performance of OS on internal HDD vs external

Discussion in 'macOS' started by edshays, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. edshays macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2013

    I have a 2008ish Macbook Pro, and I have resisted from upgrading OS since Snow Leopard, as my Logic Pro 8 suit isn't compatible from Lion upwards.

    It occurred to me I could install Mavericks on my primary internal HDD, and install Snow Leopard on a spare external USB HDD I have at home, purely to install Logic Pro 8 on. My Macbook Pro has USB 2.0 ports.

    Would I experience significant performance reduction loading the OS and running Logic from an USB powered external HDD vs my internal SATA HDD?

    I know I could also install on a separate partition, but as I said, I don't use the Logic software frequently, and would prefer to save HDD space on my primary HDD.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I have a 2007 iMac that I use for music production.

    I boot it from a USB/SATA docking station, with OS 10.7 (Lion). The music projects themselves are on the iMac's internal drive.

    I don't have any problems running this way, but I just record two tracks at a time, and don't use a lot of plug-ins and no virtual instruments. Also, I use Cubase, not Logic.

    But again, this works well enough for me.

    Your particulars may produce different results.
    The only way to know is to try.

    My suggestion:
    - Get an external drive
    - Clone your internal drive to the external
    - Boot from the external and try running that way on a experimental basis for a week or two.

    This ought to give you an idea as to whether it can be a workable solution for you.
  3. benji888, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013

    benji888 macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2006
    United States
    If you get a 7200rpm external drive it may run slightly faster for you. Try OWC (

    EDIT: pardon me, I just re-read, you said HDD you already own. ...unless your external HDD is older and slower than your internal drive, it should run the same. Mac OS X doesn't care if you run it from an internal or external drive. Now, if you were talking USB 1, then that would definitely slow things down.
  4. iParis macrumors 68040


    Jul 29, 2008
    New Mexico
    If you were to do this I'd suggest trying to go for an external SSD via firewire for the best performance.

    EDIT: I did something similar to the last poster. Excuse me for not reading your entire post properly. >.<

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