Installing SSD on iMac iMac, 27 inch, late 2012 3.4ghz

Discussion in 'iMac' started by harryhood, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. harryhood macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    I'm looking to install a proper SSD on this iMac because the fusion drive is a real POS. It has failed three times in three years, and each time requires a crazy process of troubleshooting to get it back up and running..but i digress.

    I realize that instillation on these old iMacs is pretty nuts, but I'm not worried about that.

    What I am wondering and what I cannot find anywhere online, is if this iMac supports SATA III drives.

    I want to make sure its worth it - that I can get a really fast / nice SSD to swap it out with. Lastly, will it support any kind of SSD drive or only certain models? It's a bit difficult to find info on this models SSD swapping since it's so difficult to do, I'm guessing not many people do it.

    iMac, 27 inch, late 2012 3.4ghz FUSION drive
    Model A1419 (EMC 2546)
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    For SATA3 SSDs, you'll need a 3.5" adapter.

    If you don't want any adapters, just buy a Transced JetDrive mSATA SSD.

    Note that it's major surgery to change the drive and will void your warranty.
  3. cerberusss macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2013
    The Netherlands
  4. harryhood thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006

    I'm looking to install the Samsung 850 EVO. It is a SATA III drive. With an adapter, it will fit and install just fine?

    Cheers and thanks again in advance!
  5. yjchua95, Jul 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015

    yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    It would.

    I'm not sure whether you might need a temperature sensor or not though.

    If you want to take the easy way out, just take a Samsung 850 Evo (mSATA version) and a regular mSATA → Apple mSATA adapter (like this: and see the other pictures of the product to see how the Samsung SSD goes in) and stick it in. Or even easier still, buy a Transcend 960GB JetDrive mSATA SSD. That'll fit straight away.
  6. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2015
    Yup, installing an SSD for the iMac is incredibly difficult;

  7. harryhood thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    Wicked. Yeah, main reason I was look at the Samsung SSD's is because they are so much cheaper than the Transcend units.

    What is this I hear about installing a 3rd party SSD and it messing up the fan? This something to worry about?
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Yeah, it is. Not sure whether it affects the Ivy Bridge ones or not, but I know that this is a big problem for Sandy Bridge and earlier ones.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

    Why not try a "de-fuse" of the internal fusion drive first?

    This will give you an SSD that runs at "full speed", and a 1tb internal HDD as well.

    I'd at least try this before tearing into the iMac.
    You may be "satisfied enough" to stick with things that way for a while.
  10. harryhood, Jul 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015

    harryhood thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    Already did - three times. Got it all rebooted and reinstalled after a mind**** of troublshooting - then it crashes / fails days later. This has happened in the past before, but something is really f'd up now.

    My iMac is the Ivy Bridge fwiw. I'm gonna go ahead and order this stuff and give it a go. I'll post back for anybodies future reference.

    So my understanding is I can simply install these suckers out of the box, and then format on reboot / recovery mode - fresh install - boom, good to go?

    To confirm:

    Computer: iMac, Late 2012, 3.4ghz, ivy bridge, fusion drive.
    Goal: Replace SSD & HDD

    Samsung EVO 850 500GB - $194.97
    Western Digital Black 2TB HDD - $122.99
    OWC Tool Kit - $57
    msata > apple msata adapter - $9.69

    Video i'll be using to assist in installation:
  11. harryhood, Jul 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015

    harryhood thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    Alright, so I've got everything installed...SSD is not showing (internally installed with adapter in old SSDs spot, not HDD spot). The SSD is not being recognized in disk utility or terminal from OSX 10.8 recover install. I'm in the process of updating to yosemite and I'll try from there, but its not showing up at all anywhere.

    I installed a new western digital HDD in place of the old seagate and this works just fine.

    No idea why. I know it was installed correctly, it can only be inserted one way.

    Am I missing something? Firmware update? Needs to be yosemite? Driver? Any thoughts?



  12. caralosdbernard macrumors newbie


    Oct 29, 2014
    Panama City Panama
    Happen to me also. I trash the evo msata drive and we get a transcend for that machine, sorry i do not have the part number. works perfect. since these machine the screen is glue, we add the temp sensor from owc and upgrade the hd to a seagate 3tb to expand the 1tb and close it. the os is on the pci drive and the rest on the hd.
  13. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I went through numerous videos in strategizing my internal SSD game plan and then ran into this as a solution:

    $15 Inateck 2.5 Inch USB 3.0 Hard Drive Disk HDD External Enclosure Case - [Supports UASP SATA III]

    Having the boot drive be external is ugly but the results are worth it:

    Before: 1TB Internal iMac HDD

    After: 500GB External Samsung 850 SSD

    - No iMac Surgery, No tools
    - $150 500GB Samsung 850 + $15 External Case = $165
    - Internal drive works as additional storage
    - Doesn't void warranty

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