Questions about installing 2 SSDs
So I bought a 27” 2019 iMac with 500gb SSD pre-installed, and I had the intention of replacing it with a 2 TB drive using OWC’s kit. My understanding is limited, but it appears to me that with the configuration I purchased, there is currently an SSD pre-installed in the PCI express, which is deep within the iMac, and there is a separate, vacant bay that I will actually be able to install an extra SSD into through a SATA connecor, to run on two internal drives (I initially thought I was going to swap out a 500gb SSD out of that slot and replace it).
Since I bought the pre configured 500gb SSD model, is this true? I already bought the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G kit for a 2 TB SSD. Was this a mistake, or will I be mostly okay? Should I return it for a different option, or is it not worth the hassle? The reviews on their storage products seem pretty positive and trustworthy, but that’s only recently. I have seen many people complain about products they were releasing in 2012 and earlier. I can’t find much on the failure rates of the drive I purchased, but I excitingly made the purchase and started researching it more thoroughly afterward.
The last question I have is about installing the drive, assuming that it is true that I have an empty bay. I am guessing that I have to also purchase a SATA cable, which I will prefer manufactured by Apple based on what I’ve heard about reliability. Will this SATA cable be installable in my 2019 iMac? Do I need to worry about purchasing a used cable, or does the cable condition often not complicate/impact the lifespan of the hard drive (in other words, will a SATA cable from a 2013 iMac last as long as a new one)? If I don’t need a new SATA cable, that’s great too, but I would find it odd to have an unused cable flopping around in my iMac, so I’m assuming that’s not the case. If I do need to install the SATA cable, will I have to do a takedown far more thorough than getting to the vacant bay?
Update (08/07/2019); My Solution
(This is mainly for readers who are in a similar position as me)
Thank you @danj for helping me figure out the best thing to do with storage options. His solution worked excellently. Instead of opening the computer and trying to fit an SSD into the bay using a SATA cable that I would have to buy from a third party vendor, I opted for external storage.
I opted for the OWC Express 4M2 enclosure, which is small and convenient, and the spinning fan volume is low enough that it’s a negligible issue. I installed two separate Samsung 970 EVO NVMe M.2 SSD chips with 1TB of storage each, and they are both compatible. I did not use OWC’s software RAID solution SoftRAID to configure any of the drives because I wanted one chip to be used for MacOS and the other to be used for Windows Bootcamp, and so everything I needed to do could be done in Disk Utility.
After installing Bootcamp on the internal SSD I had, I formatted one of the SSDs in the enclosure to work with MacOS (in MacOS Extended Journaled) and the other to work with Windows (in NTFS). The entire process has been seamless, and the external storage is blazing fast. I now have 1 TB of extra storage on each operating system, and I have freed over 400 GB of space from my internal drive (total vacant space when both MacOS & Windows storage is combined) by making the change and moving programs. Note that my internal SSD was only 500 GB in the first place.
In the end, the external solution saved a big headache of opening the computer, it saved the warranty, it’s got great speeds for gaming & moving large files (and would be even faster if I set up RAID storage with the remaining 2 SSD slots I have vacant), and has the advantage that I can plug it in to any computer with a Thunderbolt 3 to access my files. I fully recommend this setup.
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