2013 27' iMac..Upgrade to SSD (what kits are available, will be available?)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by II BISTRO II, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. II BISTRO II macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2012
    just purchased my first iMac ever. Got a 2013 27" 3.2 i5. i decided to do my own upgrades instead of going through apple.

    i ordered 16GB of crucial memory and will add it to the existing 8 for a total of 24 GB

    I opted for the 1TB HDD because it is much cheaper to upgrade on my own. Im ok with removing my screen and installing a new SSD

    what mounts are available (if any) or when will they be available?
    will a ssd plug into the same slot or with a cable?
    also what is a good SSD that you guys recommend? i want something around a TB of ssd memory. i found this one from crucial

    any thoughts??
  2. in4fun macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    :eek: you got balls my friend !
  3. II BISTRO II thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2012
    im pretty familiar with apple hardware.. fixed plenty of friends imacs and mac pros, as well as tons of iphones.

    i just need someone to point me to a kit or a decent ssd with the correct wires

    if theres no conversion kits ill probably custom mount it somehow
  4. bluescale macrumors member

    Sep 27, 2013
    Crucial, who has sold kits in the past, didn't have one for the 2012. I don't think OWC did either, although I might be wrong about that.

    With the speeds you can get out of USB3, why not just use an external as your boot drive? It'll be just as fast, and your warranty will remain intact if any components in your new iMac turn out to be defective.

    I took my 2006 iMac apart, but I waited until the warranty period was past.
  5. II BISTRO II thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2012
    interesting idea.. im not opposed to having an external ssd

    is it better to go with usb3 or firewire and what type of external ssds are the best? will it be just like having an internal ssd or close?
  6. elithrar macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2007
    USB 3.0 is substantially faster than FW800. An SSD would have no problems saturating FireWire.
  7. II BISTRO II thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2012
    so its possible to run mountain lion and all apps from an external ssd?

    what would happen to my internal? use it as a backup?
  8. bluescale macrumors member

    Sep 27, 2013
    Yes. I have a friend doing exactly this. His external is his boot/software drive, and his internal is a data drive. With USB 3, data rates are, for all practical purposes, as fast as the internal bus. TB might be a touch faster in benchmarking, but I doubt you would notice it in real-world usage.
  9. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    if you want to go external, thunderbolt is going to be faster than usb3
  10. Insar macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2013
    If you decide to open iMac look at the Samsung SSD 840 EVO 1 TB. On the iMac MD095 to load the OS I used an external Lacie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt. Now I use iMac MD096. I installed Aplle 256 GB SSD and replaced the 1 TB HDD Samsung 830 256 GB. Two SSD united Raid 0. The speed is just fantastic.

    Attached Files:

  11. II BISTRO II, Sep 30, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013

    II BISTRO II thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2012

    Oh my.. I want this!

    How do I get this? U have two ssds in there? Please give more info on how u did it lol
  12. Insar macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2013
    I replaced the original HDD Samsung 830 256 GB.
    Installed the Apple 256GB SSD.
    Two SSD in iMac combines Raid 0 with striping

    Attached Files:

  13. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Not quite true. Thunderbolt has the potential to be faster than USB 3 but in real-world usage it's not that much faster when using a single SSD enclosure. In fact, in some cases it's even slower.

    What it does do better though is CPU-usage. USB 3 can consume up to 12% of your CPU-power under heavy load while Thunderbolt can consume up to 3% I think, under heavy load.

    Add to that the fact that Thunderbolt externals are way more expensive..
  14. simon567 macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2011
    I've been using a LaCie rugged Thunderbolt SSD for close to a year and it works great. OS and all Apps stored on there, I also have a Windows 8 partition on the same drive. I just use the internal drive for storage. It's probably not quite as fast doing it this way as it would be installing internally, but I'm not convinced you would notice the difference outside of benchmarking software. It's certainly a very big speed increase over using the internal drive and a much less frightening prospect than opening the iMac! (I've built plenty of PCs in the past, upgraded the drive in my MacBook, but started to pull apart my iMac and got scared)
  15. II BISTRO II thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2012
  16. xxBURT0Nxx, Sep 30, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013

    xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    please tell me how a thunderbolt connection is slower than usb3??

    If you are using a slow drive and "bottlenecking" the connection, you can get similar results, but thunderbolt is 10gbps bi-directional (20 with TB2), usb3 is 640MBps.


    Even though both options are faster than a standard HDD, they are not going to be as fast as a direct sata3 connection. Theoretically thunderbolt could be faster than sata3, but since all ssd drives are sata3 drives and not thunderbolt, some speed is lost when the sata3 protocol is translated to the thunderbolt protocol.
  17. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I'm not talking about the theoretical speed of Thunderbolt. I'm talking about the real-world speed of Thunderbolt. If you've seen Lacie's Thunderbolt external drives, they are in some cases slower than, for instance, FirmTek's USB 3 external drive. I think this is mostly related to bad drivers and that the Lacie case isn't optimized but the fact remains that USB 3 cases can be faster than Thunderbolt cases.

    I'm also not talking about slow drives, I'm talking about regular SSDs.
  18. bobtennis macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2013
    Just to add some quantification to this statement, I recently did a comparison of a few USB 3.0 adapters and the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter with a Mac Mini 2.3 I7, 16gb RAM, using the same Samsung 840 250gb SSD as the boot drive in the different enclosures. The benchmark was the BlackMagic Speedtest. The only variable was the enclosure used. The full post is in the Mac Mini Forum, you can search on my posts if interested in reading it.

    The results are as follows:

    1. Seagate Go-Flex Thunderbolt Adapter with Apple 18" TB Cable:
    Write: 238.4
    Read: 377.4

    2. Silverstone Raven USB 3.0
    Write: 238.4
    Read: 294.5

    3. FirmTek Miniswap USB 3.0
    Write: 228.5
    Read: 431.3

    4. Plugable USB 3.0 Docking Station (ModelUSB3-SATA-UASP-1)
    Write: 241.1
    Read: 430.1

    One point of note, however, is that Trim cannot be enabled on OSX over USB 3.0, it can be enabled over Thunderbolt. This means you would need to rely on the internal garbage collection routines built into the SSD to perform clean-up, if that is important to you (It was to me).
  19. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    Thanks for posting, TRIM is important yes

    Is the 250GB the non pro?

    I have a feeling the 256GB is the pro version capable of 500MB/Sec +, but is there any point in this drive as USB enclosures only seem to support SATA III (3GBps). Would i be wasting money running the pro in an enclosure or would TB be the best way to go?
  20. bobtennis, Oct 1, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013

    bobtennis macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2013
    The Samsung 840 was the "non" Pro (the Pro is 256 gb), and is now the older model just recently succeeded by the current 840 EVO. The main difference between the EVO and older 840 is the Write speed, as the EVO uses a buffer of sort to speed things up (to keep the explanation simple). Read times are comparable between the 840 EVO and the 840, which is to say very fast.

    It does make a difference with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt times when different speed drives are used. I did not quantify the differences as I did for the Samsung test, as this throws in an extra variable in the results, which was not the intention of the test I was running, but informal testing with an ADATA 128gb drive, a Crucial M4, and an OCZ Vertex 4 (all slower benchmarked drives than the Samsung in measured Read speed per given connection..again per my testing) resulted in slower overall benchmark times in any enclosure.

    One other odd note, the OCZ drive (actually tried two, a Vertex 3 Max IOPS and Vertex 4) would not be recognized by the FirmTek USB 3.0 adapter, they were recognized and worked fine by all of the other adapters. Maybe it is something in the FirmTek firmware or the OCZ firmware?

    So, SSD speed still matters although you are maxing out the adapter connection bandwidth anyway, as all of these SSD drives are faster via SATA III direct connection. I think both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 spec speeds quoted are theoretical "up to" speeds, the actual speeds are dependent on other factors.

    One other observation, I could not perceive any difference in response time regardless of the adapter used, or the drive used. Differences may appear on the benchmark tests, but in real life with loading and running "typical" (i.e.-not extreme resource hogging) programs, all adapters responses appeared to be fast, and definitely perceptibly faster than the HDD. The system was more "snappy" in doing any operations involving file reads or writes.
  21. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    The results I posted are real world results, not theoretical, but ok. The lacie is one of the slowest drives around, wouldn't be using it to try to win any speed comparisons. Even though a USB3 drive may get close to TB, or in some cases be faster, there are bottlenecks involved which are limiting TB from reaching it's full potential. So although results may be similar now, you are a lot closer to maxing out a USB3 connection than you are TB.

    Sata 3 is 6Gbps (Gigabits). Which is actually 0.75GBps (Gigabytes).

    A 3GBps connection would be 24Gbps, pretty FAST!
  22. adamneer macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    I have a question regarding the TRIM on external SSD's. I have always enabled TRIM for my internal SSD replacements and assumed it was something I could do on an external, but didn't know it could only be done via SATA or TB. I have a Samsung 840 Evo in a Oyen Minipro USB3 enclosure. Would it be possible to install the SSD in another computer to utilize a SATA connection to temporarily enable TRIM on the drive, and then put it back in my USB3 enclosure? Is the TRIM command constantly reliant on SATA or TB? Also, why is this even reliant on a certain type of connection at all?
  23. drakula1975 macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2013
    I'm thinking about getting te new 21" iMac.

    I have a few questions about the Hard drive configuration of this machine.

    The SSD blade is different from the one used in the previous late 2012 model?
    I mean now it's PCIe so I don't know if the connector is different from the ones used last year.

    Is it possible to buy an SSD blade fom OWC or other shops or do I have to use Apple blades (found on eBay for instance)?

    If I buy the BTO iMac with a 256 Gb SSD will I get a PCIe blade and the SATA connection free so I can put a second hard drive afterwards in the SATA connection?

    I'm a little bit confused with all this storage thing in these machines!

    Thank you very much!
  24. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    iMacs do not have SSD blades, they use standard sata connections for HDDs and SSDs.

    Only the MacBook Air uses SSD blades because they are soldered directly onto the logic board in an attempt to make the air as thin as possible.
  25. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    You can install a regular SSD in the HDD slot, but Apple's iMac SSDs are blades. PCI-e blades at that.


    Nobody (that I know of) sells third party PCI-e blades (yet), and the connectors are different (or if they are the same, they wont be interoperable). You have 3 options if you want an SSD in there:

    - Buy the Apple blade drive. You'll have an SSD + a HDD.
    - Replace the HDD with a regular SATA SSD.
    - Wait it out. There will be third party SSDs.

    You could also have one externally, but I'm not a fan of that.

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