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A2115 / 2019 / Processors from 3.0 GHz 6-core i5, up to 3.6 GHz 8-core i9. Released March 19, 2019.

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How to install a dual 2.5 SSD on a single tray on 27 inch 5K 2019 iMac

Can you make a video on installing dual 2.5 SSDs on a 27 inch 2019 iMac. This is besides the PCIE SSD. I am talking about having a tray that houses two 2.5 SSD. Thanks in advance.

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Your system only has one SATA port thats it! So a single SATA drive is all you can connect internally.

Why are you trying to do this?? Fully explain!

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You can use something like this: Dual-Bay 2.5” to 3.5” SATA Hard Drive Adapter Enclosure with RAID. Obviously all the implications of using third-party SATA drive in the iMac, striping 2 SSD’s (if you choose to do that), etc. still applies, but basically you have two drives one SATA port, you need a RAID controller, I’m pretty sure there aren’t any port multipliers that would work in this situation (and even if it did, what the iMac would have to say about it), or another way of attaching them as you might with other scsi devices.

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Ah! So you can physical put two drives into the space of one. But, where are you going to plug that second drive into on the logic board... There is only one SATA port on it and no means of adding one.

This Mac is SATA based not SCSI so SCSI is not possible internally!

It does have a second drive port for a custom PCIe/NVMe blade drive. But thats not what we are talking about. And, no you can't convert it to SATA.

The system is what it is internally!

But you could plug in an external RAID drive either HDD or SSD based which would be faster than the internal SATA port.


@danj That's the thing though! the enclosure has a RAID controller built in and presents itself as one *insert name of controller here* SATA drive through one port!

you can choose between striping and mirroring apparently. I'd choose the latter but eh.

To be honest though, the only reason that thing caught my eye was the idea of getting a bunch of OEM DC SSD's for cheap and putting them in yet another RAID subsys but now that "SFF" 2.5" based racks are available, I'd sort of forgotten about it.


OK, I jumped just reading the title of your link. Sorry I should have read it a bit more. It still won't work here and it doesn't offer any improvement!

Even though its muxing two SATA ports to one SATA port you still need some level of driver and software to manage the drives (ports). Which is likely Windows based not macOS so how are you going to format the drives? Remember Mac's use GPT (GUID Partition Table) and HFS+ or now APFS file systems which is not a compatible format under Windows.

Then why?? Todays SSD's are very close to the limits of the SATA ports I/O Sequential Reads/Writes: Up to 550 Mb/s - 520 Mb/s

Let's look at this from a visual model - I have a pipe 6" big and I have a flow of water which is coming from a 5.5" pipe so the difference of a half inch. This difference is the over head of the SATA dialog its self.

Now why is an external RAID box better?

Unlike this device which mux's two SATA drives to one SATA port. These external boxes mux multiple drives to a much higher I/O pipe. In our case Thunderbolt-3 (40 Gb/s) so now lets go back to the water model:

● If I have four SATA drives each pushing 550 Mb/s your total throughput would be only 2200 Mb/s (2.2 Gb/s) you would need 18 SATA RAID boxes to max out the channel.

● If we jump to PCIe/NVMe drives four blade drives can push 2250 Mb/s (2.25 Gb/s) you would still need 18 PCIe/NVMe 4 drive RAID boxes to max out the channel.

But why are they the same! Todays four drive SATA or PCIe/NVMe to TB3 Mux logic can't push the data any faster!

Hopefully this offers you the guidance to understand why the internal solution is just not as good as going with an external RAID and give you some idea even the TB3 connection is still not being pushed that hard until you load up the connection with multiple RAID boxes.


@danj Hmm... I'm not sure if you understand, you *can't* format the individual drives, as far as putting a FS on it goes. The enclosure/adapter, it is a hardware RAID controller built into the 3.5 case, there's no "muxing" SATA, though you're right about the issue of managing the physical drives separately, I'm not sure if that's possible either. Which is why I personally wouldn't use this for anything other than mirroring.

And sure, an external RAID would definitely be better, but I thought the OP meant the 3.5 drive bracket when he said he wanted to fit two ssd's into the "tray"


@kumowoon1025 - All RAID system have a structure of some sort here Max's need GUID and then the file system could be either the older HFS+ or the newer APFS (as its internal within the system). A raw disk just can't be used.

I wasn't clear here what I meant was the data flow is mux'ed across the two drives with ever setup you do. The system doesn't know or understand the devices on the other end here as the device driver is only expecting a single drive here.


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