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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

External SSD on Imac


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misteriley

 
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Hi there, first post this so please bear with me, just bought a fantastic 2010 i3 27" imac 8gb ram on ebay with 15 months applecare thrown in 800!, so i want to keep the warranty in tact...

Now I've been thinking of attaching an 'external' SSD I know it's better to have it in the imac but I don't want to void the applecare, so the questions i have please are:

1) should I boot from it (should I install lion directly and is this easy enough)
2) should I also boot all apps from it (Cs6)
3) What minimum size (for cost) would be good)
4) no thunderbolt so whats the next best connection

Appreciate All and any feedback.
Tkae care
& thanks in advance.

S )
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mrplow

 
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As you're going to have to connect it by USB2 I'd question whether you will see much, if any, benefit from SSD

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misteriley

 
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why couldn't I use the firewire ?
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mrplow

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misteriley View Post
why couldn't I use the firewire ?
I'd forgotten about firewire, but the same is true. I'd really doubt you'd get the performance you're after.

Happy to be corrected if someone actually runs an external as a permanent boot drive

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My sister will be running her boot drive from an external FW400 drive as her SATA cable or card has bit the dust. It will be somewhat slower, but with what she uses it for, she won't even notice. FW800 should have some benefit over the FW400, but unless you are a power user, it shouldn't make that much of a difference.

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Lightcraftsman

 
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I ran my wife's 2011 Mac Mini off a 240GB SSD connected through FW 800, and it was significantly faster than running off the internal 750GB 7200 RPM drive. Apps and files opened instantly. Open and Save times in PhotoShop dropped in half. Just make sure you get a self-powered enclosure for the SSD. The Mac Mini woke up very grumpy when I ran the SSD bus-powered.

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dtravis7

 
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With FW800 you wont' see much speed difference in normal usage. This is from experience installing OS Versions I was testing on an external and leaving my internal intact.
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Lightcraftsman

 
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That's interesting, Dennis, because it is exactly the opposite of my experience. Starting the computer and launching apps is disk I/O intensive and this happened much quicker using the SSD in a FW 800 enclosure. Platter-based drives slow to a crawl when reading small files. SSDs do not get nearly as slow. When your drive is reading well below FW 800 speeds the SSD will give you a performance boost even in an external enclosure.

My next trick will be getting a LaCie eSATA Thunderbolt hub and connecting my SSD to my iMac through that.

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dtravis7

 
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Remember all my experience is with 7200 RPM normal drives. But, FW800 has a certain limit speed wise and any Internal SATA is faster in tests anyway. It all depends on what one does or expects.

I would never use a USB 2 external though for running the OS from. USB 2 just does not cut it. USB 3 would be fine.
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Lightcraftsman

 
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That makes sense. My iMac is much faster opening apps and files than my wife's Mac Mini even though both have 7200 RPM drives. The Mini, of course, uses 2.5-inch drives which are slower than 3.5-inch drives. USB 2 is painfully slow when used as a boot drive. That's why I bought a FW enclosure for my 2.5 inch drives. I haven't tested USB 3 yet but the speed should be much faster than FW 800.

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