HDD in i7 iMac as fast as SSD in Core 2 Duo MBP?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bobdobalina, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. bobdobalina, Apr 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  2. noire anqa macrumors regular

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    Aug 20, 2010
    #2
    Give it time .. watch that HDD slow down as you install more & more ..
     
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    UK
    #3
    I made the same observations with my Core2Duo MBP and Mac Pro. Both machines are equipped with the same 160GB Intel drive and the Mac Pro is way snappier. Opening lots of apps at the same time is considerably quicker than on the MBP.
    I can't explain this either as interface and drives are exactly the same, so it has to be a combination of drive and either CPU or RAM as my Pro is equipped with 4 times as much processors and RAM.

    That being said, the MBP with SSD easily outperforms the Mac Pro with a mechanical HDD (which happens to be the same your iMac ships with). That's worlds apart.
     
  4. zombierunner macrumors 6502a

    zombierunner

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    #4
    is it possible to purchase ssd externally and install it .... im going to purchase the new imacs with hdd only and i was wondering it adding after market ssd is anything like adding ram .. i guess not ?
     
  5. Adz76 macrumors member

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    #5

    I think you could put a SSD in an external firewire enclosure, clone your boot drive and then boot from that drive.The downside to this is I reckon the connection will be the bottleneck. Even if its FW800 its still going to be way behind the speed the SSD could run at so its not really worth doing.
     
  6. kevin2223 macrumors member

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    Jul 31, 2010
    #6
    It isn't too hard to add a SSD internally by replacing the standard HDD, there are many guides/videos online how to do it. We have to see how Apple implements SSDs - do they include a small one for cache/do they offer additional sizes (128GB, 512GB, etc.) for upgrading?

    With Thunderbolt, it'll be possible to get the full speed out of external SSDs, although there are some uncertainty whether or not they will be bootable (to take full advantage of the SSD's speed, rather than just using it for storage or in a workflow.
     
  7. bobdobalina, Apr 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017

    bobdobalina thread starter macrumors 6502

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  8. bobdobalina, Apr 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017

    bobdobalina thread starter macrumors 6502

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  9. ZackM21 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 30, 2011
    #9
    LaCie is developing a thunderbolt SSD to be released during the summer, I would wait for that.

    http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10549
     
  10. rnb2 macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2006
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    West Haven, CT, USA
    #10
    Yes, the hard drive will get slower over time, more because it fills from the outside edge in, so each revolution of the platter gives you less and less data as it fills up.

    Putting an SSD in a FW800 enclosure actually works pretty well - I've been running my 2009 i7 with an 80GB Intel X25m (1st gen) for over a year, and it's definitely faster than the internal WD Caviar Black. It works fine for the OS and Applications, since what you lose over FW is the very high sustained transfer rate of the SSD, which is rarely used for anything other than user data (ie, copying a huge file, etc). For loading the random bits of the OS and Applications in normal use, it's much better than any platter HD, since the SSD has no latency or seek time slowing things down.

    I would definitely recommend a FW800 SSD over opening an in-warranty machine to replace the internal HD with an SSD, both because of the risk of damaging something (like that tiny cable everybody tells you to be careful of), and because of the loss of internal capacity. I have my user folder on the internal 1TB drive (as well as a clone of the SSD in a separate partition, for convenience if I have to take the iMac in for service), so everything runs pretty efficiently. For normal users, the internal hard drive should be enough for data storage (I'm a photographer, so I've actually got a mess of external drives, a RAID, etc), and you get most of the benefit of the SSD without the risk of opening your iMac up. Also, since FW limits the bandwidth of the SSD, you don't have to worry about buying the absolute fastest drive out there - pretty much any recent SSD is big enough and fast enough to easily outrun the internal drive for OS duties.

    Also, while Thunderbolt does show promise for future use in similar circumstances, it's not currently possible to boot a Mac via Thunderbolt. I'm sure it will eventually be possible, but a FW800 SSD works now.
     
  11. Adz76, May 1, 2011
    Last edited: May 1, 2011

    Adz76 macrumors member

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    #11
    Interesting

    Mmm..I'm getting a refreshed 27 iMac and wasn't keen on the price of an Apple supplied SSD so that's interesting info, I may well go down that route as it sound like a good cheap alternative. Thanks for that!
     
  12. rnb2 macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    West Haven, CT, USA
    #12
    If Apple were to offer a 128GB SSD at a reasonable price ($200) + whatever hard drive you wanted, I'd probably go with that - it would be a killer combo. Since they've only offered a pricey 256GB SSD so far, and one that isn't that special performance-wise, I think the FW800 SSD has merit. We'll see what they offer when Tuesday gets here.
     

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