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NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSDs fit & work in late '15 iMacs?

Can a 3rd party SSD such as Samsung 950Pro (NVMe, PCIe 3.0x, 4 lanes) work in a late 2015 retina iMac?

The iMac board only has PCIe 2.0 w/4 lanes, basically limiting the SSD speed to "only" 500MB/s per channel (vs 1GBps in PCIe 3.0 standard).

The questions are:

- does the controller/connectivity of the new NVMe SSDs allow for simple PnP on the iMac board?

- does the PCIe 2.0 vs 3.0 hinder/limit performance, regardless of available lane count? (both 4x)


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Looking at doing the same thing... (with a 512). Did you end up trying this upgrade, BB?


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Sorry guys ;-{

Apple uses a custom physical interface with their PCIe blade SSD units in the newer 'Thin Series' iMac's. The Samsung 950 Pro blade SSD conforms to the M.2 standard and will not fit.

You could swap out your current HD or add in a SSD using the SATA port the system. But to be honest I think you'll get better performance using an external Thunderbolt RAID'ed SSD drive. Which would be faster than the internal SATA port connected SSD. Besides it is less work and risk of damaging things.

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Can you suggest a Thunderbolt to NVME adapter/box?

or USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gbps) to NVME.


So far I've only seen USB to M.2 SATAe cases. I don't think you'll see any M.2 NVMe external cases.

Unlike SATA which is a full interface (Phy & dialog) PCIe is not (Phy only). M.2 is a strange beast! Which makes it more complex to implement within an external dumb case. It will require some level of Phy bus driver & micro controller to emulate a PC's PCIe bus. Which could slow the I/O if it's not powerful enough and it would be costly. Look at what a Thunderbolt RAID drive case costs.


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