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Old May 22, 2012, 04:49 PM   #1
antman2x2
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Thunderbolt SSD

Honestly, I refuse to open the machine to install an SSD, so I figured TB is my next best bet.

Can anyone tell me my options for UNDER 400 dollars to get an SSD running through thunderbolt? I cannot find a single affordable product. Perhaps you guys can advise?
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Old May 22, 2012, 05:03 PM   #2
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You add the word thunderbolt to any product and that equates to an exorbitantly price product
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Old May 23, 2012, 07:10 AM   #3
omvs
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One solution:

Seagate GoFlex TB adapter ($99) + Thunderbolt Cable ($49) + SSD (?)

Thats what I'm running. Its a bit ugly with just a bare drive, but if you wanted you could probably remove the hard drive from a cheap goflex drive and put the SSD inside. I opted for cheap and ugly.


I would discourage against opening up the machine unless you're really motivated and know what the heck you're doing. I like to think I know what I'm doing, but I was worried I was going to accidentally break something when I took apart my iMac. I've seen at least a few threads here where people broke connectors...

Plus if you ever need to take it in for service, you'll probably need to swap the drive out -- which is why I eventually removed my SSD from inside the machine and put it in the setup above.
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Old May 23, 2012, 08:21 AM   #4
New Apple
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Originally Posted by omvs View Post
One solution:
I would discourage against opening up the machine unless you're really motivated and know what the heck you're doing. I like to think I know what I'm doing, but I was worried I was going to accidentally break something when I took apart my iMac. I've seen at least a few threads here where people broke connectors...

i have watched a video 2-4 times, readed and re-readed the instructions
at first i was like OMG, but reading again and again, and looking for what seems to be the best way to go 'inside' i told myself, it's true, it takes time, you must be careful, but if the guide is 100% correct there is no reason to spoil anything

it's important to have a laptop or printed papers while you have the imac opened (you dont wanna go on remembering what you saw before, but perhaps, do step-to-step everything the guide-video says (ex: watch out for the cable there there and there and you are done here)
no kids around, maximum concentration, all the required tools

if you have opened pcs before or imacs etc, i think it's doable.
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Old May 23, 2012, 08:50 AM   #5
DeF46
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Originally Posted by New Apple View Post
no kids around, maximum concentration, all the required tools
And most importantly something you can touch to act as "ground" for static...

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by antman2x2 View Post
Honestly, I refuse to open the machine to install an SSD, so I figured TB is my next best bet.

Can anyone tell me my options for UNDER 400 dollars to get an SSD running through thunderbolt? I cannot find a single affordable product. Perhaps you guys can advise?
It depends what speed you want. You can get a nice looking enclosure from OWC in FireWire which I believe will be faster than internal HDD in real use cases because of the random access latency, whereas the capped sequential read/write will be around 80ish MB/s which will be the same as the HDD. That still leaves you the opportunity to move the SSD to a better TB enclosure in the future.

Sources
SSD + Firewire 800 as a bootdrive?
http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...28&postcount=7

Is upgrading an iMac to an SSD over USB 2/FireWire an upgrade?
http://apple.stackexchange.com/quest...ire-an-upgrade
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Old May 23, 2012, 09:10 AM   #6
kitsunestudios
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Originally Posted by omvs View Post
One solution:

Seagate GoFlex TB adapter ($99) + Thunderbolt Cable ($49) + SSD (?)
That seems to be a good solution. There are plenty of good 128 GB drives for under $200.

At that price, you might even be able to get something like the 256Gb Mushkin Chronos Deluxe, which can be had through Newegg.com for $230 with free shipping. It's a well reviewed drive, although perhaps not the most reliable. I'd never put one inside an iMac, but externally or in a Mac Pro, It's worth considering.
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Old May 23, 2012, 10:54 AM   #7
88 King
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Originally Posted by omvs View Post
One solution:

Seagate GoFlex TB adapter ($99) + Thunderbolt Cable ($49) + SSD (?)
Would this setup allow you to install Bootcamp?

One of the reason I did the swap was Bootcamp can only be installed on internal hard drive.
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Old May 23, 2012, 11:34 AM   #8
omvs
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Would this setup allow you to install Bootcamp?
Yes - at least with the seagate adapter. Currently I only run Win7 off the thunderbolt drive, though previously I had both OSX and Win7 booting off separate partitions.

However, the install process for getting bootcamp onto the SSD is a bit more involved... I documented it in other threads, but basically you have to first install to the internal drive (bootcamp assistant won't let you choose the TB drive), then use WinClone or something similar to move the partition.

NOTE: Win7 will not sleep with a thunderbolt peripheral attached -- apparently a driver issues Microsoft hasn't solved yet. And I haven't managed to get hibernate to be succesful - it goes to 'sleep' fine but won't correctly come back.
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Old May 28, 2012, 12:23 PM   #9
antman2x2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omvs View Post
One solution:

Seagate GoFlex TB adapter ($99) + Thunderbolt Cable ($49) + SSD (?)

Thats what I'm running. Its a bit ugly with just a bare drive, but if you wanted you could probably remove the hard drive from a cheap goflex drive and put the SSD inside. I opted for cheap and ugly.


I would discourage against opening up the machine unless you're really motivated and know what the heck you're doing. I like to think I know what I'm doing, but I was worried I was going to accidentally break something when I took apart my iMac. I've seen at least a few threads here where people broke connectors...

Plus if you ever need to take it in for service, you'll probably need to swap the drive out -- which is why I eventually removed my SSD from inside the machine and put it in the setup above.
Your getting full SSD speed as if it was internal?
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Old May 28, 2012, 12:28 PM   #10
charlieroberts
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Originally Posted by antman2x2 View Post
Your getting full SSD speed as if it was internal?
yes
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Old May 28, 2012, 01:30 PM   #11
DeF46
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yes
I don't think so, the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter review showed that it's nearer SATAII than SATAIII speeds.

When paired with the right drive, the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter does quite well, albeit not at native SATA speeds.

Source:
http://www.storagereview.com/thunder...d_drive_or_ssd
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Old May 28, 2012, 01:35 PM   #12
Chippy99
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yes
Interesting. I am not.

I get around 250MB/s writes and something like 330MB/s reads from my Sandisk Extreme attached via the GoFlex adapter. I know this isn't bad - and the Mac feels fast - but it's well short of the 500MB/s the drive is capable of.

I haven't yet taken the Mac apart and tried the SSD directly off the internal sata controller, so I don't know if the performance will be better then, but I would imagine it would... The drive is aligned properly and nothing else seems awry, so I can only assume its the GoFlex adapter that is slowing things down.
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Old May 28, 2012, 02:26 PM   #13
charlieroberts
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Originally Posted by DeF46 View Post
I don't think so, the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter review showed that it's nearer SATAII than SATAIII speeds.

When paired with the right drive, the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter does quite well, albeit not at native SATA speeds.

Source:
http://www.storagereview.com/thunder...d_drive_or_ssd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chippy99 View Post
Interesting. I am not.

I get around 250MB/s writes and something like 330MB/s reads from my Sandisk Extreme attached via the GoFlex adapter. I know this isn't bad - and the Mac feels fast - but it's well short of the 500MB/s the drive is capable of.

I haven't yet taken the Mac apart and tried the SSD directly off the internal sata controller, so I don't know if the performance will be better then, but I would imagine it would... The drive is aligned properly and nothing else seems awry, so I can only assume its the GoFlex adapter that is slowing things down.

Sorry my SSD is Sata II so I shouldn't have just said that. hehe
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Old May 28, 2012, 02:51 PM   #14
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Maybe find someone to do this install for you? That would be a good solution.
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 02:28 PM   #15
Matrixfan
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Originally Posted by omvs View Post
Yes - at least with the seagate adapter. Currently I only run Win7 off the thunderbolt drive, though previously I had both OSX and Win7 booting off separate partitions.

However, the install process for getting bootcamp onto the SSD is a bit more involved... I documented it in other threads, but basically you have to first install to the internal drive (bootcamp assistant won't let you choose the TB drive), then use WinClone or something similar to move the partition.

NOTE: Win7 will not sleep with a thunderbolt peripheral attached -- apparently a driver issues Microsoft hasn't solved yet. And I haven't managed to get hibernate to be succesful - it goes to 'sleep' fine but won't correctly come back.
I don't have any TB device, but TB shouldn't be transparent to the system? In that case wouldn't the Win 7 installer just see the TB HDD as an internal HDD? If it does, the Bootcamp Assistant can be ignored and just select the extrenal TB HDD as a startup disk. Is this viable?
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 07:42 PM   #16
antman2x2
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Update

Just an update. I purchased

http://www.macmall.com/p/LaCie-Exter...Fcyf4Aod9ikAHQ

and this thing flies!

Check it out if anyone is interested. Cost 199 and it comes with a TB cable!
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 08:28 PM   #17
fotomatt1
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I'm surprised nobody's started making a Thunderbolt housing yet that you can just drop a bare drive in. Hopefully this will happen down the road.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 08:53 PM   #18
itsamacthing
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Intel is killing thunderbolt, developers are avoiding it. At the same time, there are some who are investing in it, but the products are slow to market. I have a sinking feeling Thunderbolt will be failure unless Intel changes its attitude. I think OWC will be the first to offer us what we are looking for. Aside from ONNTO, out of Taiwan. Google them.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 08:57 PM   #19
fotomatt1
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Intel is killing thunderbolt, developers are avoiding it. At the same time, there are some who are investing in it, but the products are slow to market. I have a sinking feeling Thunderbolt will be failure unless Intel changes its attitude. I think OWC will be the first to offer us what we are looking for. Aside from ONNTO, out of Taiwan. Google them.
Looks like nice stuff! Wish it was sold in the US....can't find it anywhere.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:45 AM   #20
Tanax
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Is there a particular reason you need Thunderbolt external SSD? A USB3 is as fast as Thunderbolt when it comes to single-drive SSD's and much cheaper. However, it can use up to 12% of your CPU so if you're CPU power-user, Thunderbolt is the way to go. Otherwise, go USB3.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 07:56 AM   #21
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Is there a particular reason you need Thunderbolt external SSD? A USB3 is as fast as Thunderbolt when it comes to single-drive SSD's and much cheaper. However, it can use up to 12% of your CPU so if you're CPU power-user, Thunderbolt is the way to go. Otherwise, go USB3.
My computer doesn't have USB 3
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