Model A1419 / Late 2012 / 2.9 & 3.2 GHz Core i5 or 3.4 GHz Core i7 Processor, ID iMac13,2

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27" late 2012 iMac Hard Drive Compatibility?

What 3TB hard drives are compatible with my late 2012 27" MD096LL/A imac?

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Surprising you can use just about anyone's that physically fits. The issue most people encounter is the HD internal thermal sensor and how Apple accesses it. Some HD's now support the newer SMART standard that works in Apple systems. With these HD's you just swap over the drive. Even still you can still use a non-comforming HD by using OWC adapter: iMac HD upgrade kit. It also has the adhesive strips you'll need.

As to what drive to get I would recommend going with a SSHD which is a hybrid drive. Seagate makes a good one so does Western Digital.

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If I install a SSHD drive then I do not need to get a Fusion drive from a donor iMac - correct?

Will OS X recognize it the same way (SS for boot) as it would a Fusion set up? Second, I do not find SMART technology listed under descriptions of hard drives anywhere. Can you recommend some please?

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Seagate's SSHD handles the caching within the drive unlike Apples Fusion drive which marries two drives (SSD & HD) together into one logical drive. So basically it's doing both in one device! You also won't need to do a compete disassembly of your system Vs the fusion setup as you don't need to get to the SSD slot for the custom Apple blade SSD. Bottom line the easier upgrade!

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Thank you for this VERY helpful advice. I am doing my research on SSHD drives. I do not find SMART technology listed under descriptions of hard drives anywhere. Can you recommend some please?

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SMART is a spec which all drives today support. Click on the Apple menu and About This Mac, Click on More Info... Then click on System Report. On the Left locate the Storage entry, click on it to open the information pane. Here you will see under Physical Drive S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verifed

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