iMac 27inch late 2013 SSD HD Upgrade

Discussion in 'iMac' started by firefink, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. firefink macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    #1
    I have been looking around on the web and haven`t found a very clear answer to what I am looking for. If someone can give me a layman explanation I would be very grateful. Here is my situation:

    I have a 27 inch iMac late 2013. Here are the specs.

    1TB ATA SATA HDD
    i7 3.5 GH
    32GB RAM
    GTX 780M 4096 Graphics Card

    My drive is the lowest while everything else is maxed out. Just feels wrong...

    What are my options for a HDD upgrade?

    #1. Can I swap out the HDD and put in a 1TB SSD Using a SSD mount? Can I use the cable that is attached to the SATA HDD? I read somewhere that the drive is proprietary to Apple and other drives wont work.

    #2. Can I leave the SATA drive in and add a SSD blade to make it 2TB fusion? I also read that if your setup is originally not a fusion drive you can not switch it to fusion.

    #3. If I can make it a dual drive can I use one SDD where the SATA drive is and add another Blade SSD to make it 2TB of SSD?

    I am just looking to understand what my options are from minimum to maximum.

    Any advice on SSD HD is also welcome. Right now I am looking at the Samsung pro 850 1TB SSD.

    Thank you in advance

    Cheers from Tokyo:apple:
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #2
    1. If you've feeling ballsy, you could. Just make sure you buy a 3.5" adapter for a 2.5" SSD.

    2 and 3. No, you cannot get an SSD blade anywhere, except from eBay. From eBay, such PCIe blades are taken from another Mac.

    And yes, you can make a Fusion or a dual-SSD setup.
     
  3. firefink, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    firefink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Maybe I should have clarified something first. It is out of warranty. I am not worried about voiding the warranty.

    I will find a apple certified repair shop in Tokyo and have them do the leg work. I am not interested in pulling it apart myself.

    ok so:

    #1. I can swap out the HDD with and put in the 1tb SSD using a 2.5 to 3.5 mount like one from OWC?

    #2. If I can find a PCIe blade from Ebay what is the max I can get and will it play nicely with the 1TB SSD in the SATA slot?

    I want to put in as much SSD as I can. I will be the test subject. So in theory what can I do and what is the MAX SSD I can achieve?

    Thank again:D

    EDIT: I found this on `everymac`:

    ``Specifically, as first discovered via teardowns from iFixit and others, if the 21.5-Inch "Late 2012" iMac models were configured with an SSD or a "Fusion Drive" at the time of purchase, the SSD module is connected via a dedicated PCIe connector. Unfortunately, if the system only was configured with a hard drive, the needed connector is not present on the motherboard and there is not a way to add a PCIe-based "blade" SSD afterwards.

    By contrast, the 27-Inch "Late 2012" and all "Late 2013" iMac models do have this connector on the motherboard even if the system only is configured with a hard drive at the time of purchase, so it is possible to add a PCIe-based "blade" SSD to these models after the initial system purchase.``

    Basically I want to mount a 1TB Samsung SSD in the SATA Bay and a proprietary PCIe SSD 1TB Blade from a late 2013 Imac 27 inch that I will find on ebay.

    Is this possible?
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #4
    First of all, the late-2012 and late-2013 systems use totally different blade SSDs.

    The late-2012 use a mSATA blade SSD, which is far slower and totally different from the PCIe blade SSD used in the late-2013. So they have different SSD connectors that won't fit into each other.

    EveryMac's information is wrong with regards to the type of blade SSDs used in the late-2012 iMac.

    Back to your original question, #1 and #2 will work just fine.

    Overall, it's possible. You just need patience, time, balls and lots of money.
     
  5. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    Folsom, CA
    #5
    Why not simply buy OWC's (www.macsales.com) upgrade kit and give it to your AASP to do the installation. Get the SSD of your choice and use it in addition to your internal HD, then you can use the existing HD for plain storage and the SSD for your OS X install, apps, critical files etc. That's how I did my 2011 and it works perfectly.
     
  6. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #6
    I have the exact same machine except for a 1TB Fusion drive but I am booting from a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD in a Delock 42490 Thunderbolt enclosure. I get about 350MB/s write, 390MB/s read and have been quite pleased with it for the past 8 months. TRIM can be enabled by Trim Enabler and/or Chameleon SSD Optimizer.

    I still have 2 years of AppleCare coverage remaining on this machine so there is no way I was going to attempt any warranty-killing surgery. Plus, the PCIe SSDs you can get on eBay are expensive. I'm sure that by the time my AppleCare runs out there will be third party PCIe blade SSD alternatives and I'll replace it then.

    ----------

    So far as I know, OWC (nor anyone else) has PCIe SSDs compatible with the Haswell iMacs yet.
     
  7. tillsbury macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Or, much cheaper, get an external SSD Raid solution such as the LaCie, which just plugs in and will give you at least as good performance as an internal SSD. And, more importantly, you will be able to easily move it to your next computer.
     
  8. firefink, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    firefink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I have found a 2013 blade on ebay. I wasnt sure if my cinfiguration had an SSD blade slot as it was never a fusion model.
    I know it will take time, money, patience etc. that is not really my question.
    Its not really a matter of having balls as i am paying a pro to do it. I just need to know what to buy beforehand.

    #1. My model has a blade slot even though it was only a base 1TB HDD SATA model? Yes? No?
    #2. If i mount a samsung pro 850 SSD and a PCIe blade will it be fusion or 2 separate drives?
    #3. Do I need a special cable or something (thermal sensor) other than just an adapter mount for the Samsumg pro 850?
    Thanks again
     
  9. firefink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2011
    #9
    I feel like I am speaking a different language here. I do appreciate the feedback though. :)

    I am not asking what I should do but what I CAN do.

    @rkaufmann87
    It `simply` doesnt work that way. I am just learning all of this now. Late 2103 iMacs are different than your 2011. I cant just `pop` it open and replace hardware from OWC like a 2011 iMac. There are proprietary issues with hardware and I dont even know if my iMac has a blade slot or not. There are conflicting statements.

    @SaSaSushi
    Applecare or warranty is not an issue here neither is booting from an external drive. Read or write speeds are not an issue either and neither is money. I simply want to know what I can max out my drives with SSD and how they will work after.

    @tillsbury
    I have 4 external drives. 2 are Lacie thuderbolt. I have all my data on them. I am trying to see what the maximum is I can configure my iMac to with SSD. I live in Tokyo and customised SSD computers are highly valued. I am mostly looking at this for resale value and the experience of doing it. After the MAC Mini was updated and it became clear that you cant upgrade after purchase, 2012 2.6GH i7 Mac Minis doubled in Value. No warranty or applecare. The same is happening with iMacs.

    I hope that clears things up

    Cheers
     
  10. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #10
    #1. No idea.

    #2. You can set it up to appear as two separate drives, or a single RAID 0 array.

    #3. Nope. Just the 3.5" adaptor mount.
     
  11. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
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    #11
    Well, I was just relating my own experience in case it might be of any interest. Yes, you can install a PCIe blade SSD although most of those I've seen on eBay are pulled from MBPs. Whether that makes any difference in terms of compatibility with the iMac, I don't know.

    I'm not sure why you want to do this at all if performance is no issue but the 840 Pro mounted internally in place of the HDD likely won't significantly outperform the same drive attached externally via USB3 or Thunderbolt. I'm sure you're already aware of this though. :p

    ** Update: according to some comments in the article for the iFixit teardown of the Late 2013 iMac, the HDD only models may, in fact, not have the SSD slots in which case you'd also need to replace the logic board. **
     
  12. firefink thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    #12
    @SaSaSushi

    From everymac

    `Specifically, as first discovered via teardowns from iFixit and others, if the 21.5-Inch "Late 2012" iMac models were configured with an SSD or a "Fusion Drive" at the time of purchase, the SSD module is connected via a dedicated PCIe connector. Unfortunately, if the system only was configured with a hard drive, the needed connector is not present on the motherboard and there is not a way to add a PCIe-based "blade" SSD afterwards.
    By contrast, the 27-Inch "Late 2012" and all "Late 2013" iMac models do have this connector on the motherboard even if the system only is configured with a hard drive at the time of purchase, so it is possible to add a PCIe-based "blade" SSD to these models after the initial system purchase.`

    I am trying to find out what is true as some comments contradict this.

    From my previous post: ``I am trying to see what the maximum is I can configure my iMac to with SSD. I live in Tokyo and customised SSD computers are highly valued. I am mostly looking at this for resale value and the experience of doing it. After the MAC Mini was updated and it became clear that you cant upgrade after purchase, 2012 2.6GH i7 Mac Minis doubled in Value. No warranty or applecare. The same is happening with iMacs.``

    I have also heard the internally mounted SSDs perform faster as there is no bottleneck limiting their speeds like some external drive adapters. That isnt really the issue though. I want to see what I can get INSIDE this machine. Experience doing it being a major factor
     
  13. firefink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2011
    #13
    @yjchua95

    Thanks again.

    I read something about a thermal sensor. Fan control is different on the SATA drives and the SSD?

    I read up about RAID 0 so is that basically like a fusion unit?

    Sorry I am not at that level of computer knowledge yet.
     
  14. torana355 macrumors 68020

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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #14
    Just replace the 3.5" HDD with a 2.5" sata SSD. You can use a 3.5" to 2.5" adaptor bracket or just use double sided foam tape. Just use a Hairdryer and a Guitar pick to get the LCD panel off, then use double sided tape to stick the panel back on.
     
  15. firefink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    lol! What kind of advice is that?

    I know there are cheaper ways of doing it but I am not trying to jimmy rig this thing. I will stick with having a pro do it. Plus, I dont have any of the tools to do it.
     
  16. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #16
    I'm not sure about the fan control part, but it was a problem with mid-2011 iMacs that were retrofitted with SSDs by users post-purchase. I'm not sure whether these problems still occur in late-2012/late-2013 machines.

    Yes, RAID 0 is like a Fusion unit. Fusion itself is something like RAID 0, where two drives are seen as a single unit. Note that RAID 0 will not intelligently move data between drives, but Fusion does. Not that it matters anyway, because when both are SSDs, it doesn't matter which data reside in which drive.
     
  17. firefink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    In theory if I just put in the PCIe SSD and left the SATA HD in I would have a fusion drive? Would I need to run some terminal commands? Where would my OS be running from?
     
  18. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #18
    Yes, you would have a Fusion Drive, but you'd need to run some commands in order to get it to work like a Fusion Drive.

    Your OS and most commonly used apps and files will be in the SSD portion. OS X will detect which files or apps you don't often use and move them to the HDD portion.
     
  19. firefink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    OK so what do you think. I am going to open it up anyway and put in a PCIe 1TB, so I mind as well put in a Samsung 1 TB SSD to replace the spinning drive?

    I know 2TB SSD wont act as a fusion drive, but I mean no sense just opening it to install the minimum.
     
  20. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #20
    I wish I had the financial resources and guts like you to retrofit your Mac like that.

    Go ahead and post back with results. I'd like to know how it goes :)
     
  21. firefink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2011
    #21
    Haha! I figured that would be the answer. The money will come back to me though so its just a short term deposit.
    It is not something I am going to rush into so it might be a while before I can post actual results. Feel free to post again if anyone has more info about:
    1. Thermal sensor issues with a 2.5 SSD swap
    2. If the base model ATA 1TB HDD configuration has a PCIe slot or not
    3. Replacement tips etc. like thing to do and things to avoid

    Thanks again;)
     
  22. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #22
    https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2639+Teardown/17828

    Apparently there is a PCIe slot available. Look at Step 4.
     
  23. firefink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2011
    #23
    Yeah I saw that exact article. What confused me is if you go down to the comments there is one person `thor` claiming the information is wrong and to correct the article.
    I just wish if thor was wrong a moderator would remove the comment in order to end any confusion
     
  24. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Installing two 1TB SSDs makes no sense. The cost/benefit is completely skewed.

    But really, if you are thinking about spending that much money, sell it and buy a Retina iMac. Retrofitting only makes sense if you are controlling the spend.
     
  25. firefink, Oct 27, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014

    firefink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #25
    I disagree.

    #1. 2 TB is more than 1TB. If I am going to open it up why not max out the HD capacity?

    #2. I will get my money back when I sell it.

    #3. Half the reason I am doing this is for experience.

    Explain to me why its not worth it. Going through the trouble of opening it just to put in the bare minimum doesnt make sense to me.
    I am not all the impressed with the retina. Digital media is not ready for it yet. Unless you like looking at things all fuzzy. It is the same with 4K. 4K media on a 4K screen looks amazing but there just isnt enough to make it worthwhile yet. 4K monitors dont even run properly yet with computers
     

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