Upgrading iMac 5k hard drive to SSD

mohalfares

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2009
25
0
I'm planning to buy the minimum configuration of iMac:
  • 3.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz
  • 8GB (two 4GB) memory
  • 1TB hard drive1
  • AMD Radeon R9 M290 with 2GB video memory
Can I upgrade the hard drive to SSD 2.5?

I'm planning to buy 480GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G 2.5-inch 7mm SATA 6.0Gb/s Solid-State Drive from OWC

I read that if fusion drive is configured, you can. But if only SSD is configured, you cannot, since SSD is connected via PCI and there is no mounting cable for SSD
 

BobertKennedy

macrumors member
May 3, 2014
50
77
I'm planning to buy the minimum configuration of iMac:
  • 3.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz
  • 8GB (two 4GB) memory
  • 1TB hard drive1
  • AMD Radeon R9 M290 with 2GB video memory
Can I upgrade the hard drive to SSD 2.5?

I'm planning to buy 480GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G 2.5-inch 7mm SATA 6.0Gb/s Solid-State Drive from OWC

I read that if fusion drive is configured, you can. But if only SSD is configured, you cannot, since SSD is connected via PCI and there is no mounting cable for SSD
My recommendation would be to spend the extra money for SSD upgrade (256gb or 512gb, depending on your needs) - there is a significant performance boost over the Fusion drive. If you need additional storage, consider external drives (thunderbolt drives are very fast).
 

mohalfares

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2009
25
0
My recommendation would be to spend the extra money for SSD upgrade (256gb or 512gb, depending on your needs) - there is a significant performance boost over the Fusion drive. If you need additional storage, consider external drives (thunderbolt drives are very fast).
I wasn't talking about fusion drive. I intend to buy an iMac with a hard drive, and replace this hard drive with an SSD. It would be cheaper than ordering an SSD from Apple itself
 

techedude

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2014
180
21
Get the SSD upgrade when you build to order. The PCIE SSD's will crush the read write speeds of a Sata SSD. I'm a certified Apple Technician and the iMac's are sketchy to open and work on for such a minimal upgrade. Let Apple do all the internal builds. You on the other hand handle the RAM upgrade.
 
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Sirmausalot

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2007
1,072
275
Get the SSD upgrade when you build to order. The PCIE SSD's will crush the read write speeds of a Sata SSD. I'm a certified Apple Technician and the iMac's are sketchy to open and work on for such a minimal upgrade. Let Apple do all the internal builds. You on the other hand handle the RAM upgrade.
What is your take on the fusion drive?
 

techedude

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2014
180
21
Honestly the Fusion Drive is good for some people that need a little increase in speed and want the huge storage that you can't get in an SSD. I recommend using a PCIE SSD and having an external HDD for backups when I need them. The other thing with fusion drives are that your basically relying on 2 drives to work together and you know what happens when 1 stops.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,679
6,856
OP:

Your post makes no sense.

If you're going to buy a brand-new iMac, buy it with the SSD already installed.

You will then get an iMac with a "blade type" PCIe SSD that will be LEAPS AND BOUNDS faster than ANY SATA-based SSD you could put in there yourself.

If cost is a factor, get the 1tb fusion drive, and then "split apart" the two drives inside (via software). You'll have a 128gb PCIe SSD (small capacity but VERY fast), and a 1tb HDD for "bulk storage"...
 
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techedude

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2014
180
21
Just order the 3.5GHZ model on Apple's website. Under the BTO option check off the 256GB SSD option and it basically a free upgrade to the 1TB Fusion drive option. Just but an external HDD for time machine or other backup options that you would like to use. You can't go wrong with the PCIE SSD Blade. It is 4 times faster read/write speeds than a Sata 3 SSD.
 

cbrand493

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2015
335
242
Perth, Australia
Just order the 3.5GHZ model on Apple's website. Under the BTO option check off the 256GB SSD option and it basically a free upgrade to the 1TB Fusion drive option. Just but an external HDD for time machine or other backup options that you would like to use. You can't go wrong with the PCIE SSD Blade. It is 4 times faster read/write speeds than a Sata 3 SSD.
Not sure where you get 4x faster from. It's not even 2x faster than SATA3 SSDs. Realistically, unless you're reading/writing 15GB files to your drive, you probably won't notice any difference between a SATA or Apple PCI SSD.
 

techedude

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2014
180
21
Not sure where you get 4x faster from. It's not even 2x faster than SATA3 SSDs. Realistically, unless you're reading/writing 15GB files to your drive, you probably won't notice any difference between a SATA or Apple PCI SSD.
Read and write speeds are around 520mb max with Sata 3 controllers. The new PCIE SSD's in the 15in Retina MacBook Pro are over 2GB. Thats 4 times the speed bud. Do some more research before you claim I'm wrong. Certified Apple Technician here and I know what I'm talking about.
 
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cbrand493

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2015
335
242
Perth, Australia
Read and write speeds are around 520mb max with Sata 3 controllers. The new PCIE SSD's in the 15in Retina MacBook Pro are over 2GB. Thats 4 times the speed bud. Do some more research before you claim I'm wrong. Certified Apple Technician here and I know what I'm talking about.
OP is talking iMac bud. Read the post before claiming I'm wrong. And they're actually not over 2GB/s. They're exactly 2GB/s but there's usually an overhead of 20% on that so realistic speeds are 1600MB/s.
 

techedude

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2014
180
21
I know what the OP stated. The iMac will be using the new PCIE NVMExpress SSD. They are upgrading their whole lineup with faster SSD's. I'm just stating my opinion and do believe that they will use newer tech and not take a step backwards. Either way the Apple SSD is a better option. The older Macs I would say the Samsung Pro 850 is the way to go. Have a good day dude!
 

cbrand493

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2015
335
242
Perth, Australia
I know what the OP stated. The iMac will be using the new PCIE NVMExpress SSD. They are upgrading their whole lineup with faster SSD's. I'm just stating my opinion and do believe that they will use newer tech and not take a step backwards. Either way the Apple SSD is a better option. The older Macs I would say the Samsung Pro 850 is the way to go. Have a good day dude!
Again, you've failed to read anything. OP is talking about the base model current spec 5K iMac. Not some yet to be released model you've dreamt up.
 

techedude

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2014
180
21
Again, you've failed to read anything. OP is talking about the base model current spec 5K iMac. Not some yet to be released model you've dreamt up.
I didn't fail to read what the OP stated.The base model comes with the standard 1TB HDD. If you were to buy a SATA 3 SSD and go through the hassle of tearing apart the iMac and have a chance of breaking something than its not worth it. If you spend the extra couple hundred on the upgraded iMac than you get the 1TB Fusion drive. If you buy directly from Apple you can check off the 256GB SSD as a BTO configuration without adding any more to the cost. So I recommend buying the upgraded model and choosing the SSD option. I'm not arguing with anyone. I'm just stating that its a better deal and the performance is worth it.
 

cbrand493

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2015
335
242
Perth, Australia
I didn't fail to read what the OP stated.The base model comes with the standard 1TB HDD. If you were to buy a SATA 3 SSD and go through the hassle of tearing apart the iMac and have a chance of breaking something than its not worth it. If you spend the extra couple hundred on the upgraded iMac than you get the 1TB Fusion drive. If you buy directly from Apple you can check off the 256GB SSD as a BTO configuration without adding any more to the cost. So I recommend buying the upgraded model and choosing the SSD option. I'm not arguing with anyone. I'm just stating that its a better deal and the performance is worth it.
So your recommendation to someone is to spend another $500 minimum when they could spend $250 on a marginally slower SSD (where they'll never notice the performance difference for most applications). Great logic. Do you know the term budget?
 

techedude

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2014
180
21
So your recommendation to someone is to spend another $500 minimum when they could spend $250 on a marginally slower SSD (where they'll never notice the performance difference for most applications). Great logic. Do you know the term budget?
It's actually a $300 difference in models. Better Processor, Better GPU and the option to upgrade to an SSD at no additional cost. It's a no brainer. Do your research.
 
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cbrand493

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2015
335
242
Perth, Australia
It's actually a $300 difference in models. Better Processor, Better GPU and the option to upgrade to an SSD at no additional cost. It's a no brainer. Do your research.
What does different models have to do with anything. A 512GB SSD upgrade is $500 on the base model, or $300 on the top model which is $300 more expensive than the base one. So the cheapest 512GB SSD upgrade is an extra $500. Sheesh it's really not difficult maths actually read what OP wants before starting to ram crap down our throats about better cpu blah blah. OP wants ~500GB SSD. That is all.
 

techedude

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2014
180
21
What does different models have to do with anything. A 512GB SSD upgrade is $500 on the base model, or $300 on the top model which is $300 more expensive than the base one. So the cheapest 512GB SSD upgrade is an extra $500. Sheesh it's really not difficult maths actually read what OP wants before starting to ram crap down our throats about better cpu blah blah. OP wants ~500GB SSD. That is all.
I know what you are saying. I was saying to get the 256GB SSD and buy a 1 or 2TB External HDD for extra storage. I'm not going to argue with you over a forum. I was giving my opinion. If you don't like it then keep reading and bother someone else. Later on!
 

cbrand493

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2015
335
242
Perth, Australia
I know what you are saying. I was saying to get the 256GB SSD and buy a 1 or 2TB External HDD for extra storage. I'm not going to argue with you over a forum. I was giving my opinion. If you don't like it then keep reading and bother someone else. Later on!
Well you clearly don't because you keep failing to actually understand what OP wants. Do you do this with your customers when they want a repair or upgrade? They give you their iMac for a HDD upgrade and you change it to something else?!

Nobody is arguing with you. I'm just trying to put it in plain English that a 5 year old could understand. Read what OP wants. Not what you want.
 

techedude

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2014
180
21
Well you clearly don't because you keep failing to actually understand what OP wants. Do you do this with your customers when they want a repair or upgrade? They give you their iMac for a HDD upgrade and you change it to something else?!

Nobody is arguing with you. I'm just trying to put it in plain English that a 5 year old could understand. Read what OP wants. Not what you want.
I'm giving my opinion. Thats it man. Some people ask questions about what they would like to do and thats why they came to a forum. I stated what I would do. You can either like or dislike it. Thats it!!
 
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jordanz

macrumors member
May 13, 2012
91
45
I'm giving my opinion. Thats it man. Some people ask questions about what they would like to do and thats why they came to a forum. I stated what I would do. You can either like or dislike it. Thats it!!
Agree with techedude on this one, it's a compromise for the OP yes, but makes perfect sense to me. If I was already paying the big bucks for a 5k iMac, I would happily pay an extra few hundred bucks to avoid ungluing the screen and performing an easily botched surgery - especially when you get a faster SSD in the process. OP is already planning to spend extra money on the third party SSD so techedude's suggestion of settling for the smaller 256gb Apple SSD (for around the same price as his 512gb third party SATA ssd) and getting external storage later as needed is a very reasonable compromise. In my opinion that kind of iMac surgery is just not worth it for a max $250 saving. But everyone's different, if OP is comfortable with it, have fun !

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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