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Modelli A1419 / Fine 2012 / Processori 2.9 & 3.2 GHz Core i5 o 3.4 GHz Core i7, ID iMac13,2

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Blade SSD Replacement options for iMac i7 Late 2012 27" EMC 2546


I need help with my iMac EMC 2546 i7 fusion drive (128Gb ssd + 1Tb hdd) late 2012 model, where recently my internal SSD fusion drive was dead.

It’s very strange trouble because this start after updating to 10.15 Catalina from High Sierra (32Bits to 64Bits) all I had was problems. Before to this update all was very smooth and fast (all work fine) and after this update all was troubles.

I lost all my configurations and many apps and trying to downgrade it again to High Sierra the SSD was dead.

From here every time the SSD show me SMART errors, (but before of this it was working perfectly) I searched for information to format it again and under low format also and there was not way to fix it.

I tried all my best and restoring by Terminal, tech tools and many other tools and nothing worked.

I explain all this only if anybody knows similar troubles and know how to fix this SMART issue, because it’s very strange as before I updated the OS all was fine and after the SSD starts with SMART errors. (I find it very strange)


So I’m searching to change the blade SSD with a new unit

Block Image

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2546 Blade SSD Replacement

I saw this is small SSD board but I don’t find it in any place.

  1. Could anybody tell me which blade SSD I should to search, type or models available for EMC 2546 Fusion Drive SSD drive.
  2. Is it possible to replace (without this SSD drive) internally a new 2,5 HDD + one SSD NAS Like an IronWolf Solid State Drive ???
  3. Maybe one SSD into an external box by thunderbolt 2 will be enough fast and easy??

Thanks and Regards!

Risposto! Visualizza la risposta Anch'io ho questo problema

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Here's a good reference on the custom Apple SSD's The Ultimate Guide to Apple’s Proprietary SSDs


It's awesome!!! Happy to have this information. Is the best way to me!! Many thanks Dan :-)


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Your system has only two drive ports: A SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) 3.5” HDD and a mSATA (6.0 Gb/s) SSD blade interface.

So as you can see both drive interfaces only offer 6.0 Gb/s throughput. It also limits you on what you can use in your system as far as the blade interface.

A Fusion Drive is a wacky setup! Apple found a way to get the speed of a SSD without having to buy an expensive SSD drive.

At the time Hard Drive makers introduced hybrid drives (SSHD) which where standard spinning disk HDD’s with a small SSD added to the controller board to improve performance. These drives got a lot of coverage as they indeed improve performance with a minor cost bump Vs the very expensive cost of a SSD drive of equal size!

Apple took the idea and added their own spin to it. Instead of buying what the drive makers offered, they created their own using two independent drives! This confused a lot of people as they expected a single device not two! And as the small SSD was not setup like a normal drive so when it died it was painful to diagnose and setup again.

So let’s move on! The best you can do here today is just get a larger blade SSD and forgo the Fusion Drive setup as it just wasn’t very good.

You have the right idea, just the wrong SSD the Seagate IronWolf Solid State Drives are designed for a NAS storage sub system not a computer boot drive.

Think of it this way… Which would win the race? A fast Porsche 411 or a school bus? If speed was the issue then clearly the Porsche, but if moving a quantity of people the school bus would win! So the nature of the device is important! Here we need a Porsche! Not a school bus!

I would recommend getting this blade SSD Apple proprietary 7+17 pin 256 GB mSATA SSD

The other option is to just takeout the old blade SSD and just live with the slow HDD the system came with or as SSD’s cost have dropped so much think about upgrading it to a SSD! 500 GB upgrade kit or 1 TG upgrade kit and here’s the guide Sostituzione Hard Drive iMac Intel 27" EMC 2546 Then use an external Thunderbolt HDD for your data store.

Immagine iMac Intel 27" (Late 2012-2019) SSD Upgrade Bundle


iMac Intel 27" (Late 2012-2019) SSD Upgrade Bundle


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I din’t read your answer!

Now I’ve read it and certainly is exactly that I’m looking for. (Never more fusion drive!)

What do you think about next configuration:

1.- One 768Gb blade SSD (compatible with iMac late 2012 MD096LL/A

2.- and to change the internal 3.5Hdd for one internal for a new SSD Seagate Iron Wolf Pro 2.5” (7,200rpm) for storage on the 6Gbs Satanases III port.

What do you think about this?

thanks and Regards!


Sure the larger blade SSD also works!

Why are you fixated on the Iron Wolf SSD? This series is not intended for a computer but a NAS server which is a very different beast! FYI they are SSD's not HDD's no moving parts (no RPM's). If you want a HDD then I would go with a Seagate 3.5" FireCuda drive.

I would go with one of these Seagate drives:

Seagate BarraCuda-120 SSD or Seagate Barracuda Q1

I personally like Samsung drives: Samsung 860 EVO SSD or Samsung 860 QVO SSD


Wich I'm looking is the :

Seagate NAS 125 SSD 500Gb "Z A500N M 10002"

extactly specifications than Barracuda 120 ssd (include a little better)

"Z A500N M 10002"

Wich real diference have vs Firecuda ZA500GM10001

I don't find them... and both are SATA III

Or do you think is not a good choice?

And what do you think about the 768Gb blade SSD MD096LL/A

It will be work fine this High capacity storage on Blade board?



What is the very first words in the data sheet? "NAS-optimized" Do you have a NAS here?? Nope!

Let's look at this a bit differently! I have a Porsche 411 and I have a Jeep 4by4. So I would take the Porsche into the mountain roads and of course I can take the Jeep to the race track winning the race! Both are cars, whats wrong here??

Thats the point you need to use the correct vehicle for the environment a fast car on the track and a 4by4 to go through the mountain roads.

So let's use the correct drive for a computer not the wrong one. Don't over focus on the SATA interface as just like my two cars they both work on paved roads too!

The differences are deeper inside! Besides the cost differences.

As far as the blade SSD the size is not that important beyond having enough space to support your OS and apps on it as well as having enough spare space for virtual RAM, caching and scratch space depending your needs. Then using your second drive as your data drive holding your stuff!


Thanks for your words and help!

Perfectly understood.

Last opinion from you,

I was thinking on blade 768Gb to have two partitions to have Two systems

One High Sierra for Pro audio applications with hardware and software that I can't to growing up from High Sierra (is the most high that I can to use).

So only for profesional use and don't contaminate that installation

And other partition with Mojave or Catalina with at 64Bits for photography

softwares and personal purposes with lasts versions. (maybe)

And the other internal drive to storage.

What do you think about this?

Many thanks for your answers and time! :-)



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Gonzalo Castro sarà eternamente grato.
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