External SSD for imac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Upasaka, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Upasaka, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    Upasaka macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2012
    Does anyone consider getting an External USB3 SSD for their 2012 iMac and use it as a boot/app drive instead of Apple's 768GB SSD option? Thanks!
  2. pizzapappa macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2012
    Im seriously considering the lacie rugged ssd. Seems kind of good and quite cheap
  3. iCaleb macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2010
    Would a usb 3.0 ssd be faster than the stock hdd?
  4. fastlanephil, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    Here's my proposed 2011 iMac 27" setup for my DAW, light business use & entertainment.

    1. 1 GB stock internal HD. For music, videos and some apps.

    2. 120GB Other World Computing installed SSD for system and main apps.

    3. 2XTB external FW800 7200 RPM Hard Drives for DAW plug-in libraries and audio recording.

    4. 3TB external 7200 RPM FW800 hard drive partitioned into 3 1TB hard drives for back up using Carbon Copy Cloner.

    I already have a 1GB external 7200RPM HD which is currently the back up hard drive.

    I also have a 400GB external FW800 hard drive for back up of downloaded DAW sample libraries.
  5. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I currently use a Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt sled and run a Samsung 830 256GB SSD from it. You'll get better performance through Thunderbolt vs USB 3.0 (due to the latency of USB), but I think USB 3.0 is still useable (philipma1957 has a number of articles on the site on this sled and USB 3.0 SSDs).

    With that said, I think the LaCie rugged SSD is a good value at $349 (including a 256GB SSD and a Thunderbolt cable). The Seagate sled is $99 plus $50 for the Thunderbolt cable, then you need to buy the SSD. The only benefit to this option is very easy upgrading of the SSD.
  6. HunterMaximus macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    If you go USB, consider getting a dock that supports UASP. It's not very widely used yet, but OS X supports it, and it addresses several of the performance shortcomings of using drives attached via USB. It looks like it can get you pretty solid results — not as fast as attaching it internally, but pretty impressive by any standard (particularly for random performance, which is where SSDs really make a difference).

    I'm aware of only two enclosures that support UASP at the moment — the Thermaltake BlacX 5G (which comes in single or dual drive configs), or the RocketStor 5122B. I got the Thermaltake (I only needed single drive support, and it was substantially cheaper in Canada) to use with a 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro as my new iMac's boot drive. Unfortunately my shipping window is January 4-10, so I can't say anything about performance at the moment, but my impression physically is that it's pretty good, albeit a bit bigger than I would like (it's designed to take 3.5" drives as well as 2.5").
  7. paul-n macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2012
  8. mihai.ile macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2012
    I was thinking getting the Lacie Porsche design slim with the 120GB SSD ( http://www.lacie.com/de/products/product.htm?id=10609 ) and use that to create a fusion drive together with the 1TB drive I will get in the iMac. From what I understand this enclosure already supports the UASP, can anyone confirm? It is a very pretty case (not very expensive also with the 120GB SSD) and will go just right along the new iMac :D
  9. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Yes, by about a billion times. I put an $80 SSD in a $15 USB3 enclosure and use it as a boot drive for my Mac Mini and it is insanely fast compared to the stock hard drive.

    This is the enclosure I got and it works great as a boot drive:


    I have read some reviews of other enclosures saying they aren't very Mac compatible so I would only recommend this one but I'm sure others would work.

    The speed seems to be limited to around 180 MB/s but that's still massively faster than a hard drive, and really, the bandwidth is irrelevant. The value of an SSD is that it can do random accesses 100x faster than a hard drive.

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