Help iMac i7 with SSD+internal HDD or SSD+external HDD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Themanatj, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Themanatj macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    #1
    I was originally looking at getting a full spec MBP 15 i7 SSD hi-Res...
    But realised that getting a high spec iMac would be better for my future video projects...
    My question is regarding speed and over-all performance.
    Which is the best efficient set up that wont be an unessesory waste of money?
    Either way I am getting an iMac/2.93/i7/27": with SSD and hope to pimp my machine and add an ESATA connection (http://eshop.macsales.com/) and upgrade eve further after warranty runs out.

    What is the performance difference between having NO internal HDD with the internal SSD while usung an external 2TB HDD...(SSD only)

    And having al internal SSD and internal HDD (both drives-internal)
     
  2. Voondebah macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #2
    If you get the eSATA mod, there shouldn't be a performance difference between having the HDD internal or external. There would be a performance drop if you ran the external HDD on Firewire or USB though.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    It's the same SATA 3Gb/s connection so there shouldn't be any difference.
     
  4. Themanatj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    #4
    Project transfere Speed

    So if I get the machine with SSD only, I wont miss the internal HDD. coz I know you can't beat he performance boost from working off an SSD vs HDD whether internal or external.

    WHAT IS THE CONNECTION SPEEDS FOR apple's internal HHD connectors read/write comparing to FW800 and eSATA connected external HDD?
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    SATA 3Gb/s - 285MB/s in real world (internal HD)
    FireWire 800 - 80MB/s in real world
    USB 2.0 - 35MB/s in real world
    eSATA 3Gb/s - 285MB/s in real world (same interface as normal SATA 3Gb/s)

    Remember that even if the interface can provide 285MB/s, it doesn't mean that you will get that performance. A single mechanical HD can provide up to 150MB/s (3TB 7200rpm drive) so you would need at least two HDs in RAID 0 to max out the bandwidth of (e)SATA 3Gb/s. A good SSD can provide up to 285MB/s though.
     
  6. rnb2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    West Haven, CT, USA
    #6
    If I was buying today, with current pricing and Apple SSD performance, I would still recommend what I did last year - order with the stock internal HD and run an SSD boot drive in a FW800 external enclosure. Any reasonably fast, relatively cheap SSD (80GB Intel X25m, for instance - I'm running the 1st generation) will work just fine for this, and even with Xcode 4 installed, I've barely used 40GB. This is with my user folder on the internal HD, of course.

    The idea here is that, while you lose the sustained read rate of the SSD because of the FW limitations, you get the lack of latency and negligible seek time, with no read head thrashing across platters to read several different OS files. This also splits access to your user data and OS data between two interfaces. I can tell you that my iMac boots faster and performs better when booted from the FW800 SSD than from the internal Caviar Black HD.

    I've been running my 2009 i7 like this since I got it just over a year ago, and it works great. Better still, it costs much less than ordering an SSD from Apple, and when you go the eSATA route when your warranty runs out, you can switch to an even faster SSD (which will have gotten cheaper in the meantime).

    However, your best option, if you can be patient, would be to wait for the new models to be released (probably between April and June). This may bring SATA3, and will definitely bring Thunderbolt. The latter won't be so useful now, but once Apple adds the ability to boot from a Thunderbolt device, you'll be able to get better than SATA3 performance over Thunderbolt (LaCie's SSD-based mini-RAID is supposed to hit something like 700MB/s).
     

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