Replace fusion drive with SSD on 2013 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DoNoHarm, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2008
    Hey guys, I just got a late 2013 imac with a 1gb fusion drive and I want to replace it with an SSD. I'm used to the macbook, which was pretty simple to upgrade. Can I just swap in the new SSD to replace the fusion drive or do I need some sort of adapter? Can I get just any SSD or does it need to be a special kind? I tried searching but I can't seem to find the posts where this is discussed. Thanks.
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    The fusion drive on that model is a 128gb SSD and a 1TB HDD you could just swap the HDD for any SSD.

    Look it up on they have guides for most Mac changes with lists of what you need.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think the type of SSDs in changed over in 2014, so your 2014 blade type SSDs may not be compatible. I forget when apple changed over to what they have now to be honest.
  4. bent christian, Feb 17, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016

    bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Nov 5, 2015
    You have a few options.

    1. If you want to open the machine, split the blade SSD and replace the spinning hard drive. Put the operating system on the blade, all other files on the SSD. This is the fastest option, but you risk damaging something

    2. You can also make a new SSD/SSD fusion. This would be super fast. Less so than option #1, but it keeps everything clean as one, single drive in the system.

    3. The third option is to buy an enclosure for the 1TB SSD you bought. Put the OS on that and use the existing Fusion drive as a really fast second drive. You won't have to mess with anything inside the machine.

    I recently experimented with option #3 on my 2015 model using the Inateck enclosure I linked to combined with a Samsung 850 EVO Pro 256GB SSD. Write speeds are 395MB/sec and 428MB/sec consistently. Write speeds are 100MB/sec faster than the peak of my original Fusion boot drive. Currently, I am using the external SSD to boot and hold my applications, my 1TB Fusion drive is being used as a fast second drive. This machine is a workstation for my photography and hobby video work, so the small Fusion (only 24GB SSD) works well. The buffer is almost never filled, this, giving me SSD speeds for most of its usage.

    The SSDs for 2015 were given a BIG upgrade in speed. My wife has a 2013 MBP with an SSD. Possibly similar specs. I think her system tops out around 350 or 390MB/sec. You may not see much of a noticeable increase in speed by replacing the internal drives, going with option #1 or #2. Check you current SSD speeds. If you can't top 395MB/sec at any point, go external and leave everything inside as it is.

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