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Old Nov 12, 2012, 10:21 AM   #1
patseguin
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SSD solution?

I have an older iMac core i7 27" with 2TB HD. Might be 2008? That sound right?

Anyways, those specs to me still sound great and I can't justify a new iMac except maybe for faster graphics. Anyways, can anyone recommend a good external SSD solution for running booting and running MacOS X? I would then use the internal 2TB drive for larger apps and data.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 10:26 AM   #2
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Your iMac is newer than a 2008. Look up the specs in the System Information application.

Anyway, you should reverse your approach. Install an SSD internally and use an large external HDD. I am not sure how many external SSD's there are out there, anything you do use should be an eSATA drive to get the most performance out of the SSD. If you use an SSD with USB 2.0 you will basically be wasting your money since USB is much slower than what an SSD is capable of. And if you haven't already, max out your RAM.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 10:36 AM   #3
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Your iMac is newer than a 2008. Look up the specs in the System Information application.

Anyway, you should reverse your approach. Install an SSD internally and use an large external HDD. I am not sure how many external SSD's there are out there, anything you do use should be an eSATA drive to get the most performance out of the SSD. If you use an SSD with USB 2.0 you will basically be wasting your money since USB is much slower than what an SSD is capable of. And if you haven't already, max out your RAM.
That's a great idea actually. I thought the internal drive in the iMac wasn't replaceable (the case not openable). I have an internal Corsair SSD right here that I can use and I already have some external drives. Is USB or Firewire better?
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 10:53 AM   #4
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That's a great idea actually. I thought the internal drive in the iMac wasn't replaceable (the case not openable). I have an internal Corsair SSD right here that I can use and I already have some external drives. Is USB or Firewire better?
It can be done but it requires a bit of work, you have to remove the front glass and then the LCD panel:

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Int...acement/1634/1
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 10:56 AM   #5
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It can be done but it requires a bit of work, you have to remove the front glass and then the LCD panel:

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Int...acement/1634/1
Ack, looks like a pain in the neck. I wonder if an external enclosure for the SSD and booting off it might be a better idea. It's not like a PC case where I can take the side off with 2 screws. ;-)
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 11:40 AM   #6
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If you have a late 2009 imac it does not have thunderbolt so you would have to use firewire 800, which will be slower than the internal hard drive.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 12:14 PM   #7
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Post I will go....

with a external FireWire 800 enclosure for the ssd. Install it internally can be tricky....

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Old Nov 12, 2012, 12:22 PM   #8
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Could you sell it and buy a 2011 model and get a Thunderbold SSD.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 03:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patseguin View Post
Ack, looks like a pain in the neck. I wonder if an external enclosure for the SSD and booting off it might be a better idea. It's not like a PC case where I can take the side off with 2 screws. ;-)
It actually looks worse than it is. I've changed out out drives on many iMacs and to be honest it only takes about 10 minutes (a little longer if you haven't done it before).

If you have another person around to hold the monitor you don't have to both with unplugging and taking it out.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 04:19 PM   #10
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I guess that will no longer work on the 2013 model.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 04:33 PM   #11
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It actually looks worse than it is. I've changed out out drives on many iMacs and to be honest it only takes about 10 minutes (a little longer if you haven't done it before).

If you have another person around to hold the monitor you don't have to both with unplugging and taking it out.
I'll take a look when I get home and decide if I want to do it. I know the SSD will add tremendous speed but I'm afraid a USB 2 or FW hard drive for larger apps and data might be too slow. Thoughts?
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 05:14 PM   #12
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I'll take a look when I get home and decide if I want to do it. I know the SSD will add tremendous speed but I'm afraid a USB 2 or FW hard drive for larger apps and data might be too slow. Thoughts?
you would have to use FireWire. Ideally you should have an iMac with thunderbolt as the speeds are so much faster an are the same as internal drive.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 05:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by patseguin View Post
I'll take a look when I get home and decide if I want to do it. I know the SSD will add tremendous speed but I'm afraid a USB 2 or FW hard drive for larger apps and data might be too slow. Thoughts?
I use my internal Samsung 830 128gb SSD for all of my applications and documents. All of my media libraries are on my network storage (Synology NAS) and never have any speed problems, unless the drive has gone to sleep and I have to wait 15 seconds for it to spin up. Mind you, an USB or FW external would most likely be faster than my NAS for throughput.

The general approach with using an SSD is put your system and all applications on the it, and keep big libraries on externals. These days you could get a 256gb SSD for what I paid for mine originally ($170).
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