2008 iMac ssd FireWire?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by macca1980, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. macca1980 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    #1
    Hi , my friend told me I could boot my 2008 20" iMac from an ssd drive with a FireWire enclosure and it would run faster than it currently does.

    Is this possible and is it easy to change the boot order so it ignores the internal SSD. Also saw on web that can put 6gb ram in it even though Apple say 4gb.
     
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #2
    Yes, you can boot from Firewire. However, by today's standards, Firewire is very slow. Having an SSD installed internally would be much faster.

    To select which drive to boot from, go to System Preferences/Startup Disk.

    Yes, 2008 iMacs can support up to 6GB of RAM.
     
  3. macca1980 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    #3
    Wouldn't even want to attempt opening Mac up to put an ssd in , maybe I will just upgrade the ram in meantime
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    If your iMac has a firewire800 port, that is the one to use (rather than the firewire400 port).

    Granted, you can boot and run this way, but it won't boot up as quickly as if the SSD were installed inside.
    BUT -- once up-and-running, it should run very well.

    It's up to you whether you wish to try to install the SSD internally -- could be a technically complex job that is not without danger of damaging connections, etc.

    You can pay to have someone do this, but again, if you just want to get a year or two more use from the iMac, booting and running via an SSD over firewire800 will "keep you going" nicely.

    Something to consider:
    You might want to get an external enclosure that has BOTH firewire800 AND USB3 ports. They run about $65, but the advantage is that when you do replace the iMac, you can now continue to use the SSD in the case connected via USB3 -- considerably faster.

    Here's one enclosure that looks like it would do the job:
    http://www.amazon.com/MiniPro-FireW...&keywords=oyen+2.5+firewire800+usb3+enclosure
    (can be had in either silver or black)
     
  5. pastrychef, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015

    pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #5
    It's a waste of time and money to use an external SSD with your iMac. Look at the the comparison of Firewire 800 vs USB 3 here or watch this video. Your external ports (Firewire 800 and USB 2) will not come anywhere near the speeds of your internal drive (SATA 2). The only way to see any real performance gain is to install the SSD internally.
     
  6. macca1980 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    #6
    Thanks guys so an SSD wouldn't work for me , don't fancy opening up an iMac
     

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