External Thunderbolt SSD as fast as internal SSD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by shaunb83, May 3, 2011.

  1. shaunb83 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    #1
    If I added an external SSD via thunderbolt and migrated the OS to it, should it be just as fast as an internal SSD from apple?

    Just wondering whether to do a BTO SSD, or just add one once thunderbolt enclosures become available.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Uhu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    #2
    regarding transfer rate the 10gbit interface of thunderbolt equals approx 1000 Megabyte per second so it is blazing fast and enough for fast ssds (500mb/s)
    at least it should :)
     
  3. shaunb83 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    #3
    Thanks - so in theory there shouldn't be in bottlenecks having an external SSD for the OS?

    And I guess you would just install OSX to it and then migrate your applications across as the work flow?
     
  4. raoul1219 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #4
    Sata2 speeds are 3 gbits/sec, even sata3 is "only" 6, so if thunerbolt is 10, then a external tb drive could even be faster than a internal ssd.
    I orderd my iMac yesterday and skiooed in the internal SSD, since it was quite expensive. Hope t get a 1000mb/s ssd in 12month for the price the internal ssd would have cost me.....,
     
  5. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    The sequential read and write speeds won't be bottlenecked, but the random read and write speeds (IOPS) may be. I'm not sure. I've thought about this myself :D
     
  6. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    If TB is that fast, then why haven't they replaced the SATAII/III connections with internal TB connections?
     
  7. qap macrumors 6502

    qap

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Udine, Italy
    #7
    Maybe because the HDD/SSD drive anyway use the sata connector…? :D

    external bay: SSD-> Sata -> Thunderbolt -> Logic board
    internal disk: SSD-> Sata -> Logic Board


    When (and if) the new SSD will have the TB connector the external SSD could be faster…
     
  8. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    Well then, 2.5" SSD's that connect with TB is the next logical step.
     
  9. qap macrumors 6502

    qap

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Udine, Italy
    #9
    Maybe.. I don't know the problems about the TB port directly inside the SS/HD Drive… I think it's not simple and maybe not possibile. I have no idea.
     
  10. Torrijos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #10
    Because no single drive could reach the maximum throughput of ThunderBolt right now...

    TB is a link to PCIe, in the workstation market there are a few PCIe SSD cards that offer ultra high performance but those speed aren't useful for a personal computer, even less in an all-in-one computer.

    The fact is the only way to fully use TB bandwidth right now is to have a fast RAID box connected to it, and that almost goes too for USB3.

    A lot of single USB3 hard disk offered right now (1 Gbit/s) will just never reach the maximum transfer rate of the bus (5 Gbit/s), and the same goes for SATA buses (3 Gb/s or 6 Gb/s). The only way for a single drive to reach the max is to be a VERY fast SSD (whose controller emulate stripping sending bits of data to multiple memory chips to reach those speeds).

    So from a technological standpoint if you have a USB2 port and connect a USB3 hard disk on it you will be using the drive at 40% of its capacity, and regret not having USB3.

    But if you really want to have the maximum performance of 5 Gb/s out of a hard disk system you would need a RAID system anyway and in that case why on earth would you want to have a RAID system on an inferior bus with an inferior controller technology?

    The way I see it USB is going to remain used and useful as a small device connector (mouse, printers, phones etc. small flash memory keys where USB3 willbe missed for a year yes) but if you want performance and reliability for data transfer ThunderBolt is the way to go, I'm eagerly awaiting to see the RAID thunderbolt offering which could lead to max performance safe data systems.

    Imagine this : booting from an external TB RAID5 enclosure with the maximum 10Gb/s data transfer rate, not even internal SSD are capable of this rates!
     

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