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Back in 2017 I purchased a 27" "Core i7" iMac, and opted to get the storage upgrade giving it a 500 GB SSD instead of a hard drive or fusion drive. I'm now considering upgrading the storage, but I'm not sure if the drive is a conventional SATA SSD or a "blade SSD" (to use iFixIt.com's terminology) that uses a proprietary connector, which I understand to be similar to but different from NVMe. The upgrade procedure is quite different depending on which it is.

How can I tell what kind of SSD my iMac has?

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  • If you plan to upgrade either way (blade requires converter board + different type of SSD, while sata requires 3.5 to 2.5 bracket + sata SSD), why can't you just open the mac and take a look? Would you like to minimise downtime?
    – anonymous
    May 23 at 17:54
  • Yes I'd like to minimize downtime, and I'm hoping to avoid being the one to open up my iMac since it's a difficult and delicate procedure and I have butter fingers.
    – Bri Bri
    May 23 at 18:17
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  • @SteveChambers Yes that makes it clear I have a blade SSD. If you want to submit an excerpt from that as an answer I can mark it as correct.
    – Bri Bri
    May 24 at 14:53

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The best guide to 'what SSD is in my Mac is here:

https://beetstech.com/blog/apple-proprietary-ssd-ultimate-guide-to-specs-and-upgrades

However, it doesn't say anything about the 2017 iMac. What it does show is that Apple used its proprietary 12+16 pin module from "Generation 3" (mid-2013) until the introduction of on-board SSD modules.

So if your SSD is replaceable, it will almost certainly be a 12+16 pin blade.

It may be possible to glean some information from the System Information.app.

TBH, you'd probably be just as well served by a fast external drive connected via Thunderbolt.

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