FYI: My RAM, HDD, SSD, + USB 3.1gen2 Enclosures

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Chupa Chupa, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. Chupa Chupa, Jul 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017

    Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #1
    I generally buy the stock machine and then build around it. For my purposes I get more "bang for the buck." Also, I mostly go for the entry level machine unless there is value for me in the next rung up. I did not see that in the new (Mid 2017) crop of 27" iMacs, esp. at the $1625 shipped price @ Adorama (w/ Appleinsider coupon). So we start from there.

    Bought an additional 16GB RAM on Jet.com for $108 shipped after 15% coupon (1st 3 orders offer).
    RAM is 2x8GB Corsair Vengence 260 Pin SoDIMM (DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200), CAS 16, 1.2v, Unbuffered. I was going to pull the stock 8GB (Micron) but decided to test the machine with the 8GB plus the additional 16GB. No problems, running at full speed so I left it in. I have 24GB RAM now for just $108 additional. Ecstatic about that. H/T to 9to5 Mac on that one. One of the guys there bought the 32GB kit and did a write up about it and also posted a video.

    For my boot drive I looked at the usual "budget" SSD suspects: Mushkin, SanDisk, Crucial. (Did not consider Samsung... to expensive for my needs). Decided on the 1TB Mushkin Reactor as it had the best overall professional reviews and actual user reviews. The Reactor is an "older" MLC model but it has built-in garbage collection. $270 on Amazon (Prime).

    Finding a USB 3.1 Gen 2 enclosure for it was quite the hunt. Not much selection out there right now. I decided on the MiniPro USB 3.1 from Oyen Digital (yes, never heard of them either). $30 on Amazon, prime eligible. Comes in silver and black. I bought the last "Prime" silver but probably more in stock soon or the manufacture can ship to you, also free. The enclosure is aluminum, big plus for me. It also supports TRIM -- though have not tried to enable TRIM on my iMac since the Muskin has garbage collection. It's bus powered and includes both USB-C and C to A cables.

    Running Black Magic's Disk Speed Test I get an avg 425 MB/s read and 512 MB/s write so I'm very happy. I only have OS X and documents on this drive. No photos, video, or music. Disk Speed Test reports it can handle up to 2K just fine except for the most uncompressed files. Then it gets dog in high humidity slow.

    I decided this was a good time to upgrade my photo and video drive so I moved over to a 4TB RAID. I bought the AKiTiO NT2 U3.1 (gen 2) enclosure. Again, all metal enclosure. The fan noise is avg. Not silent, not loud. I am not in a quite environment so it very well could seem louder with fewer background noises around. The fan has its own switch though if you want to risk it or put in SSDs. The enclosure supports RAID 0,1,JBOD,SPAN. It was $84 on Amazon. I could not find a less expensive USB 3.1 Gen 2 RAID enclosure for 3.5" drives.

    To fill the NT2 I decided on 2TB WD Red. The Seagate Iron Wolf was $10 cheaper, so $20 less total, but it ran at 5900 rpm where the Red runs at 5400. I like the slower drive in a small RAID box. Also I'm not sure I trust Seagate enough in RAID, but, obviously, WD isn't bulletproof. That is why you backup.

    Unfortunately I could not hook up the NT2 to a USB-C port because there are only two on the iMac and they are both in use. I cannot find a USB 3.1 Gen 2 hub for the life of me. If anyone knows where to get one please share.

    Speed Disk reports an average read and write speed of 227 MB/s. A tad disappointing but maybe not for 5400rpm drives. Reds are not built for speed and I understood that going in. My main goal was heat and let the RAID take care of the speed. Maybe I'll test the drive with USB-C and see what the speed difference is there.

    Finally, I have my trusty LED Cinema Display. It's a refurb from 2010ish. I love this monitor even though I could sell it and literally get an LG 4K with the proceeds. Of course the problem is it's Mini DisplayPort. OK, no problem. I bought an "Exwin" brand (Is that a real brand? Probably not). USB-C to Mini DisplayPort adapter on Amazon for $22. Works like a charm. I just wish I didn't have to sacrifice a USB-C port for it.

    So there you have it. Total cost including the iMac: $2112. For me at least this is a better, more useful package than if I just bought a stock 3.5Ghz mid-level iMac for $2K. Anyway, I spend some time trying to ferret out these add-ons, mostly because USB 3.1 Gen2 stuff is still quite rare, so hopefully it can help guide others here.
     
  2. Bob418 macrumors member

    Bob418

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    Location:
    Singapore
  3. SaSaSushi, Jul 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #3
    Well macOS doesn't support TRIM over USB so it won't matter whether the enclosure supports it or not.

    Also, while helpful, garbage collection is not a TRIM replacement nor does it prevent write amplification and the possibility of degraded performance over time.

    I would very much recommend Thunderbolt over USB (even 3.1) for external SSD.
     
  4. Chupa Chupa thread starter macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #4
    Right, just mentioned because even though it doesn't support it now there is always the future. I remember once upon a time you couldn't enable TRIM on 3rd party internal drives either. Just a bit of "future proofing."

    As far garbage collection, yes, true it's not a TRIM replacement but it's not a crucial necessity either in most instances. In my case where I'm using the SSD as a boot drive and for documents only I'll be perfectly fine with just garbage collection. The avg user too. The cost of TB3 enclosures makes using one of those overkill unless you are editing video or doing something that really requires lighting fast i/o. It's literally more cost effective to buy a cheap USB 3.1 enclosure and budget SSD like I did, assume it will be good for 3 years and then swap out a new SSD then. In 3 years time SSD will likely have dropped in price more too. In the mean time even a poorly performing SSD is going to be faster than a HDD, also quieter and more energy efficient.
     
  5. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #5
    Well, actually it's funny that you mention it because there apparently is one portable USB SSD now advertising TRIM support for Mac via a software solution.

    Well, I've been using a Delock 42490 TB enclosure that can be purchased for $85 (plus shipping). I was using it to boot my Late 2013 iMac for 3.5 years and now it's dedicated to BootCamp. Yes, your $30 Oyen is still quite a bit cheaper though. In addition to the enclosure you need a Thunderbolt cable, of course and if you're using a Late 2016 or newer MBP or 2017 iMac will also need an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter now that there are no TB1/2 ports. But as Thunderbolt goes, it is as cheap as it gets.
     
  6. Taz Mangus, Jul 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017

    Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #6
    Not having Trim over time can significantly reduce the performance of the SSD.

    I posted this in another thread, it is review of an SSD that does Trim performance testing:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crucial-m550-ssd-review,3772-10.html

    From the review:
    [​IMG]

    But I also want the instantaneous average of our TRIM testing. So, how does the drive fare servicing writes with and without TRIM during each 100,000-command window? The purple line represents IOPS across the entire trace, without TRIM. The teal line is with TRIM.

    Notice that the peaks are higher with TRIM support enabled. This is how a desktop-oriented drive should behave. About 13% of the drive's span is freed by the command during our test, giving Marvell's controller more available blocks to write to. Without TRIM, the processor is stuck manually collecting garbage, juggling data in read/modify/erase cycles.

    TRIM mitigates this, allowing the operating system to tell the drive when a range of LBAs is no longer needed. The alternative is letting the drive handle its own garbage collection as the operating system writes to LBAs already occupied by data.
     
  7. Chupa Chupa thread starter macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #7
    Yes, but I think you missed my rationale for not caring. I understand what TRIM is, it's just not a big deal to me given how the drive will be used and the money I want to spend (or not spend). But let me put it another way: compare both a 2 year old 1TB HDD and "budget" SSD w/o TRIM but with garbage collection. Both drives used exactly the same way -- to run the OS and store text document files. Which would you rather be using the HDD or the SSD?

    To me it's a no brainer which is why I gladly did not let lack of TRIM be a barrier to use. The drive will slow down faster over time w/o TRIM, yes. Big deal. It's a drive not a keepsake and it will always be faster and more responsive than a HDD.

    I've been using SSDs for about 10 years -- well before TRIM even existed on Macs at all. I had a 128GB Corsair P128 in my 2009 MBP which ran fantastic for the 3 years I owned that model. TRIM is great if you have it but it's not the equivalent of a punctured run flat tire if you don't.
     
  8. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #8
    Then I guess this poster had the punctured run flat tire: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/slow-ssd-write-speeds-on-older-imac.2053041/#post-24735141.
     
  9. Chupa Chupa thread starter macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #9
    Not understanding. The post you refer to quotes user "Fisherrman who seems to have NO performance problems with his SSD not using TRIM 3 years after initialization:

    Again, in my own personal experience using SSDs for 10 years, TRIM, for my level of usage is a nicety, not a necessity. It's why I don't bother using SSDs for my heavy photo and video editing and still use RAID for those activities.

    Now to do SSD's fail, of course. Just like HDDs. They can last 5 years for 5 minutes. That is what backups are for and why it's smart to regularly replace drives of any kind rather than waiting for them to fail. Personally I mark the initialization date on all my drives and replace them about every 3 years.
     
  10. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #10
    No, the Fish is a non-TRIM-performance-decrease-denier who chimes in to nearly every thread where people try to point out the very real benefits of TRIM. I'm surprised he hasn't popped up in this one yet. :rolleyes:

    The thread Taz linked you to is a user who was experiencing 20Mbs write speeds on their Samsung SSD and magically restored it to 460Mbs by enabling TRIM and running fsck -fy in Single User Mode.
     

Share This Page