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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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Upgrading Storage on iMac

I was thinking of upgrading the HDD in my late 2015 iMac. What SSD that go on the motherboard are compatible?

Also what is the PCI and/or PCIe port on the iMac used for? Can it be used for faster storage

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Your system has two drive interfaces a standard SATA connection to support either a 2.5” SSD/HDD via an adapter frame or a 3.5” HDD. You also have a custom SSD blade PCIe/NVMe interface as well.

What is your needs here? What is your workflow?

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I just need it for faster everyday usage and programming. I need a minimum of 1TB of storage.

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@cft8dkbde7ayppi - Replacing the HDD with a SSD will offer quite a lot at the lowest cost. Reference this guide iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display Hard Drive Replacement the iFixit kit has everything you would need.

Adding in a blade SSD will be a bit more costly but can offer faster read/write speed than the SATA SSD. Reference this guide iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display Blade SSD Replacement. Again the iFixit kit offers everything you’ll need.

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In the ifixit kit it provides people with the Aura Pro X2 ssd and it says it is compatible with my iMac (EMC 2834). I am rather confused because some websites say that this specific SSD isn't compatible with my iMac. Is this true and if it is what are some alternative SSD's

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@cft8dkbde7ayppi - I can see why you are confused! In looking at the OWC web site for the Aura Pro X2 I see it listed for the Mid 2015 (iMac15,1), I also see the iFixit kit iMac Intel 27" (Late 2013-Mid 2015) Blade SSD Upgrade Bundle lists it as a supported drive (iMac17,1). I also know quite a few folks here have used it. Do keep in mind the 5K Late 2015 was a short lived model run which I suspect OWC just didn't test it.

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What Dan said is correct, you can install 2.5” drives (with an adapter like this one), 3.5” drives, or strange amalgam PCIe/NVME/SATA cards such as this one and this one. Now, depending on how much storage you want, how fast you want it to be, and how much your budget is, there are many options. Like Dan said, we need to know what kind of drive you want, and we’re be happy to help you pick one.

If you’d prefer to choose a drive on your own, I’d recommend using Disk Prices and PCPartPicker (I set up the links to only show compatible drives).

According to Apple, you can install fibre channel cards, fiber networking cards, video and audio I/O cards, storage cards, and Ethernet cards.

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@shingle - This series (iMac’s) can’t support {{fibre channel cards, fiber networking cards, video and audio I/O cards, storage cards, and Ethernet cards}} you are thinking Mac Pro systems either the 2012 and older or the 2019 and newer which have PC type of PCI slots. Here’s more on these Mac Pro systems, iMac’s don’t have that kind of slot.

Also the first link is a dual drive frame not a single drive frame which would be needed, again there is only one SATA port by default would be holding a 3.5” HDD. All you can do here is swapped it out with either a 2.5” or 3.5” SATA drive. For the PCIe/NVMe drives you are technically limited to one of the drives listed here The Ultimate Guide to Apple’s Proprietary SSDs per the given series.

Mac systems are very different to Windows PC’s.

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@danj oh, wow, that’s way worse than I thought.

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