New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

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Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians.


In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a flash storage expansion board is attached to a connector on the logic board. In the 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations, the expansion board and connector are not present.

Apple adds that the flash storage and logic board are paired together for hardware encryption, so data will be lost if the logic board is replaced. For this reason, it is recommended that customers back up their files on a regular basis.

The new 27-inch iMac features 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more.

Article Link: New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector
 

Vinyldust

macrumors newbie
Oct 31, 2017
17
26
Toronto, Ontario
Fairly glad I ordered the 2TB hard drive now, instead of only doing the 512 and assuming I could replace/upgrade in a couple of years. I shouldn't be surprised that they make this move - hopefully makes the mac even speedier, and given that they were doing it on the MacBooks, makes sense they do it here. Completely agree Ryan - It really continues to kill any repairability on this thing in the future.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,174
9,166
Florida, USA
From a repairability standpoint... Let's just say I've never seen an SSD fail in an iMac and I've been working with hundreds of them over the past few years. They're super reliable and I think Apple realizes this so they cut costs by soldering them on.

That leaves the expansion standpoint. Frankly, this is not a big deal either. Apple doesn't even use standard M.2 drives; they use their own proprietary interface. On top of that, these are iMacs! You can easily plug in cheap external storage, and since the machines typically stay in one place it's not inconvenient like it would be on a Macbook.

I'm still irritated by everything being soldered down, but it's not as big a deal as it was in the past. If Apple bothered to use an industry standard like M.2, it would be a bigger loss, but they don't anyway.
 

Lounge vibes 05

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2016
577
1,688
From a repairability standpoint... Let's just say I've never seen an SSD fail in an iMac and I've been working with hundreds of them over the past few years. They're super reliable and I think Apple realizes this so they cut costs by soldering them on.

That leaves the expansion standpoint. Frankly, this is not a big deal either. Apple doesn't even use standard M.2 drives; they use their own proprietary interface. On top of that, these are iMacs! You can easily plug in cheap external storage, and since the machines typically stay in one place it's not inconvenient like it would be on a Macbook.

I'm still irritated by everything being soldered down, but it's not as big a deal as it was in the past. If Apple bothered to use an industry standard like M.2, it would be a bigger loss, but they don't anyway.
Plus, now that the iMac is using the T2 chip, even if the SSD was replaceable it wouldn’t be much use
 

tinman7162

macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2012
7
6
Fairly glad I ordered the 2TB hard drive now, instead of only doing the 512 and assuming I could replace/upgrade in a couple of years. I shouldn't be surprised that they make this move - hopefully makes the mac even speedier, and given that they were doing it on the MacBooks, makes sense they do it here. Completely agree Ryan - It really continues to kill any repairability on this thing in the future.
Except the article states "In the 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations, the expansion board and connector are not present." So your 2TB iMac will not have the expansion board and will not be upgradeable
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2017
4,657
5,168
Considering it was a really difficult procedure to get in there anyway (quite high risk of shattering the display by all accounts) I don't think this will be a massive loss to most people... it's not like its gone from a quick couple of screws job to impossible, it's gone from definitely voiding your warranty, possibly breaking your display, and maybe electrocuting yourself to impossible!
 

Lounge vibes 05

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2016
577
1,688
Absolutely pathetic!!! I love my Apple products but they keep screwing us over. Makes me rethink wanting one tbh!!
Or maybe, they’re doing this to help you. Not only does it make your computer more secure, but having an SSD as a chip instead of a part on its own actually decreases the likelihood of it breaking or falling out of place. I guarantee you, the average consumer, at least when it comes to an all in one like the iMac, will take secure and durable over upgradable any day.
 

temptee

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2020
32
89
US and A
Or maybe this rumored re-designEd iMac will dump the hump and the chin, so it will be too thin for removable parts.
Get ready, because I guarantee you the iMac redesign will no longer allow you to upgrade anything. Not even the ram
Its definitely coming.
Mac repair has become less and less about repair as the years have gone on...

They are gonna do to computers what's been done to phones, just hire swap monkeys to replace them at the store, then have low wage workers refurbish them in their factories... Two birds with one stone. But hey look at all the (useless) jobs they've created!
 

miniroll32

macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2010
1,467
2,989
Not a fan. I miss being able to actually replace parts when they broke.
Broken storage is broken storage, regardless whether it's PCIE or soldered. And having the chips soldered actually makes them more reliable and secure.

Even if you did decide to take your iMac apart (heaven forbid), the T2 chip means that any PCIE based (removable) storage would be useless away from the machine anyway, because it contains a unique hardware key.
 

Lounge vibes 05

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2016
577
1,688
Considering it was a really difficult procedure to get in there anyway (quite high risk of shattering the display by all accounts) I don't think this will be a massive loss to most people... it's not like its gone from a quick couple of screws job to impossible, it's gone from definitely voiding your warranty, possibly breaking your display, and maybe electrocuting yourself to impossible!
Actually, the difficulty of upgrading the storage on the iMac hasn’t changed one bit. It’s very simple, USB cord, external SSD. You plug one into the other, then you plug that into the iMac, and boom!
It’s like magic
 

apple_unreal

Suspended
Jun 15, 2020
53
41
This is ridiculous. Why does Apple continue to make hard to repair PCs???
So next time something goes wrong with your computer, if you didn't but extended warranty, they will charge you $1000 to look it up and then selling you a brand new computer instead....
 
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