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 SSD to 5K retina iMac

I am aware that opening this iMac is difficult. As it is still in warranty, I don't plan to do anything at this point, but I wanted an answer to the following question (My iMac currently has a 500 GB SSD only).

If I were to open the iMac, would it be possible to mount either an aftermarket SSD or a standard HD in the place where Apple would have installed a Fusion Drive?

Having looked at the iFixit tear down of the iMac to replace a SSD, I think mounting one where the HD could have gone would be far simpler.

Thank you in advance for any information you might have.

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Lets quickly review what a Fusion Drive is:

  • It is the marriage (fused) of two devices, a traditional HD and a SSD to be seen within the OS as if it was one drive (logically one drive).

So if I understand what you bought you got the 512 GB SSD model (blade drive using a PCIe 2.0 x4 NVMexpress interface]. So the SATA port connection is currently unused.

So you can add a second drive to your system either a 3.5" HD or a SSD with a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter frame. Only the HD can be used in conjunction with your current SSD to create a Fusion Drive. Dual SSD configs can't be made into a Fusion Drive set. You will need a drive cable and you'll need a special in-line thermal sensor made by OWC.

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Your answer was helpful. If I just added a 1 or 2 TB SSD I wouldn't need the thermal sensor, would I? That would only be necessary if I was adding a HD to make a fusion drive, wouldn't it?



No, you'll need the OWC thermal sensor as the jumper on the logic boards cable connector will now need to be removed for the new SATA cable to connect New drive. The sensor is required for either an HD or SSD.

Remember! Fusion Drive has nothing to do with the hardware side of things, again it's an OS level issue.


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