512 SSD - how much should I partition?

rjsounds

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 3, 2017
69
26
Hey guys,

So I'm 2 months into owning this wonderful new iMac, although I only have one regret - I should have paid the extra $500CAD and gone with the 1TB SSD instead of the 512SSD. Oh well. What's done is done so let's move forward.

I want to install Windows on my iMac and create a partition using the internal SSD. I have 300GB free space. The only reason for installing windows is to play a few games such as Skyrim, Divinity Original Sin 2, etc. and of course whatever may come out in the future. I am a super casual player and will likely only be playing one game at a time, maybe a few hours a week.

What size partition should I create to allow enough for a few games to be installed on Windows, while at the same time also leaving some free space on the Mac side?

What version of windows should I get, where do I get it from, and how much is it?

Is this the best option given the size of the SSD, or has anyone had any luck installing windows on an external SSD?

thanks in advance!
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Hey guys,

So I'm 2 months into owning this wonderful new iMac, although I only have one regret - I should have paid the extra $500CAD and gone with the 1TB SSD instead of the 512SSD. Oh well. What's done is done so let's move forward.

I want to install Windows on my iMac and create a partition using the internal SSD. I have 300GB free space. The only reason for installing windows is to play a few games such as Skyrim, Divinity Original Sin 2, etc. and of course whatever may come out in the future. I am a super casual player and will likely only be playing one game at a time, maybe a few hours a week.

What size partition should I create to allow enough for a few games to be installed on Windows, while at the same time also leaving some free space on the Mac side?

What version of windows should I get, where do I get it from, and how much is it?

Is this the best option given the size of the SSD, or has anyone had any luck installing windows on an external SSD?

thanks in advance!
It’s totally possible to bootcamp on an external drive, I haven’t done it myself but here is a very detailed guide in what to do.

https://9to5mac.com/2017/08/31/how-windows-10-mac-boot-camp-external-drive-video/
 

zone23

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2012
1,965
739
I have mine partitioned at 120GB. I have some pretty large applications that are using 80GB. That said I still have 300GB on my Mac drive.
 

rjsounds

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 3, 2017
69
26
It’s totally possible to bootcamp on an external drive, I haven’t done it myself but here is a very detailed guide in what to do.

https://9to5mac.com/2017/08/31/how-windows-10-mac-boot-camp-external-drive-video/
I saw this video and watched it, but I'm unsure how reliable this method is as I can just imagine running into issues with it. This would be my preferred method though, to just buy a 250GB SSD and use it strictly for windows gaming. I guess I'm just a little afraid of investing the money in an SSD and then having it not work.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
I was running my Late 2013 iMac off a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD in a Delock 42490 Thunderbolt enclosure and since I upgraded to a 2017 iMac with a 512GB SSD I am using the external SSD solely for BootCamp.

If you go external, I recommend Thunderbolt for a much easier experience. No workarounds or hacks for installation are necessary. It just works.
 
  • Like
Reactions: redfirebird08

rjsounds

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 3, 2017
69
26
I would certainly go with a thunderbolt ssd. When you say you use it for boot camp with no workaround or hacks, are you saying you set it up using boot camp assistant and you don't need to follow all the steps from the video / article? No need to set it up with the virtual machine workaround?
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
I would certainly go with a thunderbolt ssd. When you say you use it for boot camp with no workaround or hacks, are you saying you set it up using boot camp assistant and you don't need to follow all the steps from the video / article? No need to set it up with the virtual machine workaround?
No, BootCamp Assistant is the only thing you can't do with Thunderbolt drives. There are a few options. You can create a small BootCamp installation on your Mac's internal SSD and then back up and restore it to the Thunderbolt drive with Winclone. That's the route I went. You could also just boot to a Windows 10 installer. Because Thunderbolt-attached devices are recognized as PCIe devices (unlike USB), Windows will allow you to install to them as a destination. The reason for all of the hacks/workarounds is that Windows does not allow installation to USB drives.
 
  • Like
Reactions: redfirebird08

redfirebird08

macrumors 6502
Feb 15, 2007
404
133
I saw this video and watched it, but I'm unsure how reliable this method is as I can just imagine running into issues with it. This would be my preferred method though, to just buy a 250GB SSD and use it strictly for windows gaming. I guess I'm just a little afraid of investing the money in an SSD and then having it not work.
External SSD’s are very reliable and a lot more affordable now than ever before. Thunderbolt and USB3 speed is pretty amazing. Our machines are pretty future-proof because of those ports.
 

CE3

macrumors 65816
Nov 26, 2014
1,398
2,223
I saw this video and watched it, but I'm unsure how reliable this method is as I can just imagine running into issues with it. This would be my preferred method though, to just buy a 250GB SSD and use it strictly for windows gaming. I guess I'm just a little afraid of investing the money in an SSD and then having it not work.
This method worked fine for me. I boot Windows off a semi-fast Sandisk external SSD. My Windows usage is very basic. No gaming. I’m not sure how well it would perform running all those games. You might want to look into a (Samsung) USB-C drive for your purposes.
 
Last edited:

NZPilgrim

macrumors newbie
Nov 3, 2011
20
1
New Zealand
Hey guys,

So I'm 2 months into owning this wonderful new iMac, although I only have one regret - I should have paid the extra $500CAD and gone with the 1TB SSD instead of the 512SSD. Oh well. What's done is done so let's move forward.

I want to install Windows on my iMac and create a partition using the internal SSD. I have 300GB free space. The only reason for installing windows is to play a few games such as Skyrim, Divinity Original Sin 2, etc. and of course whatever may come out in the future. I am a super casual player and will likely only be playing one game at a time, maybe a few hours a week.

What size partition should I create to allow enough for a few games to be installed on Windows, while at the same time also leaving some free space on the Mac side?

What version of windows should I get, where do I get it from, and how much is it?

Is this the best option given the size of the SSD, or has anyone had any luck installing windows on an external SSD?

thanks in advance!
I was in the same boat with my 2017. Got the 512 SSD but then also purchased a 500 gig Samsung T3 external SSD to add storage. Ended up partitioning the internal drive with 200 gig for bootcamp and the remaining 300 for the Mac. Then split the T3 down the middle giving the Mac another 250 gig, and windows 250 gig.

I went a little higher on the bootcamp partition because I wanted to install various development tools so you don't necessarily need that much (the 120 someone said earlier would be the minimum I'd recommend).

Then I configured Steam to use the external drive as its primary library so all the games are being installed to the T3 rather than the internal drive. They might load a little slower but so far I've been quite impressed with the load times over USB 3. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably allocate more space on the external drive to windows as games these days are huge.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,520
OP:

Rather than mess with BootCamp, you might consider experimenting with a "virtual environment" solution first by which to install Windows.

This can be done with:
- VMware Fusion
- Parallels
- "Virtual Box" (not sure of the name, it's a free open-source method of creating a virtual operating environment that works as well as the above two but is a bit more involved)
- Crossover (can run SOME, not all, Windows apps "natively" without Windows)

Over the years I've been here at macrumors, I've seen post after post from users who had BootCamp installed, and had things just "go wrong" with their Macs (usually "on the Mac OS side" of things).

Actually, if you really need to do much in Windows after getting a Mac, probably the best solution is to keep a Windows -computer- somewhere around for when you need it.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: mikehalloran