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I've looked around a bit, but can't find anybody saying whether there is room in the new slim iMac for an extra internal SSD. I used this tutorial about a year ago to add an additional SSD to my Mid 2010 iMac and would like to do it with my new one. Since the iMac ships with Fusion Drive as an option, might there be a second bay and connector (or at least space for them) inside the chassis?

Is there any documentation showing whether the 2012 iMacs have room for multiple drives?

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2 Answers 2

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It can be done, but I’m not sure which SKUs it applies to, or that it’s particularly advisable.

Both the 2.9 GHz and the 3.1 GHz 21.5″ iMacs have space for a second drive bay, and there’s an iFixit tutorial explaining how to install a second drive. (iFixit usually tear down new hardware within a day or so of release, and have a lot of tutorials for things like hardware upgrades and repairs).

Currently their page for the 27″ model doesn’t have such a tutorial. However, there’s a page on their forums where people are discussing associated teardowns and the possibility of such an upgrade. The poster ifixit611 writes:

The 27″ iMac holds one 3.5″ drive (unlike the 21″, which uses a 2.5″ drive), and one “blade” SSD like the new MacBook Pros use. Unlike the new 21″ iMac, you can upgrade the RAM on the 27″ w/o cutting the machine open (there’s an access hatch on the back).

Replacing the disk requires cutting open the display and removing the left speaker. You’ll need a proper mounting bracket (e.g., an Icy Dock) to mount a 2.5″ SSD in place of the 3.5″ drive. Adding/replacing the blade SSD requires pulling out the main logic board.

They conclude that they won’t be performing the upgrade before iFixit or OWC provide a proper “kit”.

So it sounds like, in theory, you could perform this upgrade on a 27″ iMac, and the instructions from iFixit for upgrading the 21″ would probably be helpful in this regard. That said, hardware is not my area of expertise and I generally get twitchy about opening up iMacs. Do at your own risk, etc.

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Thanks Alex, I should have noted that I already checked on iFixit and was surprised to see that they hadn't done a teardown yet... I'm not too scared of opening my iMac up, so if I get the time I'll use the resources you referenced and see what I can come up with. I'll post my findings here when I know more. –  Circle B Jun 25 '13 at 5:42

There is no place for a second common SDD in the late 2012 iMacs since they have no optical drive.

The SSD apple uses in the Fusion Drive has another form factor as you can see it in iFixit 's guide. So if you want a second SSD you'll need these kind of SSD.

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The link for this is to a 21" iMac and not a 27 inch iMac. The other answer implies that the 27 inch model uses the same SSD form factor and connector, but I wonder if anyone else has an authoritative link they could provide. –  bmike Jun 23 '13 at 22:45
    
iclarified.com/26218/… Shows a teardown with the same connector. –  Matthieu Riegler Jun 23 '13 at 22:59
    
mac4ever.com/actu/… (in French) it shows the proprietary connector of the 27" iMac. And Says 2 SSDs may be possible. –  Matthieu Riegler Jun 23 '13 at 23:05

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