Need advice about upgrading pci-e ssd in iMAC late 2013

Discussion in 'iMac' started by robert-matias, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. robert-matias macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    #1
    Hello everybody!

    I recently purchased a late 2013 27" iMac with i7 3.5 processor and a 3.1TB fusion drive and 32GB of memory. At the moment of purchase I selected the 3.1TB fusion drive because it was what the sales person that took my order recommended (the company does not provide the option that I wanted), but now that I have used it I'm having second toughts about my selection and wonder if it is possible to change the pci-e ssd for a bigger one (either 512GBor the 1TB). I understand we are talking about a fusion drive here, but I read in many places that fusion drives can be splitted and I'm searching for advice. It would be a joy to have a bigger ssd as fast as these ssd's and at the same time keep the 3TB hard drive, but not fused. I rather manage my data myself and be able to enjoy the full speed of both drives. Has anywone here now if this is possible?

    Thank's in advance for any advice! Forgive my English which is a second language for me!
     
  2. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #2
    Yes ... it is possible.

    First you should locate and acquire the replacement SSD since they are not a common form factor.

    You can search here and find instructions for un-Fusing your drives (make a full backup of your data first). You will also need to find and study the instructions for opening up the iMac and acquire the proper tools to do so along with the replacement adhesive tape to seal it up when you are done. This will probably void your warranty, and you can easily damage the computer by doing this.

    Since you are not replacing the hard drive, you should have no issues with the fan speed.

    Once done, you can either re-Fusion the drives, or leave them separate and manage the data locations yourself.


    OR ... you could simply add an external Thunderbolt SSD and avoid opening your new iMac altogether. It technically wouldn't be quite as fast, but you probably won't notice it in everyday use.

    Good luck with whichever course you choose ...
     
  3. robert-matias thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    #3
    Thank you for your answer!

    Last night I found this pci-e ssd which is 1TB but I'm not sure if it can be used in my iMac:

    http://www.super-laptop-parts.com/n...pcie-1tb-for-apple-imacme088-089-p-34273.html

    These ssd's are expensive but I rather spend now an avoid future openings of the iMac. I already have instructions on how to un-fuse and fuse the drives. As for the tools and tape, OCW sells the kit for this particular task. I'm aware about the warranty, but I must do what I have to do in order to feel satisfied with my iMac. I own a 2011 iMac that I opened many times to change hdd for a bigger one and to add ssd, so this won't be the first time opening one. Perhaps if I take the imac to an Apple repair shop they will do the job for me without compromising warranty, but regardless I will do it a soon as I find the correct ssd.

    Any way, I'm going to explore the external thunderbolt alternative. I was already thinking in adding external thunderbolt for backup and general storage but wanted to deal with the pci-e ssd first.
     
  4. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #4
    You can add a bus-powered external Thunderbolt SSD which is so small that it can be velcro-attached to the back of the iMac support stand where it is not noticeable and doesn't clutter your desk.

    My iMac is the 2012 model with the internal 768GB SSD which I have partitioned into 512GB OS X and 256GB Windows Bootcamp. I have no internal hard disk as I wanted to avoid the heat, noise, and maintenance issues. I then have a 1TB SSD (840 EVO) in a small Thunderbolt enclosure attached to the iMac stand with small velcro adhesive "dots". I keep my iTunes and Aperture libraries on that external 1TB SSD. Other non-essential archive data resides on a NAS in the basement.

    I have not researched the blade SSDs enough to advise on which one will work with your iMac. There are some subtle differences in them which require careful selection to be sure you buy one that will fit and work in your specific computer. Hopefully, someone who has done the research will add to this thread and suggest models for you which are compatible. There are several threads on this forum which discuss them, but the information can be confusing since there are different designs for laptop and desktop Mac computers.


    -howard
     
  5. robert-matias, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014

    robert-matias thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    #5
    Thank you Howard!

    I have been spending my little time online doing research on these subjects. Not long ago I was reading about using the LaCie thunderbolt ssd attached with straps to the back of the iMac support stand and it is a brilliant alternative since one can't see it and there is no extra electrical connections involved (I hate to see hanging cables... LOL).

    Love your setup because it's silent and well tought out. I might go for that particular setup in my 2011 iMac; boot from external thunderbolt ssd and leave the stock hdd for storage.

    With the 2013 iMac I understand that there is no speeding of the fans if you change the hdd, but I would not change it since it's 3TB. Information about the blades is not clear at the moment and that's why I decided to join this forum. OCW presented their prototype for these blades at CES:

    http://www.cultofmac.com/262139/owc-working-way-let-upgrade-2013-macs-ssd/

    but they haven't release them yet.

    Like you said, hopefully someone that has done the research or has first hand experience can share the information here for the benefit of everybody.

    Robert Matias
    ---------------

    July 17, 2014

    UPDATE:

    Last night I emailed "super laptop parts" and I just read their answer that says:

    Dear Robert
    Thanks for your email.

    We have the ssd in stock,

    It is original ssd

    Warranty:90 days


    Fit Apple IMACME088 089

    -----------------------------

    I was hoping that somebody with first hand experience in this type of upgrade would share his or her experience here because I know there is a lot of people out there wanting to upgrade the pci-e ssd in their iMacs. I might wait a few days while I do a little more research in the subject and then I'll buy it and if it doesn't work I'll return it because they give 90 days warranty (which I find nothing for such expensive ssd). I'm upset at Apple because they always do the same thing since I have been buying their products. My first purchase was a 2011 iMac 27" and it was a pain in the **** to upgrade the stock hdd. Now I called them and I was willing to pay the extra $1,000 for the 1TB pci-ssd, BUT NO... they wouldn't sell the configuration that I wanted nor the ssd alone and I'm having a hard time looking for advice from someone with first hand experience with these ssd's. I'll keep you people posted and if I get to do what I want to do, I'll publish detailed instructions with pictures here so that other people benefit from this experience.

    Robert Matias
     

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