Does external HD limit iMac speed?

oftheheavens

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Original poster
Jul 9, 2008
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So i have the i7 and somethings seem a lot faster and some things don't. I just noticed that it seems everything that doesn't seem a lot faster uses my external HD to save. An example would be;

Downloaded like 20 songs via limewire, went to change the genre on all of them, and it was really slow to change them all. Was this because of the limitations of the external?

Thanks
 

Hellhammer

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Dec 10, 2008
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If you have those songs in the external HD, then yes, it is slower due limitations of USB or Firewire.
 

oftheheavens

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If you have those songs in the external HD, then yes, it is slower due limitations of USB or Firewire.
so would it be a good idea to store/download songs and movies to my internal, and use the external as a back up? would that speed up downloading/ripping and day to day stuff such as that as stated before?

thanks
 

idyll

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2007
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Unfortunately, yes, the external does limit the performance when you do anything that has to do with the external drive. In my opinionm it is today's hard drives that really limit the speed of computing, not so much processor speed or memory.. Putting an SSD in the iMac would boost performance considerably - real life things like booting, opening apps, etc. would be much faster.
 

oftheheavens

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is there a way to save just my music onto my internal but keep movies on my external? I have almost a TB of movies that I don't want on my mac.

And also when handbraking movies, would it rip faster if i did straight to my imac?
 

Hellhammer

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Dec 10, 2008
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so would it be a good idea to store/download songs and movies to my internal, and use the external as a back up? would that speed up downloading/ripping and day to day stuff such as that as stated before?

thanks
Yes, it's faster if they are in your internal HD. You can keep your movies in external (I keep mine as well) but it's always slower
 

Wotan31

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2008
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So i have the i7 and somethings seem a lot faster and some things don't. I just noticed that it seems everything that doesn't seem a lot faster uses my external HD to save. An example would be;

Downloaded like 20 songs via limewire, went to change the genre on all of them, and it was really slow to change them all. Was this because of the limitations of the external?
What kind of external hard drive? Is it USB attached? Fw400? Fw800? What kind of drive is inside? 4200 rpm? 5400 rpm? 7200 rpm?

If you're using USB for external hard drives, well, that's your problem right there. USB is disgustingly slow for bulk data transfer. Switch to a 7200 rpm drive in a Fw800 enclosure and you should have no more performance problems. For hard drives, Firewire is *ALWAYS* much much faster than USB.
 

itommyboy

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Feb 26, 2009
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Titletown USA
Indeed it is from limitations of your external or how you are connected to it, rather. If you can switch from USB to firewire on your external hard drive that should take care of your bottleneck issues. If you don't have fire-wire 800 on your external hard drive get one that does. You should be able to take your pick of plenty of decent units this Friday that will most likely be available for around $40 give or take depending on storage.

* Edit I see Wotan above beat me to it *
 

oftheheavens

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Jul 9, 2008
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cool i will look into a FW 800 1-2TB drive since i need a new one anyways.

And back to the last question i asked, can you have your itunes library split to two locations? one for movies and one for music?
 

rtrt

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Jan 19, 2008
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cool i will look into a FW 800 1-2TB drive since i need a new one anyways.

And back to the last question i asked, can you have your itunes library split to two locations? one for movies and one for music?
provided you don't have itunes managing the files - think thats what it's called. so if you set it so itunes leaves the files where they are when you add them then you'll be fine. if its set to manage, then it imports all files to it's own library. hope that makes sense. i havent used itunes for a while so if ive got it wrong someone will correct me pd quickly!
 

fa8362

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
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And back to the last question i asked, can you have your itunes library split to two locations? one for movies and one for music?
Yes, you can use multiple hard drives. I currently use 3 external hard drives with iTunes.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
581
Finland
cool i will look into a FW 800 1-2TB drive since i need a new one anyways.

And back to the last question i asked, can you have your itunes library split to two locations? one for movies and one for music?
iTunes -> Preferences -> Advanced (or whatever its called in English) -> Uncheck "Copy files to iTunes Media -folder when they are added to library"
 
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