SSD drives for iMac: what are they and how are they installed?

SSD drives for iMac

iMac owners often wonder which SSD to choose for fast and correct hardware operation. Until recently, the 2.5 SATA standard was used, but now proprietary connectors are mostly used. Despite these problems, the solution is quite easy to find.

It’s worth noting that for iMacs, depending on their year of release, you need to buy the corresponding SSD models. These can be either external disks for the iMacs, or internal.

Which SSD should I choose for a 2012−2013 iMac?

In this case, just as for Air models, a SATA drive is used, although the connector here is not quite the standard one. These computers can support three formats at once:

  • SSD;
  • mSATA (used with an adapter);
  • M2 SATA (also used with an adapter).

Переходник для SSD
Фото: Переходник для SSD
It’s worth paying special attention to the M2 and its adapter. They must support the SATA interface. The fact is that not all M2 SSDs are compatible with this standard. SATA 3 will always support the maximum data transfer rate of 6 Gbit/s. The same principle of selecting an SSD disk is used for iMac27.

Which SSD should I choose for iMac 2014−2017 and later?

As for this year’s models and the newer ones, things get even more complicated. You will need to connect the PCIe SSD strips for Mac, but they are very expensive and not every user can afford them. However, don’t fall into despair, because there is an alternative option.

First, you need to configure the system:

  • Connect an external hard drive to your computer. Using any disk utility, format the disk in the GUID.
Форматирование диска в GUID
SSD для iMac 2017
  • After that, create a backup copy of the data from the iMac on any other drive. The backup copy should be equal to the volume of the SSD or less.
  • Then install MacOS operating system on your external SSD.
Установка MacOS на новый SSD
Установка SSD в iMac
  • If after these manipulations your computer is booting from a standard hard drive, press the ALT key before the system starts to boot. Next, select an SSD. Then start the system and restore it from the backup copy.
  • After that, run a system test. If there are no problems, you can safely use this SSD.

Replacing or installing SSDs for iMacs released in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2017 follows the same procedure. When installing, please be careful and attentive.

Advantages of using an external SSD for iMac

At the moment, it’s best to install an SSD drive on iMac 27 2011 or other previously released models. You can also install an operating system on it, which will have the following advantages:

  • improved performance in programs;
  • acceleration of the OS;
  • improved performance in games.

Сравнение производительности iMac с SSD и HDD

For these reasons, many iMac users use only external SSDS.

Advisor to, co-author of articles. Has been working with Apple products for over 10 years.

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Comments: 2
  1. Светлана

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  2. Ksenia

    I have been working on Apple technology for several years, and recently, the wizard told me that I need to buy extensions. I installed the driver data and my technique has a new life! Thank you for this article, it really helped me understand, even though I’m a beginner.

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