iMac Pro Macbook pro SSD as boot drive for Imac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Heliotropen, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Heliotropen macrumors member

    Heliotropen

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #1
    So I have the fastest macbook pro late 2014 - it runs fast, but has poor graphics.

    I also have an imac mid 2013, where the SSD part of the fussion drive just broke down physically less than a month ago.

    I use both machines allot: The bigger screen the keyboard and the GPU is needed for some tasks on the imac.

    But I also work allot remotely on the macbook.


    NOW my thought was; is there a way to boot the imac from the macbook? (instead of buying a new ssd drive).

    I use the same software on both and actually sync them with dropbox right now.

    But I would not mind if I could boot the imac on the macbook drive as long as I can still use the keyboard and the GPU from the imac.

    Is this possible in any way?

    Thnx.
     
  2. jerwin macrumors 68000

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    Jun 13, 2015
  3. Heliotropen thread starter macrumors member

    Heliotropen

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #3
    Yes, that was kind of what I was thinking about, but can it work the way I describe? :D

    Will there be any problem using the same OS/the same disk for both booting the macbook and the imac?
     
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #4

    I think you misunderstand target disk mode. It will just use the screen from your iMac it will not use any of the internals, it would just be the same as the MacBook pro with an external screen. (you would be far better off just selling the imac and buying an external screen.)

    You now have a few choices.

    1) Fix the iMac, a new PCIe ssd will be expensive but will be as new and there are even a few third party ones available now. Or you could just remove both drives and replace with a sata ssd where the HDD is cheaper but will probably lower storage capacity.

    2) you could take the ssd from the MacBook pro and install that and use the imac until you can get the MacBook pro fixed.

    3) Sell the imac as is and buy a cheap external 4k screen.
     
  5. Heliotropen thread starter macrumors member

    Heliotropen

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #5
    Samuelsan:

    0) Are you not confusing "target disk mode" with "target display mode" ? the two are not the same thing!

    As far as I know "target disk mode" will just connect the disk in the macbook to all the internal in the imac trough thunderbolt.

    I'm just not sure how that will work in terms of booting that way.

    1) That means cutting it open since it's a late 2013 model.
    - I also have a small risk that it's the blade controller that is broken, since it's the SSD part of the hybrid that just physically stopped working. But it's probably the blade SSD.

    But sure replacing the HDD with a Sata SSD would be an option.

    => Not sure what the speed advantage is between the two?

    => Not sure what it takes to cut it open either, or how risky it is: but the guide I have seen do make it risky.

    - As for the sata

    2) That suggestion makes no sense what so ever! Why would I mess with my macbook pro?!

    3) That makes even less sense! Then I could just as well use the imac as an expensive monitor in "target display mode"!
    But the end point was that I want to be able to use the cpu and the gpu from the imac for certain tasks that is heavier in that department.

    4) An alternative could be to buy an external SSD and boot from that.

    5) Another alternative is just to live with the 5400 HDD in it now.
     
  6. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #6
    The way I see this working is power on the MacBook first in target mode

    boot the iMac holding option key and selecting the MacBook as boot device then you will be using the iMac internals with the MacBook drive.
    obviously with the two linked (I did it via firewire as older machines)

    only possible issue is some bought software will stop working.
    e.g. my Stella photo recovery program as the key get tied to machine and it's now in a different machine.
     
  7. Heliotropen thread starter macrumors member

    Heliotropen

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #7
    Yeah ... perhaps the best option is to just get it cut open and get a new ssd thrown in.
    I'm sure I can find some company here that can do it.
     
  8. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

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    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #8
    or run on external drive via usb 3/thunderbolt?
     
  9. Heliotropen thread starter macrumors member

    Heliotropen

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #9
    Yeah I had my eye on a cheap thunderbolt ssd actually.

    Just talked to a repair place (right now) and they don't offer to change the blade drive sadly - because apprently that takes allot more work and the disk cost them more and is harder to get.

    They can however put in a 500 gb ssd for about twice the price of an 256 gb external thunderbolt ssd.

    Not sure what the speed difrence between the SATA III port and thunderbolt will be.

    - Transcend 256GB Thunderbolt Solid State Drive StoreJet 500 => 1500 ddk here (on sale)
    - Repair with 250 gb SSD in the HDD SATA III port = 2100 ddk
    - Repair with 500 gb SSD in the HDD SATA III port = 2700 ddk

    But I'm in doubt if the SATA III port is faster than an external thunderbolt?
     
  10. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #10
    I'd try find a multi bay thunderbolt caddy.

    SSD for OSX/apps and HDD for your home folder/data.

    I did similar to a MacBook, one SSD and swapped dvd for a HDD with home folder on it.
     
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #11
    I am confusing target disk with target display mode you are correct, i’m A twit, this may prove useful.

    http://osxdaily.com/2010/04/07/how-to-boot-a-mac-in-target-disk-mode/

    The PCIe is faster it’s that simple but a SATA connected ssd will spank any HDD so it’s an option.

    I thought you may mess with your mbp if your iMac is more important to what you are doing and having a fast desktop for work was more important than having a portable. It’s how your post sounded to be honest.

    A thunderbolt connected ssd would work just fine you can even set it up as a fusion drive with the internal HDD if you like. See here for a simple guide.

    https://medium.com/@dalemugford/diy-fusion-drives-the-right-way-2c9baa368984
     
  12. Heliotropen thread starter macrumors member

    Heliotropen

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #12
    Why a multi bay? - Thunderbolt caddys are to expensive here in denmark sadly.

    There is already a 1tb 5400 hhd inside it right now: that have to go if I toss a normal ssd inside it though.

    If I buy the Transcend 256GB Thunderbolt, I will have enough space.

    Really in doubt about how fast the SATA III hdd port is with an SSD drive in it though.
    Vs. the transcend Thunderbolt.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 9, 2018 ---
    "The PCIe is faster it’s that simple but a SATA connected ssd will spank any HDD so it’s an option. "

    The PCIe will not be an option.

    So the real question is: will it spank an external thunderbolt SSD?
    (No reason to create a hybrid disk out of it) ...

    And no, I don't want to sacrifise my macbook :D it's the most expensive model of that year that they made. I actually costed me 3 x more than the used iMac.

    What I thought about doing was just to connect it in target disk mode, when I wanted to use the imac. I use the macbook more - but sometimes I like the more powerful workstation for some work.
     
  13. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #13
    No it will work the same as a thunderbolt connected external you shouldn’t see any real difference. I mentioned a fusion solution for the external so you can set it up as what you have now, I hate managing a load of different disks myself so i’d do just that.
     
  14. Heliotropen thread starter macrumors member

    Heliotropen

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    Feb 23, 2016
    #14
    So the speed of the external thunderbolt SSD (transend) will be what? compared to an internal SSD in the HDD SATA III?
     
  15. estabya macrumors 6502

    estabya

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    #15
    The same. The max bandwidth SATA3 offers is 6Gbps. Thunderbolt is 10Gbps. The external drive you get will most likely be a SATA drive in a Thunderbolt enclosure, so either way you will be limited by the bandwidth of the SATA interface.
     
  16. Heliotropen thread starter macrumors member

    Heliotropen

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #16
    The Late Imac 27" 2013, only have Thunderbolt 1 right?

    Is it correct that Thunderbolt has a maximum speed of 10 Gb/s? and SATA III only has a maximum speed of 6 Gb/s?

    Does anyone know? :D
     
  17. estabya macrumors 6502

    estabya

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    Jun 28, 2014
    #17
    I have run several setups from external Thunderbolt SSDs, and they all have worked flawlessly. Benchmarks are right on par with internal SATA3 drives.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 9, 2018 ---
    You must have posted this at the same time as my post above haha.
     
  18. Heliotropen thread starter macrumors member

    Heliotropen

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #18
    Ahh yes it says the transend is a SATA SSD.

    And PCIe is like 2.5 x faster right?

    How about if I use the macbook in target drive mode? will that be faster than SATA?
     
  19. estabya macrumors 6502

    estabya

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    #19
    I’m not sure which PCIe revision is used in the 2013 iMac, but if I had to guess I would say PCIe 3.0 x4, which has a theoretical max of around 4Gbps. At that point the speed limit is the nand itself.
     
  20. Heliotropen thread starter macrumors member

    Heliotropen

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #20
    Interesting: guess that no matter what I do, the drive speed on the imac will always feel slow compared to using my macbook haha. What a Shame that I like the Bigger screen and stronger GPU and stronger CPU in it for some things. :/
     
  21. estabya macrumors 6502

    estabya

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    Jun 28, 2014
    #21
    It should feel plenty fast with a Thunderbolt SSD. The difference in daily tasks shouldn’t be perceptible between that and a PCIe drive IMO.

    For 2 years I used a 2014 MBP, with OSX installs on both the internal SSD and an external Thunderbolt drive, and the performance felt identical in every day use.
     
  22. Heliotropen thread starter macrumors member

    Heliotropen

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #22
    Thanks man, that's very cool and reliving to know.
    Makes it a no brainer really.

    Remember though that the macbook pro 2014 is Thunderbolt 2, where is the imac late 2013 is Thunderbolt 1 :/

    Then I'm really mostly in doubt about:

    1) If I should go for the 256 gb external thunderbolt SSD (transend 500) OR perhaps consider a Samsung t5, I can get a 500 gb there for the same price as the 256 gb transend ... but obviously the usb3 drive won't trim.

    And I won't really lack space ...

    2) The SATA is obviously still an option ...
     
  23. estabya macrumors 6502

    estabya

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    #23
    The Thunderbolt 1 vs 2 is a non factor since the speed was still limited by the SATA interface of the SSD. Besides, the 20Gbps theoretical max bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2 is only if you’re utilizing 2 10Gbps channels, which single drive won’t be doing. (It would be more for something like daisy chaining a display and a drive/raid array).

    You would probably be just fine doing a USB enclosure too. Neither external solution will be noticeably faster than doing SATA internally. I would stay external just for the convenience factor, especially in case you want to boot another system from that drive or if you have some sort of hardware failure.
     
  24. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #24
    OP:

    Before going further -- what, specifically, "broke" on the iMac's SSD?

    Have you tried to "de-fuse" the drives inside, and then tried "working on them" individually?

    Can you at least re-initialize the platter based HDD and boot the iMac using that?

    I tried scanning your posts above, and you weren't clear on this.

    The fastest, easiest, cheapest way to revive the iMac:
    Buy an external USB3 SSD, plug it in, and set it up to be your boot drive.
    You -WILL LIKE- what this does for it.

    You DON'T need to spend much -- a 250gb SSD will do the job, or get a 500gb one if you wish. I'd suggest something like this:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00ZTRY532?tag=delt-20

    Actually, Sandisk just announced a new line of USB3 SSD's, see them here:
    https://www.sandisk.com/home/ssd/extreme-portable-ssd
    (just saw this on the macrumors "front page" today)

    There's no reason to tear open the iMac -- particularly if you're going to try it yourself. Too easy to break something inside. An external SSD will make it quite fast with no risk.

    If the SSD/flash drive -inside- has truly failed on you, I'd just "leave it where it is", and .... "work around" it to revive the iMac...
     
  25. Heliotropen thread starter macrumors member

    Heliotropen

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #25
    estabya thnx for the info, that was very useful

    Fishrrman

    1) I'm not sure what broke but yes - I don't think it's a fusion problem.
    I talked to apple care (over the phone for a few hours actually) and they ran all kind of diagnotics and commands on it (most of it I had already tried myself) - and the ssd part of the drive seamed to be just gone. They ended up saying that the ssd part of the fussion is either dead (or needs to get replugged).

    *See the attachments*

    => Otherwise I would have been fine unfusion it, since it was a 128gb version.

    And yes the HHD part of the drive works just fine, that's what I'm booting on now: but that 5400 HHD is really slow.

    2) I would not tear it open myself: if you look in the posts above you can see that I have gotten a few offers from local repair centers on it. - They don't want to offer me to replace the PCI-e SSD thought - apprently that's more work than just putting a an ssd in the SATA III slot and replace the 1 gb hd that is currently there.

    The negative part of that is that I lose 1 gb storrage, but to be fair I have a 2 tb usb3 hhd that is about as fast as the internal, so won't be a huge problem.

    3) Not sure about if I should go with the USB3 or the Thunderbolt - because the price will not be that much diffrent.
    I get 500 gb on the usb3 for about the same price as the 256 gb Thunderbolt, not much saved in a 256gb usb 3 actually.

    Nice info on the scandisk, thank you.
     

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