Bootable SSD - or does it really need to be internal?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by golfgirlgolf, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. golfgirlgolf, Jun 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019

    golfgirlgolf macrumors member

    golfgirlgolf

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Californian living on the other West Coast (FL)
    #1
    I was thinking about either going to a newer iMac (used w/2TB SSD) - Or the 2019 iMac but the Apple SSD is outrageously expensive - there's no reason to have a spinning drive in a modern computer IMO. Seems maybe the world isn't quite there yet however.

    What about an external bootable OSX volume and programs on SSD?
    (Or maybe an internal SSD now that my Applecare is over - Is a late 2015 not worthy?)

    iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
    3.3 GHz Intel Core i5 w/ 2TB Fusion, 32GB
    AMD Radeon R9 M395 2048 MB
    Four USB 3.0 ports, Two Thunderbolt 2 ports

    I'm having lots of speed problems in Lightroom CC Classic and PS CC (all current - no cloud) - particularly with brushes - which I do a lot of work with. It was just LR for a while but the other day I had to wait several minutes for the beachball to clear with smudge tool brushing in PS CC. I've never once had that problem previous - in CS5, but I did have the problem in LR - I'm also running Sierra for support of legacy programs besides CS5.

    A new SDD booting with Catalina (or other) clean install of OSX should make a world of difference I'm guessing.

    There's a small chance a clean Sierra install might also help but not counting on it. If I could get away with booting from external SSD without sacrificing speed, (or maybe improving over the internal fusion drive by a ton) and keeping the internal system with the legacy OSX that would serve my needs well. If I had an internal SSD - I would just flip it and keep the legacy OSX on external to boot from when needed.

    PS and LR and the heaviest lifting I do normally - every once in a rare while some video stuff.

    Decisions, decisions....
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    I've been doing it since the Macintosh SE30 days -- right up to booting and running my 2012 Mac Mini for SIX YEARS from an SSD mounted in a USB3/SATA docking station.

    If you're going to buy a 2019 iMac, buy one with the built-in SSD.
    They are incredibly fast -- far faster than ANY external SSD you could connect.
    QUALIFICATION: A Samsung X5 thunderbolt3 drive would be the rough equal of an internal Apple SSD, but the X5's aren't cheap, either.

    Now -- if you have a 2015 iMac and want to make that faster:
    YES -- you can boot and run from an external USB3 SSD.
    You said you already have an internal 2tb fusion drive, and that is slowing down on you?
    The 2tb fusion drive has a 128gb SSD portion, but perhaps that's getting "full up".

    What could help out here, is if you'd use a benchmark utility such as BlackMagic Speed Test (free), and then post the read/write speeds you're seeing RIGHT NOW.

    If you boot and run from an external USB3 SSD, you should see reads of about 430mbps and writes around 350-375mbps (depending on the drive make, model and size). How would this compare with what you're seeing NOW?
     
  3. golfgirlgolf thread starter macrumors member

    golfgirlgolf

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Californian living on the other West Coast (FL)
    #3
    Thanks - here's what the BlackMagic program shows - (screenshot attached)

    One SSD I was looking at - Currently $299 on Amazon
    Rocket Pro 2TB NVMe USB 3.1 External Aluminum SSD (SB-2TB-NVME)

    But maybe my R/W speeds aren't the issue at all - not sure now....
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Coconutcreampie macrumors member

    Coconutcreampie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    Location:
    NY America
    #4
    I'd say you are having software issues. My guess would be using an older version of Mac OS with the latest versions of LR and Photoshop. Nothing wrong with your drive speeds. I use a 2012 i7 iMac with an internal 1TB running at SATA 3 speeds, which is around 500MBps and I also use LR and Photoshop. I have no issues like you described. Everything is fast and responsive. So is the internal 8TB HDD. Granted, our workflows may be different but that’s what I would look into first.

    I would back up your system with Time Machine and then upgrade temporarily to Mojave and have all the Adobe up to date. Then see how everything works. You could always go right back to your previous setup with your Time Machine backup.
     
  5. golfgirlgolf thread starter macrumors member

    golfgirlgolf

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Californian living on the other West Coast (FL)
    #5
    Possibly, but I had the same problem with LR6 before switching to LR CC Desktop. I've been searching for ways around it. The next approach might be similar to what you suggest - but rather than upgrading OSX and having a backup on hand - I might just try updating to Mojave on a bootable USB backup drive (Chronosync) and see how it runs. If that's not fast enough I could try just Mojave on an external Thunderbolt SSD with nothing else on it.
     
  6. Coconutcreampie macrumors member

    Coconutcreampie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    Location:
    NY America
    #6
    You are over complicating the matter by trying to go external for the troubleshooting. You’re also introducing another variable (a general no-no when troubleshooting anything), differing performance, when working with external drives, and I don’t mean just just drive speeds.
     
  7. golfgirlgolf thread starter macrumors member

    golfgirlgolf

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Californian living on the other West Coast (FL)
    #7
    Thanks - I won't disagree and it's something I considered. A number of people report starting up from TB3 SSD as their primary drive - and that was where I was going with the thread originally. But there's a lot of advice in favor for just going internal SSD on a new 2019 iMac - even as small as 512 to cover OSX and other basics. External Storage is cheap.

    I'll deal with the "troubleshooting" later - likely it's limitation in the program capabilities (this has been stated by Adobe themselves). Updating and optimizing all OS and hardware should at least help.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    OP:

    The internal speeds you're getting right now (as reported in post 3 above) are just fine.

    If you want/need "an alternative boot source", get a USB3 SSD -- it will work good enough (but won't be as fast as the internal drive is per your results).

    But it is an option if you need it.
     
  9. Coconutcreampie macrumors member

    Coconutcreampie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    Location:
    NY America
    #9
    You’re already in the process of troubleshooting; you're just not going about it in the right way. As I said previously, I am running Lightroom and Photoshop with zero issues on my late 2012 iMac. Everything is fast. Good luck anyway.
     

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8 June 4, 2019