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A1418 / EMC 3069 / 2017 / Processeur quadricoeur i5 à 3,0 GHz, quadricoeur i5 à 3,4 GHz ou quadricoeur i7 de 3,6GHz. Sorti le 8 Juin 2017.

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Looking for the definitive answer on upgrading my Mac

Hi folks, having analysis paralysis after reading too many conflicting and dated articles so hoping to get a current and definitive view before I jack up my iMac.

Current state of play: mid-2017 iMac 3.4GHz 4k 8 GB RAM w/ 1TB Fusion Drive running Catalina. It is far too slow for its age, so planning to upgrade a variety of components in one fell swoop including:

1. Replace 24 GB SSD Blade w/ new OWC 240 GB

2. Replace 1TB SATA HD w/ new OWC 1TB SSD

3. Replace 8GB RAM w/ 2x 16GB

4. Clean install of Big Sur

Plan as I understand it is:


b. Split the existing Fusion drive set even though both the SSD blade and 1TB HD will be replaced

c. Open her up and replace all components. Hold breath.

d. Boot in Internet Recovery mode or USB to install Big Sur to the SSD Blade.

Where I’m unsure:

  • Anything I need to do to make the Mac use the 1TB SSD for my main data storage? This includes my home folder and iCloud syncing.
  • Is there a simpler way? This may be overkill but I only want to open it up once since it’s bit of a pain.

Update (11/28/2020)

Follow up progress and another question please….

Good news is the hardware and Big Sur clean install all were uneventful and the system now feels super responsive (as I’d expect with hardest anything on it of course).

I have my SATA SSD setup now too and can login as either the admin (home folder on the blade) or my regular user account (home folder on the SATA SSD).

Question I’ve got now before getting too far restoring data… is it still possible to encrypt the SATA SSD using FileVault or similar, such that drive contents are encrypted but I can still login at boot up in a straight forward way. It seems FileVault only supports the boot volume, and if I encrypt the SATA using DiskUtility I fear it will not be available at boot up.

Is there a simple way through this? Potentially I could recreate the Fusion set combining the 2 SSDs but understand that is a bad idea from performance POV.

Thanks much

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There are some elements of your upgrade I would alter.

For one the PCIe/NVMe drive should be your boot drive (OS) and I would go a bit larger 500 GB would be the better size as you want to hold your apps and still have space for your OS and Apps to use for caching, virtual RAM and scratch space.

Your SATA drive is then focused on being your data drive holding your media and creations. So is a 1 TB large enough?

As far as RAM unless you are working on large projects (music, images or video). Or love to have Chrome with tons of active tabs, 16 GB is really all you should need.

I wouldn't try doing everything at once as debugging a problem will be just to hard! Instead focus on the pulling the drives (both), replace the blade SSD and if you do upgrade the RAM do that as well. Both of these are on the back side of the logic board so once done you won’t need to dig back in as far for phase 2.

I would not mount the display back on instead I would use some painters tape to hold the display on formatting and installing the macOS onto your blade SSD. Then I would install the replacement SATA drive and then format it up and now reseal your system.

As far as Home folder you’ll restore your stuff back in two restore sessions. The first is to restore your user accounts onto your SATA drive as well as your data. The second is restoring your apps to the blade SSD.

Depending on the app you may need to do some fine tuning.

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Thanks Dan. Much appreciated.

As for 1TB, the answer is, sort of.

A few years back I gave up on storing my full photo library onboard the Mac, so it is sitting on an external 4TB HD. Excluding that, and I'm only using 500GB or so at the moment, so 1.24GB I hope will do. I couldn't bring myself to spending the cash on a 4TB internal SSD.

Like your build for doing in a few steps to help troubleshoot. Will give that a go next week and hopefully come out unscathed.

After restoring my Home Folder I assume I'll need to tell OS11 where to find it. Found this article which seems to explain it.


@davidduran - Maybe you don't need as large a SATA drive (1 TB) instead get the larger blade SSD (500 GB) as you have most of your stuff on an external.

I use an admin account for my base drive. When you setup the OS onto the blade SSD just make note of the user account and password so if need be you'll have it.


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