Question About Partition Sizes for New iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by RCAFBrat, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2013
    Montreal, QC
    My son is about to get a new 21.5" iMac with the standard 1TB HDD (its on the Fedex truck)!

    Background is:

    I would like to eventually get him one or two external SSD for (1) OS & Apps that he can boot from and (2) scratch disk for FCP X and whatever else he is working on and that requries a lot of disk activity (he will probably play around with Blender a bit as well as the video editing but is not into gaming at all). Hope that TB enclosures will be affordable soon!

    From other threads I gather that a 60GB SSD should be adequate as a scratch drive for video editing.

    I have a 1TB USB 3.0 HDD that will be used solely as backup using Time Machine.

    In order to configure the SSD for OS & Apps (when I get if for him) I figure the best bet will be to clone a partition form the internal drive on which all this stuff will be installed from day one; a second partition on the internal drive can then be used for long term storage.

    Question is:

    What size partition should I immediately create for the OS & Apps on the internal drive? Should I size it to a comfortable 120GB to match SSD size or is that much more than necessary and if it is much more than needed then I expect a single 120 GB SSD could perhaps serve both (1) and (2) purposes.

    Appreciate any help on this.
  2. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    I feel like I'm missing something, why are you wanting to boot from the thunderbolt SSD rather than the internal disk? You can do so but I'm just not seeing the benefit of it.

    I agree though that the thunderbolt SSD would make a great scratch disk for Final Cut. I wouldn't think that any partitioning aside from formatting it to use HFS+ and GUID would be necessary.
  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    "Always configure your hardware to the needs of your data; not your data to the needs of your hardware."

    In other words, don't limit yourself with an arbitrary partition on a 1TB drive just because you plan to buy a 128Gb in the future. (I would be surprised if you can still get 60 or 128Gb SSDs in a year's time.)

    Similarly, you should plan to get a TM backup drive that is 2-3 times the size of your data storage.
  4. RCAFBrat thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2013
    Montreal, QC
    We upgraded the computer (i7 CPU and 16GB) but Fusion drive was beyond the $2,000 (taxes incl) budget that my son was comfortable with and he needs the computer right away. The thinking at the time was that for even better performance the faster storage solution could be external.

    If there is little benefit in terms of reliability (ie increasing the life of the computer) then I suppose my thinking was a bit misguided; the faster boot and application launch times are really not that important.

    I gather then that I am better off looking at an SSD just for use as a scratch disk and there is little benefit in trying to boot from it?

    I expect it will be some time before the 1TB needs to be swapped for a larger drive; I was able to pick up an ADATA DashDrive for $0 so that will serve as the backup for now.

    I really appreciate the feedback. This is the first time I am putting more thought into a computer purchase /setup in a long time aside from picking up an HP laptop from Best Buy.

    Thanks again.

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