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Model A1419 / EMC 3070 / Mid 2017 / 3.4, 3.5 or 3.8 GHz Core i5 or 4.2 GHz Core i7 Kaby Lake Processor (ID iMac18,3) / Retina 5K display. Refer to the older iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display (Late 2014 & 2015) guides as the system is very similar.

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PCIe SSD adapter compatibility with Mid-2017 iMac 27"

  1. Do we know if the "slot" for the PCIe "Blade" SSD exists on iMac configurations purchased without "Fusion Drive"?
  2. Do we know what type of PCIe SSD is compatible with this iMac, i.e. Samsung, OtherWorld, etc.?
  3. Do we know if there is an aftermarket adapter that allows us to add our own PCIe SSD to that slot?

Update (07/13/2017)

If we order the 2TB SSD is that a "Blade" SSD, or is it a 2.5 Drive where the HDD would be?

Amazon Pricing Today:

  • Samsung 960 PRO Series - 1TB PCIe NVMe - M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V6P1T0BW) $579.99
  • Samsung 960 PRO Series - 2TB PCIe NVMe - M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V6P2T0BW) $1,208.99

Apple's Pricing Today:

  • 1TB SSD + $540.00
  • 2TB SSD + $1,260.00

Apple looks fairly competitive.

Not sure who makes their "Blade" PCIe SSD, or how it compares to the Samsung 960 PRO... Does anyone know?

We always look for the best value for our dollar, but it looks like we are being painted into a corner by Apple.

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Take a look at this vid: 2017 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display Unboxing and Teardown if you jump the 10:00 time point you can see the custom Samsung SSD the drive Apple is using (note the Samsung logo on the big chip). This is very different design from the Samsung M.2 SSD's (note the larger width)

I wouldn't say Apple is painting anyone into the corner, its just that are pushing the envelope of performance with their SSD drive designs. Apple has been on the cutting edge here, most of the others are still a good year behind in performance.

I'm sure Samsung is either only suppling this drive to Apple or Apple has contracted some of the chips to Samsung and is making their own SSD unlike the older models which they contracted a few companies to make the complete custom drive.


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OWC has not come out with an SSD blade for this machine as of yet.

The adapters for the mSATA blades have proven to be unreliable.

There are memory upgrades available:

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I have been using a Samsung SSD 840 EVO 1TB mSATA with a MaxUpgrades adapter on my 2013 iMac for four years without an issue. I would like to see your sources that prove adapters are unreliable.


Apple has used over five different blade SSD designs in their systems so what may have worked in one series won't necessarily work in the next.

In your case you had a SATA device which had access to the host chipset as Apple was using a SATA Express type of SSD in your system. Today Apple is now using NVMe devices which are not the same.

Take a read of this for more: SATA Express. M.2 or mSATA devices have not been certified by Apple or other vendor.

In heavy stress testing in MacBook Pro retina systems reliability of a M.2 SSD has been proven not to be stable and in the newest models that still offer removable SSD's not working at all.

Here’s a good reference: The Ultimate Guide to Apple’s Proprietary SSDs


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So far the HDD only 21.5" model is missing the PCIe support hardware. We don't have any reports on the 27" model yet.

I would buy the PCIe SSD only model and buy the largest you can afford. Then it you must add in the HDD. Frankly, you may want to wait on adding the HDD and just use an external USB3 or Thunderbolt drive (RAID being the best).

It will be a good year or two before anyone offers a SSD upgrade option for this new system.

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Dear jprokos, do you mean that you have an iMac 2013 and you have successfully installed a PCIe SSD using an adaptor?

I have a late 2013 21.5” iMac (A1418) and I have been roaming the internet for days trying to find out:

1. whether or not my model has an extra slot?

2. which PCIe SSD would be compatible?

3. If there is an adaptor which would do the trick?

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mSATA is not the same as PCIe! Apple's custom Blade SSDs is what there is. Forget the M.2 adapter idea.


So, there is no way to add a pcie ssd to a late 2013 iMac and keep the existong hd? I mean't a third party pcie ssd...


The HD only models don't offer the PCIe slot. Apple does not populate the logic board with the needed parts. Only the Fusion Drive'd & SSD only models have the slot.


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jprokos zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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