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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PCIe SSD compatibility FOR 5K iMac


I am waiting to upgrade my iMac 5k FUSION DRIVE-SPECIFICALLY THE 24G PCIe SSD in motherboard and not the SATA 3 HD drive(why not get more bang for my bucks /performance)

I realize its a risky major teardown and also don't want to use an external SSD with thunderbolt as this negates the reason i love an iMac

My question is can i use the new samsung NVMe 960 EVO M.2 SSD?

From what i can tell its also a 4 lane based PCIe SSD?

Can i use it?

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I'm wondering about this myself. I'm also curious about using an 32GB Optane drive. Is it possible? If so is it worth it?


No Optane support in MacOS


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Sorry guys ;-{ Apple uses a custom SSD drive. Here’s a good reference: The Ultimate Guide to Apple’s Proprietary SSDs

Now lets dig a bit deeper here. A Fusion Drive is made up of two drives the slower SATA disk drive and a fast PCIe/AHCI drive. The reason was to offer faster SSD access by caching the more heavily access data. In truth Apple is only copying the data from the HDD to the SSD. If the data is updated it’s written to the HDD so the data is not lost.

OK, so does it make sense making the SSD larger than what Apple installed? You hit a few issues as the more you cache the more re-writes are needed to keep it updated. This causes the SSD to wear quickly. The SSD Apple is using is really a 128 GB drive its just that a very large part of it is held in reserve! Which is why it’s listed as only 24 GB in size.

What I do is forget the Fusion Drive config and just setup a dual drive setup. Here the wear issue is much less! I try to get my customers to go with a 256 or 512 GB blade drive. The SSD is setup as the boot drive (OS) and all of the apps. I leave the rest of the drive empty! The reason for this is the OS and the Apps need free space for caching and paging which we do want to run off of the SSD. The HD is then the bulk storage of the data.

The only issue with this setup is if you are doing large image, video or music work. Here you may need a still larger SSD I’ve seen people install 2 TB drives in the newer iMac 5K systems.

So what is your needs? Will going with a dual drive config work for you?

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That answers my question. Thanks Dan


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