Adding SSD to 2015 iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by garethhowell, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. garethhowell macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2014
    #1
    OK, I made a stupid, stupid error. I bought an iMac for somebody else without a Fusion Drive. Yes, it's crap, but I wasn't using it and they didn't realise the performance should have been better.

    Frankly, an iMac without either SSD or Fusion Drive is rubbish. MS Word takes +30 seconds to load !! Lightroom takes 45! Even System Preferences takes 10 seconds.

    So, I wanted to replace the HD with SSD, but of course Apple has closed that door on the 2015 iMacs: at least if I want to keep it under warranty.

    Next best is to add a Thunderbolt SSD and boot from that.

    Is this possible? I notice that external Thunderbolt enclosures are not supported on Macs.
     
  2. deany, Dec 28, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

    deany macrumors 68030

    deany

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    #2
    Good question!
    It seems on a fusion drive there are two drives that are separate this article says it is possible for a fusion drive upgrade-
    https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/282955/Replace+a+HDD+(fusion+drive)+for+a+SSD+en+iMac+4k
    "You will need to break the Fusion Drive set as you can't use dual SSD's within a Fusion Drive set"
    I would assume that if a fusion drive is upgradable the standard spinning drive would be as surely is the same upgrade just without the separate fusion SSD drive.
    The main issue appears to be getting into the iMac (post 2) then it appears to be fairly straight forward.
    ps
    you maybe better clicking 'report' on your OP and requesting post to be move to iMac forum.
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #3
    Totally possible and newer Macs do support the use of TB enclosures. There are several threads on here from people who have done exactly what you are discussing. Here are a couple threads to get you going. If you have questions after reading over those threads, just post them up.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/fast-ssd-external-thunderbolt-for-imac-27-video-editing.1904214/

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/external-ssd-as-boot-drive-usb-3-vs-thunderbolt.1709803/
     
  4. deany macrumors 68030

    deany

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    #4
    Any idea how easy / difficult it would be to pop a new SSD in the OPs iMac
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    I have not done it myself, but from videos like this, it does not look terribly difficult. I would be a little scared I would break something though. If it was me, I would probably just go with an external TB SSD Velcro'd to the back.

    I've seen some posts by @tubeexperience discussing doing these a few times and he says it is not a bad job.

     
  6. deany macrumors 68030

    deany

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    #6
    Thanks for the reply.
    I agree, the external 'TB SSD Velcro'd to the back' is what I'd do as well - after watching the video, it avoids any possibilty of damage to the iMac and voiding the warrantee.
     
  7. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #7
    It's not difficult at all to replace a hard drive with an SSD.

    "Tedious" would be the more appropriate word.

    That said, the whole procedure should take 30-40 minutes.

    I also want to mention that replace the hard drive does not void the warranty, but if the OP is worried, he can simply swap the original hard drive back into place whenever he desires.
     
  8. deany, Dec 28, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

    deany macrumors 68030

    deany

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    #8
    I thought 'tampering' with an apple device under warranty would void the warranty.
    "Apple has ways of telling if someone other than its employees opened an iPhone. Any non-authorised repairs invalidate the warranty."
    http://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/iphone/prove-you-didnt-tamper-with-iphone-3605087/
    assuming iPhone and iMac have similar / same protocol taken by apple.

    Genius "The logic board has broken and clearly the device has been 'tampered' with, so we cant help, sorry - the warranty is invalid''

    An SSD replacement by a non authorised apple repair or apple store would prove beyond doubt the iMac had been 'tampered' with.

    Please correct me if the above is incorrect.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

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    #9
    OP wrote:
    "I notice that external Thunderbolt enclosures are not supported on Macs."

    Where in heaven's name did you get that information?

    Cheapest, easiest, fastest way to get fine performance is to plug in a USB3 external drive.
    Something like this will do just dandy:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00ZTRY532?tag=delt-20

    It doesn't have to be overly large, 240gb or 480gb will do fine.

    Set it up as an "external booter" with the OS, apps, accounts.
    IF the accounts have "large libraries", leave them on the internal HDD and reference them from their apps.
    You want the external SSD booter to be kept "lean and clean".

    Others may try to interject that a USB external booter won't support TRIM.
    DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT (shouting intentional).
    It makes almost no discernible difference at all.

    Again, a USB3 external SSD will TRANSFORM the overall performance of the iMac.

    Once more, my advice (given over and over in this forum) is proven correct.
    That is, DO NOT buy ANY Mac UNLESS it has either a fusion drive or SSD!
     
  10. garethhowell thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Like you said, it would involve opening up the iMac, which would void the warranty.
     
  11. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #11
    USB 3 holding only the OS and applications is the way to go. Use the internal fusion (1TB?) as fast storage for everything else. The difference between USB 3 and internal SATA is about 120 MB/Sec read and 110 MB/Sec write. I don't think most users will be able to notice a difference. External Thunderbolt drives tend to be even slower than UBS 3. Boot times are longer too, by about 10 second, in my experience. Boot order process appears to be to check internal SATA/PCIe > USB > Thunderbolt.
     
  12. garethhowell thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2014
    #12
    From a couple of Amazon adverts for storage enclosures.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 28, 2016 ---
    Judging by your sig, you do not have a late 2015 iMac. These things do not allow any hardware changes without breaking the device open: which most definitely DOES void the warranty :)
     
  13. deany, Dec 28, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

    deany macrumors 68030

    deany

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    #13
    Agreed, but if @tubeexperience own iMac is 'out of warranty' or not - the post he made was 'it does not void the warranty'
    this is clearly incorrect.
    The warranty becomes worthless.
     
  14. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #14

    I am not sure what the UK has, but in the US, we have the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act which states that the use of aftermarket parts does not void the warranty.

    Such warranty tie-in sales provisions are also illegal in Canada.

    Now, if you broke it in the process, then that's another story.
     
  15. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #15
    Replacing a hard drive in and iMac requires breaking the glue seal of the monitor. It is not as easy as swapping out a part. Parts need to be broken, and replaced. I would not recommend any user still under warranty do this.
     
  16. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #16
    The display is not glued in. It's held on by a few strips of adhesive that can easily be replaced.
     
  17. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #17
    What holds the adhesive in place - courage, magic? o_O

    Glue.
     
  18. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #18
    So every time I taped something, I must have glued it.
     
  19. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #19
    If you select the external drive as the startup disk in system preferences, it will boot straight to that drive and there is no search for boot devices at all like you described.

    I agree USB3 and TB speeds with a standard SSD and pretty close, but with USB you don't get TRIM, so that gives TB the advantage if you don't mind the extra expense.
     
  20. deany macrumors 68030

    deany

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    #20
    So please explain what your reply would be to this in the apple store USA

    iMac in Warranty or apple care with failed logic board.

    Genius:
    "We have thoughly inspected your iMac the logic board has broken, clearly the device has been 'tampered' with, as the hard drive has been altered.
    We undersand the "Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act" but we believe the 'tampering' may have caused the logic board to fail, sorry - the warranty is invalid''

    "We are more than happy to replace the logic board but it will be $650 and you will have to pay for the repair"
     
  21. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Put the original hard drive back in.

    No big deal.
     
  22. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #22
    I don't know that it is "searching", but the USB ports appears to active before Thunderbolt. At work I boot from a Transcend USB 3 Thunderbolt StoreJet external drive. Using the Thunderbolt port takes about ten seconds longer than when I use the USB 3 port. I don't know the technical reason why. The external Thunderbolt drives I have used are slower in speed and to boot. I avoid them.
     
  23. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

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    #23
    I am using an external ssd drive (delock enclosure) on my 2011 iMac. (USB 2 only) I believe the 2015 iMac can boot with a USB 3 ssd, that may be much cheaper and more future proof than going the thunderbolt route.
     
  24. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #24
    Assuming you align the screen again correctly, place the strips exactly where Apple had them...basically cover your tracks and deceive the technicians. Great plan. I hope you have a good lawyer.
     
  25. deany macrumors 68030

    deany

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    #25
    Sorry, what would you say to the Genius after them telling you your iMac logic board is broken and they wont replace it under warranty?
     

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