Buying Imac and installing 3rd party SSD. . .questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by HilariousUsername, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. HilariousUsername macrumors newbie

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    Oct 9, 2017
    #1
    Hi. Looks like the time has come for me to replace my Imac, was planning on getting a 2017 and having an aftermarket SSD installed to save some money (might end up not being worth it but that's one of the reasons I'm here. . .to find out).

    Mainly I am trying to find out WHAT specs the SSD needs to have for a 2017 27" Imac. . .there are 2.5" SSDs, "blade" SSDs, etc. Want to make sure I don't get the wrong thing.

    Since they will have to install the OS on this new drive. . .what would it likely get? Sierra or High Sierra?

    Thanks.
     
  2. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

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    Jan 28, 2016
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    California
    #2
    Spend $100 extra to have Apple build it with a 256GB SSD.
    Or $300 extra for 512GB.
    Or $200 extra for a 2TB Fusion drive - which you can unfuse into a 128GB SSD and 2TB HDD.

    Hardly worth it to buy an aftermarket SSD, pay for the needed double stick tape kit, and pay a technician to do the install.

    (You'd be replacing the 3.5" SATA HDD. This means you'd also need to buy a 2.5" to 3.5" bracket.)
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    OP wrote:
    "was planning on getting a 2017 and having an aftermarket SSD installed to save some money"

    This is absolutely the worst possible approach that I've yet heard of to buying a new iMac.

    Not only will you void the warranty, you won't be able to find a "blade" SSD to "replace" the Apple one, because Apple's design is proprietary.

    Any SATA based SSD you install will be positively pokey compared to the Apple factory-installed SSD.

    Take curmudgeonette's advice above.
    If you want an SSD inside, ORDER ONE with the SSD inside.

    It will save you A LOT of trouble...
     
  4. J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

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    Spain
    #4
    I would buy a good (fast interface) case for the ssd. A well implemented usb 3 case will make a nice external disk, almost as fast as the same ssd internally sata connected.
    Also, as it’s been said, Apple’s internal ssd (PCIe connected) is a proprietary design, so it’s impossible to upgrade it afterwards; perhaps Apple could replace it with a bigger unit, at a cost. This special ssd is about 5X faster than a normal sata ssd.
    You could try another external casing solution... thunderbolt 3 maybe...
    But with fast interfaces new iMac provides, thinking about opening a new machine for a dubious gain seems strange to me...
     
  5. HilariousUsername thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 9, 2017
    #5
    Thanks. I wouldn't do it myself, I would have an authorized service center do it specifically so it DOESN'T void the warranty. And I would go for a 1 TB or 2 TB internal SSD. At those prices it's a pretty big difference between what Apple charges and what Samsung does. However if everything else stated in these replies is true then maybe it is simply not worth to save a few hundred.
     
  6. J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

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    #6
    Yeah. You’re comparing two different ssd’s... Standard sata connected ssd, and factory-mounted PCIe ssd.
    Samsung and others make PCIe “blades”, but Apple makes their special design. At this moment, there’s no way to install an equivalent non-apple ssd to the iMac logic board (as far as I know. More info is welcomed).
     
  7. HilariousUsername thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 9, 2017
    #7
    Ah. Ok. That info did not come up in my research. I assumed because it could have been done with my 2011 Imac (whose graphics card just died, thus necessitating a new machine), it could be done on a new one. Seems that it is not so?
     
  8. jdphoto macrumors 6502

    jdphoto

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    Jan 13, 2014
    #8
    Correct it is not possible, SATA was the fast protocol still back in 2011, PCIe SSDs are the current fast connection. SATA SSDs are limited to 500-600MB/s, where as the PCIe versions go into the 2GB/s range and higher. Based on the iFixit teardown I saw, apple is using their own connector for the SSD so there is no alternative source from a different vendor. I see a $300 cost to jump from the 1TB Fusion to the 512GB SSD which is the same cost as the Samsung 960 Pro so you wouldn't really be saving any money anyway.
     
  9. HilariousUsername thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Sounds like it's moot at this junture but I would have been jumping from a fusion drive to a 1 TB internal ssd or 2 TB...running $600 and $1400 from Apple and $350 and $700 (ish) from Samsung etc.
     
  10. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    US
    #10
    Again, Apples and Oranges. $600 & $1400 from Apple, sure, for >2GB/sec speeds vs $350 and $700 for a SATA SSD maxing out at 1/4 of the speed (~500MB/sec.)

    PCIe SSDs cost more than SATA SSDs. Go price the NVMe Samsung 1TB & 2TB SSDs... pretty close to what Apple charges. So even if they *were* compatible, the price difference wouldn't make up for the cost/effort of an install.
     
  11. wlossw macrumors 65816

    wlossw

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    #11
    You can install a 3rd party ssd in the pcie slot. That being said it’s going to be a pita with the new design. (There are now adapters). That being said it’s buggy as hell. You could try buying an external ssd and run that as the boot drive, but you will only get 1/3 the performance of the factory drive.
     
  12. HilariousUsername thread starter macrumors newbie

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  13. RUQRU macrumors regular

    RUQRU

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    #13
    The only cost effective user after-market upgrade to the 2017 27" iMac is RAM.
     
  14. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

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    #14
    As the fisho says, just order what you want from Apple and enjoy! This is going to be a 5 year+ investment so get the best.
     
  15. HilariousUsername thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    That was my next question. Good to know. Looks like it's building to order or waiting for one with my desired specs to show up on the refuebished store.
     
  16. wlossw macrumors 65816

    wlossw

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    #16
    And this brings up another point: why is there no preconfigured iMac option with a pure ssd? Having such an expensive computer without even 1 off the shelf ssd configuration is a disgrace.

    Personally speaking I just got my 2017 iMac i7/8gb/1tb ssd and added 32gb of after market ram... it’s a beast of a machine.
     
  17. HilariousUsername thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I think I'm missing something, there ARE several pure ssd options, you just pay extra for them. You can get a 256, 512, 1 TB or 2 TB ssd drive in the new Imacs.
     
  18. wlossw macrumors 65816

    wlossw

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    #18
    These are all bto configurations. They require a
    Special order. You can’t walk in to an Apple store or 3rd party retailer and get them.
     
  19. HilariousUsername thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Oh. I Guess I'm not sure I understand the distinction? Do the special orders take longer to deliver or something?
     
  20. J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

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    #20
    “Built to order” is just a naming convention. I guess most demanded “bto” are already “made”.
    I haven’t bought anything at an Apple Store (too far from me), but I would say you don’t make a “special order” when buying from Apple web or by phone: you’re always asked to choose... even if you get the base model! You order it the same way.
    It’s similar when you buy a car: it’s not sure they’d got the color you want at the “shop”. So you (specially) order that color for your car, as you have seen it in their catalogue... I doubt you could get every “special” car model from a vendor in the same day... (no in my country).
     
  21. HilariousUsername thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 9, 2017
    #21
    Yeah, I guess if you had to have the machine right this very second that could be a problem.
     
  22. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020

    JeffyTheQuik

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    #22
    I did this with my 2007 iMac, and when I had a video card problem, Apple wouldn’t touch it. After they discovered that I upgraded the drive, the Genius said, “We are not allowed to work on it since there was unauthorized work done on it. Here’s a list of Apple Certified places to get it fixed.” He got it... it wasn’t a Hard Drive problem, but their policy stood.

    So, if you plan on changing stuff out, with the exception of memory on a 27in iMac, my experience tells me that you’ll be on your own, AppleCare/Warranty notwithstanding.
     
  23. HilariousUsername thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 9, 2017
    #23
    Thanks. Anyway it looks like B&H actuallg does have a 1 TB ssd maxed pit processor option you can order for $3099 with no sales tax to boot (at least if youre outside of nyc) and free shipping.
     
  24. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #24
    OP wrote:
    "there ARE several pure ssd options, you just pay extra for them. You can get a 256, 512, 1 TB or 2 TB ssd drive in the new Imacs."

    This is correct.

    I don't recommend the 1tb or 2tb options -- far FAR too expensive for what you get.

    The 512gb SSD is a modestly decent buy, as is the 256gb.
    The 512gb is $300 more (from base price); the 256gb $100 more.

    For -more storage space- add a USB external drive (either SSD or platter-based HDD).

    For the 27" iMac, get the minimum RAM configuration (8gb) and add more later on (I emphasize the part about "later on", try the stock configuration first).

    I also suggest the $200 upgrade to the "midrange" model with the better CPU and graphics. That's reasonably-priced for what you'll get from it.

    All the above are "build-to-order".
    The brick-n-mortar Apple stores probably won't carry them.
    Sooner or later, the configuration you want -might- show up as an Apple refurb, but that involves waiting and some luck getting one when it does become available...
     
  25. HilariousUsername thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 9, 2017
    #25
    I've basically mentally committed to the 1 TB SSD. Let me explain...it's not just for storage; it's really for the apps etc. There are several programs I have/want that are 60 GB installs...the new superior drummer is a 250 GB install! So coupled with whatever else will end ip kn the main drive, I worry even at 512 I could run out of space. I got to that point with 250 and that was all essential files. So 1 TB is the LEAST that gives me peace of mind.
     

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24 October 9, 2017