Mid-2011 iMac - External Thunderbolt Boot Drives

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Windows Expat, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Windows Expat, Oct 29, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014

    Windows Expat macrumors member

    Windows Expat

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    Just wanted to share my experience with trying 2 alternatives for an external TB boot drive.

    First went with the LaCie 3TB drive. Did a fresh install of Mavericks and all my software. Speed was fine, though not much faster than the internal HDD that is beginning to show it's age. I run Adobe LR/PS6 on a regular basis, and wasn't blown away with the performance.

    Switched to the LaCie 256GB SSD TB drive. Did a clone from the previous 3TB drive, installed Groth's TRIM enabler (couldn't tell you what it does, but it was free and came recommended) and boot times, app start times, performance...All super quick. Seriously, night and day.

    Going to put it through it's paces and see how stable/reliable it is. I'll update once I've seen it action for a while.

    UPDATE: See post #4. Now that's it's been nearly a year.
     
  2. alphaxono macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    #2
    I am also thinking about doing the same thing. I have SSD everywhere just not my iMac. I bought a Buffalo Thunderbolt 500 GB Drive and switched the drive to a 256 SSD but the drive keeps disconnecting randomly. So I am definitely interested in your finding.
     
  3. Windows Expat thread starter macrumors member

    Windows Expat

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    I haven't experienced any random disconnects. Everything is working fine in terms of going in/out sleep, programs open quickly and boot time is amazing.

    I'm not crazy about Photoshop performance however. Not sure it's a drive problem, but this machine has been getting slower and slower when I use PS. Tools like liquify are especially jerky. It used to run fine, but somehow age seems to be affecting it. I have ram maxed, and I'm on a brand new install of OS X.

    Not sure what your needs are, but I'm pretty pleased with the LaCie SSD so far. Just need to sort out the rest of these performance issues.
     
  4. Windows Expat thread starter macrumors member

    Windows Expat

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    Just wanted to post an update...Same hard drive, same config still going strong. If you're looking for a way to speed up your iMac and restore some of the performance it once had, I highly recommend going this route.
     
  5. LeoCheng macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    #5
    Can you post the speed reading for the LaCie 256GB SSD TB drive? Thanks! I am thinking about doing the same thing.

    Thanks
     
  6. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Sagittarius A*
    #6
    If it's an older model I would actually replace the original hdd with one. iMacs always could do with a good clean out and fresh thermal paste and polished heatsink plates after 3 or 4 years. The dust out of them are so bad I actually blast them with compressed air outside and it's never pretty it goes everywhere! Vacuum the bottom edge of the chassis with a nozzle and baffle around it with a towel cos they grow dust beards under there...
     

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