iMac SSD Question

iamchrisstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 18, 2018
25
3
At the bottom of this post if my iMac configuration. There is probably more information than you need, but I just copied and pasted from one of my previous posts.

I'm thinking of upgrading my SSD. I'm read the Samsung 970 gets over 3gb/s for the M.2 SSD. I began researching and it appears that the iMac doesn't use an M.2, but more of a custom made SSD in that slot. First question is, is that true? I also read that there is a spot for a second drive (for when you order an iMac with HDD instead of SSD) and that I could put any normal SATA 3 SSD in there as a second drive. My second question is, is this true?

Thanks everyone!

iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
macOS High Sierra
Version 10.13.3
4.2 GHz Intel Core i7
64 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
500 GB SSD
Radeon Pro 580 8 GB

External 3 USB3 slots with 27 card reader mounted under the iMac

Displays (total of 3)
27-inch (5120 x 2880) (the iMac)
Dual LG Ultra HD Display 27-inch (3840 x 2160)

Storage
Super Drive - I still haven't used it yet, but at least I have it.

500 GB Flash Storage (Macintosh HD) used for programs and stuff that stays on the iMac

WD 8TB External HDD - used for every day storage such as pics, documents and stuff most people keep on their machines..

1 TB External SSD (I forget exactly which one) - used for my work flow if all the footage is smaller than 1 TB

12 TB External HDD RAID 0 - used for my work flow if all material is over 1 TB; This runs pretty fast, but still nothing compared to SSD. Will upgrade to a large SSD RAID setup later this year.

Backup
I use BackBlaze. It backs up all of my iMac and 1 external (I have it backup my 8TB)

Time Machine - I have a 4 TB WD My Passport I used for Time Machine because I also have an iMac at the office and 3 Macbook Pros, so I partitioned it and use Time Machine at least once a week on all machines.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,587
2,836
Delaware
Yes, and Yes.
The SSD slot is for a PCI-e connector, the configuration is proprietary to Apple.
The other storage slot is made for a 3.5-inch hard drive, so you would want to check for 2.5 to 3.5-inch adapters.
Be sure to check on teardowns of the iMac before you tackle that kind of job. It's not particularly difficult, but has a few areas that can be easily damaged during the opening process.
 

danielwsmithee

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2005
1,119
402
Honestly at this stage I wouldn’t bother breaking into your iMac to add another SATA SSD. USB-C/TB-3 external drives are super easy to add, coming down in price and have better performance anyways as the new ones aren’t bottlnecked by SATA.
 

mreg376

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,140
330
Brooklyn, NY
Honestly at this stage I wouldn’t bother breaking into your iMac to add another SATA SSD. USB-C/TB-3 external drives are super easy to add, coming down in price and have better performance anyways as the new ones aren’t bottlnecked by SATA.

I second that. The OP is certainly not a stranger to external devices so I think the smarter move would be a fast USB-C/TB-3 external SSD.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,197
7,122
I would not pry open an iMac that already has a 500gb Apple-installed flash drive to add anything to it.

Just add an external USB3 SSD and be done with it.
Or perhaps a USB3.1 gen2 SSD via the USB-c port.
 

iamchrisstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 18, 2018
25
3
each of you, thank you for your input. i think i feel more comfortable now with NOT opening the imac as each of you have suggested that. Here is my other delima. My 2 external monitors use up 2 of my tb3 slots so that hinders me from having having the tb3 external. UNLESS one of you can help me figure a different way to connect my monitors or something.

Also, on my mbp i'm thinking of replacing the ssd with the samsung 970 evo as it gets like 3.5gb/s read and i think 2.4gb/s write. any thoughts of an external that can give me that kind of speed without building a raid? i've never researched it, but i'm wondering about an m.2 if there is an external enclosure for one. idk... thoughts???
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,197
7,122
Why not use a USB3 SSD?
Not fast enough?
You can expect to see reads in the 430mbps range and writes from around 300-350mbps (depends on drive and size).
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,893
Yes, you can replace the hard drive with a 2.5" SSD

Read here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/imac-27-inch-late-2013-hdd-ssd-upgrade.2122595/

The process is easy and should only take an hour.
[doublepost=1529420876][/doublepost]
I would not pry open an iMac that already has a 500gb Apple-installed flash drive to add anything to it.

Just add an external USB3 SSD and be done with it.
Or perhaps a USB3.1 gen2 SSD via the USB-c port.

I have said this before and I will say it again:

The display is just held in place with double-sided tape.

There is NO prying.

You do NOT need to pry anything.
 
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Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
IMHO it would be very foolish and really rather unnecessary to rip open a brand-new 2017 iMac. Why not simply use an external SSD and wait until the machine is out of warranty before tinkering with the insides? There is also another thread here which is pretty much discussing the same topic, with the focus more on the warranty aspect, and there are some good points being made:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2017-imac-hdd-upgrade.2122898/

The new iMacs have plenty of ports so it would be simple enough to plug in a 2 TB Samsung T5, which comes with cables for both USB-A and USB-C.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
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IMHO it would be very foolish and really rather unnecessary to rip open a brand-new 2017 iMac. Why not simply use an external SSD and wait until the machine is out of warranty before tinkering with the insides? There is also another thread here which is pretty much discussing the same topic, with the focus more on the warranty aspect, and there are some good points being made:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2017-imac-hdd-upgrade.2122898/

The new iMacs have plenty of ports so it would be simple enough to plug in a 2 TB Samsung T5, which comes with cables for both USB-A and USB-C.

You are not "rip opening" anything.

The display is held on with double-sided tape.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Somehow I have the feeling that it would be more difficult to get the screen back in place properly than it would be to remove it..... and again one, especially if inexperienced, runs the risk of inadvertently damaging something inside the machine, rendering it unusable. Fine to experiment with an older machine but to do it to a new one, not so cool in my book!
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,893
Somehow I have the feeling that it would be more difficult to get the screen back in place properly than it would be to remove it..... and again one, especially if inexperienced, runs the risk of inadvertently damaging something inside the machine, rendering it unusable. Fine to experiment with an older machine but to do it to a new one, not so cool in my book!

It's difficult if you are doing it alone.

It's a walk in the park if you have a second person hold the display while you are disconnecting/reconnecting the cables.
 

mreg376

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,140
330
Brooklyn, NY
It's difficult if you are doing it alone.

It's a walk in the park if you have a second person hold the display while you are disconnecting/reconnecting the cables.

And if after that his motherboard fails and Apple refuses to fix it under warranty because he's broken the machine open, he'll be walking in the park with a dead computer.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
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And if after that his motherboard fails and Apple refuses to fix it under warranty because he's broken the machine open, he'll be walking in the park with a dead computer.

Opening one's iMac does not void the warranty.

From the FTC:

The letters warn that FTC staff has concerns about the companies’ statements that consumers must use specified parts or service providers to keep their warranties intact. Unless warrantors provide the parts or services for free or receive a waiver from the FTC, such statements generally are prohibited by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a law that governs consumer product warranties. Similarly, such statements may be deceptive under the FTC Act.

Each company used different language, but here are examples of questionable provisions:

  • The use of [company name] parts is required to keep your . . . manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.
  • This warranty shall not apply if this product . . . is used with products not sold or licensed by [company name].
  • This warranty does not apply if this product . . . has had the warranty seal on the [product] altered, defaced, or removed.
“Provisions that tie warranty coverage to the use of particular products or services harm both consumers who pay more for them as well as the small businesses who offer competing products and services,” said Thomas B. Pahl, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

From MacSales/OWC:

Unfortunately though, there exists a misconception among some users and even technicians that opening the machine voids the warranty.

We address this topic directly with customers via our support portals and are happy to inform you here of the same fact: upgrading your Mac does not void its warranty.

This consumer protection is owed to the little known Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975. Put simply, the act states that a company can’t require you to upgrade with only its own branded parts to retain the warranty. This important act protects your rights as a consumer and allows you to install upgrades with peace of mind confidence.

However, the warranty doesn’t cover any damage incurred while installing upgrades.
 

mreg376

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,140
330
Brooklyn, NY
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act = the law

The bible (an example that YOU personally gave) =/= the law

When you keep saying that Apple "can't" refuse to honor its warranty because an iMac has been opened, that is false. They can refuse, they do refuse, and have you pointed to no federal agency, court or any other enforcement mechanism that has told Apple otherwise. But yet, you keep telling people that Apple "can't." Your statements are disingenuous.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,893
When you keep saying that Apple "can't" refuse to honor its warranty because an iMac has been opened, that is false. They can refuse, they do refuse, and have you pointed to no federal agency, court or any other enforcement mechanism that has told Apple otherwise. But yet, you keep telling people that Apple "can't." Your statements are disingenuous.

You keep saying again and again that Apple void the warranty when you open your iMac, yet you provide no legal document that support your basis.
 

mreg376

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,140
330
Brooklyn, NY
You keep saying again and again that Apple void the warranty when you open your iMac, yet you provide no legal document that support your basis.

Legal documents. You think this is about legal documents? You think the people looking for advice on this forum are legal documents? Fortunately, while you, the self-annointed legal expert, conveniently ignore the virtually unanimous reports of members of this forum, and others all over the Internet and Youtube about their negative experiences with Apple trying to get warranty work done after Apple figures out that their computer had been opened, no one else does.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,893
Legal documents. You think this is about legal documents? You think the people looking for advice on this forum are legal documents? Fortunately, while you, the self-annointed legal expert, conveniently ignore the virtually unanimous reports of members of this forum, and others all over the Internet and Youtube about their negative experiences with Apple trying to get warranty work done after Apple figures out that their computer had been opened, no one else does.

You keep saying that opening the iMac void the warranty, yet I don't see any legal document that said this.

In contrast, the I can easily say that the opposite is true as pointed out by the FTC.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,587
2,836
Delaware
I should point out that it's often not the "opening up" that is really the issue. Though the law may provide for replacing parts with non-Apple parts, the issue that often happens is incidental/accidental damage to the unit when trying a DYI repair, or what, for some, might appear to be a simple upgrade. Tough times for the occasional DYI-er who rips a ribbon connector from a logic board. The system is still in the warranty period. The DYI-er carts the system off to Apple.
The issue quickly becomes: Who is responsible for the repair then? (hint: not Apple)
The question then: What happens to the warranty in that case of repairing damage caused by "fat-thumbs" disassembly?
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,893
I should point out that it's often not the "opening up" that is really the issue. Though the law may provide for replacing parts with non-Apple parts, the issue that often happens is incidental/accidental damage to the unit when trying a DYI repair, or what, for some, might appear to be a simple upgrade. Tough times for the occasional DYI-er who rips a ribbon connector from a logic board. The system is still in the warranty period. The DYI-er carts the system off to Apple.
The issue quickly becomes: Who is responsible for the repair then? (hint: not Apple)
The question then: What happens to the warranty in that case of repairing damage caused by "fat-thumbs" disassembly?

Well, it's simply.

If you break it, you pay for it.
 
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