2015 27 iMac and external boot ssd

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dracoy, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. Dracoy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    #1
    Hi all. Do you think it is worth getting a base 27 inch 5k 1 tb HD iMac but setting up an external thunderbolt SSD as boot drive?

    I figure pure internal SSD is best but pricey.

    This option would be better than 1tb fusion for the price?

    Anyone know speed diff of

    Pure internal SSD as boot vs external boot SSD vs normal HD as boot?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mikehoiu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    #2
    I'm thinking about doing the same thing. I already have this setup with my 2011 iMac and it boots in about 10 seconds. Assuming I can do the same thing with a late 2015 iMac.
     
  3. Dracoy thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2011
    #3
    Agreed. Curious if anyone has any more info on speeds.
     
  4. Erdbeertorte macrumors demi-goddess

    Erdbeertorte

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    Castle Grayskull, Eternia
    #4
    I never tried to boot from an external SSD.


    But here is a speed test for an external SSD connected to Thunderbolt:

    Bildschirmfoto 2015-12-26 um 18.42.43.png

    And that's the internal SSD:

    Bildschirmfoto 2015-12-26 um 18.44.02.png
     
  5. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #5
    You would be spending more than $100 for an external boot set up. The 1TB Fusion drive will yield results nearly identical to the external test that was posted above. Gains would be minimal and ultimately it would be more costly and less conveinient.

    Few people need 1500MB/s. 300+ gets most things done very quickly.
     
  6. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #6
    What SSD gets 1500 MB/s and 1815 MB/s speeds?!
     
  7. Dracoy thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2011
    #7
    The crazy pcie iMac one when you customize. It is beautiful.
     
  8. Dracoy thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2011
    #8
    Yea. I'm mainly curious on normal HD versus SSD external boot.

    I got a great deal on the base iMac 27 and was wondering if I should try to do an external SSD boot. If it was 100/100 to 300/300 that would be worth it!
     
  9. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000

    johnnyturbouk

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    Feb 9, 2011
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    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    #9
    like you, I was tempted to get an external TB drive for boot. After weighing in the cost of a TB LaCie little disk empty TB2 enclosure and 500gb ssd, I decided to go with the internal PCI-express. I can't express how amazingly fast the internal ssd is.

    This was a test on my ssd whilst having chrome, safari, transmission, and handbrake running. Running my external Samsung ssd via usb3 I get 550 mb/s read and 500 write. Now the internal ssd is 3-4 times faster than usb, and I have no regrets about spending a few extra $$ for the 500gb internal pci-e ssd. I have my Mac storage on one half, and windows running on the external ssd.
     

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  10. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    By the time you've spent the $$$ for an external thunderbolt drive (they aren't cheap), you could have just put that money towards a fusion drive in the iMac for performance that will be nearly-as-good to MUCH better.

    The 2tb fusion option (added to the "base" model retina iMac) adds $300 to the price. For that you get two internal drives:
    - 120gb SSD
    and
    - 2tb HDD.

    You will pay around $200 for a thunderbolt-based drive, and an SSD will cost that much or more.

    It's really a better buy to spend a little more "up front" for the 2tb fusion option.

    Also:
    The internal SSDs in the iMac line are now PCIe-based and -VERY- fast -- far faster than ANY thunderbolt SSD you can attach. Something else to consider...

    Final thought:
    The iMac line offers a 1tb fusion drive option, but DON'T CONSIDER IT.
    The PCIe SSD on these is a measely 24gb.
    Spend $100 more for the 2tb option, for an SSD with 5 times the capacity...
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    navaira asks above:
    "What SSD gets 1500 MB/s and 1815 MB/s speeds?!"

    The new PCIe-based "blade drives" that come factory-installed from Apple do.

    Far, FAR faster than ANY external SSD you can add, thunderbolt or USB3-based.
     
  12. Benapillot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    #12
    I have a school-owned 2015 iMac 27" with just the standard 1TB internal HD. Without being able to get into the thing and install my own SSD, I'm booting from a Thunderbolt SSD. Amazon has an inexpensive thunderbolt dock for a single drive. While not faster than in internal SSD, I see it as an upgrade from the internal HD.

    I'm now wanting to get a multi-drive enclosure so I can finally consolidate all my storage (I've got three or four external drives scattered around my office).
     
  13. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #13
    Can I have a link please? Cheapest I found is €106. :)
     
  14. Benapillot macrumors newbie

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    Nov 24, 2014
    #14
  15. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    May 28, 2015
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    Amsterdam, Netherlands
  16. Benapillot macrumors newbie

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    Nov 24, 2014
    #16
  17. Dracoy thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2011
    #17
    I was able to buy a iMac late 2015 27 inch for 1200 from best buy yesterday after discounts. So this is why I think in my situation a SSD boot option may be best.

    I bought a 1TB SSD for 180 today and a 14 enclosure for USB 3. This is for my parents and they just surf the Internet and may do some light photography editing.
     
  18. mcl82 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #18
    For what it's worth, I use a base model 2012 iMac and debated a lot over thunderbolt vs USB 3 ssd enclosure. Went with USB to try it out and am totally content with the speed. I use it for Final Cut and photo editing at proficient amateur level. I also have the latest MacBook Air with fast internal SSD. As a regular user, I can't really see a difference for most things I do. If you are a pro it probably matters. But I think the external SSD works great. I never felt the need to switch to thunderbolt.
     
  19. Dracoy thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2011
    #19
    Great! I bought the usb 3 enclosure. My parents won't know the diff. I didn't realize how expensive thunderbolt enclosures were.
     

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