upgrade to SSD question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by unixphone, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. unixphone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    #1
    Since my 2011 macbook air is doing so well, I have decided it is not necessary to upgrade it. I am looking into purchase an iMac. I only plan to use it to watch some movies and back up some photos. Hence, I think low ram and low speed is fine. The only thing I need is better storage space.

    My question is SSD upgrade.
    If I purchase iMac 1.4ghz with 500GB ATA storage or 3.2ghz with 1TB ATA, can i upgrade to SSD? Or I have to pay the extra $200 for the 256GB flash to make it SSD upgradeable?
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    That's a tricky question!
    Well, the answer is interesting, anyway...

    The hard drive (which is a 2.5-inch drive, btw), is a standard SATA drive.
    The SSD is NOT SATA, but is PCI-E. Outside sources for those SSDs are extremely limited, and remain so. The best plan, if you want the SSD, is to use that option when you order.
    Or, there's also the Fusion drive option, which gives you both the spinning hard drive and the SSD. The Fusion drive combines both into a single volume.
    So, the standard iMac gives you a hard drive.
    You can upgrade to the flash storage, which gives you only an SSD.
    Or, upgrade to a Fusion drive, which gives you both.
    If you still need lots of storage, then you would use an external USB 3.0, or a Thunderbolt drive. Either one would provide as much storage as you wish to add.

    You can upgrade after you purchase, but a quick view of an iFixit.com repair guide for opening up a recent iMac will likely scare most folks away from that idea. If you click on the link, you will see what the SSD in the iMac looks like, right at the top of the page.
     
  3. unixphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    #3
    I see.
    It seems like Fusion is the best option. Please kindly correct me if I am wrong. It has Flash and SATA.
    Does Fusion drive break easier than Flash only?
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    I guess you are asking if the Fusion drive is less (or more) reliable than the Flash storage only?
    I don't have much experience in service with failures of either to tell you my opinion on that.
    You WILL get more storage with the fusion drive. Keep in mind that the fusion drive is not a single hardware storage device. It is two separate hardware devices (HDD and SSD) combined with software into a single volume. If one device fails, then you lose the whole volume. I think of the three different options for storage, that the fusion is the one that is the strongest argument for needing to always keep a backup of your entire volume.
    Don't misunderstand me, you always should have a backup, but the fusion drive weak link (if it has one) is that it is two separate hardware devices. if one fails, you lose everything on both devices. Please don't try to get into a discussion about how long devices last, or why they fail. Your chance of failure, regardless of what you get, are pretty low, and you don't go into this expecting everything to fail (I hope!). But, that's why you have a warranty, eh?
     

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