Help / advice with new iMac external HD options

Discussion in 'iMac' started by strik, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. strik macrumors newbie


    Apr 21, 2009
    Hi there, I'm looking to buy a new high-end 21.5" iMac with a 256GB SDD drive to run my OS, apps and working files. Hoping to put my Photos library on an external HD and when I launch Photos, have it store media on the external drive. Will Photos have enough speed so that it feels really fast, or will I take a performance hit having the media on an external drive? Anyone have experience with this sort of workflow? Which drive do you have? What drive would you recommend?

    Hoping to have about 2TB of external storage. The Samsung SSD external would be nice, but out of my budget. Will it make a difference if the drive is Thunderbolt 3 vs USB 3.1 or USB 3?

    I'll have the external drive I buy back up to an existing WD 3TB USB 3.0 drive.

    Down the road, will look at spending bigger bucks on a Thunderbolt 3 RAID of some sort.

    TIA for any advice!
  2. Awgd8 macrumors member


    Sep 23, 2014
    --- Post Merged, Oct 4, 2017 ---
    USB 3.0 drive will be quick enough for just photo or file transfer.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    First, have you considered the 27" instead of the 21"?
    You'll NEVER REGRET having spent a little extra money for that beautiful display.

    Also, with the 27", you can add RAM later on if you wish.

    I wouldn't even consider RAID -- too problematic, you don't need "RAID speed" for photo storage and editing.

    How large is your photo library right now?
    Instead of a 2tb external HDD, why not a 1tb external SSD?
    You could add a second drive later.
  4. strik thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 21, 2009
    Did consider the 27". It'd be nice, but overkill for me. Want to put budget towards SSD, extra RAM. It's about a $420 Cdn jump to get into the 27".

    Photo library is about 300GB. I saw the G-Tech 1TB SSD external, looking pretty good.

    Thanks for the advice.


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3 October 4, 2017