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Model A1418 / Late 2013 / 2.7 & 2.9 GHz Core i5 or 3.1 GHz Core i7 Processor

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Which SSD should I buy, PCIe or mSATA, on iMac EMC 2638 (Late 2013)?


I have iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2638 (A1418; Late 2013). I want to add 2nd drive and didn't know which SSD should I buy.

I have already a 120 GB Samsung mSATA SSD (MZ-M5E120BW). Some time ago I've planned to use with this Apple blade SSD port Adapter/Converter for 2.5" SATA SSD installed into the case of a iMac (21.5 "or 27").

But a person had convinced me that my iMac has PCIe slot and I can't put mSATA in it. She said that I can buy M.2 SSD and put it in with this Adapter for mounting M.2 SSD PCIe in the Macbook, iMac, Mac mini 2013 - 2015 systems replacing Apples custom SSD.

I know that I can also buy original/OWC SDD, but it's not for me.

So my question is which SSD should I use?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Sorry the mSATA drive uses a different connection than the adapter you listed offers, it won't work at all.


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Mind telling why the SSD that's built for a Mac by OWC, that works, is not for you? Instead you want to put in a module built for a PC that doesn't work reliably with a Mac. Now you're talking to someone that fits the adage "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS".

if the 21.5-Inch "Late 2012" or "Early 2013" iMac models were configured with an SSD or a "Fusion Drive" at the time of purchase, the SSD module is connected via a dedicated PCIe connector and another SSD can be installed in its place. Unfortunately, if the system only was configured with a hard drive, the needed connector is not present on the motherboard and there is not a way to add a PCIe-based "blade" SSD afterwards.

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Go with the Apple SSD like this one: Apple Original blade SSD - 128GB iMac 21.5"/27" Which is what I would do. But! you need to have the model that offers the blade SSD connection! Otherwise, you only have a single drive system.


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iMac A2638 (Late 2013) uses PCIe Blade SSD and iMac A2544 (Early 2013) uses mSATA Blade SSD

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While you got the dialog correct you forgot the physical interface is unique to Apple. M.2 drives won't work.


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To finish the story. You need an adapter for the proprietary M2 connector, which you can find on several places on the net, just google.


If your iMac came without Fusion Drive then the M2 slot on the PCB is not enabled in Mac SMC (sort of Bios for PC’s ). So far I have not found a way to enable it and I do have searched a lot of fora.

My machine is a late 2013 21.5 that came with a regular 1TByte Hard disk. The M2 slot remains disabled. I tried using a connector that was said to be working for some in combination with a Crucial P1 1Tbyte nvme.

In the end I replaced the original (very slow) HD with a SATA Crucial 1Tbyte mx serries SSD and upgraded ram to 16Gbyte and it is flying ever since like better than new. Wishing I had not gone through all the trouble.

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Sam will be eternally grateful.
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