iMac with SSD option advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sng08, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. sng08 macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2010
    Hello All,

    I will hopefully make my move sometime in the next coming days from PC to Mac (iMac 27" i7 2.93) and would like some advice regarding the 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD option available.

    (This thread is almost on the lines of a recent one created by Lucagfc "New iMac SSD + HDD disk setup" although instead of hijacking the thread I thought I'd start a new one.)

    When the iMac arrives, is the OS installed on the HDD or the SSD?
    After some serious thinking, I thought going for a combination of the HDD + SSD would be a good option. This would allow me to use the SSD for OS applications and allow me to use the HDD for data files (documents & music.) However, I will need to use Boot Camp to partition the drive for Windows as some of my software is still not Mac compatible. Is it possible to partition the SSD to run both Mac & Windows OS and using the HDD as a shared data drive or am I not using the SSD to it's full potential? Is the speed of loading files compromised?

    Also, If am using the HDD as sharing data between the two operating systems what is the best solution to get Mac OSX and Windows XP to share the drive? As I've heard third party software is required (i.e MacFuse or Mac Drive) to read & write data between the two operating systems (NTFS/HFS), but apparently there can be some corruption issues. I effectively would like my data/files to be located all in one place.

    Any suggestions? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
    many thanks in advance
  2. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    You can partition either one or both of the disks. I'm not sure if apple would install it on the SSD or not (I hope so). As for SSDs, you need to know that neither OSX or XP supports TRIM. This means the data will gradually become less optimally organized on the SSD, slowing down its performance.

    If you want them to be able to see each others' data partitions, you either need to pick a format for the partition that they can both read, or get programs that allow you to browse the other's default file systems.

    Also, for the money, 256 GBs are really only for enthusiasts still. Most get smaller sizes (<128GB) for boot drives. Sadly, that isn't an option in your case.
  3. wibongo macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2009
    If you order the SSD from Apple they will install OSX on the SSD. You can use the Bootcamp utility to split the drive into two partitions to run windows without losing any data. I have the SSD + 2TB and have both drives split in half to run OSX and Windows 7 off the SSD and data for both are on the 2TB.

    Splitting the SSD into multiple partitions won't hurt performance at all, just be sure to leave a decent amount of free space on both partitions and NEVER run any kind of defrag program on the SSD.

    If you load the bootcamp drivers on Windows 7 (off the OSX DVD that comes with your iMac) you will be able to read files on the OSX partitions under windows. There are several programs available for OSX that will let you read AND WRITE to NTFS partitions, I use NTFS for Mac 8.0. OSX can read NTFS partitions without any additional software.
  4. sng08 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2010
    Many thanks for the quick replies. This sounds quite promising.

    Although after further reading I believe there is still an issue with TRIM on Mac OS X/Windows XP as mentioned above.Although TRIM is support on Windows 7, should I be that concerned/worried that it's not on OSX/XP? or is there an alternative?

    Thanks again!
  5. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    FL, USA
    I understand your concerns and confusion. I've just gone through the same thing. but on a Mini. Check out the many SSD threads over there.

    In any event just buy an SSD with SandForce controllers and the degradation issue is about zero. We all believe that the TRIM issue will be resolved with OSX soon since now Apple is selling SSD's like mad. Whereas before, they mainly sold to Macbooks.

    I have 8 SSD's and none so far have TRIM issues, but then I did buy all with SandForce 1200 controllers. Check out OWC--macsales. com and also the Macintosh Performance Guide (MPG). It is very enlightening.

    Just so you know my boot drives are 40 or 60GB only. I do customized installs (that button is on the OSX install screen lower left) and add all the other normal stuff (applications and home) on them which usually total only 28GB. All data I put on another larger drive. Check out the MPG articles of which there must be about 50 by now. All are Mac related articles. Some will apply to you and some not, but his "keep it simple" approach is refreshing.

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