Can i add an HDD ?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by TheBigHunt, May 1, 2017.

  1. TheBigHunt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Location:
    Denmark
    #1
    Hi

    I've an iMac 27in with the original 256GB SSD from Apple (APPLE SSD SM0256F).

    As it's supposed to be a PCI-E SSD not using the normal HD bay, i wonder if i can just plug a new hard drive in it and use the SSD as the system drive and my new HD as a storage one?

    So I've few questions:

    1. I know that it's a bit complex to open this imac... My concern is about the glue / sticker... Does anyone have already done it ? Does the screen is well nack in place after this ?
    2. Is the new hard drive needs to be from a specific brad ? I know that some Apple dont accept "random" hard drives?
    3. Does anyone here have already done this on this kind of computer ?
    4. What about the thermal sensor ? I've read that some users have done it and there was some heat issues...
    5. Lastly, would you recommend this instead of having an external HD (that is much slower).
    Thank you

    TBH
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    An external drive doesn't have to be much slower. USB 3 and Thunderbolt 2 is plenty fast to drive an HDD at max speed. There'll be a little bit over overhead, but barely noticeable. I'm currently running an external SSD with about 400MB/s.
    It's totally possible to do what you want, and get an internal HDD rocking in your iMac, any drive should be good, and you shouldn't really have thermal issues with HDDs I'd say, but I wouldn't say it's worth the labour.
     
  3. TheBigHunt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    Hi and thanks for your comment. I'll study the external path....
    I wonder if it's really hard to open it? I looked at iFixit.. but it's a bit scary to remove the screen. And at the moment, the screen is sticking perfectly to the alu body.. and i'm afraid that if i try the trans, it wont be as good as before...
    Thank you
    --- Post Merged, May 1, 2017 ---
    by the way, when you say 400mb/s, are you in USB 3 ?
     
  4. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 6502a

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #4
    Yes it is scary and difficult and when I had a 2011 model I used a Silicon Power 240GB Thunderbolt drive as the external drive, cloned everything to it, and selected as the boot drive in Startup Disk and the iMac booted into it each and every time.

    Read and Write speeds were as good or better than OWC SATA III SSDs.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    OP wrote:
    "I'll study the external path...."

    There is no "studying" needed here.

    The fastest, cheapest, safest way to add storage is to plug in a USB3 external drive.

    It can be a USB3 external SSD if you need speed.
    Or... a platter-based HDD if you need lots of room.

    The WORST thing you could try would be trying to kludge another drive into the iMac.
    Just plug in a USB3 drive and be done with it!
     
  6. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #6

    It's scary to remove the screen, yes, and you need rather good precision to get it back on perfectly. Can it be done? Yes - Would I recommend it? Definitely not. At least not whilst your iMac is still relatively new. Maybe in 5 years when the risk is lower.

    Yes. My ≈400MB/s is over USB3.0 with a SanDisk Portable Extreme 510. It supports both USB 3.0 and 3.1 gen 2 (USB C and A are both included in the box). And remember HDDs won't go anywhere near those speeds, so you can easily run an HDD at max speed over USB
     
  7. TheBigHunt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Location:
    Denmark
    #7
    bought a LaCie Porsche design 4TB on the applestore for around 150euros.
    It run at around 120mb/s
     
  8. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #8
    Pretty standard speed for an HDD
     
  9. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #9
    What year or exact model iMac do you have?

    I'm sure someone has but not many people goto the trouble of installing an HDD into a Mac. In your quest to find information it will likely be diluted with information of replacing an HDD with an SSD.

    And in reality not many people do it because going external with an HDD is typically easier and just as good if not even better. Using external HDD opens up some options for better speed like using an enclosure and setting up RAID 0 (or RAID 1 for data redundancy).

    Personally for external mass storage I use a NAS configured in such a way that its comparable to internal/external HDD solutions but is easily available to all my systems.

    To try to answer some of your questions.... The screen isn't terribly difficult to remove and replace. I recommend the little pizza cutter looking tool ifixit offers and replacement tape from them as well. Any HDD should work however you'll need a cable to connect it to the logic board which is also available from ifixit I believe. Not sure about the sensor. And no I would not recommend it over and external HDD. If you are going to do it get a 1 or 2tb SATA3 SSD so at least its worth the effort.
     

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