View Full Version : Does partitioning OS X from data increase speed
Jan 17, 2013, 12:01 AM
If you have a lot of data (e.g. a lot of movies and music that take up a lot of hard drive ),*Is there any benefit to partitioning your internal HDD into two volumes (say 30 GB and 470GB ) and installing OS X on the small one (so that it is your "boot drive"), and keeping all the data on the other? Would one expect any increase in speed, in particular, boot and shut down times, or does it make no difference in this case ? I'm wondering because I always notice that after I format my HD and install OS X fresh, the system boots and shutdowns lightning fast. It's not until I migrate all my data that it slows down significantly.
Jan 17, 2013, 01:12 AM
No, none whatsoever. It's still the same drive. I imagine slowdown comes more from log-in items, settings, services, etc than the drive filling up, which shouldn't really impact things much until you near filling it up.
Jan 17, 2013, 10:21 AM
I disagree with reply #2.
For many years, from back in the days of Mac OS 7, 8, and 9 -- right through OS X -- I've kept my system and application software on a separate partition than the one I keep my "main data" on. This includes most things that folks keep in their "home" folders, etc.
It may be less a matter of "speed" than of organization and security.
Even if my system partition becomes corrupted, can't boot from it, etc., my most important files are isolated from it on their own partition. Of course this doesn't protect you from a hardware-related drive failure, but that's what backups are for.
And speaking of backups, I maintain a clone of each partition that I keep. Because my data partition isn't clogged up with thousands upon thousands of OS-related files, a CarbonCopyCloner backup of it goes very quickly.
I realize that few do it this way, but it's a process that has worked for me for more than 25 years. I still have files going all the way back to 1987!
Jan 17, 2013, 11:07 AM
I'm wondering because I always notice that after I format my HD and install OS X fresh, the system boots and shutdowns lightning fast. It's not until I migrate all my data that it slows down significantly.Of course after you've migrated all your data you have the applications installed and depending on how many of those startup with booting/logging in of course migrating your data will affect the start time.
There are reasons to separate the partitions and reasons to not separate the partitions.
Making separate partitions will not really speed up the boot time. And as a matter of fact, it might slow it down slightly since it now has more disk partitions to deal with. This slowdown is probably not going to be noticeable.
If you want to use FileVault 2 to encrypt your disk, you can't make multiple OS X partitions on it.
I will warn you that 30GB won't be enough for OS X unless you migrate everything off that you can. And some applications don't like being installed except where they want to be. And you need to leave enough free space on the system partition for the OS to run smoothly. Some data that can be migrated is not easy to migrate like your home directory(folder).