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Unboxing and Teardown of the 2017 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K

[Update 06/09: Unboxing, Teardown of 2017 21.5-inch iMac (Non-Retina Model)]

Among Apple’s hardware and software announcements at Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference were updates to the iMac line. We were able to get our hands on a base model 27″ iMac with a 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, and in addition to confirming that the model is compatible with up to 64GB of RAM, we completed a teardown of the iMac to give our readers an internal look at the new model.

Check out the video below for the complete teardown of the 2017 27-inch Apple iMac:

2017 iMac Upgrades and Storage Solutions
Users looking to upgrade can find memory configurations up to 64GB for the new 27-inch iMac at, with savings of up to $820 compared to Apple factory upgrades. is also home to the best selection of Thunderbolt and USB-C gear, external storage, and accessories to help you get the most from your iMac.

Easy to Install
Check out our install video to see how easy it is to upgrade your iMac with Retina 5K display’s memory:

See more unboxings and teardowns from the Rocket Yard archive here!

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  • Hi everyone ! can anyone suggest where I can buy Sunday Scaries CBD Edible Broad Spectrum Vegan Gummies W Vitamins B12 D3 10mg?

  • Hi, any idea how to change the mount? Is there a difference in technique in the 2017 model? I have u tubed a video and when I try sliding a piece of plastic to release the foot in my 27′ iMac, it doesn’t unclick. Any ideas? Thanks.

  • Once the foam is cut from underneath the glass… how do you put the screen back on?

    • You need an adhesive replacement kit. OWC sells them, and includes them with their drive upgrade kits.

  • Howdy OWC!

    If one orders an new iMac, 27in or 21.5 in 4K, with a 1TB or 2TB PCIe SSD, will Apple ship it with the SATA port on logic board, SATA cable, and mounting bracket for a 3.5in HDD?

    I understand that an iMac ordered with an HDD and no fusion drive will not have a PCIe port on the logic board.

    I’m thinking of getting a new high-end 27in iMac with one of their really fast 1TB or 2TB PCIe SSDs and adding an additional SATA SSD with bracket that allows me to out a 2.5 SATA drive in the 3.5in spot. –I did that often with your parts on 2012 to 2015 when I worked at Happy Mac in Austin, TX.

  • I bought a 21” i7 3.6 2017 Imac. It as 32gig ram and can hyperthread to 8 core if overworked. It as 256 ssd, it’s fast as a sport car for recording, ecxept…

    I carefully planned my set up before purchasing. One ext usb-c ssd 500g for streaming my sound librairies and a 6TB usb for storage, and ONLY 256 ssd on the Imac. Based on the information at the sales and technical support at APPLE, telling me I could use a USB-C to AV connector to get my 32′ TV as second screen and plug in my two ext drives without issues.

    Results, that multiport adaptor’ USB-C port is only for charging…

    Now I can only plug either my tv screen or my ext SSD without having to buy a docking system witch is 400$ tx inc. After buying the computer for 3444$ and the 2 drives for 700$ in all, because of some ignorance of APPLE’s customer service, I have to now buy a docking system!! I am really pissed off.

    I spoke many times to everyone there before buying. Knowing this before I would have bought a larger SSD or fusion drive in the Imac. Now I bought my whole set up in this sens, 256 ssd on board so I could plug my 2 ext drives and my second screen. Hell I would have gotten the 27 in if can’t have a second screen!! No I bought the 21’ so it was not too big on my desk next to my 32’ tv.

    That means that if I buy a docking system with the connectors I would have paid 1100$ (with the 2 drives) and the connections. Not including the Thunderbolt3 cable and the thunderbolt adaptor for my sound card, another 110$. REALLY!!! What a racket to sell Docking systems and connectors…That’s 500$ of connections!!!!!$$$

    And guess what? The Thunderbolt 3 claims it can go up to 40g sec, but it wont. Unless you have a RAID system. The speed is limited to the drive. What a scam!!! I’ve ben with Apple for years, now I feel I’ve just ben add. Now I’m pass the 14 days return policy because the drives and connectors came later, so I’m stuck because of some sales rep and PRO APP department (Logic Prox) mistake, thinking the USB-C connector could transfer DATA (only charges). Stuck with a fast comptuter that ONLY as 256 SSD on board, 2 ext drives and a TV second screen but only one connector (Thunderbolt3) left to feed either the TV or the SSD, (the other on is for my sound card that can’t go through a Hub or Dock because of sound interference).

    All they add to do was to out 3 or 4 Thunderbolt port on the Imac, NOT JUST 2 on the Imac 2017. So beware!!! Apple’s customer service is getting less and less knowledgable, actually dumd sometimes! I add called in for a headphone problem (the jack I thought) the guy add me rebooth and do alot of things after telling me I add to bring in the store…I finally checked the balanced levels in the preference system sound, it was panned to left, that fixed the issue… Apple, your lucky all my files are on Logic Pro, but if I ever get a chance to change my system for something that works, I’m gone. Your mistake cost me to spend 1100$ on a set up that could have ben avoided if your customer service would know what they are talking about….That was the the MacBook Air I add planned to buy to gig with, but now will look somewhere else…Beware everyone!

    • Steeve, I think we had the same issue. The Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter that Apple sells doesn’t support the old Display port. I ended up getting a LESVIEO USB 3.1 Type C to Mini DP Adapter on Amazon which allowed me to connect a second display. I hope this helps.

    • Steeve, I sympathize. I’m getting the 27′ i7, and I’m using a 7 y/o Cinema Display as a second display. To save desk space, I’ve installed a Bretford MobilePro Desk Mount. I had to take the stand off the CD and install a VESA adaptor plate, which you have to find on eBay or other vendor. I absolutely love the Bretford–built like a brick sithouse. The iMac has to be ordered with the VESA mount.

      As for connectivity, I assumed a Thunderbolt 3 dock: the OWC has a mini DisplayPort, which means the CD will plug right in. The dock should not just solve current problems but give plenty of expansion room for the future. I have run a Drobo for several years. I’ll milk some more time out of it, but it’s limited to a Firewire800 (I could never get it to work right with eSATA. I hope to be able to upgrade it to a Thunderbolt 3 model at some point.

  • Is the CPU replaceable, right? The 21,5″ iMac 2017 has no soldered CPU, so it might be upgradable I presumed.

  • I know that you can’t upgrade the SSD in the card slot but you can upgrade the regular hard drive to SSD.
    So, if you order the iMac with a 512GB SSD, is it a 512GB PCIe card in the card slot and an empty hard drive or is a SSD hard drive? Also how does the PCIe card slot memory work if you add a SSD drive. is it ignored or used?

  • Just an FYI, the chip you identified as the CPU is actually the GPU and the chip hidden away under the heat sink is the CPU.
    Take care~

    • Yup, you’re absolutely right, and great catch. Dave actually caught that too right after the video was produced. He did a little facepalm, but it’s ok, these things happen in the heat of taking a great new iMac apart. Thanks for watching and the helpful comment!

      • Hi, does thát suggest that the CPU is (/or is not…) user replaceable….?

        (I accidentally ordered the computer with i5, just to realize that I probably will need the i7, expensive mistake…).

  • Can you please confirm whether the stand mounting hardware is identical to previous versions? I have a custom adapter from Monitors in Motion and would like to know if I can use that or have to go with the built-in VESA mount.

  • Does OWC offer replacement/upgraded SSD cards for this model (and late 2015 models)? Wasn’t sure if they are proprietary parts or not.

    • At this time we don’t offer replacement PCIe SSD cards for installation into the card slot. However, we do offer 2.5-inch SSD upgrade kits you can use to swap out the main drive with a super fast SSD. It’s also an easier install, as you can access the main drive right after you get the iMac screen removed, versus removing nearly all the internal boards which is required to access the PCIe slot.

      If you don’t want to dive into taking your iMac apart you could also connect an external SSD equipped Thunderbolt drive

      Hope that helps.

      • There are adapter cards that convert Apple’s proprietary SSD card slot into an mSATA slot. You can then use common mSATA SSDs. I am not sure if they are compatible with the 2017 iMac. They were compatible with the 2012 iMacs. MaxUpgrades made one and so did MicroSataCables.

  • Great. Thanks.

    First video above:
    Apple Fusion Drive with Seagate HD part (can be removed): 6:56
    Intel microprocessor (seems fixed): 10:05
    Apple Fusion Drive with Samsung SSD part (can be removed): 10:26

    But where is RAM on first video? Can it be removed?

    • They show the RAM removed early in the video. It’s behind the stand like in the late 2015 models.

    • Completely sorry for the confusion on this. The 27-inch iMacs all have a memory access door on the back of the unit hidden by the stand. It’s a super simple to upgrade the memory in these units, and the second video above details the simple install process.