost to capacity ratio SSD's. Would you rather the ability to have a 1TB 2.5" drive and a say 256GB SSD? Or would you rather just a 256GB?
I'd rather have more SSD-only configuration options available from Apple. Since they only offer one - a cost-prohibitive option at that - I'd be fine with a large 3rd-party SSD drive as my sole internal drive.
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