2012 iMac external ssd boot drive

jjg247

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 16, 2013
7
0
I’ve been reading up on the advantages of booting from a ssd. I’m not comfortable cracking my 2012 iMac open, so external seems the best route for me. There have been several threads like this, but not for a few months. I just wanted to see if anyone had updated recommendations for equipment.

Is it better to buy a standalone ssd and an external enclosure? (Oyen Digital enclosure $30, + crucial MX500 1tb $135)


Or would the board recommend one of the “all in one” drives like the Samsung extreme portable 1tb ($170 on amazon)?

Any advice on the easiest way to format the new drive, clone current internal drive, them set up internal drive for storing time machine backup would be greatly appreciated as well.
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,242
1,013
Fort Worth, Texas
I would definitely go with one of the Samsung stand alone SSDs. I have a Samsung T5 external stand alone SSD that I can attach to one of my TB3 ports on my iMac and it boots very fast. Not as fast as the internal PCIe SSD but not that much difference.

You might want to look for a sale on the Samsung. I purchased mine from B&H in NY when they were on sale.
 

Sebski

macrumors member
Oct 8, 2016
36
13
UK
I’ve been reading up on the advantages of booting from a ssd. I’m not comfortable cracking my 2012 iMac open, so external seems the best route for me. There have been several threads like this, but not for a few months. I just wanted to see if anyone had updated recommendations for equipment.

Is it better to buy a standalone ssd and an external enclosure? (Oyen Digital enclosure $30, + crucial MX500 1tb $135)


Or would the board recommend one of the “all in one” drives like the Samsung extreme portable 1tb ($170 on amazon)?

Any advice on the easiest way to format the new drive, clone current internal drive, them set up internal drive for storing time machine backup would be greatly appreciated as well.
Hi jjg247,

I installed SSD inside my 2012 iMac couple of years ago. I had Fusion Drive so separated it from Terminal and then replaced HDD with SSD and also left original Apple's SSD as my secondary small 128GB disk.
Opening that model of iMac is not really that difficult as you may thing. I would recommend reading information and watching videos on iFixIt and you can do it yourself. Just need to do it in quite and no rush. The most difficult part is to make sure you carefully cut sticky tape holding screen with frame.

For SSD, I managed to find a good deal on Black Friday and got 750GB from Crucial. It was like giving my iMac a new life :)
 

root42

macrumors newbie
Sep 20, 2011
27
4
I am using the Transcend StoreJet 512GB Thunderbolt SSD on my 2013 iMac: https://uk.transcend-info.com/Products/No-679

The advantage over USB is mainly higher throughput with less CPU load. And it is really fast, I am very happy with this product. I am using the internal 1TB HDD as a secondary disk. I used to use it in a Fusion Drive configuration, but Mojave doesn't play well with those once they fill up, so I would discourage using it with Mojave. Up to High Sierra it was just fine.
 

Wickintime

macrumors newbie
Feb 27, 2018
25
7
Melbourne, Australia
I opened mine and changed the HDD for an SSD. Very straightforward (I used the Ifixit tool) and the whole job was done very quickly. Usefully, it let me clean all the dust build-up in the fan. I already had 8GB RAM so I didn't increase that.
 

jjg247

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 16, 2013
7
0
I would definitely go with one of the Samsung stand alone SSDs. I have a Samsung T5 external stand alone SSD that I can attach to one of my TB3 ports on my iMac and it boots very fast. Not as fast as the internal PCIe SSD but not that much difference.
Which thunderbolt enclosure did you buy? I previously mentioned a USB enclosure that was highly recommended on this board.
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Hi jjg247,

I installed SSD inside my 2012 iMac couple of years ago. I had Fusion Drive so separated it from Terminal and then replaced HDD with SSD and also left original Apple's SSD as my secondary small 128GB disk.
Opening that model of iMac is not really that difficult as you may thing. I would recommend reading information and watching videos on iFixIt and you can do it yourself. Just need to do it in quite and no rush. The most difficult part is to make sure you carefully cut sticky tape holding screen with frame.

For SSD, I managed to find a good deal on Black Friday and got 750GB from Crucial. It was like giving my iMac a new life :)
I considered this at first, and looked at some instructions but the screen part really turned me off.
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,242
1,013
Fort Worth, Texas
Which thunderbolt enclosure did you buy? I previously mentioned a USB enclosure that was highly recommended on this board.
A thunderbolt enclosure is not required if your Mac has TB3/USB-c ports. My iMac (27" 2017 model) has two such ports. The Samsung T5 external SSD comes with a USB-c cable which connects directly to the iMac port.
 

jjg247

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 16, 2013
7
0
A thunderbolt enclosure is not required if your Mac has TB3/USB-c ports. My iMac (27" 2017 model) has two such ports. The Samsung T5 external SSD comes with a USB-c cable which connects directly to the iMac port.
This is a 2012 iMac, was that functionality around back then?