External Imac SSD Question....

Discussion in 'iMac' started by BuckeyeBengal, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. BuckeyeBengal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    #1
    Hi Guys!
    with an external ssd drive can I use that to boot osx just like you would for an internal ssd? For example if I made a little mount in the back and and ran a ssd back there would it do the same thing? I dont wanna mess with opening up my mac and installing one so I thought If I made a mount in the back and hid it back there it would still look nice and not be noticeable. Has anyone tried this?
    thanks again!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Yes, you can. However, the interface would be a huge bottleneck. USB 2.0 can deliver about 35MB/s and FireWire 800 can deliver about 80MB/s but most SSDs provide speeds of over 250MB/s and the internal SATA 3Gb/s provides ~285MB/s. Yes, it will still work but you lose at least some of the SSD's performance. You still gain the latency which is the whole point of getting an SSD though.
     
  3. BuckeyeBengal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    #3
    Thanks I appreciate your help! So in your opinion it probally wouldnt be making good usage of the ssd if I went this route? Basically I was looking for quick start up times and app times. I didnt realize there was so much difference in the sata speed compared to the usb or firewire speed. When you said I would still maintain the latency could you clarify that as I am new to this kind of stuff. Thanks again!
     
  4. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #4
    But, it is still incredibly quiet- a fact I do enjoy.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Well, normal hard drives spin so every time you open something, it has to seek for the right place to read the data. Since SSDs have no moving parts, this is pretty much instant so you don't have to wait for the HD to spin up and/or seek for the data.

    Most apps are relatively small (<100MB) so even at 80MB/s, opening them doesn't take much time when compared to normal HD which takes its time just to search for the data. So, in basic usage, you wouldn't notice the FW/USB bottleneck that easily because the things you do don't require that great bandwidth from the drive. When transferring big files, booting, installing or stuff like that which requires sustained read&write, the interface would become a bottleneck but not that much in everyday usage.

    You would still notice improvement in things like app launch times and waking up from sleep. I wouldn't start spending hundreds on the SSD, mainly because you can't take full advantage of it but something like 60GB should be good in terms of price (assuming that's enough for OS X and apps for you). Make sure to get a FireWire 800 enclosure, USB is way too slow
     
  6. BuckeyeBengal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    #6
    Thanks for clarifying everything,it helps alot! I think I will look at the 60gb ssd's like you said. That would make more sense for me anyway because I dont need anything over 100gb anyhow. Thanks for mentioning the enclosure also, I would not have thought about that. Have a great day and thanks again!
     
  7. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #7
  8. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    While it will be a bit slower, you won't notice the difference most of the time unless you are loading or using really massive files. If massive files are your game, then you will notice the bottleneck.
     

Share This Page