27-inch iMac flash storage cannot be replaced or upgraded

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 34
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,166member
    entropys said:
    People would be less upset about the soldering if the upgrades to storage was competitively priced with market SSDs. As it is I feel ripped off. 
    That’s not the reason they soldered. Why comment on something you clearly did not read?
    I think it is your comprehension that is suffering. 
    chemengin1
  • Reply 22 of 34
    YP101YP101 Posts: 160member
    Never mind.. OWC already crack open the new iMac and it is soldered to the mother board.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIHSyamWnh4

    There is another pci-e slot space on the board but not actually have a port. it might be use for bigger SSD size for it..
    I wonder why Apple doing this.. Just simply add 2 pci-e ssd slot should be much easier..
    They love to solder it..

    I guess Apple APU desktop Mac will be all soldered component like Mac book line up.
    edited August 2020 hippo
  • Reply 23 of 34
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,094member

    sflocal said:
    The vague issues regarding upgradability of the SSD in the new iMacs is the reason why I ordered it yesterday with the 8TB option.  It will be my last Intel-based iMac and I decided to bite my lower lip and max it out so I never have to deal with it ever on that machine.

    That being said, with Thunderbolt3, it's really not that much an issue.  There are excellent external TB3 enclosures (like from OWC) that will let you install regular NVMe drives to your heart's content.  I get that it would be nicer to upgrade the internal drive, but it is what it is.
    I totally get your reasons for the 8TB option, as I would do the same, but not with an Intel Mac when they are out the door in Apple's mind.  Sure you will likely get about 4-5 years of use out of that Mac, but in past Apple history, they did not support the OS for very long when they switched processors.  When they switched from 680x0 to PowerPC, the 680x0 Macs only had support for System 7 and early versions of System 8 (7.5, 7.6, 8.0, and 8.1.  The original Power Mac shipped with 7.1.2).  Apple cut off 680x0 Macs with System 8.1, and System 8.5 and later were PowerPC only.  With Intel, the last iMac G5 only had support for Mac OS X Tiger and Mac OS X Leopard (10.4 and 10.5), and they originally shipped with 10.4.  So they only received one OS upgrade.  The PowerPC Macs were cut off when Snow Leopard shipped (10.6).  As Apple moves forward with Apple Silicon, they probably are not going to put that much effort into supporting the Intel Macs except for maybe one or two versions past Big Sur.  Maybe you should have done the 2TB SSD upgrade for the Intel Mac, and then do an 8TB option for the Apple Silicon Mac which will have a much longer future.  $2,400 is pretty steep.
    My job requires I use Windows.  So ARM is out of the question.  I do tons on VM deployments to x86(64) servers doing all the initial work in my Mac.  It will continue for many years.  I know very well Apple will abandon MacOS(x86) someday, but my iMac will still work just fine.  Apple will support MacOS I think for at least 5 years and I’m okay with that.

    By the time I’m ready for a new iMac years down the road, Apple will have worked out the kinks and have a very polished system.  I’m okay with that.
    edited August 2020 caladaniandewmeGG1hippowatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 34
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,094member

    sflocal said:
    The vague issues regarding upgradability of the SSD in the new iMacs is the reason why I ordered it yesterday with the 8TB option.  It will be my last Intel-based iMac and I decided to bite my lower lip and max it out so I never have to deal with it ever on that machine.

    That being said, with Thunderbolt3, it's really not that much an issue.  There are excellent external TB3 enclosures (like from OWC) that will let you install regular NVMe drives to your heart's content.  I get that it would be nicer to upgrade the internal drive, but it is what it is.
    I totally get your reasons for the 8TB option, as I would do the same, but not with an Intel Mac when they are out the door in Apple's mind.  Sure you will likely get about 4-5 years of use out of that Mac, but in past Apple history, they did not support the OS for very long when they switched processors.  When they switched from 680x0 to PowerPC, the 680x0 Macs only had support for System 7 and early versions of System 8 (7.5, 7.6, 8.0, and 8.1.  The original Power Mac shipped with 7.1.2).  Apple cut off 680x0 Macs with System 8.1, and System 8.5 and later were PowerPC only.  With Intel, the last iMac G5 only had support for Mac OS X Tiger and Mac OS X Leopard (10.4 and 10.5), and they originally shipped with 10.4.  So they only received one OS upgrade.  The PowerPC Macs were cut off when Snow Leopard shipped (10.6).  As Apple moves forward with Apple Silicon, they probably are not going to put that much effort into supporting the Intel Macs except for maybe one or two versions past Big Sur.  Maybe you should have done the 2TB SSD upgrade for the Intel Mac, and then do an 8TB option for the Apple Silicon Mac which will have a much longer future.  $2,400 is pretty steep.
    I don’t think the ARM macs will have any longer life than the Intel macs.  Apple does the same EOL with their iPhones after 5ish years so.
    caladanianhippowatto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 34
    That's really a bummer. I bought the 2019 one and opened it up for upgrading the processor to 9900k, 2TB Flash and 32 GB of SDRAM and it was really a big money saver... With that i'd have second thoughts about buying a mac again.
    pulseimageshippo
  • Reply 26 of 34
    omasou said:
    entropys said:
    People would be less upset about the soldering if the upgrades to storage was competitively priced with market SSDs. As it is I feel ripped off. 
    If you compare the internal SSD to similar quality SSDs, I think you will not feel so ripped off.

    If you run Blackmagic on the on the internal SSD and compare it to what is a relatively good external SSD like the BarraCuda Fast SSD that I referenced previously, you will see the SSD internal trounces the external SSD. To get faster you need to step up to a Thunderbolt enclosure and matching SSD, which is what you would need to install internally or better. That level of SSD is not inexpensive.
    A quick price search yields around 500$ for a high-quality 3500MB/s read 1900 MB/s write ~250kIOPS 4 TB NVMe SSD. With the correct adapter from aliexpress for 2 bucks, maybe add an SSD cooling assembly for 10 bucks extra so the SSD keeps performing at maximum speed in sustained workloads. It is considerably cheaper, so yes it seems like a ripoff.
    edited August 2020 hippo
  • Reply 27 of 34
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,368member
    kent909 said:
    It probably would have been newsworthy if they were upgradable. Why does this surprise you?
    Its good that you're familiar with these things historically, but as a reminder, AI is for everybody, and not everybody has the same knowledge that you do.
    He does have a valid point.  The T2 chip has been in Macs for 2 years now, and it has been common knowledge that the SSD cannot be upgraded or replaced because of that T2 chip.  So once the iMac got the T2 chip, people would know that the SSD would not be upgradable, and that is also why they dropped spinning hard drives from the 27" model (not compatible with the T2).

    The T2 chip also has another dirty dark secret.  You can brick your Mac as a result of the T2 chip.  Let's say you are in a location with no internet access and the Mac with the T2 chip won't boot into macOS.  So you are thinking of your regular troubleshooting technique to restore the Mac.  Boot into recovery mode and erase the drive and re-install from your bootable USB flash drive with macOS and restore from backup, or if a company-owned Mac, just erase and re-image using a USB boot disk.  Most people are unaware that Apple's default T2 chip setting is set to disable booting from any external device and restrict OS installations to only validated copies from Apple.  So after you erase the internal drive, and try to boot from an external drive, you have just bricked the Mac because the T2 chip blocks booting from an external drive.  Now that the drive is erased, there is no more recovery mode and you cannot change the T2 chip settings to allow booting from an external drive.  The only way to restore the Mac is through Internet recovery mode.  So if you don't have internet at the moment, the Mac is bricked.  You need to boot into recovery mode before you erase the drive and change the T2 settings first by allowing booting from external devices, and disable all security for the OS so it will allow the USB flash drive to install macOS.  It is a big hassle if you get stuck in that situation.
    Good to know. By “erase the drive” do you mean re-partitioning and deleting the OS recovery partition? I don’t have a T2 equipped Mac but I always assumed that you could erase the OS partition without deleting the recovery partition and still perform a local recovery. 
    hippowatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 34
    bbhbbh Posts: 134member
    I just read an article explaining how to enable the T2 Mac to boot from an external drive. One of the choices on the Utility APP launched during Recovery startup is Startup Security Utility. A simple selection of essentially "Allow from External".       How to make new T2-secured Macs boot from external drives ...appleinsider.com › articles › how-to-make-new-t2-secu...


    Also, if you are OK with erasing everything on the SSD and starting from scratch, can't you do that?
    hippowatto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 34
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member

    entropys said:
    People would be less upset about the soldering if the upgrades to storage was competitively priced with market SSDs. As it is I feel ripped off. 
    Exactly!  No reason why Apple should charge such excessive prices for both RAM and SSD upgrades.  Here is where it gets even more absurd...Apple charges different prices for the same exact SSD upgrade based on different models of Macs and different tiers.  The same 1TB upgrade can vary in hundreds of dollars between different Mac models and different tiers (base model -> top model).  Charge more for lower models and less for higher models...yet it is the same 1TB SSD upgrade.  That makes no sense.
    Notice the differences in storage prices on Apple TV 4K units: It’s about $20 difference between 32 & 64 GB. On iPhones it’s a $50 difference (though it goes 64 to 128), and on iPads it’s a $100 difference (but again, it’s 128 to 256). On a MacBook Pro 13”, it’s a $200 difference (256 to 512).

    hmm
  • Reply 30 of 34
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    I haven’t read everyone else’s comments yet but is this article telling us that a failed SSD in an iMac will necessitate Apple replacing the whole logic board? How is that cost effective for Apple?
  • Reply 31 of 34
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,094member
    dysamoria said:
    I haven’t read everyone else’s comments yet but is this article telling us that a failed SSD in an iMac will necessitate Apple replacing the whole logic board? How is that cost effective for Apple?
    I think Apple ran the numbers and realized it was just more cost effective to solder everything down the assembly processes. I guess Apple would rather avoid having a human on the assembly line having to insert a physical SSD card and just line them up and have them soldered by machine.

    it is unfortunate.  TB3 does make up for it, one some level, but still... I'm glad to see the CPU is socketed.  Would be nice to see if Intel has another CPU with more cores than what is available down the road and will be compatible with the socket layout.

    edited August 2020 hippowatto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 34
    That was the last redeeming feature of the 27” iMac, user upgradable RAM. Apple took it way from the MacBook Pro. Now it’s just another overpriced and now outdated design. 
  • Reply 33 of 34
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 824member
    kent909 said:
    It probably would have been newsworthy if they were upgradable. Why does this surprise you?
    Its good that you're familiar with these things historically, but as a reminder, AI is for everybody, and not everybody has the same knowledge that you do.
    He does have a valid point.  The T2 chip has been in Macs for 2 years now, and it has been common knowledge that the SSD cannot be upgraded or replaced because of that T2 chip.  So once the iMac got the T2 chip, people would know that the SSD would not be upgradable, and that is also why they dropped spinning hard drives from the 27" model (not compatible with the T2).

    The T2 chip also has another dirty dark secret.  You can brick your Mac as a result of the T2 chip.  Let's say you are in a location with no internet access and the Mac with the T2 chip won't boot into macOS.  So you are thinking of your regular troubleshooting technique to restore the Mac.  Boot into recovery mode and erase the drive and re-install from your bootable USB flash drive with macOS and restore from backup, or if a company-owned Mac, just erase and re-image using a USB boot disk.  Most people are unaware that Apple's default T2 chip setting is set to disable booting from any external device and restrict OS installations to only validated copies from Apple.  So after you erase the internal drive, and try to boot from an external drive, you have just bricked the Mac because the T2 chip blocks booting from an external drive.  Now that the drive is erased, there is no more recovery mode and you cannot change the T2 chip settings to allow booting from an external drive.  The only way to restore the Mac is through Internet recovery mode.  So if you don't have internet at the moment, the Mac is bricked.  You need to boot into recovery mode before you erase the drive and change the T2 settings first by allowing booting from external devices, and disable all security for the OS so it will allow the USB flash drive to install macOS.  It is a big hassle if you get stuck in that situation.
    Uh - no...  You can't erase your internal soldered in drive while you are booted from it. You have to boot to recovery mode or an external boot device, such as USB you mentioned (if you have enabled this). This means your scenario CANNOT HAPPEN!  If you can't boot from the external USB boot disk (not enabled), then you can't erase your internal drive.
    hippowatto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 34
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,417member
    That was the last redeeming feature of the 27” iMac, user upgradable RAM. Apple took it way from the MacBook Pro. Now it’s just another overpriced and now outdated design. 
    You can still upgrade the RAM.
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