Change Fusion Drive to SSD or upgrade RAM for photo editing?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by coco carter, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. coco carter macrumors newbie

    coco carter

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    #1
    To speed up my photo editing on Lightroom, I was advised to change my fusion drive to SSD as opposed to upgrading my RAM.

    Is this the best option? And if so, can somebody recommend a suitable SSD?

    I've got an iMac 27 inch (late 2013)
    3.5 GHz Intel Core i7
    Memory 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Storage - 3.12 Fusion Drive
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    Upgrading the drive will probably give a much bigger performance boost than adding RAM (though that might help a little, too).

    You have the options of either "going inside" or "leaving it outside".

    Some folks open up the iMac and install a SATA SSD drive internally for the greatest speed. But you have to be capable of "getting in there" and doing it right, or else having someone else do it for you.

    If you can accept speeds that would be about 80-85% of what you'd see from an internally-installed drive, you can "go external".
    That is -- buy a USB3 SSD, plug it in, and set it up to become the boot drive.
    A 500gb or even 250gb SSD can do the job.
    Put your OS, apps, and basic accounts on it, keep it "lean and clean".
    Leave your "large libraries" on the internal fusion drive -- they don't "need the speed".

    For 2012-2017 iMacs with fusion drives, I suggest an "external SSD booter" as the fastest, easiest, cheapest, and safest way to obtain a big boost in performance and get a few more years of good use from an older iMac...
     
  3. coco carter thread starter macrumors newbie

    coco carter

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    #3

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I don't really trust myself to 'go inside' so will opt for the external SSD booter then.

    I've got a lot of photos so would you recommend putting Lightroom with all the photos on the SSD drive, or maybe put the Lightroom app on the SSD drive and keep the original photo files on the Fusion drive?
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    "I've got a lot of photos so would you recommend putting Lightroom with all the photos on the SSD drive, or maybe put the Lightroom app on the SSD drive and keep the original photo files on the Fusion drive?"

    Answer is in bold text... ;)
     
  5. Oldmanmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Location:
    Edmond, OK
    #5
    "For 2012-2017 iMacs with fusion drives, I suggest an "external SSD booter" as the fastest, easiest, cheapest, and safest way to obtain a big boost in performance and get a few more years of good use from an older iMac..."

    I just checked with a service provider and quoted $550 for the change/upgrade.
    Confused.That's a TB3 drive. Why pay for a SSD and not get the benefit from it.
     
  6. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #6
    Coz they are ripping you off OMM.

    TB3 only became available on the 2017 models, TB2 on the late 2014 and TB plain and simple version 1 on earlier. Unless you have the 2017 use an external SSD via USB3.
     
  7. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Tumbleweed666

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #7
    It makes no sense to me to say you should upgrade the disc rather than memory.
    When you are editing a picture it's all happening in memory or at least should be.
    The disc is being used to read the picture into memory and save it back when you are done. In between that everything is happening in memory unless you have so little memory you need to read portions ata time and save some unneeded parts back in which case again more memory will be more useful than speeding up reading and writing disk.
     

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6 December 7, 2018