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Modell A1418 / Ende 2013 / 2,7 & 2,9 GHz Core i5 oder 3,1 GHz Core i7 Prozessor

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Any thoughts on the tune-up on my iMac?

imac 21.5" late 2013 EMC 2638 Mod. No. A1418

I am bored, of waiting 17 hours for my iMac to render a 5 minute animation, to the point I get irritated and thought it would be a great idea to tune my iMac a bit so I ordered:

1. One 1Tb Samsung EVO M.2 SSD

2. One 1Tb Samsung EVO 850 SATA SSD

3. Two 8Gb DDR3 SO-DIMM 1600MHz

Any thoughts before I recieve the stuff?

I can return them or some of them if they aren´t compitable but as far as I can see they are compitable, but just in case I throw out the question.

More then happy for any kind of answeres!

Thank you in advance!

Update (05/09/2017)

Hi, Dan!

Thank you for taking the time to give me your thoughts.

If I understood you right it goes like this:

The M.2 SSD wont fit so that´s that.

However the 2.5" SSD fits but I have to tear down the screen and so on.

And the 16 RAM will fit but I have to tear down the screen.

I have ordered not only the memories but also the necessary tools for doing it exactly like it says here on how to HDD to SSD and also how to switch RAMs, I am not a novice with opening and chaning parts in computers but this far I never did it on a mac but I understand the steps and will have the correct and necessary tools and I don´t think it will be any issue since I am careful and gentle with my hands.

So The 2.5" SSD and the RAMs are getting switched, BUT, I still want to put an M.2 type of SSD if it´s possible and on iMac Intel 21,5" EMC 2638 Blade SSD austauschen they say it is for the models with 2.9GHz and 2.7GHz like mine with EMC2638 and a i5 and the next step i7 is EMC 2742 which the switching will also work on... my question here is:

Is it or is it not possiblble to put both the 2.5" and M.2 just that I have the wrong M.2 which wont fit?

If it is possible please show me what M.2 type of memory that fits.

Dan I´m sorry if you already answered this question and I didn´t get it but I wont open my imac before I´m 100% sure that I have not only the correct parts but also the correct equipment tools etc. because this is my baby and as with my other children I only want what´s best for them, not taking any unecessary risks that I would regret.

Thank you every all of you for taking your time to just write how great Dan is and so on, it makes me feel just about home with you guys!

And again Dan, if you have a little more time to spare please help me a little bit further.

Update (05/09/2017)

So I get the point why the EVO 960 won't work so now I´m searching without any luck so far a PCIe Gen3. or 4. (that fits the EVO) to Thunderbolt adaptor so I still will be able to use the awesome speeds it´s capable of, anyone know about one of those adaptors or another way to use the EVO at optimal or near optimal speeds?

Thankfull eternally for answers!

Update (05/10/2017)


so I should just replace the i5 with a Intel Core i7 4790K 4,0 GHz LGA1150 with multithreads and the fat lady will sing?

Update (05/10/2017)

well of course I want the MacPro with all extras and therefore I just want to have a small unit not very expensive but that goes fast enough to make the money to go get my MacPro.

With MacPro I will have a computer that reaches further into the bag with all my needs, I hope anyway, I will find the limitations on that onsoon enoug but I hope not too fast, not like the one I have that needs 70 hours to render a not-even-good -looking-5-minute-visual, I haven't even started with C4D yet because It will go even slower and slower than 70h/5 min is not acceptable and havent been for at least the last 70 hours, real-time rendering, whatever I do, have all the programs I´m running on simultaneoulsy working on detalis for the bigpic, but not with this one I have it´s like there was only one employee at The iLoop...

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Because this got pushed back. @danj what do you have to say?


@acaciainferis - Your system supports two drives a 2.5" SATA III and a custom Apple blade SSD. Again the Samsung M.2 SSD (or any other M.2 SSD) will not work in your system!

The biggest custom Apple PCIe blade SSD's you can find online that will work in your system are these:

- iMac 128GB Solid State Drive, Late 2013 / Mid 2014

- iMac 256GB Solid State Drive, Late 2013 / Mid 2014

You'll need to use an external Thunderbolt 2 RAID system if you want something larger thats as fast


I still think after you plug everything in you won't get as much processing punch as you are expecting here. I strongly recommend getting a i7 system and work from there.

You might want to hold off a bit as well as Apple has pre-announced some more powerful iMac's are coming out this fall. Here's a bit more: What's Next for the iMac

We use MacPro's for our video editing because they offer still more threads to crunch things than the iMac i5/i7 CPU's can. In our case MacPro's Xeon 12, 16 or 24 threads) Just to give you an idea what the pro's use.


Here's a deeper explanation on multi-core & CPU/GPU threading: How Do CPUs Use Multiple Cores? Linus does a good job explaining things here.


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@acaciainferis - Rendering has two parts to it: The App and what the system is able to process with that app and your work.

So to start off your system has a Quad core CPU so it only offers four concurrent threads. So if your rendering app is multi-threaded it will be limited with the i5 CPU your system has Vs what a i7 could offer you here with Hyper-Threading which doubles the amount of threads to eight concurrent threads.

Memory & Storage space are other areas you might find improvement.

Having fast storage for the apps scratch space as well as where you you are working from can improve things. Which is the direction I think you were going down here.

While you could easily swap out the 2.5" HD your system has to a SSD you won't be able to use the M.2 SSD here as Apple uses a custom part that is not compatible. In addition getting to the blade SSD slot will require you to completely remove the logic board. The custom SSD is also not cheap in the larger sizes one would like to use here.

The other factor is the speed of the connection the custom SSD is over 4 times faster than the SATA III (6.0 Gbps) HD drive connection. So it does pay having the custom PCIe SSD. But you can gain this performance externally! Which is what I would do and its cheaper! Here I would use an external RAID enclosure populated with SSD's connected via a Thunderbolt 2 connection.

So instead of opening your system it might make sense just going with the external drive setup like this one: OWC - ThunderBay 4 mini.

The last issue is RAM: Your system likely came with only 8 GB of RAM. Rendering often needs more RAM than this so if it's not enough it will leverage the drive for virtual RAM (paging). Again this is a bear of a system to open as you would need to pop the logic board out to replace the RAM.

So the bottomline here is you may want to think through what would be a good investment if you are planing on doing a lot of rendering with either animations or live action videos.

I would recommend you sell your system and get a i7 based model and one with as large as you can get PCIe flash drive and small HD. In addition get the external RAID or look at upgrading the HD with a SSD (Apple doesn't offer a dual SSD config).

Here's the IFIXIT guides you should review to get an idea on the amount of work:

The last point here is its quite easy to damage the display if you don't follow the IFIXIT guides to the letter and not use the correct tools. So think hard if you want to risk damaging your system if you've never opened one of the newer 'Thin Series' iMacs.

Update (05/11/2017)

Here's a side by side breakdown of the three systems: Comparisons-of-the-three-systems.pdf

While I love the larger 27" display (my desktop is a 27") I'm not sure you gain enough here given the costs.

Review the Geekbench multi-core 64 numbers as you can see you'll loose performance with the older '10 system Vs going with the board swap.

Don't forget the '10 model also only has SATA II (3.0 Gb's) ports so you wouldn't gain the speed you need here (Drive I/O SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) & PCIe x2 blade SSD interface).

Here's some numbers that might help:

  • Samsung Spinpoint 2 TB HD SATA III (6.0 Gb/s)
    • Write - 250 MB/s (2.0 Gb/s)
    • Read - 300 MB/s (2.4 Gb/s)
  • Samsung 450 EVO 2 TB SSD SATA III (6.0 Gb/s)
    • Write - 452.3 MB/s (3.62 Gb/s)
    • Read - 512.7 MB/s (4.1 Gb/s)
  • Apple PCIe x2 blade SSD: (This is what your system has)
    • Write - 643.5 MB/s (5.14 Gb/s)
    • Read - 714.0 MB/s (5.71 Gb/s)
  • Apple PCIe x4 blade SSD:
    • Write - 1416.5 MB/s (11.33 Gb/s)
    • Read - 1536.0 MB/s (12.28 Gb/s)

The 27" iMac drive interface is half as fast as your current systems SATA port (only 3.0 Gb/s). Depending on the drive used you can't exceed what the I/O can support.

iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2638 Festplatte Bild


iMac Intel 21,5" EMC 2638 Festplatte austauschen



1 - 2 hours

iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2638 RAM Bild


iMac Intel 21,5" EMC 2638 RAM austauschen



45 minutes - 1 hour

iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2638 Blade SSD Bild


iMac Intel 21,5" EMC 2638 Blade SSD austauschen



1 - 3 hours

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5 Kommentare:

Now you know why Dan gets paid the big bucks ;-) @pccheese @cam2363 This is textbook on how to answer a question well!


Quality or quantity? It appears both when it comes to Dan.


Ah shucks guys ;-} Some Q's just take more than others to answer.


@mayer True. I just dont have the time to make answers this long. I also dont know much of anything.


Same. I've never even owned a Mac. My grandpa had a Mac mini back in 2011. For a short while.


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Acacia Inferis wird auf ewig dankbar sein.

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