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iMac and internal SSD

levmc

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 18, 2019
504
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When I bought my 2017 27 inch iMac in late 2018, I got the 1TB fusion drive. Out of the 3 prices available I chose the middle one.

But looking at this video,
I'm seeing that he got his with 512 GB SSD. I don't recall having that option, was that option available? If so, I regret not getting the SSD.

Also this video shows that he added an additional 2TB SSD to the 512 GB SSD.
In other videos they don't add more SSD to the existing HDD, they have to remove the HDD and replace it with SSD. Is there no way to keep the HDD in the iMac and use it along with the additional SSD?
 
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chscag

Contributor
Feb 17, 2008
3,938
1,413
Fort Worth, Texas
I'm seeing that he got his with 512 GB SSD. I don't recall having that option, was that option available? If so, I regret not getting the SSD.

When I purchased my 2017 27" iMac the 512GB SSD was an option. Also other SSD options were offered.

The iMacs with the 1TB Fusion drive have a small 32GB SSD that's mounted on the other side of the logic board. Most folks just remove the HHD and leave the small SSD in place as it's difficult to remove. You will also need a 3.5" to 2.5" bracket adapter to mount the SSD in place of the HHD.

As far as I know, most folks completely remove the HHD and replace it with a SSD. I'm not sure there is room for both.

Go to www.ifixit.com or www.macsales.com. They both sell the kits and tools to replace the hard drive with a SSD.
 
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levmc

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 18, 2019
504
17
Interesting, why is there no room for original HHD but there is for original SSD? If I got the SSD I get free 512 gb but since I got the fusion I have to get the 1 TB out the iMac, and it's a waste.
 
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TwoH

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2019
266
114
Interesting, why is there no room for original HHD but there is for original SSD? If I got the SSD I get free 512 gb but since I got the fusion I have to get the 1 TB out the iMac, and it's a waste.
There is only one SATA connector on the logicboard of the slim iMacs.
 
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pldelisle

macrumors 68000
May 4, 2020
1,785
1,214
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I think the "better performance" in benchmarks are due to the improved thermal paste he used. Generally, aftermarket thermal paste are nowhere near OEM in terms of quality. Improved cooling, a bit less throttling... that could explain the slightly better benchmarks, more than the silicon lottery. A 7700K is a 7700K, whether Apple buys it or not.
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,327
6,186
Interesting, why is there no room for original HHD but there is for original SSD?

These are two different type of drive interfaces and located two different places on the iMac.

Getting to the SATA HDD is relatively easy, but getting the PCIe SSD requires removing the entire logic board.

If I got the SSD I get free 512 gb
I don't understand what you mean. You do not get a free 512GB of SSD, it is a paid BTO option.

but since I got the fusion I have to get the 1 TB out the iMac, and it's a waste.
I am still a little unsure what you mean, but if you mean it is a waste to remove a perfectly working 1TB HDD, you can still use it. Put it into an enclosure or use a SATA to USB adapter and use it externally.
 
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chscag

Contributor
Feb 17, 2008
3,938
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Fort Worth, Texas
Getting to the SATA HDD is relatively easy, but getting the PCIe SSD requires removing the entire logic board.

Exactly. Few folks realize that Apple mounted the small PCIe SSD which is part of the Fusion drive on the back side of the Logic Board. Which is what I was trying to tell the OP.
 
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Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2020
438
103
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
So, the Fusion drive on iMac is actually a small NVME (or SATA) M2 + a 1TB HDD attached to both sides of the logic board?
In that case, one can improve both: 2TB on the M2 (2230 or 2280?), and xxTB for the big HDD.
Great upgrade, but losing your AppleCare policy.
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
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So, the Fusion drive on iMac is actually a small NVME (or SATA) M2 + a 1TB HDD attached to both sides of the logic board?
In that case, one can improve both: 2TB on the M2 (2230 or 2280?), and xxTB for the big HDD.

Yeah, well mostly. The Fusion Drives that come with Macs are a fast SSD (24GB, 32GB, 128GB) with a HDD (1TB, 2TB, 3TB).

But, a user can make their own Fusion Drive out of any two separate drives, including external ones.

Also, not all, but most people replace the HDD part of the Fusion Drive with a SSD, and if they need large amounts of Storage, they use external HDDs.

Great upgrade, but losing your AppleCare policy.

Doing this doesn't guarantee that you lose your warranty. Depending on were you live and consumer protection laws, it might be illegal for Apple to not honor a warranty just because you changed internals.

For example, in the US consumers are protected by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act:

Apple and a few other tech companies got in a little trouble a while back with the use of "Warranty Void If Removed" stickers, with the FTC saying that the use of the stickers are illegal:

That said, if by doing an upgrade you damaged your Mac, it would be expected for Apple to not honor a warranty claim.

Also, if you happen to upgrade you Mac and you start having problems unrelated to your upgrade, while it would be illegal for Apple to void your warranty, if they decided not to honor it, it could become a hassle for consumers to fight the decision.
 
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Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2020
438
103
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Doing this doesn't guarantee that you lose your warranty. Depending on where you live and consumer protection laws, it might be illegal for Apple to not honor a warranty just because you changed internals.

It's hard for consumers in Vietnam, Apple distributors (and other PC parts dealers as well) here are very stiff with the "Warranty Void if Removed" stickers... and Damn, those stickers are ugly, but tend to appear on the easiest part to see on the devices....
 
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levmc

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 18, 2019
504
17
When I purchased my 2017 27" iMac the 512GB SSD was an option. Also other SSD options were offered.

Does that 512 GB SSD come in nvme or sata?
[automerge]1595999542[/automerge]
Also, not all, but most people replace the HDD part of the Fusion Drive with a SSD, and if they need large amounts of Storage, they use external HDDs.

Do you mean most people are handy enough to take the iMac apart?
[automerge]1595999912[/automerge]
These are two different type of drive interfaces and located two different places on the iMac.

Getting to the SATA HDD is relatively easy, but getting the PCIe SSD requires removing the entire logic board.


I don't understand what you mean. You do not get a free 512GB of SSD, it is a paid BTO option.


I am still a little unsure what you mean, but if you mean it is a waste to remove a perfectly working 1TB HDD, you can still use it. Put it into an enclosure or use a SATA to USB adapter and use it externally.

I meant that if you chose 512 GB you can still keep it in the case whereas you have to get the 1TB out and it might be a bit useless to convert it to an external drive if you already have a large sized external drive and don't really need the extra 1TB that you have to connect to use which occupies another USB port and space on your desk.
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
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I meant that if you chose 512 GB you can still keep it in the case whereas you have to get the 1TB out and it might be a bit useless to convert it to an external drive if you already have a large sized external drive and don't really need the extra 1TB that you have to connect to use which occupies another USB port and space on your desk.
I understand what you mean now. You mean it would be useless for you in your scenario, not in general.

Also, not all, but most people replace the HDD part of the Fusion Drive with a SSD, and if they need large amounts of Storage, they use external HDDs.
Do you mean most people are handy enough to take the iMac apart?

No, I mean that with today's SSD prices, most people that are willing to open their iMac are probably not going to be putting hot spinning disks back into it, they would swap the HDD with a SSD. Or, if they didn't get a Fusion Drive, and got a larger PCIe SSD like the 512GB, they might add a SATA SSD where the HDD would have gone.

Of course one could their iMac and put a HDD, but I personally wouldn't. Objectively, there is little benefit to having the HDD internal. The main reason to do it before was that SSD prices per GB were crazy high, and that is no longer the case.

If one needed a large HDD, they could just use it externally.
 
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Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2020
438
103
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
[QUOTE="levmc, post: 28719267, member: 1163123"

Do you mean most people are handy enough to take the iMac apart?

[/QUOTE]

In Saigon where I live, there is a repair shop offering free SSD installation service, if I purchase a new SSD from them (of any capacity). You don't really need to be handy to have your SSD HDD upgrade. You just need to find a good repair shop.
 
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