A list of successful iMac 27" (2012-2019) SSD upgrades

macgeek01

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2013
841
77
Where does one actually order an Apple OEM NVMe blade? And are you sure the 24Gb (32Gb spared) is truly NVMe? I was only able to ascertain from research, that the 256Gb is BVMe (options for 2017 iMacs), but sifting through all the SSUAX, SSUBX, and SSPOLARIS blades is time consuming.

I'm excitedly looking forward to seeing your results.
Just search for 32GB Apple SSD or
656-0029. I ordered one with free expedited shipping for $35.00.

I’ll test as the boot drive if NVME.
Perhaps if they are NVME they don’t have sleep issues only when configured as a Fusion Drive, we’ll see.

Has anyone reported no sleep issues with 3rd party NVME on any iMac?
 
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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTVWXYZ

macrumors newbie
Feb 6, 2019
25
0
i may have just read it wrong from OP's post, but do you need a temperature sensor if i remove both the HDD and SSD of a Fusion Drive and replaced it with only an 860 Evo Sata SSD in an iMac 27" Late 2013?
 

MBehr2

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2018
31
9
Canada
Has anyone reported no sleep issues with 3rd party NVME on any iMac?
That's all part of the overall theory we're hoping to test. If you have an Apple OEM NVMe blade installed and do a fresh High Sierra or Mojave install, it should update the EFI + Boot ROM [already updated after the last Mojave security updates]. Then you can test sleep mode to ensure it has no problems with the Apple OEM NVMe blade, swap for a non OEM blade with adapter and retest.

Let us know how you make out.
 

macgeek01

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2013
841
77
That's all part of the overall theory we're hoping to test. If you have an Apple OEM NVMe blade installed and do a fresh High Sierra or Mojave install, it should update the EFI + Boot ROM [already updated after the last Mojave security updates]. Then you can test sleep mode to ensure it has no problems with the Apple OEM NVMe blade, swap for a non OEM blade with adapter and retest.

Let us know how you make out.
I installed the 24GB Apple NVME module (32GB over provisioned) in my 27” Late 2015 with latest EFI firmware and there was no issues with standby or hibernate when used as the boot drive (non Fusion). I tested with a Sierra install but I definitely have the latest firmware.

This is the same drive that shipped with Late 2015 1TB Fusion models. Interestingly it is PCIe 2.0 x4. There is a different 24GB module (32GB over provisioned) that ships with newer 1TB Fusion models which may be PCIe 3.0 x4.

With a 2TB NVME PCIe 3.0 x4 Sabrent Rocket installed with a Sintech adapter the same iMac is unable to enter standby or hibernate without shutting down. Having said that it resumes from hibernate very quickly so it doesn’t bug me.

It seems to me the issue with iMacs and NVME standby/hibernate upport doesn’t have to do with a driver but something else in the SSD design that makes standby and hibernate possible.

Even if a driver to flash the ROM is available the EFI chip can’t be clamped onto with clamps from a standard SPI programmer on a Late 2015 27” iMac model. I verified the same chip is on my iMac that you see here:

https://www.ghostlyhaks.com/forum/apple-efi/441-imac-efi?start=20

Even with special probes it doesn’t appear anyone on that thread was able to flash and also difficulty desoldering the chip.

On a side note I upgraded my CPU to a 6700 (not 6700k) and it is compatible. This is not a configuration Apple shipped with. You will see my CPU is 3.4Ghz i7. With Turbo Boost the 6700 goes up to 4Ghz like the 6700K pre Turbo Boost. With Turbo Boost the 6700K goes up to 4.2GHz so a minor difference. TBD is also quite a bit lower on the 6700 so fan speed/noise should be lower.
 

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dobrink

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 4, 2013
98
41
Helsinki, Finland
It may be possible that the issue is technical, but in my opinion Apple are just being *******s and do not want to decompress the dXE driver that would enable full support for any NVMe, even a 3rd party one. For some time they have kept their OS X installers protected to prevent us from doing it ourselves.

One good thing now though is that the bootrom updates come regardless of the storage media installed. So, perhaps, if we press them enough with bug reports, they may do something for us, this is how
 

macgeek01

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2013
841
77
It may be possible that the issue is technical, but in my opinion Apple are just being *******s and do not want to decompress the dXE driver that would enable full support for any NVMe, even a 3rd party one. For some time they have kept their OS X installers protected to prevent us from doing it ourselves.

One good thing now though is that the bootrom updates come regardless of the storage media installed. So, perhaps, if we press them enough with bug reports, they may do something for us, this is how
This is definitely different from MacBook Pros where even Apple NVME drives don’t support standby/hibernate in models without the driver. I installed the 24GB module in my Late 2013 MBP but had the issues as expected.

Perhaps 2017/2018 iMacs support 3rd party NVME? If so then we could compare ROMs for NVME drivers. The problem is the EFI chip on the Late 2015 27” iMac needs to be desoldered to flash and this appears to be no easy task even for those with some experience.
Other iMacs have EFI chips that can be clamped onto.

I don’t think any type of bug report will help because Apple doesn’t consider it to be a bug and doubt they want to support non OEM NVME drives that require a 3rd party adapter that may cause higher battery drain (on MBPs anyway) I think it’s a fluke support even got added for the 2015 MacBook Pros.

Having said that it would have been nice if Apple switched to M.2 once it became available with broad NVME support but Apple doesn’t think about customer upgrades during design. They think about what they believe works best for their custom custom designs and keeping it proprietary has definitely helped their bottom line.

If you want Mac OS with more upgrade options then the Hackintosh route is an option but of course it’s give and take. All better options then running Windows in my opinion.
 

macgeek01

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2013
841
77
Blade drive and Spinning drive upgrade

Device: Base model Mid 2017 27"
Blade SSD upgrade: 1TB Samsung 970 Evo NVMe SSD
SATA SSD upgrade: SanDisk 2TB 3D SATA III 2.5" Internal SSD

Speed test: 2500 write, 2900 read for Blade, 450ish for SATA SSD
OS: Mojave 10.14.2
Adapter:
Sintech NGFF M.2 nVME SSD Adapter Card, OWC temperature sensor for SATA SSD

Issues after fresh OS install: None


Took a few hours to do this install, but everything appears to be working well and the computer sleeps fine. It was a little nerve racking pulling a brand new iMac apart but it saved a ton of money over getting a 1TB SSD from apple and really I like having another internal 2TB drive for my photos instead of using an external.

A few more notes:
- I didn't have any issues with dust getting behind the screen after it was back together
- The sintech adapter and new Samsung blade SSD fit well, and lined up perfectly with the original screw hole. Just use the same screw that secured the original blade SSD.
- The screen adhesive strips from OWC don't seem to line up perfectly with the alignment holes on this model iMac but that didn't really cause an issue. Getting the screen back on was the hardest part for me though.
- I used an ifixit tear down from here, which was missing two important points, perhaps because it was showing a 2015 tear down:
- There is a very small, thin ribbon cable on the logic board that needs to be disconnected before removing it out of the body of the iMac (step 54).
- The airport radio connectors (step 48) now have a metal band that secures them to the airport card. You need a very small torx screw to remove them which I didn't have at first - can't remember the size.

Hope this helps!
Do you have any sleep issue with the NVME SSD? Thanks.
 
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mbosse

macrumors 6502
Apr 29, 2015
364
88
Vienna, Austria
I installed the 24GB Apple NVME module (32GB over provisioned) in my 27” Late 2015 with latest EFI firmware and there was no issues with standby or hibernate when used as the boot drive (non Fusion). I tested with a Sierra install but I definitely have the latest firmware.

This is the same drive that shipped with Late 2015 1TB Fusion models. Interestingly it is PCIe 2.0 x4. There is a different 24GB module (32GB over provisioned) that ships with newer 1TB Fusion models which may be PCIe 3.0 x4.

With a 2TB NVME PCIe 3.0 x4 Sabrent Rocket installed with a Sintech adapter the same iMac is unable to enter standby or hibernate without shutting down. Having said that it resumes from hibernate very quickly so it doesn’t bug me.

It seems to me the issue with iMacs and NVME standby/hibernate upport doesn’t have to do with a driver but something else in the SSD design that makes standby and hibernate possible.

Even if a driver to flash the ROM is available the EFI chip can’t be clamped onto with clamps from a standard SPI programmer on a Late 2015 27” iMac model. I verified the same chip is on my iMac that you see here:

https://www.ghostlyhaks.com/forum/apple-efi/441-imac-efi?start=20

Even with special probes it doesn’t appear anyone on that thread was able to flash and also difficulty desoldering the chip.

On a side note I upgraded my CPU to a 6700 (not 6700k) and it is compatible. This is not a configuration Apple shipped with. You will see my CPU is 3.4Ghz i7. With Turbo Boost the 6700 goes up to 4Ghz like the 6700K pre Turbo Boost. With Turbo Boost the 6700K goes up to 4.2GHz so a minor difference. TBD is also quite a bit lower on the 6700 so fan speed/noise should be lower.
I asked a colleague with a 2017 iMac with 1 TB FD to look at the system report:

7432260E-D044-4571-BDE0-E251DCFB30DF.jpeg


The 32 GB SSD is different from yours in both model number (SM0032L) as well as link speed (8GT/s vs. 5GT/s). Not sure though if this one enables flashing of bootrom, SMC and EFI.

Best,
Magnus
 
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macgeek01

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2013
841
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I asked a colleague with a 2017 iMac with 1 TB FD to look at the system report:

View attachment 833028

The 32 GB SSD is different from yours in both model number (SM0032L) as well as link speed (8GT/s vs. 5GT/s). Not sure though if this one enables flashing of bootrom, SMC and EFI.

Best,
Magnus
Thanks for sharing. I have the latest firmware for my 27” Late 2015. It’s strange that these models can support sleep with Apple OEM NVME SSD’s but not 3rd party. It seems that 2017 and later have different firmware for 3rd party support.

We could dump the ROM’s and compare but ultimately would be hard to flash modified firmware to the Late 2015 models because no way to fo so without desoldering the chip.

Other iMacs have chips that can be clamped onto with a SPI programmer so could helpful for those.
[doublepost=1555959466][/doublepost]See this thread:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/imac-retina-5k-27-inch-2017-cpu-and-nvme-ssd-upgrade-pitfalls-and-tips.2177812/page-2#post-27299297
 

rxs0

macrumors member
Apr 4, 2019
52
67
Blade + HDD upgrade by rxs0

Device: Mid 2017 - 18.3 - MNE92LL/A (3.6Ghz i7-7700, Fusion HDD+32GB blade)
Blade upgrade: 32GB Blade -> 2TB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD
HDD upgrade: 1TB SATA HDD -> 1TB Samsung 960 EVO SATA SSD
Speed test: blade 2500 MB/s write, 3000 MB/s read, SATA SSD 450-ish
OS: Mojave 10.14.4, 10.14.5
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013-C with additional Kapton tape, OWC temperature sensor not used
Issues after fresh OS install and restore: NONE, No sleep or hibernate issues
Boot ROM Version: 172.0.0.0.0
SMC Version (system): 2.41f1

Please see post for full upgrade details.
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/imac-retina-5k-27-inch-2017-cpu-and-nvme-ssd-upgrade-pitfalls-and-tips.2177812/
Thanks.
 
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dobrink

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 4, 2013
98
41
Helsinki, Finland
LoL, this guy claims that all 2015 iMacs work flawlessly with any Apple or non-Apple NVMe drive... I seem to fail to explain him that noone else has been able to get any NVMe drive to work with sleep in any model of 27” Late 2015 iMac.
 

MacManSuite

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2017
23
1
Device: Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK462LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-6500)
Blade upgrade: 32GB Fusion -> Sabrent 2TB Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 - https://amzn.to/2Vejsi4
HDD upgrade: 1 TB SATA HDD -> 1TB SATA HDD (Cold storage)
Speed test: 2700 MB/s read, 2700 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.4
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013 - https://amzn.to/2WspwjH (I Did have to cut this slightly so the NVMe sat flat rather then slightly bent.

Sleep disabled & hibernation enabled.
 

macmanss

macrumors newbie
Jan 15, 2014
14
5
Sydney
Wow the information here is amazing, thanks everyone! Been lurking on this forum for a while, looking to take the plunge and was hoping to get some feedback to make sure I’m on the right track.

I’ve ordered a new 2019 iMac 27” base model and want to upgrade it with a 2TB NVMe SSD. I already have all tools, suction cups and replacement adhesive strips. I’ve taken apart several of these style iMacs before, including removing the logic board, but have never added an NVMe drive.

I’ve also ordered:
- All 3 types of Sintech adapters (1, 2, 3) but based on feedback it looks like Rev C (3) is the way to go
- Kapton tape

The best options according to my research are:
- 2TB Samsung 970 EVO - great speed, cost is AUD$504 (USD$354), runs very hot but it’s single-sided so I could add a heatsink
- 2TB Intel 760P - close to Samsung speed, cost is AUD$549 (USD$385), seems to run cooler, but pretty sure it’s double-sided so can’t add a heatsink if needed
- 2TB Intel 660P - good speed but slows to a crawl with big writes (which I will do occasionally), cost is amazing at AUD$300 (USD$211), seems to run cooler, but I think it’s single-sided so could add a heatsink if needed

I'd love to know:
- Has anyone upgraded a 2019 iMac yet?
- Any other options worth considering? My top choice is the Samsung
- Is it ok to attach a heatsink without removing the stickers?
- Could anyone with a 2TB Intel 760P or 660P confirm if they’re single or double-sided?
- Any other comments / suggestions would be really appreciated
[doublepost=1557031520][/doublepost]Also, regarding questions on whether the temperature sensor is needed when upgrading from 3.5" SATA HD to 2.5" SATA SSD... I've probably upgraded nearly every slim iMac model from Late 2012 to Late 2015, 21.5" and 27" models, and not once have I used a temperature sensor. I've never had an issue with the fans ramping up, nor any problems with sleep, no issues of any kind whatsoever. Just be sure to enable TRIM in Terminal to improve long-term performance.

The 2009-2011 models were a different story... always had fan problems with those. But easily fixable with Macs Fan Control.
 

Cartman66

macrumors newbie
May 10, 2019
1
0
I am also planning to buy the 2019 model and upgrade to an 970 EVO 2TB. Did somebody successfully do it?
And which Adapter would you recommend?
 

mrvo

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
75
16
I am also planning to buy the 2019 model and upgrade to an 970 EVO 2TB. Did somebody successfully do it?
And which Adapter would you recommend?
Same setup, I'm just weary about adding more small amount of heat.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,600
390
The Sillie Con Valley
i may have just read it wrong from OP's post, but do you need a temperature sensor if i remove both the HDD and SSD of a Fusion Drive and replaced it with only an 860 Evo Sata SSD in an iMac 27" Late 2013?
Yes. The only exception I know are the SSD only iMacs where there is no HDD in the SATA III slot.
The 2009-2011 models were a different story... always had fan problems with those. But easily fixable with Macs Fan Control.
Anything but that crapware — unless you enjoy a) having to control the fan manually (not an option with the temp sensor gone) and b) having the fan roar full speed on reboot till the extension loads. No thanks! I've installed many temp sensors after the fact when people complained about the noise.

Anyway, you can get away with shorting out the original sensor or substituting a system pull optical drive sensor ($3–$10 on eBay) on the late 2009–2010 only (I don't recommend it but you certainly can). The 2011 requires the OWC temp sensor.

I am also planning to buy the 2019 model and upgrade to an 970 EVO 2TB. Did somebody successfully do it?
And which Adapter would you recommend?
If you can, the short adapter makes it easier to install behind the right speaker. I don't like the long adapter but I've used it in Macbook Pros. I don't use them in iMacs ever. This assumes that the 2019 cooling and speaker layout is similar to the earlier ones.

Same setup, I'm just weary about adding more small amount of heat.
If that's going to be an issue, you needed an iMac Pro.

The 970 will throttle if they get too hot — on purpose. In a 6.1 Mac Pro it's an issue which is why you should get a heat sink. There's no room for a heat sink in the 2013–17 iMacs—it would surprise me if there is in the 2019.

- Is it ok to attach a heatsink without removing the stickers
Do not remove the stickers! They act as a heat spreader by design. Nearly all heat sink makers will include language that they work with the stickers. Besides, you'll void your warranty if do. But that's ok, you probably don't have room.

As to the original question, I've done hundreds of Intel iMacs (and too many PPCs etc all the way back to my Mac Plus to count).
[doublepost=1557553642][/doublepost]
LoL, this guy claims that all 2015 iMacs work flawlessly with any Apple or non-Apple NVMe drive... I seem to fail to explain him that noone else has been able to get any NVMe drive to work with sleep in any model of 27” Late 2015 iMac.
Since no one I know has had that problem with one in a late 2015, I'm not surprised. These have an NVMe 3 x4 bus but came with an NVMe 2 blade.

2014 and earlier require a Terminal command. Also, an NVMe 3 x4 is a waste of money in these as they have an NVMe 2 bus.
 
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mdelrossi

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2005
111
56
Late 2014 27" 5K i7 4790k 295x Mojave 10.14.5 ( also worked on an earlier version of Mojave that used HFS+)
Just replaced the Seagate 3tb with a 2TB ssd, and also replaced the 128GB Pcie blade with a intel 1TB + adapter.

Flawless. Goes to sleep, wakes up no terminal command.
 

dobrink

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 4, 2013
98
41
Helsinki, Finland
Just replaced the Seagate 3tb with a 2TB ssd, and also replaced the 128GB Pcie blade with a intel 1TB + adapter.

Flawless. Goes to sleep, wakes up no terminal command.
What is the Intel drive's model? Do you boot from the SATA, or from the NVMe? Has it always been sleeping correctly, or only now with 10.14.5?
 

mdelrossi

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2005
111
56
What is the Intel drive's model? Do you boot from the SATA, or from the NVMe? Has it always been sleeping correctly, or only now with 10.14.5?
Intel SSD 660p : https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1437035-REG/intel_ssdpeknw010t8x1_660p_1tb_ssd_pci.html

I booted from the T5 I had been booting from for the past year or so. then installed Mojave 10.14.4 on it.
Migrated all my info and files from the T5 to the SSD blade.
It booted up just fine, then updated to mojave 10.14.5 via software update.

After doing this, I regret not getting the 2TB blade.

no problems.
 
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ProteoMX

macrumors newbie
May 17, 2019
15
7
Hi everybody. I followed the recommendations of this thread to upgrade my Late 2013 iMac 27" to a Samsung 970 Pro M2 SSD with the Sintech adapter. Everything worked without a hitch since the first time! Just one doubt though.

I expected to be unable to put the machine to sleep without a kernel panic, but sleeps seems to be working just fine. I mean, I can hit the "Sleep" menu entry, leave the machine alone for a while and when I press the keyboard it just comes back to life and keeps working as usual.

That is the expected behavior of course, but according to what I've read in multiple posts it looks like this shouldn't be the case. Or there is something else that should I check for?

Thanks in advance!
 

MacManSuite

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2017
23
1
Another device for you for your list. Upgraded for client due to failing 3TB drive

Device:
Late 2013 -14,2 (3.5Ghz i7-4771)
Blade upgrade: 128GB SDNEP 655-18378 -> Intel 660P 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8X1 - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07JHGMNC5
HDD upgrade: 3TB SATA ST3000DM001 HDD -> 4TB SATA ST4000DMZ04 HDD (Cold storage)
Speed test: 750 MB/s read, 750 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.4/10.14.5
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013 - https://amzn.to/2WspwjH

Working with NO tweaks to sleep mode, no crashes when resuming. Tested under both 10.14.4 and 10.14.5 with no issue.

Might it be that the 660P is the cure? It's certainly not the fastest drive (made slower by the 2013 it's gone into...)

MRI Photos as attached - Notice it's not shown as an internal drive as all NVMe drives appear to be external. HDD Temp issue is normal after replacement drive.

IMG_8978.JPG
IMG_8979.JPG
IMG_8977.JPG