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Mase53

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 14, 2012
5
1
Looking for verification prior to an upgrade purchase. My 2017 iMac has been continually slowing down over the past year or so. I've run CleanMyMac on the system with little change in performance. The system is currently running BigSur 11.6.1 and has 8 GB RAM and a 1TB conventional hard drive. The system is very slow to boot and launching apps is also a slow process. I'm considering purchasing an external SSD to use as the system drive. I've reviewed many of the threads covering this approach and it looks like it should work but with things changing constantly I wanted to verify my selection of products to undertaking this upgrade.

I'm looking to purchase a Thunderbolt enclosure from Sabrent (https://www.amazon.com/Thunderbolt-...re-EC-T3NS/dp/B08FT59SB6?ref_=ast_sto_dp&th=1) along with a Samsung NVMe 1TB SSD (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MFZY2F2/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1). Looking for any experience and/or recommendations concerning this approach.

Appreciate the help...

Mase
 

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,495
632
NJ
There’s lots of info about the Samsungs being finicky with macs, but I don’t know if that’s only when I stalled internally in a PCIe slot or if it applied to externally booted drives.

That being said, I just purchased an external NVMe enclosure and drive to install inside my iMac. I used the enclosure to pre-format and install Ventura on it before installation. This is the enclosure and drive I ended up purchasing after seeing dozens of threads regarding what works best. Also, I used the USB-C version with a USB-C to USB 3.1 adapter. It ran fine and was fast enough.

SABRENT USB 3.2 10Gbps Type C... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RVC6F9Y?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

WD_BLACK 2TB SN770 NVMe Internal... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09QV5KJHV?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
 

Mase53

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 14, 2012
5
1
dictoresno,

Thanks for the feedback. I'm not totally fixed on the Samsung SSD. The WD_Black and Samsung are the same price on Amazon, with the WD_Black listing better potential maximum performance. I'll probably switch to the WD_Black based on your comments.

Any comments on how this change will impact the overall performance of my iMac?

Mase
 

Grubster

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2010
185
33
I was running my 2015 iMac on a SSD NVMe via USB A adapter for months, it worked fine. I guess the thunderbolt should help boost it further. I was using the SSK kit to make a USB C Drive.

I also keep a spare USB 512 SSD with Monterey installed on another SSK external NVME handy. You can plug that in to any machine I get and boot from it and be up and running in no time. It's nice to use to test laptops and such and boot in a pinch if you have problems.
 

Mase53

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 14, 2012
5
1
I was running my 2015 iMac on a SSD NVMe via USB A adapter for months, it worked fine. I guess the thunderbolt should help boost it further. I was using the SSK kit to make a USB C Drive.

I also keep a spare USB 512 SSD with Monterey installed on another SSK external NVME handy. You can plug that in to any machine I get and boot from it and be up and running in no time. It's nice to use to test laptops and such and boot in a pinch if you have problems.
Thanks for the input. I would still like to get input from someone with experience with the soecific enclosure and drive I'm considering.

Mase
 

Grubster

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2010
185
33
Thanks for the input. I would still like to get input from someone with experience with the soecific enclosure and drive I'm considering.
Mase, my understanding is the issues with ssd nvme and potential sleep wake issues only occur when installed internally. Externally either drive should be fine. I can tell you my drive was western digital. as far as the Sabrent enclosure, I would just buy it and return if a problem And switch to usb-c. Or buy 2 nclosures and return the other one after you test it.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,594
12,700
OP wrote:
"The system is currently running BigSur 11.6.1 and has 8 GB RAM and a 1TB conventional hard drive"

Well, there's your answer, right there.
See "conventional hard drive"?
As in a "platter-based, spinning hard drive"?
That's NEVER going to be fast.

Since we know what the problem is, let's solve it.

My advice is that you DO NOT buy a thunderbolt enclosure.

Instead, get a USB3.1 gen2 drive.
The Samsung T7 "Shield" would be fine, on sale at a good price:

Plug that into one of the USBc ports on the back.
Then use disk utility to erase it to APFS, GUID partition format.
Don't worry about the Samsung software -- you don't need it.

Then use SuperDuper to "clone" the contents of the HDD to the new SSD.
SuperDuper is FREE to use for this purpose, and you can download it by clicking here:

Once the clone is done, go to the startup disk preference pane and set the SSD to be the new boot drive.

The T7 Shield will give you read speeds around 850-900MBps -- very good.
What kind of read speeds are you getting NOW?
(If you don't know, use the free BlackMagic Speed Test utility to find out)

Good luck.
 

Grubster

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2010
185
33
OP wrote:
"The system is currently running BigSur 11.6.1 and has 8 GB RAM and a 1TB conventional hard drive"

Well, there's your answer, right there.
See "conventional hard drive"?
As in a "platter-based, spinning hard drive"?
That's NEVER going to be fast.

Since we know what the problem is, let's solve it.

My advice is that you DO NOT buy a thunderbolt enclosure.

Instead, get a USB3.1 gen2 drive.
The Samsung T7 "Shield" would be fine, on sale at a good price:

Plug that into one of the USBc ports on the back.
Then use disk utility to erase it to APFS, GUID partition format.
Don't worry about the Samsung software -- you don't need it.

Then use SuperDuper to "clone" the contents of the HDD to the new SSD.
SuperDuper is FREE to use for this purpose, and you can download it by clicking here:

Once the clone is done, go to the startup disk preference pane and set the SSD to be the new boot drive.

The T7 Shield will give you read speeds around 850-900MBps -- very good.
What kind of read speeds are you getting NOW?
(If you don't know, use the free BlackMagic Speed Test utility to find out)

Good luck.
I would say at $79.99 that is a great deal! Normally you would have to buy a NVMe SSD + Enclosure and it would probably be the same or more money!
 

Mase53

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 14, 2012
5
1
OP wrote:
"The system is currently running BigSur 11.6.1 and has 8 GB RAM and a 1TB conventional hard drive"

Well, there's your answer, right there.
See "conventional hard drive"?
As in a "platter-based, spinning hard drive"?
That's NEVER going to be fast.

Since we know what the problem is, let's solve it.

My advice is that you DO NOT buy a thunderbolt enclosure.

Instead, get a USB3.1 gen2 drive.
The Samsung T7 "Shield" would be fine, on sale at a good price:

Plug that into one of the USBc ports on the back.
Then use disk utility to erase it to APFS, GUID partition format.
Don't worry about the Samsung software -- you don't need it.

Then use SuperDuper to "clone" the contents of the HDD to the new SSD.
SuperDuper is FREE to use for this purpose, and you can download it by clicking here:

Once the clone is done, go to the startup disk preference pane and set the SSD to be the new boot drive.

The T7 Shield will give you read speeds around 850-900MBps -- very good.
What kind of read speeds are you getting NOW?
(If you don't know, use the free BlackMagic Speed Test utility to find out)

Good luck.
Fishrrman,

Thanks for the input, I agree the HDD is my main problem.

Mase
 

Mase53

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 14, 2012
5
1
Fishrrman,

Thanks for the input, I agree the HDD is my main problem.

Mase
Finally I installed the Thunderbolt SSD Drive using a WD_BLACK 1TB SN770 NVMe. I'm using the Sabrent Thunderbolt 3 Enclosure. I installed Monterey 12.6.3 on the external drive and set that up as my boot drive. The results have been nothing short of fantastic.

I ran the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test with the original internal HDD and got these results.

DiskSpeedTest HDD.png


Following the installation of the Thunderbolt SSD my results changed to this for the external drive.

DiskSpeedTest TB 1TB SSD.png


The system responsiveness has been outstanding. A relatively inexpensive upgrade (~$150 total) for a huge improvement in performance.

Mase
 
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lcharlton4

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2023
1
0
Great Advice, just used SuperDuper to clone and the Sabrent Thunderbolt with WD SN 770 on a 2017 imac 21.5 and wow! We went from basically an unusable computer to this... Thanks to everyone here.

Screenshot 2023-09-28 at 4.42.16 PM.png
 
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