iMac external SSD boot drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by snapdragonx, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. snapdragonx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    #1
    Hi all,

    Basically I'm wanting to setup an external SSD boot drive (via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0) on a late 2013 iMac (which I've yet to purchase).

    Will this result in a loss of performance over an internal SSD?

    Thanks for any info
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    In real world usage, no, unless you do heavy video editing or a benchmarker like me.

    I have a Samsung 840 Pro 256GB in a Buffalo HD-PATU3 Thunderbolt enclosure and got 400MB/s in both directions.

    The internal SSD in my iMac performs at 750MB/s in reads and 720MB/s in writes.
     
  3. snapdragonx thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 31, 2012
    #3
    Interesting. The main use of the computer is video editing BUT I use an external RAID 0 as my media drive so the speed of the SSD is fairly irrelevant for that purpose.

    I'm basically just wondering if it's worth the extra ~$250 to buy an internal SSD for the iMac, when I already have one lying around that I could put in an enclosure and use instead.
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #4
    It's worth it, because the performance increase is quite significant in video editing.

    Your external SSD in an enclosure would probably clock in at around 400MB/s, but an internal 512GB SSD in an iMac would perform at around 750MB/s in reads and 720MB/s in writes. For a 256GB, you'll get 720MB/s in reads and 660MB/s in writes (Samsung 256GB), and about 540MB/s in writes if you got a SanDisk 256GB instead.

    If you buy a 256GB SSD, you're playing with the Samsung-SanDisk lottery.

    For 512GB and 1TB, Samsung is the sole supplier.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    If you already have a "bare" SSD on-hand, spend just $30 (or less) and put it into a USB3 external enclosure, or a USB3/SATA docking station.

    I'll reckon the speed (provided you choose the RIGHT enclosure or dock) will leave you fully satisfied.

    Aside:
    You want an enclosure or dock with an ASMedia controller chip, and it should EXPLICITLY SAY that it supports "UASP" (USB Attached SCSI Protocol)...
     
  6. snapdragonx thread starter macrumors regular

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  7. DerekS macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #7
    I boot/run from an external Lacie SSD Thunderbolt drive and it's substantially faster than the internal Fusion drive. Very happy with this setup.
     
  8. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #8
    I am doing just that, booting from an external Thunderbolt SSD. See here for a mini-review I did of the $18 Inateck UASP USB3 enclosure. I also compared it to the Delock 42490 Thunderbolt (about $100) enclosure I'm using.

    The reason I went with the Thunderbolt enclosure, although it is very slightly slower, is the ability to enable TRIM support.

    I see no performance difference from when I was initially booting to the iMac's Fusion drive. If you've already got the SSD, you may as well save your money, pop it into an enclosure and use it. :)
     
  9. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Which Lacie external SSD do you have?

    Also, does anyone know what make/model of SSD Lacie use in their products (Samsung 840 EVO, SanDisk etc.)?
     
  10. hfg, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #10
    I have a 256GB LaCie "Rugged" Thunderbolt/USB3.0 which came with a SanDisk SSD in it. I just got a 500GB "Rugged" which has a 840 EVO in it.
     
  11. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 11, 2009
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    Australia
    #11
    Thanks for the reply. It is interesting that the rugged carries a 512GB Samsung 840 EVO. I've only ever seen the EVO series in the 500GB variety (i.e not 512GB).

    Is there anyway to receive a Samsung drive rather than SanDisk?
     
  12. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #12
    Sorry ... It is 500GB.
     
  13. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

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    Australia
    #13
    No problem, how does the 256GB SanDisk Lacie rugged compare in terms of speed to the 500GB variety?
     
  14. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #14
    Here is a DiskSpeedTest comparison (not the best for small random file access):

    LaCie Rugged 256GB (SanDisk U100) ---------- LaCie Rugged 500GB (Samsung 840 EVO)
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #15
    Wow, thank you very much for that. Much appreciated!

    I am thinking about purchasing the Lacie rugged 256GB SSD to use as a Thunderbolt boot drive. Judging by those speeds - I think it should do nicely.

    Thanks again.
     

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