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A1418 / EMC 3069 / 2017 / 3.0 GHz quad-core i5, 3.4 GHz quad-core i5 or 3.6 GHz quad-core i7 Processor. Released June 8, 2017.

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Hard Drive to SSD compatibility?

Hi guys!

I saw the SSD upgrade kit that iFixit has for the iMacs, but I already have the tools necessary and only need the SSD that is in the kit. What SATA SSDs work with the iMac or what type does the kit include?


- Avery

(P.S. the iMac I'm wanting to upgrade is the iMac Intel 21.5" 4K Retina 2017 version)

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Hold that thought!

First which model are you getting? I would recommend you get one of the SSD models Vs the HDD model from the get go! Keep in mind the PCIe blade SSD is over twice as fast as the SATA port connection! Second the HDD only model won't have the PCIe blade support! So you'll never have it as an option!

So in a nutshell get the PCIe SSD system and then add to it the HD if you want a dual drive or Fusion Drive config later. For now use an external HD for your bulk data.

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As for which SATA SSD to replace your SATA HD drive you can go with any 2.5" drive.

But, be warned you will void your AppleCare warranty switching out the drive.


what about the fusion drive bto options, do those have a blade slotor is it a hybrid solution using SATA?


A Fusion Drive uses two drives the SATA HDD and the PCIe SSD and makes them into a logical drive. The problem is the blade SSD Apple offers in their Fusion drive config is on the small side considering the slow RPM HDD they use.

Thats why I recommend just getting the blade SSD model (largest you can afford) and adding in your own HDD if you need an internal drive (either setup as a discreet setup or setup as a Fusion Drive).

Frankly, I recommend getting a external Thunderbolt3 RAID drive as a better config than the internal HD and forgo the Fusion Drive if you want real deep storage.


I disagree with the above comment. A SATA SSD is a huge upgrade from the fusion drive. Also, once installed, you then have access to the puny little blade drive that was once part of the fusion drive, so you can format that and use it for whatever you want.

But as far as speed goes, the speed tests can be deceptive, IMO. It's been my experience that in real world use, there is a law of diminishing returns. The jump to any SSD from a spinning drive or fusion drive is big, but from any SATA ssd to a blade ssd, less so.

I have a super fast blade SSD in my 2015 MacBook pro, but honestly can't tell much of a lick of difference between that and the SATA ssd in my 2017 iMac.


Robert - You should read the full post before jumping in.

What I said was the PCIe Blade SSD is by far the best config to buy if you want speed!

Getting a SATA HD only model and then swapping out the HD for a SATA SSD is a waste! Of both time and money, as well as adding needless risk and voiding your Apple warranty on a brand new system.

Keep in mind the Thunderbolt connection is faster than the internal SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) connection so if you need fast and deep storage I would go that way Vs opening up the system to add in any SATA drive. I should add you won't have the option of adding a PCIe SSD later as Apple does not populate the logic board with the socket and sundry chips to support it.


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