My 7TB iMac

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 10, 2006
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UK
No doubt this will appall some people, but works for me!

I bought a refurb iMac which was exactly what I wanted except for only 256GB internal. I have "converted" it to a 7TB unit as in the pictures. A mess from the back but OK from the front.

It means the unit is self contained with only only one cable bundle and no trailing devices. I can move it around freely on my desk.

The hardest part was making sure that tilting the screen did not stress any connections at the back.


Screenshot 2019-02-06 at 09.47.40.png
 
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mrdunderhead

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2015
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OH MY GOD IN HeCk.

Ok 1st go look for some cheaper enclosures then get some firewire or thunderbolt adapters my lord that a mess
 
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Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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Trouble is that enclosures are much larger than bare drives, and in this use I don't think they add any benefit.

Yes, it's a mess but an out of sight mess, and needs to be compared with how 7TB of external drives would look, since they would be in sight.

I haven't used Firewire for 10 years ;)....this is a 2017 iMac!
 
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MandiMac

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Feb 25, 2012
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Just because I'm curious: The iMac uses the aluminum back in order to getting rid of heat. Isn't that quite problematic for storage solutions if they get over 55° Celsius or so?
 

Martius

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Jul 12, 2008
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Well, if they have kept the thicker design, iMac could have 3-5x times more storage (fast SSD + 1 or 2 HDD), without using setup like you have.

But if it works for you, why not :)
 

Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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Just because I'm curious: The iMac uses the aluminum back in order to getting rid of heat. Isn't that quite problematic for storage solutions if they get over 55° Celsius or so?
I considered this but the back of my iMac is no more than very mildly warm. iStat menus shows all five drives as having been under 30C throughout the last thirty days, except the Crucial which has had a few spikes to 35C. So I don't think there is a significant heat factor in either direction, especially as they are mounted with pads which leave an air gap.

Note only the Samsung T5s are attached to the back of the iMac. The three bare SSDs are attached to the back of the stand.

The three bare drives are better cooled than they would be in an enclosure unless the enclosure had a fan.
 
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mrdunderhead

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2015
49
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interesting.. there is smaller solutions and they make firewire to thunderbolt connectors for a reason its actually to keep the cost of hard drives down and the external solutions to a minimum but if it works and isn't causing any issues with heat thats actually not bad you got 7 TB out of it.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
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Aug 10, 2006
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UK
My main motivation was to have a single item, not a computer with lots of drives and leads trailing off it.

It could have been neater using all Samsung T5s but the bare SSD drives are significantly cheaper.

I think Firewire would bottleneck all modern SSDs.