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SSD soldered: Apple kills off the 27 inch iMac's storage upgradability

SSD soldered: Apple kills off the 27 inch iMac's storage upgradability
SSD soldered: Apple kills off the 27 inch iMac's storage upgradability
Of all the computer manufacturers, Apple is probably the most restrictive when it comes to user upgradability. MacBooks lost their upgradable storage years ago. Now, even the all-in-one desktop Apple iMac will be no longer upgradable.
Benjamin Herzig,
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Upgradability is a great feature of personal computers. It prolongs the life-cycle, can potentially save the user money and it can make the computer more useful and data recoverable. Unfortunately, hardware upgradability seems to be going the way of the dodo for many products. Almost no smartphone offers removable batteries anymore and many do not have microSD slots. And the RAM of many laptops is soldered these days.

Apple is probably the least upgrade-friendly manufacturer. Not only is the RAM soldered on all modern MacBooks, the SSD is as well - which is still very uncommon over in the Windows laptop world. It is even more unprecedented when it comes to desktop PCs.

Still: Apple's war on upgradability carries over to this area as well, as the new 27 inch Apple iMac 2020 has its SSD soldered to the logic board. Older models contained the Apple Fusion drive, a SSD/HDD combination that was upgradable. The new iMac Late 2020 drops this feature in favor of completely soldered SSD storage. 

For users, this makes picking the right storage capacity even more essential and it also diminishes the usefulness of the less expensive models with just 256 GB. Storage can only be expanded with an external SSD or via the SD card slot.

Also, moving to soldered storage can potentially put the user's data in jeopardy: Since the SSD is linked with the logic-board that carries the Apple T2 security chip, a logic board defect also means that the SSD is gone. Regular back-ups are thus highly recommended.

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Benjamin Herzig
Benjamin Herzig - Managing Editor - 899 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I was an ardent reader of Notebookcheck’s laptop reviews even back in school. After writing reviews as a hobby, I then joined Notebookcheck in 2016 and have worked on device reviews and news articles ever since then. My personal interest lies more with laptops than smartphones, with business laptops being the most interesting category for me. Technology should make our lives and work easier and good laptops are an essential tool for that to happen. This is why laptop reviews are not just my work but are also my passion.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 08 > SSD soldered: Apple kills off the 27 inch iMac's storage upgradability
Benjamin Herzig, 2020-08- 8 (Update: 2020-08- 8)