Is it ok to run OS X from an External Firewire?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Dadfrod, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Dadfrod macrumors newbie

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    Apr 13, 2009
    #1
    I have just setup an External Firewire drive 1TB with osx 10.56 on it and it does seem to be running fast Hooked up to a 2007 iMac so I believe its firewire 400 that it's using.

    My question is if it's recommended to run a real production OS from an external Iomgea Ultramax 800/400/USB/ESata drive.

    Listed here http://go.iomega.com/en-us/products/external-hard-drive-desktop/ultramax-single/?partner=4760

    Is there anything special about runing from an external i should be aware of? Reason I wanted to use external vs internal is size. Im using the internal HD for bootcamp and Virtual Drives while my main production and family storage is on the external.
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    It will be slower than the internal (depending on what Mac you have), especially FW400.
     
  3. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

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    Dec 25, 2008
    #3
    that's not true.

    if you have a Mac Mini - like me. you probably have a 2.5" 4200RPM 1.5gb/s HDD.


    if you put a 3.5 7200RPM at 3.0GB/s via FW400 - the performance can be boosted by FAR.


    it's what i do to run 10.5.6 on my mini
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #4
    As I said: "depending on what Mac you have". The OP has a 2007 iMac. The internal will be faster. And how can you possibly get 3.0GB/s via FW400 (the 400 stands for 400MB/s)?
     
  5. Dadfrod thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I have the iMac 24 inch that came out in October 2007 with leopard. Anyone know what HD that has in it or a way I can tell?
     
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #6
    7200RPM 3GB/s SATA II. The FW port is FW800.

    EDIT: actually you have one of each FW400/800.
     
  7. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #7
    It'll have a 3.5" 7200RPM bog standard desktop hard drive. The external won't be faster.
     
  8. Dadfrod thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 13, 2009
    #8
    ok so is the 800 Firewire port going to faster than the internal? or about the same?
     
  9. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #9
    Firewire 800 is not faster than internal, however if you have RAID set up, then it'll be faster than internal when the drive fills up.

    Either internal or external would work.
     
  10. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

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    #10
    actually i only have the firewire 400 and i see some performance gains. maybe i'm crazy though
     
  11. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #11
    Its quite possible. Seek times will be quicker on the external but data transfer will be MUCH slower. Small files good, big files bad.
     
  12. James Cole macrumors 6502

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  13. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #13
    Try this simple "benchmarking" test from Terminal and compare the results for your external vs. internal drive.

    Write test:

    Code:
    time dd if=/dev/zero bs=1024k of=tstfile count=1024
    Read test:

    Code:
    time dd if=tstfile bs=1024k of=/dev/null

    You can delete the temp file (tstfile) created with the write test afterwards...
     

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