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Model A1419 / EMC 2806 / Late 2014 or Mid 2015. 3.3 or 3.5 GHz Core i5 or 4.0 GHz Core i7 (ID iMac15,1); EMC 2834 late 2015 / 3.3 or 3.5 GHz Core i5 or 4.0 GHz Core i7 (iMac17,1) All with Retina 5K displays

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Can I add a PCIe SSD to my iMac 5K (Oct 2015)?

Hello from Germany,

I bought an iMac 5K QC i5 3.2, EMC 2834, m380 Late 2015, sadly it'sthe version with the 1 TB HDD, uggghhhh!

Now my Quesion: Is it possible to add a 256GB PCIe SSD from a Mac Book Pro/Air 2014 to the iMac?

Or is the Socket/Port missing on the Logicboard of the Base-Model?

Thank you Tim

Respondido! View the answer Também tenho esse problema

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Sadly Apple does not offer upgrades for this system. So you'll need to find an independent Apple servicer who can get the SSD spares part from Apple and put it in for you (very expensive solution!)

While you could do this your self this is an advanced DIY project and you could damage the display if you don't follow the IFIXIT guide to the letter. You would still need to locate the custom Apple blade SSD (PCIe x4 NVM express SSD), which will be very difficult. Here's the IFIXIT guide you'll need to follow: iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display SSD Replacement

Frankly, I think it's a lot safer and cheaper just to get an external Thunderbolt 2 SSD RAID drive. You'll get better performance than swapping out the HD for a SSD (if you where thinking on going that way), but not quite as fast as the built-in blade SSD (very close though!)

Here's one unit: OWC ThunderBay 4 mini

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@danj - I have not been into a 2015 model yet. What about this "It has a Serial ATA (6 Gb/s) connector for a 2.5" hard drive."?


It has a 3.5" SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) HD and the PCIe blade SSD. Unlike the older custom Apple PCIe x2 (2 lane) SSD drive this one has a PCIe x4 (4 lane) NVM express SSD. Unlike the 21.5" systems which have a 2.5" HD and the PCIe blade drive. Some 21.5" models don't have the PCIe connector which creates some confusion The newer 4K model is missing it again when you get a HD only model.


As a reference here the drive IFIXIT has in their teardown: WD10EALX


thank you, i will try a 2.5 SSD then. Thanks a lot Tim


Before you go that route you'll need an external thermal sensor: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for Hard Drive Upgrade for 27" iMacs 2012 and Later as the SSD does not offer one and the system requires it. You'll also need: OWC 2.5" to 3.5" Drive Adapter Bracket to house the 2.5" SSD. I would also recommend getting an external drive case to hold your SSD to prep it up and then to hold your old HD as a backup drive. I would go with a USB 3.0 case.


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Standard Hard Drive: 1 TB* Int. HD Interface: Serial ATA (6 Gb/s)/PCIe*

Details: *This model is equipped by default with either a 1 TB (7200 RPM) hard drive (MK462LL/A) or a 1 TB "Fusion" Drive, which combines a 24 GB SSD and a 1 TB hard drive (MK472LL/A). It has a Serial ATA (6 Gb/s) connector for a 2.5" hard drive. It also has a second PCIe connector (PCIe 2.0 x4 NVMexpress interface) that accommodates the SSD if the system is configured with a "Fusion Drive" or SSD or that remains unpopulated if configured with only a hard drive.

At the time of purchase, Apple offers a 2 TB "Fusion Drive" (which combines a 128 GB SSD and a 2 TB hard drive) for an extra US$200, a 3 TB "Fusion Drive" (which combines a 128 GB SSD and a 3 TB hard drive) for an extra US$300, a 256 GB SSD for an extra US$100, a 512 GB SSD for an extra US$400, or a 1 TB SSD for an extra US$900.


Here's the info on an upgrade: http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/im...

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I contacted an AASP and was given this answer. "The PCI-E SSD for that iMac is $1600, the labor will be about $209.95 since the slot for it is located on the back of the logic board, so the whole system will have to be rebuilt, and we charge a $69.95 bench fee. So in total $1879.90 plus tax."

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Yep! Very expensive. A OWC ThunderBay 4 mini with four 1TB SSD's would cost you the same $1600 and offer a sustained speed of 1350 GB/s! A much better solution.


Well, I got the MK462ll/A for around $1100 as an open box item at Best Buy and since I saved a good amount on it, I purchased Applecare on Amazon for $144. Your solution is definitely the best. Maybe once the applecare is expired or even before, I'll open it up and just removed the 1TB hard drive and put in a Samsung 512GB 850 Pro.


Just to be clear here the ThunderBay unit is an external Thunderbolt 2 RAID drive system. I don't recommend opening this series just to swap out the HD for a 2.5" SSD unit. it makes little sense when you have a better option externally.


I ended up opening the case with a utility knife blade with care only allowing about 1/8 inch depth with attention around the iSight camera. I removed the HD and installed a Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD using an external thermal sensor: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for Hard Drive Upgrade for 27" iMacs 2012 and Later as the SSD does not offer one and the system requires it. You'll also need: OWC 2.5" to 3.5" Drive Adapter Bracket to house the 2.5" SSD as mentioned above by Dan. Installation took about 15 mins. I then closed the system with 3M adhesive strips and restored from a Time Machine Backup to the new SSD. The improvement is significant and I am so glad I did it sooner than when the AppleCare expires. So happy with the system now more than before with the slow platter Hard Drive.


I use Transcend Thunderbolt II connection SSD as the boot drive.

There is no use for built-in HDD. Just only installed siella and C.C.C.

All data is mirrored to an external USB 3 hard disks.

Memory are 16Gb to 24GB, Ain't it enough?

I think this is a simple and easy goin' method.


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Problem I'm having with using an external SSD drive over thunderbolt is that I can't seem to find a solution for also using bootcamp if I go that route.so far, it seems, and I could be wrong, that if you use an external drive for the macos, you can t use boot camp. my problem goes even deeper because my internal SSD portion of the fusion drive seems to have failed and bootcamp seems to require it. So even though the macos was able to be installed on the HDD only, bootcamp wouldn't install because of a appleSSD. Sys driver error. So, for now the only solution I can find for a failed internal SSD portion of the fusion drive and to use bootcamp also, is to replace the internal pcie SSD. I've seen a YouTube video for doing this and it seems like you have to remove almost every component inside to get to it.

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Hi Marty.

How to fix a split Fusion Drive

This is a support document from Apple USA.

There is a problem with your Mac, so it's worth a try.

The backup will be in the external SSD.

Another way is to kill a small built-in SSD.

Boot from the recovery area and format it with Disk Utility. Leave as it is.

Or start up in target disk mode and connect to Windows 10 machine.

Hit the Disk Part with the power shell with administrator privileges.

List Disk

Find the small SSD number of your Mac.

Select Disk * * is the target number.

Check well and type crean.

Although SSD exists physically, it does not exist ethically.

The disturbing person disappeared.

Good Luck

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The problem isn't just that the fusion drive was split. The problem is that the SSD part of the fusion drive has failed (fusion drive is actually two completely separate devices in a mac). Turns out I was able to make a backup image (dmg) with disktuil UI (from mac recovery) of the bootcamp partition, rename the applessd.sys file (and its backup file) in this bootcamp windows installation, convert the dmg file to an img file and restore the bootcamp partition (using DD on the img file). Quite a process and I'm surprised it actually worked. But I now have a completely restored Windows/Bootcamp partition on a fresh Mac OS Mojave installation, all without using the SSD anymore in my mac (using only the HDD now). It's a performance hit, but I didn't have to open my iMac.



I am not native. I did not get what I wanted to say. There is no need to perform a laparotomy surgery on a Mac. The WINdos part is NTFS. OSX can be ready. It can not write.

In order to back up this part completely, I think it is better to clone in C.C.C. Or make a backup to NTFS something with DOS application.

The SSD like the first appendix merely pretends to be a preboot area and starts up faster. It seems that the boot camp is also here.

Mixing OSX and WIN makes it awkward and troublesome.

Personally I think it is good to leave WIN 10 to the surface professional 6. Cost is another matter.

Finally, I can not do things like please. So it seems to be a rough person. It is not the case. My English is at the same level as a kindergarten child.



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another question: If I want to REPLACE small SSD “blade” with models of SSDs are compatible?

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