Choice of external SSD - iMac 27' late 2013 - advice needed.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Xeleon, May 21, 2014.

  1. Xeleon, May 21, 2014
    Last edited: May 21, 2014

    Xeleon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    #1
    Hi there!

    At the moment I'm trying to figure out what external SSD option to go with. The external SSD is for windows gaming (WILDSTAR - soon to be released).

    My system as of now looks like this:

    Processor 3,4 GHz Intel Core i5
    Hukommelse 24 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Grafik NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB
    256 internal SSD

    My two options are the following:

    1. http://www.lacie.com/dk/products/product.htm?id=10599

    LaCie 256 SSD /w thunderbolt USB3
    SSD: 385MB/s
    (I'm not sure how to read the specifications on the web side entirely)

    2. http://ocz.com/consumer/vector-150-sata-3-ssd

    OCZ Vector 150 SSD 240GB
    Specifications:
    Up to 550MB/s Sequential Read
    Up to 530MB/s Sequential Write
    Up to 90,000 IOPS 4k Random Read
    Up to 95,000 IOPS 4k Random Write


    This option would of cause need an enclosure with thunderbolt to go with it.

    Now, my question is, which of these two solutions would prove best preformance for gaming in terms of an external windows SSD (I am aware of the external windows installation process etc - and which enclosure should I choose in case the Vector is the best choice.

    I appreciate all the help you guys may be able to provide.
    I'm looking forward to some replies :)
    Thank in advance,
    Have a great day!

    //Xeleon
     
  2. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #2
    My experience after trying many external Thunderbolt enclosures is that not all will boot Windows on a Mac. Also, many bus-powered enclosures cannot handle the power requirements of larger SSDs (although newer technology devices are lowering the peak power requirements).

    I have had good luck with the LaCie "Rugged" Thunderbolt/USB3 booting Windows (both 256GB and 512GB). I always use the Thunderbolt interface.

    The Seagate Bus-Powered Thunderbolt Adapter will boot Windows but may have problems with larger SSDs. The desktop version which is line powered should handle the larger drives OK, but requires a power cord/adapter.

    The Delock Thunderbolt enclosure has been recommend by other users, but I don't have any personal experience with it. It is small and line powered.

    Good luck and let us know what you end up using...


    -howard
     
  3. Xeleon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    #3
    Hi Howard,

    Thanks a lot for your reply and your suggestions.

    It's much appreciated,

    however, do you know anything about what is fastest and what I should be looking for in terms of write/read speeds etc, as I'm going for maximized game performance :)

    Once again, thanks! :)
     
  4. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #4
    I have only used standard 2.5" SATA-III drives in the above enclosures, there may be new mSATA drives coming soon which will outperform the SATA interface.

    Of those drives, I see the best speeds with Samsung 840 Pro drives, followed closely by Crucial M4 drives. Some of the newer drives such as the 840 EVO and M500/550 drives aren't quite as fast, but are much lower power and cheaper due to their internal technology. The lower power may allow their use with bus-powered enclosures and larger SSDs.

    These are just the SSDs I have personally used, others may post their experiences with different brands. My favorite is still the "old" Samsung 840 Pro series in 512GB size.
     
  5. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 18, 2013
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    #5
    As an FYI, I was running a 256GB Samsung 840 Pro in a Buffalo external bus powered Thunderbolt box, but switched to a 500GB EVO in the same bus powered enclosure. It's been about two weeks and it's running without any issues. I cannot notice any speed difference in day to day used, although the EVO is slower per BlackMagic speed test.
     
  6. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #6
    That's good to know, the Buffalo is a popular DIY conversion enclosure. Does it boot Windows on the Mac?

    I found that the retail LaCie "Rugged 500GB SSD" also has a EVO 840 500GB inside. The smaller "Rugged 256GB" I purchased only had a SanDisk U1100 in it.
     
  7. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I have no idea; my use of Windows is now limited to a VM, and even then it's rare.

    Also good to know.
     
  8. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #8
    I have had zero issues with my Delock 42490. The main problem with it is that it appears to be about twice as expensive in Europe as in Asia and the USA.

    Incidentally, I have my Samsung 840 EVO 500GB split in half between OS X and BootCamp and it has no issues at all booting the latter, in case anyone was wondering. :)
     
  9. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
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    #9
    That's good to know ... I will add that to my short list of Thunderbolt enclosures that WILL boot Windows on a Mac. :)
     
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #10
  11. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Takamatsu, Japan
    #11
    In my review of the $18 Inateck UASP USB3 enclosure I mentioned that it outperformed my Delock, if only slightly. However, it would more than be compensated for with the performance hit over time from the lack of TRIM.

    I didn't run the Intech Quickbench that Barefeats uses, but I did get 392 write and 414MBs read with the BlackMagic Speed Test. UASP is what makes the difference, not the brand name, construction or higher price.
     
  12. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #12
    But it won't allow TRIM to be enabled, which is very crucial in maintaining an SSD's performance.

    Edit: Just realized that UASP allows TRIM and NCQ. My bad, sorry.
     
  13. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2013
    #13
    Hey Xeleon,

    If you are looking for maximized game performance, the hard drive will have little to no effect on your performance. The only performance boost would be to load times for booting the game and maybe in-between levels. The hard drive is used during the game, but there is maybe 5-10 MB/sec of load from video games. Other than that, most of the work is done on the GPU/RAM/CPU. A 7200 rpm HDD would do just fine for playing video games, and you wouldn't see more than a 1-2 fps difference. Honestly, for large game libraries, an HDD is optimal. If you are using Windows for gaming, get a USB 3.0 1TB HDD. It will cost you 100$ at most. For gaming specifically, it will be just as good as a 700$ 1TB SSD Thunderbolt drive. For general system performance, it won't perform as great, but in game the hard drive is not being capped out.

    I think you should still get an SSD, just because it will be great, but don't expect your games to perform any better. If anything, bootcamp windows on your internal drive, and then store your games on the external drive. It will save you huge amounts of money, and you will actually get better performance for what you are doing, considering you have a PCIE internal drive.

    Best,
    Matt
     
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #14
    We concur and thus as in my post, I said also "a couple of other makers" meaning the Firmtek was not the only offering. The reason Firmtek is noted is that it was tested against Tbolt. The point was that a good solid performing USB3 enclosure should be sufficient for most external SSD usage. If folks can find a cheaper enclosure that performs as well and is sturdy, it sounds like a good buy to me.
     
  15. silvetti macrumors 6502a

    silvetti

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Poland
    #15
    I have the Lacie Rugged 256SSD connected via thunderbolt booting windows thru bootcamp.

    Basically I use my internal 256gb SSD for OSx and the external Lacie for Windows.

    I run several games (that's all I use Windows for) and it works flawlessly.

    To install Windows on the thunderbolt/lacie I had to buy Winclone (which is also useful to backup a image of the bootcamp) and used it to make image from original bootcamp image installed on internal SSD, remove it and then deploy image to external Lacie drive.

    Flawless.
     
  16. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #16
    I'm fairly certain that with TRIM being an ACHI command not supported by USB 3.0 standards and UASP just being SCSI commands depending on the same USB protocol that TRIM is not possible over USB.

    I know for an absolute fact from personal experience that TRIM doesn't work with the Inateck FEU3NS-1E UASP enclosure.

    In order to use TRIM with an external SSD, you'll need Thunderbolt.
     
  17. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #17
    Oops my bad again, sorry!
     
  18. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    This matches my understanding as well, and I can verify that TRIM does not work on the Firmtech USB or the Buffalo USB external enclosures.
     
  19. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #19
    Nope it doesn't. I have a Buffalo HD-PATU3S and no matter how I tried it, be it giving it a hybrid MBR or pure GPT configuration, my Windows 8 installer (which has two versions, BIOS for MBR and UEFI for GPT) said that it couldn't be installed to the drive.
     
  20. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #20
    Thanks for the info ... guess I will stick with the LaCie "Rugged" for thunderbolt Windows.
     
  21. Xeleon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    #21
    Hi Matt,

    Thanks a lot for the detailed description. It's much appreciated.

    I've ended up buying a LaCie Rugged 256GB SSD.

    In terms of performance in game, does it matter where I boot my windows from? Internal or external SSD?

    Once again, your description was just what I was looking for. Very informative.



    -------

    Also,
    Huge thanks to all you who replied to my topic. It's nice to see all the helpful people out there wanting to bid in with information and suggestions.

    I hope you all get a lovely day.

    Best,

    Xeleon
     
  22. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #22
    Where your OS is stored should not have any effect on game performance. Like i said before, your hard drive will have little to no effect on your gaming. The only reason to do an internal boot of Windows is for "general" performance. You will see faster boot times, and working within you system in general will be faster. The hard drive stores data, and boots that data on to the heavy duty components. The SSD allows you to do that more quickly. Other than that, your hard drive does not do very much for performance. I would recommend putting your OS on the internal drive just because you can't enable TRIM on the USB 3.0 drive.

    Best,
    Matt
     
  23. MrGimper macrumors 601

    MrGimper

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    Sep 22, 2012
    Location:
    Andover, UK
    #23
    I bought a Lacie Thunderbolt 1TB drive from a member on here. Took the spinning drive out and installed a Seagate 600 480GB SSD. Installed Windows 8.1 in UEFI mode onto the drive, and I can boot windows from it via the mac boot menu. Works a treat.
     
  24. KOTULCN macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Did you delete the boot camp install on internal hdd? I've been using the Buffalo ministation modded with Samsung SSD via thunderbolt for several months. Windows 7 works flawlessly.
     
  25. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #25
    I didn't even install Boot Camp in the internal SSD; I booted from a Windows 8 USB stick over UEFI.

    That may have been the reason. Maybe it'll work after I install a tiny 20GB Boot Camp partition in my internal drive first.
     

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