Upgrading CPU & blade SSD to NVMe M.2 SSD
I’m in the process of upgrading the Fusion Drive and the CPU of my 2017 27” iMac. I have already maxed the memory with 64gb Crucial 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM.
I have been reading around, regarding upgrading to M.2 NVMe, and its all quite confusing and often contradicting which SSD use and which adapter to get.
Below are my current components, and what I wish to get my nerdy hands on:
- Bought 4.2 GHz intel core i7-7700k (to replace my 3.4 GHz i5 CPU)
- Bought Grizzy thermal compound paste
I currently have the 1TB Fusion Drive, and to be honest, It just isn’t fast or reliable. Thus, I want to:
- Remove the HDD part of the Fusion and replace it with my existing Samsung 860 EVO 500 GB SATA 2.5" Internal SSD (I will use it as external storage drive, but located within the iMac)
- Replace the SSD part of the Fusion with a faster NVME M.2 SSD, but I am not sure which of the following to get:
- Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2 TB NVMe M.2 (is it still the case that I need to update the SSD software, using a windows PC, before it is compatible with MacOS?)
- Samsung 970 PRO 1 TB NVMe M.2
- Sabrent 2TB Rocket Nvme PCIe 4.0 M.2 2280 Internal SSD
- Samsung 970 EVO 2 TB NVMe M.2
- HOWEVER, I am not sure which is the ideal to use, and I’m undecided which is the best compatibility for my 2017 iMac…
- I know the Sabrent is PCIe 4.0, which is overkill, but its 2TB is cheaper than the 1TB or 2TB PCIe 3.0 Samsung (970 EVO, 970 EVO Plus, 970 Pro)
- Is there still the issues with hibernation crashing, when using NVME M.2 ssd in Macs?
- To make the NVME m.2 SSD work, I will be needing a M.2 nVME SSD Adapter, and I have the following two (from Sintech) in mind:
- Which of the two are best, given the SSD’s Im considering?
I hope to get some feedback, so I can make the right decisions from the get-go.
I will update this thread:
- During the upgrade phase
- Before-after performance
Hope to hear back soon!
Disassembling and the installation process is not for the faint hearted - it takes a long time, and just a simple small error can prevent the iMac from powering on at all - after installing the CPU, the iMac didn’t power on, so I had to disassemble everything again, and after retracing my steps, I hadn’t properly seated the new CPU (it is not easy to hold the heat sink in place and screw in the bracket on the backside of the motherboard).
however, after reseating the CPU properly, the iMac powered on, and I checked everything was working before I applied the adhesive strips from Ifixit.
The following has successfully been installed in my 2017 27” iMac:
- i7-7700K (4.2Ghz) CPU
- 2TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 (I had to update the firmware with a bootable USB drive before the macOS could detect the drive)
- 500GB Samsung 860n EVO SATA 2.5”.
So, how is the performance? it is faster, MUCH faster, in everything from boot-up to document browsing and photo editing in various Adobe C programmes.
In gee bench 5, this Mac has a similar single-score performance to Intel’s I9-9960X (this is a 16 core processor costing $1600+) and a multi score has a better multi score than Intel’s i7-9850H (this is a 6 core processor costing $450+) - however, most surprisingly, this upgraded Mac performs better than the i7-7700K Apple shipped in their 2017 iMacs.
Here are some results:
It has been an exciting (and nerve-wrecking) experience to upgrade this iMac, and if you have any queries or wanting tips, just ask on this thread!
Frederik over-and-out :-)