iMac late 2013 27in PCIe ssd and form factor questions

wuubb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 2, 2014
19
0
G'day all,

*I did already post this over at Tom's hardware, but everything I ever post there seems to just get buried with no responses, so I figured this, being a more Apple-centric forum, maybe you guys could help.*

I am looking into buying the base level iMac (late 2013 27in) and then upgrading it myself. I have looked into the whole "DIY AIO" thing with the Gigabyte motherboards and the Loop chassis, but they dont offer the power that the iMac does sadly. I am planning on upgrading the CPU, RAM, and storage. Here is where I fall into some confusion:

I recently have been reading a ton of the replacement guides on the late 2013 27in iMac over at ifixit. Their teardown of the iMac https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2639+Teardown/17828 shows the pcie connector free on the board if you only order a HDD option (what I am planning to do). In the summery bullets, they quote: "Budget-minded folks now can add a second hard drive to the base iMac because the Fusion Drive connector is no longer missing from the logic board." However, this isn't very clear on what kind of hard drive. I realize Apple and everyone says "PCIe SSD", but what exactly does that entail? Can anyone who knows for certain (maybe worked on one of these) what kind of connector it is? Cause further down in the comments, someone mentions that it is a proprietary connector, in which case an Appple SSD from a macbook air/pro on eBay will be the only thing that will work. Or is it an mSATA? M.2? x1? Which of those are considered "PCIe" when people talk about a "PCIe SSD"?

I am thoroughly confused by all of this contradicting terminology, and would like to know for certain what works and what doesn't, because if the SSD connector on the board can't be upgraded, I would like to know that before I buy the iMac. If anyone could help clear some of the confusion im having up, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, and any information/insight is appreciated!
Wuubb

Oh, and also, I want to replace the SATA hard drive with a 2.5in SSD (probably samsung 840 EVO) and use the original hard drive for backup. However, if given the conditions above on the SSD and I need to order the iMac with an SSD, its not going to have the SATA most likely. After looking at the ifixit SATA cable guide https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2639+SATA+Cable+Replacement/20252 I'm also having trouble identifying what kind of SATA is used. It appears to split the power and data on the board, but both the board connectors appear to be like 7-pin SATA connectors? Could anyone shed some light on this? I'll link the pictures so you can see the connectors for everything.

SSD: https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/hkrpL66uvGlp3rFX
SATA cables: https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/tuGd3uRBXo5b2qRC
https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/Nkthq3ehRnmhwFZ6

PS-sorry for that massive wall of text
 
Last edited:

flopticalcube

macrumors G4
Per ifixit:

Dan@ifixit said:
Technically the SSD connector is an M.2 Interface.

As to what your system is using it's the PCIe version of M.2 (per Apples documentation), as such only PCIe SSD devices will work (you can't plug in just anything). In fact, Apple is still currently the only supplier for the correct SSD units to fit and work in this system.
PS: your links are broken.
 

wuubb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 2, 2014
19
0
Per ifixit:



PS: your links are broken.
Thanks, I fixed them.

As for the quote from Dan@ifixit, It still doesnt explain to me what is considered "PCIe" and what "M.2" actually is. For example, when I think of "PCIe", I think of x1, x8, x16, etc. that you find on motherboards. Is this that type of "PCIe" interface? Or is it something else? They say it's "M.2 version of PCIe", so does that mean that "M.2" is considered to be a "PCIe" interface (just like the x1, x16, etc.).

Also, if the SSD used is the "M.2 form of PCIe", does that mean that if I go to newegg and buy a samsung xp941, which is filed under the "M.2" category, will that work?

Sorry if I seem really confused, I am.
Wuubb
 

wuubb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 2, 2014
19
0
Its a custom Apple implementation. Only Apple supplied SSDs will work... for now. OWC may have their versions out by now, not sure. They had prototypes in January.

M.2 is a lot of things: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.2
The PCIe you see on a mobo is the standard form factor of PCIe. M.2 is a variant of the PCI Mini Card form factor.
Ok, that makes more sense now. So apple is basically changing the pin configuration on the board so that it doesnt line up with "regular" M.2 ssd's.

Sneaky bastards...

So my options currently are:
1-order and SSD on the iMac thru apple
2-buy one pulled from another mac off eBay
3-see if OWC has any that will work

Thanks for the help, now I know what I will and wont be able to do myself
Wuubb

----------

3-see if OWC has any that will work

Thanks for the help, now I know what I will and wont be able to do myself
Wuubb
so would something like this work? I know it says macbook pro, but its for the 2013 models, and I would assume that apple uses the same connector across all of their products.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Ok, that makes more sense now. So apple is basically changing the pin configuration on the board so that it doesnt line up with "regular" M.2 ssd's.

Sneaky bastards...

So my options currently are:
1-order and SSD on the iMac thru apple
2-buy one pulled from another mac off eBay
3-see if OWC has any that will work

Thanks for the help, now I know what I will and wont be able to do myself
Wuubb

----------



so would something like this work? I know it says macbook pro, but its for the 2013 models, and I would assume that apple uses the same connector across all of their products.
It won't work.

The OWC ones are for the early-2013 rMBPs, which use a proprietary mSATA interface.

Meanwhile, the late-2013 rMBPs and later, along with the late-2013 iMacs and later, plus mid-2013 MacBook Air and later, all share the same proprietary Apple PCIe interface.

No third-party PCIe SSD upgrades exist for Macs yet.
 

antman2x2

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
523
194
New YAWK
Ok, that makes more sense now. So apple is basically changing the pin configuration on the board so that it doesnt line up with "regular" M.2 ssd's.

Sneaky bastards...

So my options currently are:
1-order and SSD on the iMac thru apple
2-buy one pulled from another mac off eBay
3-see if OWC has any that will work

Thanks for the help, now I know what I will and wont be able to do myself
Wuubb

----------



so would something like this work? I know it says macbook pro, but its for the 2013 models, and I would assume that apple uses the same connector across all of their products.
Don't forget you could easily purchase a thunderbolt ssd! Just as good as internal.
 

wuubb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 2, 2014
19
0
Don't forget you could easily purchase a thunderbolt ssd! Just as good as internal.
Dont all of the external thunderbolt ssd's still utilize an internal SATA drive just connected to an external thunderbolt interface? Therefore your still limited to SATA speeds.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Dont all of the external thunderbolt ssd's still utilize an internal SATA drive just connected to an external thunderbolt interface? Therefore your still limited to SATA speeds.
You got that straight.

The only way to get PCIe speeds is to BTO the iMac with an SSD from Apple itself.

OWC and Transcend upgrade kits won't work. Those are mSATA blade SSDs for the Ivy Bridge Macs (late-2012 iMac, mid-2012+late-2012+early-2013 rMBPs).
 

wuubb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 2, 2014
19
0
You got that straight.

The only way to get PCIe speeds is to BTO the iMac with an SSD from Apple itself.

OWC and Transcend upgrade kits won't work. Those are mSATA blade SSDs for the Ivy Bridge Macs (late-2012 iMac, mid-2012+late-2012+early-2013 rMBPs).
Thanks for all the help guys,..it appears that I'm going to have to do this the hard way...
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Does anyone know the part numbers for the Apple Late 2013 27" iMac PCIe SSD's are?
256GB: SM0256F (rMBPs also use SD0256F, which is substantially slower)
512GB: SM0512F
1TB: SM1024F

The late-2013 iMacs, late-2013/mid-2014 rMBPs, mid-2013/early-2014 MBAs and late-2013 nMPs share the same type of proprietary, non-M.2 PCIe SSD.
 

cypriot

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2011
242
30
iMac late 2013 27in PCIe ssd and form factor questions

The possible damage cost of what you plan to do is way higher than just order what you need if you desperately need them. If you search for low cost high specs modifiable computer i'd suggest build a custom pc and get a great monitor so you can customize it or you can even hackintosh. If you can do it i respect however i would never take a new imac apart. Peace
 

KOTULCN

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2012
286
35
256GB: SM0256F (rMBPs also use SD0256F, which is substantially slower)
512GB: SM0512F
1TB: SM1024F

The late-2013 iMacs, late-2013/mid-2014 rMBPs, mid-2013/early-2014 MBAs and late-2013 nMPs share the same type of proprietary, non-M.2 PCIe SSD.
You know of anyone who sales these?
 

posh

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2014
16
2
256GB: SM0256F (rMBPs also use SD0256F, which is substantially slower)
512GB: SM0512F
1TB: SM1024F

The late-2013 iMacs, late-2013/mid-2014 rMBPs, mid-2013/early-2014 MBAs and late-2013 nMPs share the same type of proprietary, non-M.2 PCIe SSD.
hi,
I have an imac late 2013.
I found on ebay two ssd-pci
MZ-JPU512T/0A2
MZ-JPU512T/0A6
do you know the different?
thank you
 

posh

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2014
16
2
These are the trashcan Mac Pro PCIe SSDs.

They may fit into the iMac, MacBook Air or retina MacBook Pro. but I wouldn't bet on it.
thank you

trashcan?!?!?!

what is the model that work sure in imac?

thank you
 

ilyasdesign37

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2014
102
1
I'm thinking getting the high specs iMac custom

iMac 27 2013 NVIDIA 3.5GHz GeForce GTX 780 16GB
with 1TB Flash storage

just wanted to know is

1TB Flash storage an PCIe or full SSD?

what is the diffrence????:confused:
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
I'm thinking getting the high specs iMac custom

iMac 27 2013 NVIDIA 3.5GHz GeForce GTX 780 16GB
with 1TB Flash storage

just wanted to know is

1TB Flash storage an PCIe or full SSD?

what is the diffrence????:confused:
It's a custom SSD that runs off of PCIe in a Blade form. See 2013 MBAs, and late 2013 rMBP's for what they look like (also found in Mac Pros).
 

ilyasdesign37

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2014
102
1
It's a custom SSD that runs off of PCIe in a Blade form. See 2013 MBAs, and late 2013 rMBP's for what they look like (also found in Mac Pros).
someone told me......

PCIe is an SSD, PCIe refers to the connection standard. Older SSD's used SATA connections, but the PCIe connection is newer and faster.

so is it worth getting? and is their any errors i should be worried about?