Model A1419 / Late 2013 / 3.2 & 3.4 GHz Core i5 or 3.5 GHz Core i7 Processor, ID iMac14,2

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Add PCI-E SSD, fusion drive or separate?

I am looking to add a PCI-E ssd for my iMac.

It's the late 2013 3,4GHz i5 quadcore with 775MX graphics, 1TB harddrive and 8GB ram.

Can I just pop it in myself (took a look at the guide already) and the iMac will detect a fusion drive? Can I separate them and have the SSD by itself and add/remove files to the 1TB HDD as I go? (for better performance, that is)

Beantwoord! View the answer Dit probleem heb ik ook

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Read my to comments above before following this:

I still think you'll be just as happy with a SSHD and its a lot less work. Here's a link to Seagates web site that explains what it is: Seagate Desktop SSHD and here's the spec sheet: Desktop SSHD specsheet. This drive supports the newer '11 onward internal thermal sensor the iMacs have so its a direct drop in for your current HD. If you use anything else you'll likely need an adapter cable. Here's a link explaining OWC Updates Hard Drive DIY Kit For Expanding Factory Installed Storage Capacity for All 2011 iMac and 27″ 2012-Current iMac Models.

Follow this IFIXIT guide: iMac Intel 27" EMC 2639 Hard Drive Replacement on the needed steps.

OK, you're going for it! Apple blade SSD it is!

Follow this IFIXIT guide: iMac Intel 27" EMC 2639 SSD Replacement.

But before you do review the steps between the HD Vs SSD as you'll be removing the logic board to get to the SSD mount Vs the HD swap out. Are you up to this? do you have the needed ESD mat and wrist strap and its correctly grounded to protect the logic board (remember its winter so the air is dry - lots of static electricity!!)

Don't forget to order a set of adhesive strips before going either way!

I wish you luck which ever direction you go! Please let us know how it goes.

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2639 Hard Drive Replacement afbeelding


iMac Intel 27" EMC 2639 Hard Drive Replacement



30 minutes - 2 hours

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2639 Blade SSD afbeelding


iMac Intel 27" EMC 2639 Blade SSD Replacement



1 - 3 hours

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One last point: You also talked about swapping out the HD for a 2.5" SSD. Sadly you can't, while one can get it to fit using an adapter frame the internal temp sensor system the iMac requires is missing in the SSD. You'll need the adapter cable I pointed out above if you really want to do this. And, don't forget the SSD will need a standard SATA connection Vs the mSATA most have as well here.


Thank you for your input.

Since the used SSDs on ebay might already have been paired to a fusion drive before, it would probably be smarter for me to just get a regular 2,5" SSD with an ordinary sata connector. I don't want to risk buying an SSD and it would turn out to be broken.

If I go with the 2,5" SSD, I could adjust the fan speed with software, instead of buying the adapter.


Pairing the SSD to a HD does not make it unusable! Using the external case I pointed you to, you can reformat the SSD and test it before opening your system. So don't let that be the reason here. As to the 2.5" SSD swapping out your HD: As I stated it can be done but you do need the hardware fix not the software fix! many people have found out too late the damage the software SMC over-ride to slow the fan/s. These systems swing temp-wise too much for the software solution to work. You just bought a nice system don't go cheap and end up burning out your system prematurely. Get the OWC cable and do it right! I still think you'll be happier with the SSHD Vs a straight SSD. But if thats what you want...


I see. What if I buy a PCI-E SSD that isn't partitioned yet? Will I be able to create a fusion drive with my system without the OWC bay? Since it is pretty expensive.

Or, If I go with the 2,5" SSD, I would only need this cable right?


Robert you're cutting corners here ;-} If you want to do the SSD blade solution you really should do the external case ($140) so you can test it before opening your system. Did you review the needed steps to open your system and the added steps to take the logic bd out? Its a lot of work and if you get a bum SSD blade you'll need to put it all back together until you get another one. Look at it this way I'm sure you'll be able to sell it afterwards to recoup the cost.


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Sadly you're between a rock and a hard place presently. Apple is the only source of the needed M.2 type blade SSD drive. Apple had custom firmware on the SSD's so you can't plug in just any PCIe SSD - Sorry ;-{

OK, lets look at this a bit differently here:

Your goal is to improve the boot up and your file access. You could swap out your HD for a SSHD hybrid drive which will give you the zip you are looking for with it's SSD cache and yet give you the deep storage of a HD. Seagate makes a good one.

I should point out opening the newer thin iMac series is not easy! You need the proper tools and it does take some skill.

You may want to think what your goal is here. It maybe easier and cheaper just buying a new system with the configuration you want Vs trying to upgrading this system. After to transitioning to the new system sell your old system.

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I know there are only Apple SSDs that will fit.

What I want to do is to buy a used one off ebay from another iMac or Retina MacBook Pro, like this one

But is the SSD mated to the specific computer it was shipped with?

I bought this computer used for cheap, so buying a new one isn't an alternative.

I could just swap the 3,5" hard drive for a 2,5" SSD if the PCI-E one doesn't work.


We tried buying a few so called 'used' SSD blades out of three attempts we got two defective units both which we couldn't get a refund on for out Mac Pro systems. So be careful!


No the SSD is not mated until its been bonded with a HD in a fusion drive setup. What I would recommend is getting this: OWC Envoy Pro Portable, Bus-Powered USB 3.0 Enclosure For Apple Flash SSDs (June 2013-Current Mac Models) to hold the SSD blade externally so you can check it out before opening your system. Given the amount of work needed to get to the SSD location in these iMacs.


+ Excellent job of explaining the options & limitations! If I could up you more than one I would.


Thanks! ABCellars


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