NVME M.2 SSD with adapter
Is it possible to update 2017 iMac 27" 5k with NMVe m.2 SSD using m.2 to Apple PCIe adapter?
I used to use SM951 AHCI in Mac Pro 5.1, 6.1, all Retina and Air 2013-2015 but what about NVMe once? Have anyone tried?
First you may want to look at this Vid: 2017 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display Unboxing and Teardown jump to the 10:00 time point which shows the PCIe SSD Apple is using. It's very different from the M.2 SSD's.
Apple's PCIe NVMe SSD's use a custom device driver so while you might be able to get the adapter and NVMe SSD to physically fit it won't be recognized by the OS.
While I haven't tried anything in this new iMac I can tell you I've tried the newer MacBook Pro retina series which has a 2 lane NVMe SSD and it didn't work.
Upgrading an 2017 iMac 27" with an off the shelf NMVe m.2 SSD + M.2 Apple PCIe adapter is definitely possible.
I am amazed how much confusion information is on the internet about this topic. Even from OWC, which only wants to sell a SATA upgrade kit for the 2017 iMac.
So I thought, try and find it out.
I did my 2017 iMac with a EVO 970 NVMe SSD + Sintech M.2 NVMe to Apple PCEe adapter.
I only recommend the Sintech adapters, others are known to have issues.
I have some images on instagram where I did my upgrade.:
I am happy I did it and got rid of the FusionDrive setup.
As a note, if you plan to replace the SATA drive with an SSD, which I also did then "No" you do not need the overpriced and useless thermal Sensor from OWC either.
I recommend the regular EVO not the EVO Plus or EVO Pro.
If you still insist on using the non standard EVO then Samsung released an firmware update for the EVO Plus that fixes issues on Mac, you need to upgrade it first using a PC before putting the drive in your Mac.
I installed a Samsung 970 EVO 2TB M.2 in my mid-2017 27” 5k iMac and it works great with 4x NMVe speeds.
You can use the adapters from the MacBook Air etc… with your 5k mid-2017 iMac … and you will get NVMe 4x speeds with a 4x lane drive . Physically the adapters are the same (different protocols ACHI vs NVMe with same pinout).
I haven’t seen this posted anywhere, but the newer sockets on this logic board have an extended shield that can easily shorts to the adapter header. I confirmed with my multimeter. This can short out the power rails and most of the PCIE bus! This would help explain why some people have issues (failure to start and crashing).
I used Kapton tape (electrical tape works also, but is not as clean). You want to cover the soldered header pins on the adapter socket on the mating side but obviously not the gold plated card edge pins. See attachment.
Now it works on Macs https://www.globalmac.cl/SSD-Samsung-970...
Best Regards! Alex
I already bought 512 GB Samsung Pro 960 M.2 SSD. After I disassembled my iMac 2017 27". I'm shock realizing the interface is different! I feel stupid.
I'm ordering the adapter which is about 1 month to arrive. =( I'll buy the adapter to SATA for now and use it as storage. Later on I'll buy the correct SSD and install the OS on it.
Can we leave the Fusion drive in after we install the NVMe?
I bought M2 SSD SAMSUNG 970 EVO Plus M.2 .
Which adapter should I buy now for my: iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
And will it work with 970 EVO Plus?
I installed a new cpu 6700k to my imac late 2015, an nvme and ssd. Computer was perfect and installation was good. but now is not turning on at all i get only 1st led static green on light. If i get closer to the PSU i can listen a very sutile intermittent buzz/sound. Does anybody ke has any ide what could be wrong? Thank you
For anyone who plan to do it. It's better to stick with SSD that have "generic" controller and NAND. By generic, i mean, the one that used by many OEMs, like Silicon Motion, or Phison.
I've been upgrading dozens of macs using adapter and NVME SSD. And with all due honesty, Samsung blade simply doesn't worth
As for why :
1st, most of mac produced within 2013-2017 doesn't have enough PCI lanes nor bandwith to maximize the performance of Samsung EVO NVME. Only 15" of 2015 model, 2016 and 2017 (non touchbar) model are actually capable of using full PCI 3.0 x 4 speed. So why would you invest money for something that can run 3500Mb/s when your board only can do 1800Mb/s
2nd, firmware. Samsung use and built its own controller and firmware, while this ensure the performance, it sometimes has quirk in term of compatibility (like what happen in 970 plus, which refused to work on macOS until it's firmware manually upgraded)
3rd, price of course. For that price you can get NVME blade with SM2262EN controller (like XPG SX8200 pro for example) which also have 1GB of DRAM. Performance wise, it would be similar, while being around 20-40% cheaper. Reliability is just as fine, since the NAND itself is made by micron, with good TBW endurance. Alternatively, you also can get one with Phison E12 controller, speed wise it would be as good as those samsung one. If you decide to go on budget, you can go with drive that using SM2263XT controller (like SX6000 Pro, Silicon Power SP12, and many more) or one that made by WD/Sandisk (SN550 is one of the best budget NVME, which in some area even outperform high end drive - this might due to its newer NVME 1.4 standard)
Now about adapter. Internet have belief that anything but Sintech is bad. This might be true if we are still living in 2013-2014 era, when Sintech is the only one who know to make a proper wiring route for NVME drive.
But today, 2020, even the cheaper option from other brand, are already built with proper wiring route, it perform just as fine and as reliable as sintech. Be it chenyang, bzhs, nfhk, or other brand, it already managed to 100% duplicate what sintech did. They even outpace sintech in providing solution for 2016-2017 models.
Only difference is, you can choose adapter with gold plating for better performance or one without. But price difference is way too small and you better always go with gold one.
I opened my iMac 5k 2017, I already changed to a NVMe SSD (Samsung 970 EVO Pro with the M.2 adapter) and a Crucial SATA SSD. I also upgraded my CPU for a i7700 k,
After the re-assembly, my system didn’t even start, is there any step by step guide to help resolve the problem?
Do I need the bootable USB drive first…? What screen should i see?
Thanks for the advance !