Model A1419 / EMC 2806 & EMC 2834/ Late 2014 or Early 2015 or late 2015 / 3.3 or 3.5 GHz Core i5 or 4.0 GHz Core i7 Processor / Retina 5K display

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Which iMac config do I buy to insert the maximum SSD storage?


Really want to buy a new iMac but they don't have enough SSD storage.

Can you help me figure out how to make a 27" iMac with the Max amount of SSD space?

There are 2Tb and 4Tb SSDs out there, and Apple only offer 1Tb SSD in their iMac and the upsell prices on better configs are always more than buying parts separately.

If I buy a new one and instantly take it apart to upgrade it, which config would be best?

i.e. do I go for the smallest Fusion drive config, or the smallest SSD config?

if it ships with just SSD, is there still an empty bay to put an SSD?

can I put 2 bigger SSDs in there?


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As you haven't bought the system yet you have a few options.

Buy a new 'Thin Series' system as you implied and getting a SSD only model that way the blade SSD is mounted and then add in a second traditional SATA drive, in this case a 2.5" SSD. If you do that you will void your AppleCare warranty. In addition pulling off the display to get inside is not easy! And if you're not careful you can damage the display which would be an expensive mistake! Here is the IFIXIT guide to swap out the HD to a second SSD iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display Hard Drive Replacement. You also need these parts: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for Hard Drive Upgrade for 27" iMacs 2012 and Later & OWC 2.5" to 3.5" Drive Adapter Bracket as the original drive is 3.5".

Or, buy a used older 27" 2011 model. Then add in a second drive (2.5" SSD) using the spare SATA port. If you also wanted a bigger primary drive upgrade it as well to a SSD. Here is the IFIXIT guides to add in the second drive: Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Dual Hard Drive Kit and here is the main drive replacement guide: iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Hard Drive Replacement. If you go with the main drive swap out with an SSD you'll also need a few additional parts: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for iMac 2011 Hard Drive Upgrade & OWC 2.5" to 3.5" Drive Adapter Bracket as the original drive is 3.5".

I would strongly recommend sticking with the older 27" 2011 model as its just easier as safer a project. While this series doesn't offer a 5K display or have the fastest CPU it more than works for most people.

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Hard Drive Image


iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Hard Drive Replacement

Difficulty: Moderate20 - 30 minutes

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FYI the biggest 2.5" SSD available now 16 TB but it will cost you a ton!


Thanks! That is a phenomenal answer

Feeling brave so going for the 5k - hoping to put this in there:


I haven't added a SATA drive in this series yet, so I'm not sure if the SATA drive cable is present in the system so you may need it as well.

Lastly, the SATA port is slower than the PCIe port, so you'll want to use it as your boot drive and you can't create a dual SSD Fusion Drive.

I wish you luck! Let us know how it goes!


Hope you can help - I bought the following (below) but have been advised by the technician who agreed to follow the guide that neither the cable or the drive adapter fit:

iMac 27" 5k Late 2015

Samsung 2.5" 850EVO 4Tb

His comment is "the SATA cable is too short for it to reach the logic board and the SSD dock is too small to fit in the 3’5” bay"

Are you sure these were the correct components?


I think your tech has things a bit confused here ;-}

The in-line thermal sensor adapter still needs the SATA cable from the logic board. What it is doing is adding the needed sensor in-line with the SATA cable.

- Basically: SSD or HD > Adapter > SATA cable > Logic board

As for the frame if you are using the Samsung SSD is a standard 2.5" drive it's the correct frame to hold the SSD to then mount to the now removed 3.5" HD (or added if you got the PCIe blade SSD model) You'll still need the Apple 3.5" drive mount hardware if you don't have a 3.5" drive.


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