Model A1419 / EMC 2806 / Late 2014 or Mid 2015. 3.3 or 3.5 GHz Core i5 or 4.0 GHz Core i7 (ID iMac15,1); EMC 2834 late 2015 / 3.3 or 3.5 GHz Core i5 or 4.0 GHz Core i7 (iMac17,1) All with Retina 5K displays

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Add 2TB HDD + Fusion Drive to a 256GB ssd?

Hi all,

I'm about to purchase my first iMac so (my iPhone not taken into account) I'm fairly new with the apple platform.

The main goal wil be music production with Ableton live9 and 3rd party vst's with sample banks.

Therfore I want to get the best system possible preformance wise.

However, since I'm already way over my budget I want to start with the setup below containing the parts that (from what I undertsood) can't be changed later:


4.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz

8GB 1867MHz DDR3 SDRAM - two 4GB

256GB Flash Storage

AMD Radeon R9 M390 with 2GB video memory

Magic Mouse 2

Magic Keyboard (British) & User’s Guide (English)

Accessory Kit

From what I understood I can add extra RAM later, just like I will add extra external storage for photos and movies etc.

The only thing that I´m still doubting about is which internal storage I should choose.

Apple offers 1 TB which comes with just 24GB.

I gues this is not enough for running Ableton vst's and sample banks.

However the 2 TB version is to expensive for now and 128Gb isn´t that much either.

For this reason I want to go for the 256GB version.

The only thing that is not clear to me if it's possible to add an extral internal HDD (7200 RPM) and create a fusion drive solution later?

This gives me time to save a little and eventually get the best of two worlds?

Thanks in advance and I look forward to hear from you,


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You should be able to if my theory is correct.

iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display Teardown

• In this tear down you'll see this imac uses both M.2 sata storage and a 3.5" HDD.

• If the 256GB SSD is M.2 Sata you'll find the space for the massive 3.5" HDD would be left empty or with nothing but a bracket.

• If the case is the Imac with 256GB SSD is a normal SATA 2.5" with a mounting bracket to fit in the 3.5" space you'll be s*** out of luck.

To be sure my recommendation would be to go with the already prebuilt hybrid of 1TB and 24GB and here's why:

OSX is currently only 8GBs big which would leave plenty of space for important programs, any sizable files like movies and music should go on the HDD and in the future you'll easily be able to upgrade the 24GB M.2 SATA to something like 240GB for $100 aprx. Not to mention that M.2 SATA is around 6 x as fast as SSD SATAs.

hope this helps.

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Hi Omri,

Thanks for your reply and I understand what you're saying .

However Live 9 Suites, including sound library alone already requires 55 GB of free disk space, not to mention Max for Live and other additional VST's ill be running. So 24Gb GB will not be enough, even more because I want to upgrade the RAM (32GB) later as well.

For this reason I'm now wondering what type is the 256GB of flash storage (SSD) that comes with this BTO version?

If the 256GB SSD is M.2 Sata and you're right about the empty bracket space for a massive 3.5" HDD this would be great. Especially if I could use this to add a 2TB (7200 RPM) HDD and create a fusion drive. Only I can't find any info or documentation on wheter this is possible or not with my system.

So if anyone here can confirm this that would be great?



Have you ever found an answer? I'd like to upgrade my 27" Retina iMac with 512GB SSD to a Fusion Drive by adding a 6TB HDD.


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