Best solution for a "speedy" external bootdisk?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Noeb, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Noeb macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2014
    #1
    Hi!

    I've got a Late 2012 iMac 27". It's got only a 7200rpm disk. It's probably out of the question to install an SSD/Fusion Drive due to price/difficulty.

    I want the fastest possible disk for OS/applications when i edit RAW images. I'm therefore planning to boot/run applications from an external disk, via Thunderbolt (or USB 3.0 if it's faster).

    What's the best setup for this? An SSD-disk? Multiple ordinary disks in some kind of RAID configuration? Price: max $600-700. Advice on particular brands/disks to get or avoid?

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    #2
    If you're just going to use -one- drive (such as an SSD), a USB3 connection method will give you the same speeds as a thunderbolt connection, and be cheaper.

    BUT -- MAKE SURE you get a USB3 enclosure (or USB3/SATA dock) that is specifically stated to support "UASP" (USB Attached SCSI Protocol). Otherwise you may not get the full speeds of which USB3 is capable.

    A couple of possible products (no financial interest in either):
    http://www.amazon.com/Optimized-Ina...=1407854521&sr=8-1&keywords=inateck+usb3+uasp
    or
    http://www.amazon.com/Optimized-Ina...=1407854521&sr=8-2&keywords=inateck+usb3+uasp
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #3
    An SSD in a Thunderbolt enclosure would be your best option. USB3 and TB are very close in speed, but USB does not support TRIM on the SSD, so I would avoid it.

    Lacie makes some nice preconfigured TB SSD drives. Or you could buy your own enclosure like this Delock unit and put in your own SSD. The Samsung EVO and Crucial MX100 are about the best price/performance bargain right now. Read this.

    Look at this review from user Sasasushi.
     
  4. Noeb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2014
    #4
    Thanks a lot guys. Think I'm going for Thunderbolt.

    I'd like a bus-powered device. Will there be any performance degradation with bus power compared to "regular" power?

    And - does an thunderbolt enclosure that's bus powered exist?
     
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #5
    The Lacie Rugged is a bus-powered Thunderbolt SSD.
     
  6. antman2x2 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Ive been using a LaCie rugged SSD for almost 2 years now.

    Super fast, bus powered and small.
     
  7. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #7
    You would have to stretch your budget a bit ... but for speedy and fastest possible ... check out the LaCie "Little Big Disk SSD Thunderbolt 2" :D

    Up to 1375 MB/s speeds for 4K video editing with RAID-0 blade SSDs

    https://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10621&sf21372463=1
     
  8. Noeb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2014
    #8
    Only thing that worries me is whether or not there might be a small performance drop when the bus powered disk "works hard" and needs lots of power. I've read that, but I've also heard otherwise
     
  9. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    That's got to be nonsense.
     
  10. robertojorge macrumors regular

    robertojorge

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    #10
    Hi Noeb,

    I shared 2 videos on my YT channel using an External SSD in a USB 3.0 case.

    As Fishrrman pointed out is really important to get a UASP suported external case or you wont have the speeds that you are looking for.

    Anyways if you have free time and interest:

    Mac mini in depth tests (46 min video) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVAp_tUceXs

    Imac 2013 just update info (20 min video) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8I6zQdh4cA

    Long story short :) it works great and all the tests that i made on the mini applies to the iMac, no changes at all.

    Hope it helps your decision.

    All the Best
    RJ
     
  11. Noeb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2014
    #11
    Thanks a lot RJ.

    Still, I'm really leaning towards Thunderbolt due to TRIM support. (Although I don't really know what TRIM is, or if the Samsung EVO 840 500 GB I'll buy needs it...)
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    The short version is it is the OS's way of telling the SSD what data is no longer needed and the area can be marked as available. It is best to use TRIM on an SSD if possible.
     
  13. robertojorge macrumors regular

    robertojorge

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    #13
    No prob Noeb,

    As Weaselboy stated "OS's way of telling the SSD what data is no longer needed" witch is totally true, well its a fact :)

    Anyway that's a topic that you might spend a few days/weeks reading about :). Trim vs Garbage collection, there as been a lot of discussion around this and i dont want to defend any of the theory's out there.

    If you want to spend some time i think this post is somewhat informative http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/279412-32-trim-garbage-collection-beating-dead-horse

    On my windows machine i use Trim.
    On OSX i dont im using the USB 3.0 and what ive seen so far and i exaggerated in some tests regarding writing massive blocks of files and deleting them and re-writing and again, and again, and again...... and seen no slow down whatsoever and after deleting files checked the disk info and the space available and on all single tests it gave me correct/real values.

    This can be the GC working (Witch is different on brands) or just the OS´s even without trim are getting smarter :) in communication with the SSD´s.

    What i know is that it works great, no speed losses.

    Now to be honest im curious about the thunderbolt external connection, and to see if there is an improvement specially on boot times. If that happens it would be great.

    I haven't had the chance to grab one thunderbolt case, so if you do please let us know:

    - Boot time reduced and by how much?
    - Speed test better/equal to USB?
     
  14. phrehdd, Aug 15, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014

    phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #14
    For external 2.5 inch drives (from what I have read) -

    SSD best course is Thunderbolt
    standard laptop drives - USB or TB (use correct USB enclosure)
    and the missing option

    Hybrid drives, as example by Seagate with either USB or TB (use correct USB enclosure)

    Given the price of TB enclosures, a quality USB choice instead with a good Hybrid drive is not a bad option. There is no challenge with TRIM but best to read reviews of all offerings of this sort to find the optimal size and performance for your needs.

    LAST - if you are considering 3.5 inch drive enclosures, there are plenty of 7200 rpm drives and of course Western Digital Raptor drives (10,000 rpm).
     
  15. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 4, 2013
    #15
    I'm not making it an external boot disk, but I just got the MX100 512gb and put it in the Inateck UASP enclosure from Amazon to be used to put photos on instead of a WD external. This is what I'm getting for blackmagic results. This is on a late 2012 iMac.
    DiskSpeedTest.jpeg
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #16
    Impressive speeds. Everybody who has bought that enclosure seems to have good speeds with it.
     
  17. WilliamG, Aug 15, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014

    WilliamG macrumors G3

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    Seattle
    #17
    Yeah that's great speeds. The problem, as mentioned earlier, is no TRIM support on the SSDs, so that performance is going to degrade substantially over time with USB 3, so good that you're not going to use it externally there.

    I'm with everyone else that recommends going Thunderbolt. I've been using a now-old Samsung 830 256GB in a Seagate Backup Plus Thunderbolt enclosure as my boot drive since the day I got my 2012 iMac in December, 2012. My speeds haven't changed at all since day one. Still getting around 375MB/s read, and 325MB/s writes, which is the same as when I benched it originally.

    Newer drives should be a bit faster than that.
     
  18. Noeb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2014
    #18
    Update: Since the Delock enclosure is impossible to get a hold of here in Norway, I'll have to go with USB 3.0, at least until sometime in the future when the Delock is available. (buying from eBay is as expensive as buying here because of taxes, and in addition I will ha e lots of hassle if something's wrong with the product).

    I understand that the USB 3.0 enclosure will have to have UASP support.

    Q1: Does a Late 2012 iMac support UASP?
    Q2: Should the enclosure have ASMedia chipset? (Read that somewhere)
     
  19. robertojorge macrumors regular

    robertojorge

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    Portugal
    #19
    Q1- For what ive read before all Ivy bridge Cpus support UASP. Mac mini late 2012 supports it and so should the Imac 2012.
    Q2- Dont know :)
     
  20. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #20
    1. robertojorge is correct... you have UASP

    2. Like you said, you want en enclosure with UASP support and what you may have read is that the ASMedia chipset does have that support. But any enclosure with UASP is fine, it does not have to be the ASMedia chipset. Sometimes you will see enclosures advertise they have that chipset and that is a big clue it has UASP.
     
  21. Noeb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2014
    #21
    Thanks a lot both of you.

    Only thing that annoys me is that I will have to skip TRIM support on the disk (will boot from it). Hopefully I will not notice too much.
     
  22. robertojorge macrumors regular

    robertojorge

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    #22
    No prob Noeb :)

    You will be fine, i haven't noticed any performance hit till now and i guess you wont either. Using for about 2 months now but there are users using this system for more than 1 year now and they have no complaints. You will enjoy much more your Imac for sure. All the Best. RJ
     
  23. definitive macrumors 68000

    definitive

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    #23
    That external enclosure seems like a nice solution. Haven't heard about UASP until you brought it up. Thanks.
     
  24. Noeb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2014
    #24
    Well, I ordered the Delock TB enclosure from eBay after all...

    USB 3 enclosures with confirmed UASP was not easy to find. The Inateck was impossible to find/order here in Norway.

    One question to those that are booting from external SSD in the Delock enclosure: what happens when you "put the mac to sleep" - does the disk/enclosure sleep as well? Or do you always turn both the mac and the enclosure completely off?
     
  25. insane79 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #25
    Hi Guys,
    I m planning on doing the same setup, a 256gb ssd i want to use as boot up for my late 27" 2012 iMac, i m thinking of going for Seagate Backup Plus Thunderbolt enclosure, i m planning to install a samsung evo 256gb in there, this enclosure doesn't have an external power source so will it boot the iMac through thunderbolt? i m a newbie in this so sorry for the questions. Anyone tried samsung evo ssd with this tb enclosure?

    Thanks..
     

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