Boot from 2 different external FW SSDs?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 7enderbender, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. 7enderbender macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2012
    North East US
    Hello Mac experts,

    Still considering the Mac route for my next desktop. This could be a 27" iMac or a Mac Mini, not sure yet as both have advantages and disadvantages for what I'm doing.

    In either case I had been thinking to install (or have installed) a SSD for the system and applications. While thinking this through and doing some reading I figured I might as well keep the internal drive for data and use external SSD drives via F/W800 for the system and applications (Photoshop, Lightroom, Cubase or ProTools).

    Is it possible to use an external SSD this way and for permanent use? Will the iMac/Mac Mini just boot or do you have to tell it each time?

    And if this works could I then go ahead and build two different systems that way? For example one audio-only system and one photo editing system -or a Mac "creative" sytem and a Win XP work-related environment? I know that boot camp etc will do the latter as well but this would also turn this into a portable system, right?

    Obviously this may all change once new iMacs and/or Mac Minis are released depending on what features will be added or may go away...

  2. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    Booting off of a FW800 attached drive doesn't make sense performance-wise.

    Maximum theoretical throughput of FW800 is 100MB/s. Just about any mechanical drive is faster than that, like the internal drive of an iMac or a mini.
    Using an SSD that way defeats its purpose (speed) completely.

    You'd have to use Thunderbolt.
  3. HumanImac macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2012
    your best option is something like a Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt port and SSD.

    if you went with this route, depending on the SSD you could achieve speeds of 400Mb/s+.

    My stats using the GoFlex Adapter;

  4. dany74m macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles - California
    Aboslutely true. I did some test with an ssd via FW800, and the performance are similar to the internal HD.

    Not worthed, go with Thunderbolt and goflex.
  5. philipma1957, Aug 21, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    you can do what you want but I suggest buying a lacie little big disk thunderbolt. from this ebay seller

    cost is 235 pull the enclosed hdds sell them on ebay for about 50 each cost is 135 or so for the enclosure. now put 2 ssd's inside.

    run them as JBOD

    just a bunch of disks. you will have 2 boot drives for your mac some how to info
  6. 7enderbender thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2012
    North East US

    Great info. Thanks a lot!
  7. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    I would just like to reiterate that you shouldn't spend the money on an SSD to use in a FW enclosure. I got the SeaGate GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter and cannot be happier. It is a little over 3X as fast as my original 1TB HDD inside the iMac. Definitely go this route if you want snappier performance. :)

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