Adding second SSD to 2013 21.5" iMac

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macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 24, 2005
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So I've been looking at this for a short while and I'm getting myself horribly confused. I'm hoping someone who understands this better than I might help.

I've got the 2013 21.5" iMac.

It has a 5400RPM 1TB drive in it (factory standard)

I want to put an SSD in. I could replace the current hard drive, but then I lose my storage space.

Will this (http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/partspecs.aspx?imodule=CT480M500SSD3) fit in to the PCIe bay, or do I need to source one of the Apple own brand ones - I've seen some sites that suggest that mSATA is the same as the PCIe connection, and others that suggest otherwise. I'm confused as heck.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

jdblas69

macrumors regular
Aug 15, 2012
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I assume you are aware of the difficulty of opening up the iMac?

What I would do is set up an external SSD via USB as my boot/applications drive and use the internal HDD for my storage needs.
 

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macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 24, 2005
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I assume you are aware of the difficulty of opening up the iMac?

What I would do is set up an external SSD via USB as my boot/applications drive and use the internal HDD for my storage needs.
Oh yes, very aware of the difficulties involved, and may indeed go down the road of ordering a standard 2.5" SSD and putting it into a caddy, that said I have access to an Apple Service Provider who's happy to open it up and install it for me if I can come across the part so ideally I'd love to do that given the choice.
 

jdblas69

macrumors regular
Aug 15, 2012
246
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The item you have shown from crucial is not compatible with your iMac, if you plugged in your unit info on the left hand side Crucial states it is not compatible.

Sorry not to sure which one would work, not to knowledgeable in the PCI area, hopefully someone else chimes in.
 

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macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 24, 2005
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The item you have shown from crucial is not compatible with your iMac, if you plugged in your unit info on the left hand side Crucial states it is not compatible.

Sorry not to sure which one would work, not to knowledgeable in the PCI area, hopefully someone else chimes in.
Oh I realise they don't endorse it, but they also suggest I can't upgrade the RAM in it either which I know can be done if you've got a mind to :)
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
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Oh I realise they don't endorse it, but they also suggest I can't upgrade the RAM in it either which I know can be done if you've got a mind to :)
PCIe is NOT the same as mSATA. It physically won't mount.

That's why they don't endorse it.

There are PCIe SSDs in the wild, but in the M.2 NGFF form factor. Apple's PCIe SSDs have a custom form factor, so an M.2 PCIe SSD like the Samsung XP941 wouldn't fit.
 

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macrumors 65816
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Aug 24, 2005
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See how I'd read it was mSata and the mini PCIe slots are physically identical, but some are wired forgone or the other, and some more modern systems for both. Kind of like Mini DisplayPort and thunderbolt I guess. The form factor I grant is an issue :-/
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
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See how I'd read it was mSata and the mini PCIe slots are physically identical, but some are wired forgone or the other, and some more modern systems for both. Kind of like Mini DisplayPort and thunderbolt I guess. The form factor I grant is an issue :-/
No they are NOT physically identical. The contact heads are completely different.
 

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macrumors 65816
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Aug 24, 2005
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Yeah obviously I appreciate what you're saying. I was simply telling you what I'd thought before...geez.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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[[ Oh yes, very aware of the difficulties involved, and may indeed go down the road of ordering a standard 2.5" SSD and putting it into a caddy ]]

My suggestion is that you add an external solution that DOES NOT require you to open the iMac. It will save you a lot of time and trouble.

You will lose LITTLE in the way of speed by choosing either a USB3 or thunderbolt "alternative".

You will lose next-to-nothing in the way of speed, and save considerable money, by picking the RIGHT USB3 external enclosure or dock instead of thunderbolt.

I recommend that you choose a USB3 enclosure or USB3/SATA docking station that specifically states that it's "UASP" capable. UASP stands for "USB Attached SCSI Protocol" and it is literally "a world apart" from the older USB2 standard.

An enclosure that comes to mind:
http://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/U32-M.html

A USB3/SATA dock that comes to mind:
http://plugable.com/products/usb3-sata-u3
 

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macrumors 65816
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Aug 24, 2005
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Obviously so, but you can't get Apple to upgrade you after purchase so that's unfortunately a hindsight thing.
 

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macrumors 65816
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Aug 24, 2005
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Yeah well perhaps so. As I say hindsight a wonderful but hey, I'm trying to explore solutions here and see what my best route is. Obviously the answers been arrived at, I'm not sure why the need to come in like that is, but whatever.