New Mac mini owners - external boot USB3

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by majkom, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. majkom macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    Hi there, are there any mac mini users that boot from external SSD via USB3?

    I plan to buy iMac, but I am no willing to pay bloody apple tax for SDS upgrade, so I am looking for anyone who is booting its machine via usb3, any experience, speed, possible problems??

    To make it clear, firstly I thought about external TB SSD disk, but price for thunderbolt enclosure is unacceptable for me, so USB is my last hope:)

    Thx for any idea/experience you will share with me:)
  2. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Why not just install the SSD in the Mac mini? There is space for another 2.5" drive. The kit costs $45 which is less than you'd pay for a decent USB 3.0 case. Plus SATA speeds are faster than USB 3.0.

    This is what many (including myself) have done. I run the factory 1TB drive along with my SSD drive. Once everything checks out after further research into creating your own Fusion Drive using 2 internal drives, I may setup my two drives as a single one for even better speed benefits.
  3. majkom thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    As I wrote before, I do plan to buy iMac, but to get SSD or Fusion to iMac, it means to skip entry model (+200 dollars premium) and to buy apples update (next 250-300 dollars)... buying usb3 SSD is like 200 dollars.. thats why I am asking:)
  4. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Yup and going the route I posted you can add a SSD to an entry level Mac mini.

    As I said, installing the drive internally will be faster as it uses SATA rather than SATA to USB 3.0 as you would be with an external drive.
  5. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    having done a lot of both my advice is hold off on the usb3 as a booter.

    I have managed to get the usb3 osx booter to fail under stress testing of the cpu.

    If you go external this is your lowest cost best device. I buy them pull the drives disconnect the fan and run ssds. i sell the hdds on ebay so the case costs about 110 plus 2 ssds.

    I have found these to work and at 100 to 110 for a 2 drive case with a daisychain option This is my goto mac mini booter.
  6. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    philip - where do you get them for $100 to $110? The price on that link is $210, or am I missing something?

    EDIT - nevermind...I missed the part where you subtract your ebay sales figure.
  7. excommie macrumors regular

    May 12, 2009
    I'm using my iMac with SSD on FW800 bus and it works nice and fast. Boots in 20 seconds (core2duo), All apps open in a single bounce. So if you don't care for artificial benchmarks - I highly recommend it. Using FW over USB has it's own benefits - FW800 is not using CPU (USB is CPU dependent).
  8. xrm macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2012
    iam using ssd over usb3 for a week now, no problems so far speed is descent expect sata2 speeds with sata3 drives...

    got a samsung 830 (128gb) in the thermaltake silver river 5g enclosure

    for the benchmarks see this topic
  9. Snowcake macrumors regular

    May 18, 2010
    Which FW800 to sata converter are you using?
  10. excommie macrumors regular

    May 12, 2009
    Link to the enclosure on amazon is below. I use it since June. Not a single problem yet. I didn't even have to hook it up to a power adapter. I intended to put the SSD inside the iMac, but since I tried it over FW800 - I decided not to since all apps load instantly.

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