Booting from thunderbolt.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nilka, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. nilka macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Hi as many of you I have been wondering about if it will be possible to boot from an external SSD connected through thunderbolt. Yesterday I called apple and from a technician I got the answer that yes it should probably be possible.
    I also sent a letter to LaCie and asked them if their little big disk with the 2 SSD in raid would be bootable. The answer I got was yes. The one who answered me said he had a preproduction model himself that he used as a bootdrive for his iMac.

    I also got the same answer from a different source at lacie sales department.

    So this is really promising and almost no matter the cost I will buy one of these things to make my iMac fly XD.
  2. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    That's exciting if it's true! But it's also going to be hella out of my price range I'd imagine.
  3. lavino macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2011
    Nice! If this is doable then I would totally considering doing a thunderbolt boot. I don't need a raid for the OS so just a single 120G ish SSD drive just for os x
  4. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    LOL - I foresee people using an external Thunderbolt SSD as their main drive and the iMAc's internal HD as the time-machine backup....
  5. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    yes even a ssd only for an internal clone of the lacie raid0 external osx.

    dead quiet no hdd sound and for storage /files a nas in the another room.
  6. SR20DETDOG macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2011
    Queensland Australia
    That's exactly what I would love to do, if I ever have the money :p
  7. iSayuSay, Jun 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011

    iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Most likely, Thunderbolt can be used as boot disk for OSX. Means it open up the possibility and opportunity for us to enjoy full SSD speed using external drive, more option to go with less pricier/capacity SSD.

    But how about BootCamp? Would Apple allow BootCamp to create other OS partition on external drive? Today it's not, right? Remember many people still need Windows for so many reason (mostly games) installed on their Mac

    Not exactly .. if you use Thunderbolt SSD, it would be a bad idea to make it your primary drive. Thunderbolt SSD used as boot disk to store OS and apps files .. but home folder should be located in your internal. That's the best strategy. It reduce wear on SSD as they still prone to garbage data. Therefore SSD still need TRIM or so to reduce slow SSD due to garbage data. You shouldn't change data too often on SSD, right?
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I'd like to see some confirmation on that. There is no reason why OS X should distinguish between internal and external drives in this matter.

    Why would you buy an extremely expensive drive but not use it to its full capacity or full convenience? Nothing will happen to your ssd if you write data to it occasionaly - and if it does, you can always return it under warranty (which is usually longer than the average time you will own the drive). I have had a vertex 2 as my MBP's main drive for quite some time, writing and reading the hell out of it, and I notice no wear whatsoever. The thing still feels as fast as on the first day. And even if the sequential speed is down a bit - who cares about that? SSD's main feature is low access time.
  9. mankymanning macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2008
    I'm sorry but if you look at the figures the write cycles limit being reached on normal usage would take years, more than the lifetime of the drive in most cases. The default configuration for an Apple provided internal SSD is for the home folder to be on the SSD as that is where it makes sense.

    No point in having iTunes launch incredibly quickly to then be hampered loading up your actual library from a much slower disk.
  10. dgr macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2011
    TRIM seems to be available now for OSX. No worries....
  11. nochnia macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2011
    Since the Promise Pegasus RAID is available?! anyone tried already to boot from this enclosure?
  12. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Yeah ... although the price is crazy for 4TB HDD .. it´s quite a good deal compared to 512GB SSD (which has similar price) ... That Pegasus can transfer up to 500MB/s due to RAID. paired with Thunderbolt .. equal to 512Gb SSD SATA III, and has 8x more capacity :eek:

    Is there any drawback? Other than the fact it´s still HDD and generates more heat compared to SSD (look at that big Fan behind its chassis :D)
  13. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    There is. If you library is hundreds of GBs, then it makes absolutely no sense to have it in an SSD. For example, having a 256GB SSD just for your iTunes library means that every GB in your iTunes library costs roughly $2 (assuming the SSD costs ~$500). So, you download a movie from iTunes Store and it's e.g. 2GB. If the movie cost $10, you just paid $14 for it.

    SSDs are the best for storing frequently used data. That means the OS and apps. If you work with video or photos, then it might be worth it to move the current project(s) to the SSD to speed the process up, if you have a big SSD. Currently SSDs are too expensive to be used as storage for media files. It shouldn't matter does it take 2 secs or 10 secs to open your iTunes library. Just leave it open.

    AnandTech is reviewing it as we speak. I asked Anand about the booting in Twitter but he hasn't replied yet.

Share This Page