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I have this old iMac 27", model iMac 13,2 (Late 2012).

This computer has a regular hard disk.

I wonder if it is possible to add a SSD disk module to it, to convert the main disk into a fusion drive?

  1. Is that possible? Is that internal space and connector that can be used?
  2. What SSD disk, adapters or so, I should buy to do that?
  • My personal opinion - Fusion drives were a stop-gap until the price of SSDs came down to something sensible. I wouldn't bother with one these days, just put a big SSD in. – Tetsujin May 29 at 7:17
  • thanks, I was thinking that this might be the case. – SpaceDog May 29 at 7:42
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The Fusion drive was an option for the 2012 27" iMac, so there may be space. The iFixit tear-down for your model shows a caddy that holds both a hard drive and SSD: you'll need to read through it to see whether you're comfortable with taking it all apart -- and more importantly, getting it back together.

If you're not comfortable with the task, then you may want to run an external SSD via USB3 or a Thunderbolt dock of some kind. That should still be faster than the internal hard drive.

I concur with the comment that really, SSDs are cheap enough to buy sufficiently large volumes, making Fusion drives an unnecessary complication.

  • Thanks for the info. Two questions: do you mean that I can setup the external SSD via USB 3 to boot and use as it was the internal one? Wouldn't that saturate the USB bus? I mean, with all the data circulating the USB bus what happens to other devices that are connected that? Second question: I am under the prejudice that SSD disks have a short life time compared to regular disks. What can you say about that? – SpaceDog May 29 at 7:32
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    SSDs do a lot better than people think - but all drives die eventually... SSDs just sometimes give little to no warning. So, keep your Time Machine constantly up to date & don't worry about it. You'll wonder what hit you when you swap out your first HD to SSD, then wonder why you didn't do it earlier Over the past few years I've swapped out every machine in the building, but though I have lots of spare HDs, I have no spare SSDs. if I ever need to do experiments I have to use an HD...& it feels like the computer stopped. :) – Tetsujin May 29 at 7:49
  • @SpaceDog No, there's no 'congestion' issue on a USB3 bus. You'll have to look on System Information, but I believe there's more than one bus (at least) for the 4 USB ports. As for lifespan, the days of worrying about using up precious reads and writes are over. SSDs will outlast their usefulness. As Tetsujin says, they can still fail, though you'd be unlucky. But this is why we have backups (among other reasons). – benwiggy May 29 at 8:09
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Are you replacing the HDD side of an existing fusion setup? I.e. you already have an apple SSD/NVMe card in the machine already? (E.g. in my Late 2012 iMac 13,2 I had 128GB NVme + 1 TB HDD). If not simple to replace the HDD with SSD for all the speed benefits people have said. However, if it's already in a fusion setup then you need to decide whether to keep it that way or split / unfuse the drives. I replaced my HDD with 1TB SSD, did a High Sierra install to fusion config then upgraded to Mojave and then it all went to hell. Maybe if I unfused first it may have gone better... Good luck!

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