Model A1419 / EMC 3070 / Mid 2017 / 3.4, 3.5 or 3.8 GHz Core i5 or 4.2 GHz Core i7 Kaby Lake Processor / Retina 5K display

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Can the new 27" iMac Retina 5K display support two SSD's?

I want to put in two SSD's in a 27" iMac Retina 5K (mid 2017)?

I understand that such iMac has two different ports for two different disks inside (eg., one SSD or one Fusion drive from Apple).

Questions:

1. Is it possible to install this disk inside to boot the iMac?

Samsung 960 PRO Series - 2TB PCIe NVMe - M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V6P2T0BW)

Sequential R/W (read/write) speeds up to 3,500/2,100 MB/s and random R/W speeds up to 440/360K IOPS, respectively.

2. Is it possible to have two SSD at the same time inside the iMac?

For instance, the one SSD from Apple (or the one above, if possible) and other like this (now 2TB, soon 4TB)?

Samsung 850 PRO - 2TB - 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE2T0BW)

Sequential Read/Write Performance: Up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively. Random Read/Write IOPS Performance: Up to 100K and 90K, respectively.

Thanks!

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Don't buy the Fusion Drive model if you want to reconfigure it with dual SSD's

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Thanks. Why? Can the new 27" iMac Retina 5K display support two SSD?

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The Fusion Drive is not what you think!

Simply put it uses both drive interfaces each supporting a drive (HDD & SSD) then using the OS to fuse the two drives into a logical fusion drive. At which point you won't have any spare ports! It is not a special physical drive.

Here's a good write up: 5 Things to Know About the Apple Fusion Drive

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Just to be clear buying a SSD only model then adding in your own SSD is possible! So Yes you can build a dual SSD system as I outlined below. I don't recommend doing it as you will loose your warranty support!

Frankly, an external RAID'ed SSD setup will offer much faster performance than the SATA SSD! As an example we use OWC ThunderBay 4 mini with SSDs we get about 2k MB/s sustained using Thunderbolt 2!

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Thanks. I do not mind losing warranty. Is it possible to use both the

Samsung 960 PRO M.2 NVMe SSD

and the

Samsung 850 PRO 2.5" SATA SSD

inside such 27" iMac Retina 5K (mid 2017)

or only the Apple SSD

and the

Samsung 850 PRO 2.5" SATA SSD or Samsung 850 EVO 4TB SATA SSD?

https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-2-5-Inch-...

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Peter you won't be able to use the Samsung 960 M.2 NVMe SSD. Apple uses a custom PCIe NVMe interface. Besides, the Apple 1 TB & 2 TB units are faster than Samsung's!

You also appear to be looking at the Samsung Pro Series SSD's. Unless you are setting up a dedicated server there is little benefit going to the more expensive Pro line, stick with the EVO line.

  • FYI - I support over 300 MacBook Pro's which more than 2/3rds have Samsung 850 EVO's. I think we have only replaced one SSD in over three years of use!

As for installing a second SSD, Yes! That can be done as well. But lets first make sure you get the correct model here. You'll want to use the custom configuration selecting the SSD only option with the either the 3.8 GHz or the 4.2 GHz models selecting either the 1TB or 2TB option. Then you'll need to order a SATA HD cable, adapter frame to hold your 2.5" SSD in the 3.5" drive bay and lastly the in-line thermal sensor:

I would just stick with the Samsung 850 EVO SSD Vs the Pro model.

Two last points:

Opening your system will void the warranty, besides the newer 'Thin Series iMac's are a bear to open if you don't use the proper tools and techniques as outlined in the IFIXIT guides. It's quite easy to damage the display which would be a very expensive Opps!

Frankly, I would recommend you hold off on adding the second drive until the warranty period has expired. Instead, I would recommend going with an external Thunderbolt RAID'ed SSD unit as a better direction it will be faster than the SATA internal interface! And then use it for your backup drive.

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Thanks. I thought Samsung 960 PRO with sequential R/W (read/write) speeds up to 3,500/2,100 MB/s and random R/W speeds up to 440/360K IOPS, respectively was faster than Apple 2TB SSD which I think has 2,3/2,0 GB/s sequential R/W, respectivamente. Could the former be used in the iMac using an adapter?

On the other hand, could the Samsung 850 EVO 4TB (note the large capacity) be used besides the Apple SSD 2TB inside such iMac?

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You found the older Disk Test report! You are referencing the older PCIe x2 SSD not the newer PCIe x4 which is faster. I can't put my hands on the bigger SSD config report right now. Trust me! The Apple larger SSD is faster than the Samsung SSD.

The answer is still no you can't fit the Samsung M.2 SSD within the custom Apple PCIe slot with any adapter. Still a square peg round hole problem!

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"The Apple larger SSD is faster than the Samsung SSD".

Wow, that is great news indeed!

On the other hand, I guess that the impossibility to use Samsung 960 PRO on the 27" iMac Retina 5K display is because the lack of Mac drivers for it. Right?

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Why do you what to put in a Samsung M.2 SSD into this system? Is there some reason Apples SSD is so bad in your mind?

You do realize Samsung makes the custom SSD for Apple under contract.

Lastly, using an adapter does not mean the performance of the device will be the same Vs not using an adapter.

We did a bit of testing of some SSD's with M.2 to Apple adapter with MacBook Pro's awhile ago and I can tell you it was not good.

First we tested using three different SATAe (AHCI) blade SSD's in SATAe based systems they worked but the performance was not as good as Apple's SSD's. We then tested them within PCIe x2 based systems this is where there was problems as the newer MacBook Pro's couldn't support the older SATAe drives (lots of CRC errors).

We tried a few at that time PCIe SSD's and they too did not work well either (we suspect they were running in compatibility mode (AHCI). We have not tested any of the newer PCIe x4 M.2 SSD's now on the market. But others have and they just don't work at all.

Basically, force fitting a M.2 SSD into a newer Mac (either MacBook Pro or iMac) is a pointless exercise.

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Dan, I am gladly amazed how great your support is. Second to none! Many thanks indeed!

Maybe the incompatibilities that you mention are due to the lack of true Mac drivers for such SSD.

I wanted the Samsung 960 PRO in the 27" iMac Retina 5K (mid 2017) because I thought it was better (faster) than the one from Apple. Anyway, what are the sequential and random read/write speeds of the Apple 2TB PCIe SSD on such iMac? You said that it was faster than the Samsung 960 PRO.

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Surprising results for 27" iMac Retina 5K (mid 2017):

TESTED: 2017 iMac 5K SSD Speed vs 2015 iMac 5K (Surprising Finding)

Thus the 2017 iMac 5K is substantially slower for everyday tasks that involve intensive I/O with smaller reads, in spite of the 40% greater speed for large reads.

<https://macperformanceguide.com/blog/201...>

2017 iMac 5K: Flash Drive (SSD)

2015 iMac 5K: writes at 1520 MiB/sec and reads at 2075 MiB/sec

2017 iMac 5K: writes at 2102 MiB/sec and reads at 2915 MiB/sec.

<https://macperformanceguide.com/iMac5K_2...>

That is less read speed than Samsung 960 PRO with sequential R/W (read/write) speeds up to 3,500/2,100 MB/s and random R/W speeds up to 440/360K IOPS, respectively.

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Peter you need to read the fine print!

This is likely the smaller SSD used in the Fusion Drive! Which makes total sense why the small block transfers are not as good.

Read up on the difference between small and large sized SSD's then look for a large real life SSD performance test. Even still it shows good performance with DiskTests mixed sized data test.

FYI: Opt For the Larger SSD Capacity to Also Get a Speed Boost

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Thanks, They say "Both machines utilized the Apple 1TB SSD" on "2017 iMac 5K: Flash Drive (SSD)" article. So, it does not seem to be the Apple Fusion, but the full Apple SSD (albeit the 1TB instead of 2TB).

On the other hand, I have chosen the 27" iMac Retina 5K (mid 2017) with Apple 2TB PCIe SSD inside (I would have chosen a larger one if available).

BTW, what are the sequential and random read/write speeds of such Apple SSD? You said that it was faster than the Samsung 960 PRO.

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Does anyone know if the SSD in the late 2013 MBP 15" Retina or 2015 MBP 13" Retina works in the 2017 27 iMac?

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Peter Gamble will be eternally grateful.
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