Replace fusion drive...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dilgit, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. dilgit macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    Is it possible to replace the 3TB Fusion drive in my new iMac 27" with a Crucial 512GB SSD drive, or any other SSD drive? Please don't ask why? Just try to answer the question. Thanks!!
  2. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2006
    Washington State
    Sometimes people need to know why you want to do something, in order to give the best answer to a question.

    Since CoreStorage controls the fusion-ness of drives, I expect you can pair any SSD with almost any HDD.
  3. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California
    There are plenty of threads here providing ample tear-down results, some, not so happy.

    In short, the OS X will NOT place two SSD into a Fusion volume, they will be two separate SSD drives. Fusion is designed for combining a SSD and conventional platter hdd into a fast, single, volume.

    If you're wondering about replacing the 128GB SSD with the Crucial 512GB SSD, I give you almost zero chance of success as the 128GB SSD is connected via a proprietary connection device (Blade connector?).
  4. Lancer macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    Technically yes.

    But did you know the 'fusion' drive is actually 2 separate parts?

    A normal HDD and a totally separate blade SSD which by all reports is on the main board. I'm just wondering if you'll have to remove the SSD but my guess is if you replace the HDD with a 512 SSD you'll see one 640Gb SSD and not 2 separate drives.
  5. dilgit thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    The fusion drive contains two drives in one unit. I want to completely remove the unit that contains the two drives and replace with a usual SSD drive. Will it work?
  6. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California

    If you perform the upgrade yourself, you void your warranty.

    Good luck!
  7. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    No it doesn't. It has a standard 1TB Hard drive, and a completely separate SSD drive which plugs directly into the logic board.
  8. Lancer, Jan 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013

    Lancer macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    Thank you!

    ETA - I think the biggest issue will be cracking the case, the screen is glued on now. Maybe you'd be better off with a 2011 and replace the HDD in that? It will have 90% of the CPU performance and the only drawback is no USB3.
  9. seanm9 macrumors regular

    Dec 29, 2007
    Cape Cod, MA
    Dont confuse a fusion drive with a hybrid drive... they are similar but different

    look at any of the tear downs on the internet and you will see a regular SATA HDD and a "Blade Type" SSD... and as the others have said the fusion drive is just a software trick that OSX uses to turn the 2 drives into 1... good to here that others have tried to "Fusion" 2 SSD's but I dont see any advantage to that as opposed to combining 2 the in JBOD (ie a fusion drive with out the smarts to move the most used files to the fast disk)...

    the setup you may want to explore is getting a bigger blade than the stock 128Gb blade that Apple provides and "fusing" that with the 3Tb spinner...
  10. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Yes it can be done. It's not easy. Check out the directions on ifixit.

    It's 2 separate pieces either piece can be replaced.

    Actually it appears to be a standard mSATA connector and is therefore a standard connector.
  11. Shadow2k macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2009
    It looks like mSATA but the connector is actually a bit smaller.
  12. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Well, that would be daft. Why would you buy a Mac with Fusion drive and throw the Fusion drive out, when for $250 less you can buy the same Mac with a plain old hard drive and throw the hard drive out?
  13. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    You can replace the 3TB hard disk part of Fusion with your Crucial M4 512GB SSD, and you would still have the blade 128GB SSD available. You could use them separately, or simply span (concatenate) them together to function as a single larger drive. You would not re-Fusion them together.

    If you desire a larger SSD as part of the Fusion drive, you will have to purchase a larger blade-type SSD from OWC or another vender.

    You can also use your Crucial M4 externally to the iMac by putting it in a Thunderbolt or USB-3.0 enclosure and avoid the risk of slicing open your iMac.
  14. dilgit thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    Thank you all. I did not know that those are actually two separate units. If that is so, I might replace the 128GB SSD blade with a larger SSD. 256GB or 512GB. Is this possible? Where can I buy such a SSD blade?
  15. kwfernie macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2015
    My 3tb drive crapped out today. I really like the look of this solution. Any ideas on how to instruct the computer to ignore the dead hd inside?
  16. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Nowhere. Nobody makes PCIe blade SSDs for Macs. Apple uses a proprietary non-M.2 form factor.
  17. RageDaddy, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015

    RageDaddy macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2015
    If you already have a fusion drive, you also have SSD. I did split my 5k fusion to 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD.

    You should have a 128GB SSD already? That is more than enough for OS X and apps. Rest you can put on HDD.

  18. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    Get it fixed. Your Mac should be well within warranty. Also, an SSD from a Thunderbolt external should be as fast as you could want!!! Saves the dangers of opening an iMac and replacing a drive (which I've done on an earlier version) Not for the faint of heart.
  19. JCLbs macrumors newbie


    Sep 5, 2018
    Texas Hill Country
    In the 27" iMac model 17,1 the fusion drive is not a 'unit' but two seperate pieces married by the OS. One piece is a 3.5" spinning platter in the usual position in the computer and the SSD part is slocated behind the motherboard and immediately above the plugs for the Thunderbolt and USB divices. They are phisically very seperate and aren't a unit except electronically... by the intervention of the MacOS.
  20. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    This thread already provided that answer, more than 5 years ago, too :cool:
    Apple's Fusion drives have always (since the first in 2012 Macs) been a software "merging" of a spinning hard drive, and an SSD. Capacities (and physical interface) have changed somewhat, but the basic system concept of two separate devices remains the same.

    I predict that Apple will be moving away from fusion before much longer, as flash storage continues to drop in price.
  21. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    It's possible.
    But it's crazy to split open a NEW iMac that's still under warranty.

    Even if you do it, finding a 512gb Apple-compatible blade drive will not be easy, and it will be expensive. They are "Apple-specific" designs and are not available on "the open market".

    There is also a good chance you could break something by prying open the iMac. If that happens, the warranty will be voided, and you'll have to bear the complete cost of repairs.

    How "new" is the iMac?
    If it still falls within the period in which you can return it, I suggest you do so immediately.
    Then, get one with an internal drive setup that more suits your desires.
  22. brofkand macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2006
    This is a 5 year old if the OP still has that iMac, it would presumably be 5 years old now - far from brand new.
  23. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

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