Samsung X5 as bootable for 2019 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by golfgirlgolf, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. golfgirlgolf macrumors member


    Aug 6, 2008
    Californian living on the other West Coast (FL)
    I've been looking to update and was going to go to an internal SSD, but a very good open box deal has come up locally that's hard to pass up - $1900 for a MRR12LL/A - 3.7 GHz Intel Core i5 Six-Core 8/2TBFUS Radeon Pro 580X.

    From what I've read, the X5, if made bootable, via TB3 should be very close or identical to the speed of a factory internal SSD. Yes? I care less about boot time speed as I always leave the Mac on 24/7. It's all about the working R/W speeds. (current 2015 iMac Blackmagic test = 600W/1670R on a 2TBFUS)

    The question of what size comes up. It seems to me that beyond the system itself, most files do not have to be on the actual boot drive. Would the 500GB cover it? I believe so, but wanted to confirm. I'm trying to make the next box as lean and efficient as possible to eliminate any conflicts or slowdowns.

    I currently have ~100GB of programs in my Applications folder (many of which aren't used) - but most programs do not even have to reside on the boot volume, right? The plan on the next iMac is to add back only the programs I use as needed and archive the rest.

    For massive file storage and easy regular access I've already relocated Movies/Pictures/Music/Documents to redundant externals (synchronized via Chronosync which I also use to maintain an extra bootable backup - in addition to my TM external running - yes, redundant backups too!).

    Back to the X5 - if booting from one can make a big difference in working R/W speeds (particularly Photoshop/Lightroom) over the stock internal Fusion drive - it will be well worth adding.

    Of course I would keep the internal fusion drive as the backup/emergency - and just use the rest of that 2TB as one of my redundant Chronosync archive folder drives. I should also be able to use Chronosync to keep the system and user settings exactly the same from the external SSD to the internal as well (since it supports bootable backups and mirror copying).

    Any feedback would be appreciated!
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    The X5 thunderbolt3 drives are EXPENSIVE.
    By the time you pay the additional cost for one, your "hard to pass up" deal ain't lookin' so good any more.

    Bite the bullet and order a 2019 iMac with a built-in SSD.
    Get 8gb of RAM (add more yourself).
    512gb SSD is "the sweet spot" right now.

    If you need more storage, add it via external USB3. Much cheaper and will be "fast enough" for most storage tasks.
  3. golfgirlgolf thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 6, 2008
    Californian living on the other West Coast (FL)
    Hmmmm I was looking at the Used Amazon Warehouse 500GB X5s for $160. 1TB for $385 but thinking I didn't need all that on SSD.

    I haven't committed just yet, still wondering if external TB3 can come close enough... I can get the 512GB SSD for $400 more - $2300 after coupon at Adorama. Take away the extra $160 the X5 external would cost me (used) - that's a $240 difference.... but losing a 2TB Fusion drive storage space.

    Yea, I get what you're saying. :)
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    I'd get the 512GB SSD internally, and then just add a big external disk for your less speed critical storage needs.
  5. zerozoneice macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2013
    get a Sintech NMVe adapter and a Samsung 970 Evo or WD Black SN750 for pocket change compared to Apple SSDs and it'll fly. Or just keep the 128 GB blade and replace the HDD with an 860 EVO. 500 MB/s is still damn fast in real life.
  6. faraway52 macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2019
    I have two 2TB X5 drives with my 2017 iMac. The speed is excellent and I love the flexibility of external drives. The tiny internal 256GB SSD is used as an emergency system only.
  7. Ifti macrumors 68020


    Dec 14, 2010
    I have a 2TB Samsung X5 which I use with FCPX when Im away from my desk. It will be plenty fast enough to use as a boot drive, although do note that as it has passive cooling it will get a little warm, and if its gets too hot the unit throttles the speeds a fair bit - however, its nothing Ive noticed while editing with FCPX to be honest.

    Here was my initial review with further details. I found the 500GB a little limiting so went for the 2TB after selling the 500GB in the end!


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6 June 8, 2019