Is it possible to open up the new iMac 27 inch and put both an SSD and a hard drive?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by macpokerstars, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. macpokerstars macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010

    The title says it all.

    The options available in the Apple Store are outrageous: no SSD whatsoever.
    So I would like to open it up myself and add both SSD and HD.

    Thanks in advance
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Seems possible, also possible to royally screw it up (as has happened recently to a user here)

    I've put an SSD in a 2009 iMac 27" and that took some skill and I've been building PCs for decades. I wouldn't even attempt the new ones as they're glued.
  3. djrobsd macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    Yes, there is a thread here with photos and the whole lot, BUT... If you want a SSD and an HDD you will need an SSD expansion card, NOT a normal SSD drive, such as the Aura Pro from OWC:

    It's a very risky upgrade, you have to pry your machine open with a guitar pick (see ifixit tear down) and then remove the logic board to get to the slot where the SSD expansion card will go. This is the same type of card they use in the Macbook Air, Retina Macbook Pro, and also they use this for the fusion drive.

    I wish I had book marked the original thread, someone else have it handy?
  4. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    I don't believe that's true, at least in the case of the 27". The drive appears to be directly exposed after the screen is removed. I believe that R.OG reported that he only had to remove a speaker to get at the hard drive bracket.
  5. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    I am having amazing results using the Fusion drive....everything is just as snappy as my Macbook Air...even a 460GB Aperture library which would obviously be stored on the hard drive portion.....That is a better option than trying to crack open the imac
  6. djrobsd macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    Yes, it is a better option, but most people don't want to wait for BTO, so they bought one off the shelf from Best Buy or another retailer.

    Going directly SSD is still maybe 30-40% faster then fusion, but you loose the capacity.


    That is true for replacing the normal drive, but if you want to add a 2nd drive, the only option is to remove the logic board which gives you access to the slot to put the SSD card into.
  7. Tri-stan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    Not necessarily 30-40% there are some benefits to the fusion drive in being able to read from two drives simultaneously and still offer full ssd speed when purely accessing that drive. Where fusion falls down is when the files are too big to be stored on the main drive and large file writes of any kind.

    The blade ssd no matter if fusion or not is quite a bit slower especially in write times when compared to a full size 2.5 inch drive. If you were ever going to plan on doing an upgrade yourself for an ssd in terms if shear performance it would be best to go for a reasonably priced 500GB 2.5 inch drive which could achieve 550mb read and 500mb write.

    Originally I was going to buy a standard hdd 27 iMac and upgrade to a 256 blade ssd but tracking down the correct tape and the benefits over the fusion setup it just not worth it at the moment.

    In two to three years time when the hhd starts to get old 2.5 inch 750-1tb ssd's will be fairly priced and the tape will be readily available so it would be a good time to upgrade, other than that it is not worth risking the warranty for fairly minor gains.
  8. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    Actually, I have the opposite opinion. If anything the new Mac is EASIER to get into, because instead of having to remove a bunch of screws that are sitting near screen magnets as well as disconnect several cables, all you have to do is cut some adhesive off and remove two ribbon cables.

    The thing scaring people seems to be the adhesive. I've ordered the factory kit that includes everything needed to remove the adhesive on the screen and new strips for re-installation. It actually looks pretty easy assuming you have the right stuff.

    If it was as dangerous as you guys are saying then OWC would not be selling a DIY kit for RAM replacement on the 21.5" iMac.
  9. macpokerstars thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    Hi guys,

    Thanks all for your responses.
    So from what you are saying, wouldn't I be able to put a SECOND hard drive inside this iMac 27 (late 2012)?

    What I'm looking to do is find a 2.5 inch drive inside, so I can hook an SSD + 2.5 adapter, like the ones OWC sell.

    Thanks for your help
  10. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    You cannot put a second hard drive in. You can either replace the 3.5" drive with a 2.5" drive that is in a bracket/enclosure or you can ADD a blade SSD to the 2.5 or 3.5 drive that is in the system.

    What I am planning on doing with my 27" when it shows up is replacing the 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive with a 512GB 840 Pro SSD.

    You should scan the "rip those macs open" thread as it has a lot of info on this topic.
  11. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
  12. Tri-stan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    The 512GB 840 Pro SSD is what I would do but 500 gigs in a few years time is just not going to be enough. I would not recommend bothering with the msata blade ssd as it just does not have the performance for the effort of opening the case up, better off to get fusion.
  13. phillipteeth macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2011
    adhesive strips for new iMac 27"

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