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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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What is the best SSD upgrade for my 27" iMac 5K 2017?

Hi,

I updated from 8GB ram to 32GB RAM recently because I noticed the slow preview and render on my After Effect usage. However this did not speed up the process, so I have been researching on how to improve the speed of my iMac.

My iMac specs:

  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
  • Processor: 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5
  • Memory: 32 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
  • Startup Disk: 1TB Macintosh HD 1
  • Graphics: Radeon Pro 570 4096 MB

I’m quite new to this and have been asking local technicians here in Malaysia that repair and do Mac upgrades however none is offering the CPU upgrade service. So I’m thinking of doing the upgrade myself. If I do manage to take apart the screen, I would like to upgrade the i5 to a i7 7700 processor.

I found out that there is also options of upgrading the NVMe too apart from HDD to SSD, and I’m a little bit confused with this two. What would be the safest and most efficient PCIe/NVMe options that anyone can suggest me to purchase and upgrade?

Your help will be much appreciated!

Thank you.

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Its not a surprise you’re not seeing any real improvement with just the RAM upgrade as After Effects leverages a scratch space on your drive to work off of. So being a slow HDD won’t help you and to add to it you also factor the limits of the SATA port SATA III (6.o Gb/s).

Installing a PCIe/NVMe blade SSD is the right direction, depending on your project size you’ll need a 1 or 2 TB. Here’s the needed part OWC Aura Pro X2 SSD and the guide to put it in iMac 27" 2017 Blade SSD Replacement. You’ll need to format and setup your OS onto the SSD, You’ll also want to move over your apps I would strongly recommend you clean house as you want to save as much space for your scratch space and cache files.

As far as upgrading the CPU while you can get some additional improvement jumping to a i7 I think the SSD will get you more improvement.

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OWC Aura Pro X2 SSD Afbeelding

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OWC Aura Pro X2 SSD

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Hi Dan,

Thank you so much for your answer! It makes much more sense to me now.

Would you advise upgrading the original Macintosh HD to an SSD too?

door

@outhin - Surprisingly no!

While the HDD is not a speed demon, it can offer the added storage for your completed work and documentation. I would use the blade SSD only to hold my active work and then move it over to the HDD as you want keep at least 1/4 ~ 1/3 of the blade SSD empty!

I would make the investment on a good external RAID drive setup over upgrading the HDD as you likely need still deeper storage as well as backups.

door

Thank you so much for your answer, I really appreciate it! I will look into RAID setup too, all the best!

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Outhin zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.
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