IMAC 2017 4K Retina too slow 5400 RPM drives HDD. Upgraded with SAMSUNG T5 500GB is a good option?

huynhhoangthinh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 23, 2019
2
2
Hi Guys,
I got one iMac 2017 with Laptops slow 5400 RPM drives. I used to use Macbook Air 2017 SSD Drive and MBA is faster than iMac 2-3 times really.
question: May I upgrade my HDD by external Samsung SSD 500gb - 1TB T5 ???
I will install the MacOS on external drive Samsung SSD and is it faster?
I REALLY CAN’T STAND THE SLOW IMAC THAT IT TAKE ME MINUTES TO OPEN AN EXCEL, PPT or FILES...
Please give me an advice, is there any option for my situation? PLEASE HELP!
Thanks a lot!
Ken
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,206
7,125
Coastal told you right.

Fastest, easiest, cheapest route to "a much faster iMac" is to buy an external USB3 SSD (such as the t5), plug it in, and set it up to become the boot drive.

You'll see read speeds of about 430mbps and writes in the 350-400mbps range.
Not quite as fast as installing the drive internally, but pretty close (80-85%).
Little that would be perceptible under normal usage.

There's a gent here on macrumors (Mike Halloran) who's very well-versed at doing internal drive installations. He'd suggest an internal SSD, that's another way to go if you wish. But you have to have the confidence to "go inside" and do the job, or pay someone else to do it.

So two choices:
- USB3 SSD, fast, cheap and easy
- Internal SSD, a little more speed, more work involved.

If you get a t5, download CarbonCopyCloner from here:
http://www.bombich.com/download.html
(it's FREE to download and use for 30 days)
Then, you can "clone over" the contents of your hard drive to the SSD.
CCC will even create and clone over the recovery partition, too.
 

huynhhoangthinh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 23, 2019
2
2
Dear my friends!!!
Amazing! I got a new external SSD and I install MACOS on it!
Now the iMac run 5 times faster!!! haha
Thanks a lot for your help! You guys are amazing too!
Here the image! Its the solutions ;)
 

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gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
17,269
4,426
If you get a t5, download CarbonCopyCloner from here:
http://www.bombich.com/download.html
(it's FREE to download and use for 30 days)
Then, you can "clone over" the contents of your hard drive to the SSD.
CCC will even create and clone over the recovery partition, too.

DiskUtil in your utilities folder inside the applications folder copies hard drives easily. Alternatively, you can restore from your Time Machine backup. It comes with your Mac and you can use it forever.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,880
508
The Sillie Con Valley
But cloning software is so much better with smart backup facilities.
Nope. Time Machine is far better since backups happen automatically and never have to be scheduled — “smart” or otherwise.

Back to the OP.

Booting from a T5 is about 4.9x faster than a 5400 rpm HDD according to Samsung. My tests are close enough that I won’t disagree. Being USB 3.1, a T5 does not support TRIM on a Mac—in the long run, that isn’t good. The Mac OS supports TRIM over Thunderbolt, PCIe and SATA/eSATA. Period. No exceptions. The T5 does not support any of those protocols.
https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/product/portable/t5/

Booting from a Samsung X5 is around 6x faster than a T5. Being Thunderbolt 3, it does support TRIM, a good thing. If you had bought an SSD only iMac, an X5 would be just as fast. The only downside is that, to support APFS Snapshots, the internal HDD must become a storage only drive and cannot have a Mac OS installed. Except that you must only boot from he X5, there’s no other downside. You could turn it into a Time Machine backup, actually. APFS Snapshots is a restore tool that can restore your Mac to a previous state in a few minutes instead of the hours that restoring from a clone or TM backup would require. It requires Time Machine to be active. So called cloning apps that say they support APFS Snapshots cannot do so without Time Machine.
 
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e46pphkg

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2016
6
0
Toronto
I've installed the X5 but found there is no more thunderbolt for external USB3 enclosure as I'm using an extra monitor. Any suggestions? Thanks a lot
 

voolf

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2020
1
0
Nope. Time Machine is far better since backups happen automatically and never have to be scheduled — “smart” or otherwise.

Back to the OP.

Booting from a T5 is about 4.9x faster than a 5400 rpm HDD according to Samsung. My tests are close enough that I won’t disagree. Being USB 3.1, a T5 does not support TRIM on a Mac—in the long run, that isn’t good. The Mac OS supports TRIM over Thunderbolt, PCIe and SATA/eSATA. Period. No exceptions. The T5 does not support any of those protocols.
https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/product/portable/t5/

Booting from a Samsung X5 is around 6x faster than a T5. Being Thunderbolt 3, it does support TRIM, a good thing. If you had bought an SSD only iMac, an X5 would be just as fast. The only downside is that, to support APFS Snapshots, the internal HDD must become a storage only drive and cannot have a Mac OS installed. Except that you must only boot from he X5, there’s no other downside. You could turn it into a Time Machine backup, actually. APFS Snapshots is a restore tool that can restore your Mac to a previous state in a few minutes instead of the hours that restoring from a clone or TM backup would require. It requires Time Machine to be active. So called cloning apps that say they support APFS Snapshots cannot do so without Time Machine.
iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5 inches, 2017. I installed an external boot disk X5 500g, mac os catalina. On the native HDD is mac os sierra. You can work on two disks.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,880
508
The Sillie Con Valley
iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5 inches, 2017. I installed an external boot disk X5 500g, mac os catalina. On the native HDD is mac os sierra. You can work on two disks.
Who says you can't? You will increase the performance exponentially if you replace that HDD with a fast NVMe 3x4 blade — if it has the socket for one (the specs say No but most do have the socket). Otherwise, booting from an X5 is the smart thing to do on that machine.

You have to disable some of the security settings in a T2 equipped Mac to boot from an external but a 21.5" doesn't have a T2.
 
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