Model A1419 / Late 2012 / 2.9 & 3.2 GHz Core i5 or 3.4 GHz Core i7 Processor, ID iMac13,2

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SSD Upgrade / Install

Hello Everybody!!

I have a late 2012, 27" iMac which Im planning to upgrade to flash SSD. Are there any recommendations on hardware options and tools that I need to prepare with?

What would be some of the limitations and issues that I should expect?



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@Laks Gandikota - The issue is which interface you are planning on using. If you are trying to use the PCIe blade SSD connector to put an M.2 Samsung 850 SSD it won't work as your system can't take M.2 SSD's. If you are thinking of replacing your SATA HD for a SSD then the SATA Samsung 850 SSD will work. If you still want to use the PCIe slot you'll need to get a real Apple SSD which is quite expensive! Or you can go with OWC's blade SSD option OWC SSD Flash Storage Upgrades iMac 27" 2012

But! Before you do this lets look at the drives throughput which is what most people are looking at (faster). The SATA III HD interface this system offers is 6.0 Gb/s (75 MB) the PCIe (2 lane) blade drive interface offers 5GT/s (500 MB). Now lets look at Thunderbolt 2 It offers 20Gb/s (2 GB/s) which is still faster! Remember this is the theoretical throughput must drives (HD's & SSD's) discretely can't push or receive the data at this rate. Only RAID'ed drive sets (SSD's) can get dam close with todays technology.

So what makes sense here? Leave your internal drives alone and go with an external RAID drive set it will offer the best bang for the dollar here. This is what we are using: ThunderBay 4 mini which offers a sustained 1.35 TB of throughput!

Here's a good writeup: Theoretical vs. Actual Bandwidth: PCI Express and Thunderbolt

Now here's the last shoe to fall ...

This series are a bear to open! You need to be very careful pulling off the display assembly if not you can damage it which would be an expensive mistake. Second getting to the blade SSD slot requires pulling the entire logic board out. Here are the IFIXIT guides:

In addition, if you swap out the HD you'll need a replacement thermal sensor: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for Hard Drive Upgrade for 27" iMacs 2012 and Later and you'll need an adapter frame like this one: OWC 2.5" to 3.5" Drive Adapter Bracket.

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2546 Blade SSD Image


iMac Intel 27" EMC 2546 Blade SSD Replacement



2 - 3 hours

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2546 Hard Drive Replacement Image


iMac Intel 27" EMC 2546 Hard Drive Replacement



1 hour

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I personally use a Samsung 250GB SSD but the hardware really depends on your company and storage size preferences.

The tools you should have on hand are phillips and torx screwdrivers. I believe the screw size on the hard drive mounting bracket are T6. You can just use your fingers to pry off the screen but that can be painful and if you move to quickly you might accidentally rip a wire out so I recommend using an opening pick which of course you can find in the ifixit store. I would also have a soft mat on hand to lay the screen on so you don't scratch it.

You really shouldn't run into any limitations since your Mac was made before they decided to remove the ability to customize your internal hardware. As long as you have a basic knowledge of what is on the inside of your mac you should be fine. Double check the repair guides to see if you can find a step by step on how to safely open up your Mac.

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Michael, first welcome to iFixit. A link to the guide would be helpful. Addressing the temperature sensor issues with this upgrade is essential to avoid run away fan issues. Using the correct tool for screen removal is really required. Replacement of the adhesive strips needs to be addressed.

iMac Intel 27" (2012-2017) Adhesive Strips

Please take a look at this link:

Will the drive need to be formatted and how. Is he planning to add an SSD to the slot or replace the standard SATA hard drive with a SSD drive?

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2546 Hard Drive Replacement

Will he need a 3..5" to 2.5 drive carrier? Where can you get it?

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2546 Blade SSD Replacement

Or is he just going to replace the main hard drive? Answering questions well is a learning process,please take this in the nature it is intended as constructive. Make your changes, remember we are usually dealing with repair novices.

Show what parts are needed and tools required (these are usually in the repair guide.

You're a Texan, and the best answer people come out of our great state. Just look at @oldturkey03 . there is some scuttlebutt about making Yankee @danj (the pro from Dover and finest kind), an honorary Texan but we can't get him off his fresh fried lobster and onto a BBQ brisket yet. You'll have to watch the movie or read the book MASH to catch the inference. We do try to have fun here and make you think. He's probably never had pickled okra out of San Angelo:

He probably gets his salsa from New York City instead of San Antonio Pace:


Gee, Mayer... I lived in New Mexico for a couple of years so I do enjoy good mid west BBQ brisket or ribs! I also get my salsa shipped from NM. Which is hotter than what you Texans use ;-} It has Ghost Peppers in it.

I did like San Antonio's River walk the last time I was in Texas, but you guys need to spice up the food a bit more. Your Tex-Mex is still on the mild side from what I'm use to.

As for you, I need you to visit the East coast sometime to get some good fried clams & cod. Lobster tail is not all what people enjoy here in Boston, a good clam chowder goes a long way. When I'm down on the cape or the islands I do enjoy sucking down a cool Gin & tonic. Maybe you'll get hooked on the sweet life we have here ;-}


@danj - please forgive me for intimating you were a Yankee. My daughter lives in Taos, so she could pick up a bottle if I knew the name. I don't do Tex-Mex. I cook Yucatan style. Last time I was on the East Coast I asked the friend I was staying to take me to a BBQ joint. It was sliced roast beef with bottled sauce poured in it. Gave me a very bad impression and taste in my mouth. I can't say I've had a good clam chowder. I did learn about fresh oysters at Cape Canaveral. I had had one in my life before that but ate four dozen after tasting good ones. Definitely different than mountain oysters.

BTW - if you have never read the book MASH, it's the only book I ever laughed out loud while reading.


@mayer - I've been called worse things ;-} I classify my self more of a world man. It's only the last years I've anchored my self here in bean town the longest.


Thanks for your note. Is Samsung's SSD flash compatible? Im debating with the OWC product which seems to be specifically designed for iMac's


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Laks Gandikota will be eternally grateful.
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