Late 2012 iMac HDD and SDD Upgrade

MacLabTech

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 7, 2014
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North Carolina
Late 2012 iMac HDD + SSD Upgrade

Recently my iMac's HDD failed with bad sectors six months after I purchased the machine. I was unfortunately one of those people who bought the late 2012 iMac a month before the late 2013 was released, with the 780MX for the same price as I paid for the 680MX. Thus since I had to tear down the machine anyway, I decided I wanted to add an SSD.

After reading though these forms I found only two option. The first is replace your whole HDD with an SDD (a 3.5 inch HDD in the 27" iMac), and the second being to purchase a rMBP blade SSD and plug it into the slot on the logic board (yes the 27" iMac has the slot even if you didn't order the machine with a fusion drive). Neither of these options appealed to me because I didn't know if the blade SSD would fit correctly and I wanted to keep my 1 TB HDD because I do no want to put my data on an external.

In one of the forms I found someone suggest a kit from Maxupgrades.com. I purchased a Samsung 840 Evo SSD on Amazon (because Samsung Magician software for Windows is the bomb!) and the kit from Max to install in my machine.

The people at Maxupgrades.com are great guys who reply to emails and phone calls quickly. They sent me instructions on how to mount the SSD bracket to the HDD, and also have teardown guides if you need them (though i think iFixit has some of the best visual tear downs).

All said and done the SSD works amazingly well. I use the SSD solely to run a Windows 8.1 bootcamp partition to play Battlefield 4. The speed is incredible in terms of how quick my machine is able to load levels. The only issue I am having is the fans running at 1600 RPM in the OSX 10.9.2 partition. The fan in the late 2012 iMac runs from 1200-2600 RPM normally, but after a PRAM and SCM reset the fan will boot running at 1200, but 30 seconds latter it will spin up. I believe this is because the kit in the blade slot on the logicboard does not have the apple firmware or temperature sensors so it runs the fans up.

The link below is to the pictures I took during the install. I'll do my best to check this post regularly and answer any questions. This is my first time posting to a forums site, but I wanted to share this project that I hope helps some of you who are wanting to do the same to their machines.

Maxparts Kit
https://www.maxupgrades.com/istore/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=401

My Breakdown
http://imgur.com/a/SdlZn#0
 
Last edited:

MacLabTech

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 7, 2014
13
0
North Carolina
Update March 2015

Just replaced the HDD with an 850 Evo so that now both my SSD are where the original HDD sits. I added the pictures of this to the imgur album above. This fixed my cooling issues I was having.
 

missmiss001

macrumors newbie
Mar 24, 2015
5
0
Thanks for all you information

Hi,
Thanks for this report, it is really useful.
However, can you let me know, which blade ssd you are using? dosen't it has to be apple ssd(apple's customized ssd)?
also do you know what the test speed would be after your upgrade?
I am looking forward for your reply, i have the same machine, and i am going to update the ssd as well.
thank you again.

cheers
Yihan

----------

oh sorry, i misunderstand your upgrade.. i thought you add a blade ssd, actually, you used the module to add another samsung ssd.. lolsss.
 

MacLabTech

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 7, 2014
13
0
North Carolina
Hi Yihan,

You are correct that I added a module blade SSD. Right now that module kit is for sale for $80 and the Samsung 850 Evo 500 GB is on sale on Amazon for $190. So a 500 GB SSD for around $300. If you were able to buy the equivalent Apple PCI Express Blade SSD from eBay or somewhere online it would not only cost more but finding the exact one could be a bit difficult.

Please know that with the HDD and SSD in my iMac my computer's fan speed was almost always 1500 RPM. Recently when I took out the HDD and added a second SSD I'm at the minimum 1200 RPM. I think that without the HDD sensors that my iMac just doesn't know when to speed up. That said I know there is some fan software out there that allows your to set your fan speeds when the temperature on the motherboard hits a pre defined level. Hopefully that will give me a little more peace of mind.

Let me know how your build goes
 

missmiss001

macrumors newbie
Mar 24, 2015
5
0
Hi Yihan,

You are correct that I added a module blade SSD. Right now that module kit is for sale for $80 and the Samsung 850 Evo 500 GB is on sale on Amazon for $190. So a 500 GB SSD for around $300. If you were able to buy the equivalent Apple PCI Express Blade SSD from eBay or somewhere online it would not only cost more but finding the exact one could be a bit difficult.

Please know that with the HDD and SSD in my iMac my computer's fan speed was almost always 1500 RPM. Recently when I took out the HDD and added a second SSD I'm at the minimum 1200 RPM. I think that without the HDD sensors that my iMac just doesn't know when to speed up. That said I know there is some fan software out there that allows your to set your fan speeds when the temperature on the motherboard hits a pre defined level. Hopefully that will give me a little more peace of mind.

Let me know how your build goes

Thank you ! again ! for the quick reply.
one more thing to ask you, you are saying, that when you used HDD + SSD your mac's fan speed is at 1500rpm, did you replaced old HDD with another HDD you bought yourself ?
I just want to know is the blade ssd module cause the high fan speed or your HDD?

cheers
;)
 

MacLabTech

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 7, 2014
13
0
North Carolina
The HDD that you see in the pictures is the original Apple HDD that came with my iMac. I am lead to believe that since the Blade SSD module that slides on the motherboard doesn't have the correct temperature sensor, if will cause the fans to ramp up.

When I was running OS X 10.9 if was running around 2000 RPM by itself and I would have to manually turn it down. With 10.10 the fan ran at 1500 RPM in ideal. Now with my two SSDs it runs at 1200.
 

missmiss001

macrumors newbie
Mar 24, 2015
5
0
The HDD that you see in the pictures is the original Apple HDD that came with my iMac. I am lead to believe that since the Blade SSD module that slides on the motherboard doesn't have the correct temperature sensor, if will cause the fans to ramp up.

When I was running OS X 10.9 if was running around 2000 RPM by itself and I would have to manually turn it down. With 10.10 the fan ran at 1500 RPM in ideal. Now with my two SSDs it runs at 1200.

It is really weird, how come two SSDs will able to lower the speed, i don't think there is a temperature sensor in samsung 850 EVO. right?
 

MacLabTech

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 7, 2014
13
0
North Carolina
I think that many Apple machines that have aftermarket SSD installs have issues with cooling (common in the laptops) because the SSDs don't have the original sensors. That's why OWC.com sells sensor kits. I did try to instal one of those sensor kits on the SDD end of the Blade module but had no results. Just kinda one of those Apple specific things. They only want you to change the RAM maybe.
 

missmiss001

macrumors newbie
Mar 24, 2015
5
0
I think that many Apple machines that have aftermarket SSD installs have issues with cooling (common in the laptops) because the SSDs don't have the original sensors. That's why OWC.com sells sensor kits. I did try to instal one of those sensor kits on the SDD end of the Blade module but had no results. Just kinda one of those Apple specific things. They only want you to change the RAM maybe.

Thanks, but you have a fan speed at 1200 which is lower then before, is that because you used SSD? or any other reason?

Not sure if i made this clear, i mean, you have a fan speed at 1500 with HDD and SSD, now with 2 SSDs your fan speed is 1200, did you made any other change to reduce the speed, or only because of you replaced the HDD to SSD?
cheers.
 

MacLabTech

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 7, 2014
13
0
North Carolina
Replaced the HDD to SSD.
 

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rweed

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2012
76
59
What is the 'Storage Diagnostic' tool I see in the pictures? Is that part of the built-in Hardware Test or something else?
Thanks, Rick
 

MacLabTech

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 7, 2014
13
0
North Carolina
Storage Diagnostics

The storage diagnostics tool is part of the AST tool that Apple issues for service centers to use (Through my center's Apple GSX account). I worked at an Apple service center and had access to this diagnostic tool and just wanted to show that Apple AST software did not recognize the SSD as a blade SSD (the one that normally goes in that slot for the fusion drive) but the adapter does work properly. The only downfall of the adapter is that is dosnt have a temperature sensor like a Blade SSD would but those Apple Blade SSDs are to pricy for my so I opted to just live with manual fan control software.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
The storage diagnostics tool is part of the AST tool that Apple issues for service centers to use (Through my center's Apple GSX account). I worked at an Apple service center and had access to this diagnostic tool and just wanted to show that Apple AST software did not recognize the SSD as a blade SSD (the one that normally goes in that slot for the fusion drive) but the adapter does work properly. The only downfall of the adapter is that is dosnt have a temperature sensor like a Blade SSD would but those Apple Blade SSDs are to pricy for my so I opted to just live with manual fan control software.

Is there any way you could smuggle the software out and quietly host it in some cloud for people who're interested to get it? :D
 

MacLabTech

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 7, 2014
13
0
North Carolina
Lol I think Apple already thought of people trying to do that.

A) I don't work there anymore since this was a college job and I've moved into the real world...
B) For the service Center version AST could only be used though our local area connection and it requires specific hardware running OSX server.
C) When I left (6 months ago) everything was moving to AST 2, which is a wireless based version that was comparable with iPads and iPhone.

All in all it wasn't a super useful tool. It was a requirement to run the software when doing warranty repairs because it would communicate issues back to Apple (you had to prove there was an issue to get a ticket processed correctly). If your really wanting a good Apple specific software that is 10x better at repairing a messed up directory then I would go with Disc Warrior. It would fix 90% of the issues disc utility couldn't. But that's a different topic.
 
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