External Thunderbolt SSD recommendation

iTurbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 9, 2008
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372
I'm looking for an external Thunderbolt SSD drive that I can use on two iMacs (hopefully).

One is my late 2012 27" iMac (13,2) and has a Thunderbolt 1 (10 Gb/sec) port.
The other is my Mom's old 2010 21.5" iMac (11,2), however I'm not sure if it has TB fuctionality or it is strictly for Display Port (?).

I would like to use it for backups using Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper since both are in need of new internal drives. I've thought about going USB, but it looks like both machines are limited to USB 2 at best. I figure I'd get a TB interface because it could be used in the future after the drive upgrades. Any suggestions?
 

iTurbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 9, 2008
311
372
Hey, you are right, it does in fact have a USB 3.0 bus. I was just looking in the system profiler yesterday trying to get an old midi interface working and could have sworn it was all USB 2.0 but missed it. Thanks, it definitely opens up options.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,625
6,839
Don't bother with thunderbolt.
Use USB3 instead.
Cheaper and just as fast on your iMac as tbolt would be.

Yes, it will be slower on your Mom's iMac, but, hey -- did I mention it was cheaper?
 

iTurbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 9, 2008
311
372
Thanks guys. That Samsung T5 looks like it will work great and the price is nice.
 

iTurbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 9, 2008
311
372
I'm going to run over to Best Buy tomorrow to pick up the Samsung T5, since they have it for the same price as Amazon. A couple more questions though....

1. Will the 2010 iMac (with a Display Port) support a Thunderbolt drive plugged into it? Or is it *only* for display/audio?

2. Would there not be a substantial speed increase by getting a Thunderbolt SSD drive instead of USB? Because my 2012 iMac has TB1 rated at 10 Gb/sec and the USB 3.0 is rated at 5 Gb/sec.. I know USB 3.1 is faster at 10 Gb/sec, but my iMac is only 3.0.
 

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,286
127
1. Will the 2010 iMac (with a Display Port) support a Thunderbolt drive plugged into it? Or is it *only* for display/audio?
No, it's only a mini displayport, it has no thunderbolt support.

2. Would there not be a substantial speed increase by getting a Thunderbolt SSD drive instead of USB? Because my 2012 iMac has TB1 rated at 10 Gb/sec and the USB 3.0 is rated at 5 Gb/sec.. I know USB 3.1 is faster at 10 Gb/sec, but my iMac is only 3.0.
Not really because the SSD will max out at around 480-540 MB/sec, so it won't really need the bandwidth of thunderbolt.

Bear in mind that your 2010 iMac only has USB2, so the SSD will be quite slow on that machine.
 

iTurbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 9, 2008
311
372
Yup, picked up a 500GB Samsung T5 today (USB3). Seemed like a great deal for $110. And it's tiny!

Next up I gotta download CCC and get busy on that. I'm hoping after I clone the internal Fusion drive on the '12 iMac, then I can erase it and then clone it back onto the Fusion drive. I'm going to try that at least before buying the tools and opening up the machine.

Thanks again everyone.
 
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