Is anyone here booting the OS from a T3/T5 external SSD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by marko27x, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. marko27x macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    #1
    Hi guys

    I got a 27" 2017 base model iMac (1tb fusion). Was wondering if I can make it faster with the T5 external USB C SSD I have from Samsung. Has anyone had good experience with it?
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    Tough call.

    The t5 will probably give you read speeds of 430-500mbps and writes in the 350mbps range.

    The SSD portion of the fusion drive is probably 3 times as fast, BUT... it's only 32gb in size. It will quickly "fill up", passing reads/writes to the slower HDD drive.

    Important question:
    Why don't you download BlackMagic Speed Test, run it on the fusion drive as it is now, and post the read/write speeds here?
     
  3. marko27x thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    #3
    Hi mate,

    Thank you for answering. I am currently away from home and cant run the test, but will do when I get back. I think I saw you recommended the T5 as a cheap, easy & good option in cases like this?

    My use case would be web dev + a lot of browsers and tabs opened all the time. Wondering if the T5 can make the iMac feel like a regular PC with normal SSD in it?
     
  4. drummer5645 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    #4
    I have been running a Samsung T3 256g ssd for over a year and a half on my 2013 IMAC 21.5. I am running full boot and it is a joy. A bit slower on 10.13.1 around 330 write and 450 read. For a 100 bucks it is hard to complain. No real issues
     
  5. marko27x thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    #5
    Thank you for the reply, could you please give an estimate on fast are the following actions:
    -booting up
    -from sleep to wake
    -launching applications

    Is it near instant/very fast? I am also curious if there are any issues with this approach, like for example in sleep the drive gets disconnected and you cant wake it?
     
  6. redfirebird08 macrumors 6502

    redfirebird08

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    #6
    It works great for these purposes. Boot time is nowhere near what you will see with a PCI Express SSD, but everything else is great. Very fast application launches and instant wakeup from sleep.
     
  7. drummer5645 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    #7
    Bong to password is 37.1, Safari 1 sec, Pages .1 (instantly), Mail 1sec, "sleep to wake" 1 sec
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    OP:

    I advised you to test the speed of your internal drive as it is now, apparently you have not done this. It's hard to predict if an external drive will be "faster" if you don't know where you are right now.

    Having said that, the speeds drummer reports above look to be pretty good.

    They won't be "as fast as" a NEW internal fusion drive, but they won't degrade over time, either (as a fusion drive -might do-)...
     
  9. Glideslope macrumors 603

    Glideslope

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    A quiet place in NY.
    #9
    I’m with this post. I also run a T3 (512) as a Boot Drive connected to my 2017 27” 7600K iMac. It’s a a superb value. :apple:
     
  10. Kwyji macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    #10
    I use the Samsung T5 (512GB) on my 2017 iMac 27" (I7-24GB-RX580-2TB Fusion Drive). The reason I got it was not actually to run MacOS (HS really runs very fast on the Fusion Drive, it's about 600GB full and booting is about 8-15 seconds, and apps open instantly).

    I use it to run my Windows 10 Bootcamp. Booting Windows is still not as fast as MacOS but it's a lot faster than booting from the Spinner HDD. Opening Apps within Windows is practically instant though. In Windows the T5 has TRIM support, and it benches at over 500mb/s in both read and write, which is close to the theoretical maximum for USB.

    Added bonus is that if any Mac Fanboys are visiting I can simply unplug the drive and pretend the Mac is completely clear of any Windows 'Infection' ;)
     
  11. J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Location:
    Spain
    #11
    I’m thinking about using Bootcamp, but thought that making the dedicated partition on external disk is not directly supported. I’ve also read that Samsung (T5 at least) is recognized by the system as an internal disk.
    Would you please give some details about how did you install Bootcamp on T5? Is it a straight forward method?
    I know people have to make some work-around to put Windows on an external usb3 disk... Is it easier with a T5?
    (T5 is mistakenly called a Thunderbolt disk, but its interface is usb 3.1-first gen. , wich I believe is usb 3 with usb-c connector).
    Thank you in advance.
     
  12. Kwyji, Dec 1, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017

    Kwyji macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    #12
    It does indeed need a little workaround (using a trick to use the Microsoft Developed Windows2Go functionality). Not sure if I can link it here, but if you Google "Bootcamp on external SSD" you will find a very nice 9to5mac article with a very straightforward video. It uses a free tool to create a a bootable Windows on a USB. I first tested it on a 32gb USB3 pen drive, and when I found it working fine, got the Samsung T5 and repeated the process pretty by memory.

    As for the T5, it is a pure USB drive, not a Thunderbolt drive, therefore it is not recognised by the iMac as an internal drive. Hence the necessity of installing Windows in a Windows2Go configuration. It does use USB 3.1 Gen-2 connectivity, over USB-C, so that is a 10gbit/s bandwidth. The main reason I got this over a Thunderbolt drive is cost, I paid 190 euros for the 512GB (with a free copy of Assassin's Creed Origins for PC, at a 59 euro value), a similar size Thunderbolt (2) drive will easily set you back twice that. Both drives will likely use an internal SATA connection anyway so the extra bandwidth Thunderbolt offers (20 or 40 gbit/s) will make no difference whatsoever; SATA is the limiting factor here. There are Thunderbolt RAID solutions or even NVMe solutions but they will cost you almost as much as a new iMac.

    If you really want the link to the article/video, let me know and I can dig it up for you.
     
  13. J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Location:
    Spain
    #13
    Thank you!
    After knowing a little more about this, I think I’ll go the easy way by now. Anyhow, just dreaming, as my new iMac is on delivery. I chose 1Tb internal ssd, so I think I’ll make a “normal” bootcamp-Windows in a small partition & I plan to use an external ssd (usb3, yes:sata, ~400mb r/w) to install programs or content. I suppose they should run just fine.
    I don’t mind fiddling with my mac, and not being a tech savy, I’m using macs for 20 years.
    But talking about Windows, my mood changes and I don’t feel like making any special effort. Must be I’m still traumatized since I left Windows 3.11. In fact, as I write, I’m loosing interest; I’ll postpone till tired of osX gaming.
    And I’m the only mac fanboy among friends! ;-)
    Anyhow, many thanks. Good and well explained info!
     
  14. Prezton macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    #14

    Well I myself personally started out with a late 2012 27in iMac i5 2.95GHz 1TB 7300 RPM HD Drive 32GB RAM and took, the leap of faith with the macOS Mojave 10.14.5 beta, being a beta tester, plugged it into USB3.0 port although T5 SSD External is USB 3.1... Too my amazement the OS literally after setting up takes a total load time of 24.5secs from startup or less in some cases.

    Read Write Speeds 464MB/per sec Read 423/MB per sec Write from third party speed testing using a 1GB UHD file, yet on the main Mac Drive 104MB/per sec Read 82/MB per sec Write.

    Conclusion, literally this is like a new machine on steroids that blasts away with video editing, audio editing, what can I say crazy stupid, so invested in a 2TB, too go along with 1TB, 500GB and 250GB T5 SSD, setting the machine and software for all scratch drives and cache too be preformed directly from T5 SSD. This is in no way a sponsored endorsement for the Samsung SSD T5 Series, as one minor point issue is do not upgrade firmware from 1.6.2 to 1.6.3 as there is some conflicting errors which even Samsung Tech Support were hopelessly under qualified to even ask questions and referred me back to the retailer, great one Samsung steal Apple patients and cannot provide support for even there own hardware lmao... yet all dealings with Apple Care get sorted... Again this is a non sponsored conclusion to my experience.

    Overall, if you are an IT tech, the swap over will be easy just time consuming at worst but many gains even on an older iMac 13,2 27in

    Advice if your iMac 27in, is well spec'd out, Disable VM swapfile as 32BG RAM is plenty, although I have heard of people running 64Gb in these machines, but the architecture was never designed for that and increases Temperatures within the machines which may seem insignificant too some people. However bare this in mind, Apple created the machine for a reason with limits, and yes you can push those boundaries, but at the expense of reliability, I am not willing to take a time bomb gamble on that. Again the SSD Drives have been tested and proved allegedly to last for a least a decade (10years) which is longer than any hard drive I know of, as I have seen many failures due to poor maintenance on behalf of users, so please bare that in mind.
     
  15. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #15
    Really? There’s so much wrong with that I don’t know where to begin except to recommend ignoring it.
     
  16. Prezton macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    #16
    Well that is just my experience an opinion. You do not have to take it as gospel. Works fine for me and as been running flawlessly on Late 2012, 13,2 27in iMac. Ignore my comment if you so choose, thats your choice! Just simply sharing an experience with others, as much as I dislike Samsung...

    Kind Regards
     
  17. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #17
    The problem is that your so-called facts are nonsense. If someone ignores them, their Macs will be trouble-free, too and may perform better.
     
  18. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #18

    basically that's what ive done, as I have a 250gb SSD but I could never get my imac to see it either as an internal drive to install Mojave onto, nor bootcamp or windows2go to see it. I think the problem is its a thunderbolt 1 drive plugged into an adaptor into my thunderbolt 3 slot. I bought it just before my 2011 imac died and kept it.

    so I have done whats probably the next best thing, installed windows into a small partition and my windows steam library onto the SSD. means for gaming it runs well.

    at some stage I might get another SSD for mac use, but how much better would a thunderbolt one be over a usb one which would be cheaper.
     
  19. mdelrossi macrumors member

    mdelrossi

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    #19
    I was running a T5 1tb as external boot on a late 2014 5k 27” iMac. Only because the 128gb internal Ssd (I split the fusion drive day one) filled up with lightroom catalogs . It was actual faster than the Ssd. Until the 3tb spinner died and I decided to replace both the spinner and the blade.

    I never had a problem booting from the external.

    Ymmv
     

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18 November 29, 2017