Samsung x5 ssd on iMac 2017

abdulawaluzzal

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2019
3
0
I am currently using a 21" iMac 2017. It came with a 1 TB fusion drive. I am not much satisfied with the boot time and some of the applications performance like photoshop and a few more.

So, I am planning to get a samsung x5 portable ssd & use that one as the boot device. It promotes a very fast read write speed. At this point I am trying to understand if it will be helpful at all.

My question is:
1. Will it make boot time faster
2. Will it increase overall performance than current fusion drive ?
3. Overall, Is it a good decision to get x5 and use as boot drive ?


Thank You
Uzzal
 

jonatious

macrumors member
Sep 29, 2016
86
33
As far as I know, You can not have primary MacOS on External drive. If you are talking about secondary OS on external drive, it should most probably be faster than the fusion drive. Also I believe VMWare Fusion and Parallels support having the OS image on external drive
 

nihil0

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2016
342
233
As far as I know, You can not have primary MacOS on External drive. If you are talking about secondary OS on external drive, it should most probably be faster than the fusion drive. Also I believe VMWare Fusion and Parallels support having the OS image on external drive
You most definitely can have macOS on external drive.
[doublepost=1554361049][/doublepost]
I am currently using a 21" iMac 2017. It came with a 1 TB fusion drive. I am not much satisfied with the boot time and some of the applications performance like photoshop and a few more.

So, I am planning to get a samsung x5 portable ssd & use that one as the boot device. It promotes a very fast read write speed. At this point I am trying to understand if it will be helpful at all.

My question is:
1. Will it make boot time faster
2. Will it increase overall performance than current fusion drive ?
3. Overall, Is it a good decision to get x5 and use as boot drive ?


Thank You
Uzzal
Since you have 1 TB FD it has only 32 GB SSD part so probably only software that fits there is macOS itself. The X5 will definitely speed up your system but the question is if you really want to spend your money on X5 and not only try T5 (which is USB-C and has speeds around 500 MB/s but is still faster than platter drive). Considering performance in Photoshop, it could boost it defenitely as well since your scratch drive will be on SSD. Also, you did not mention how many GB of RAM you have and what exactly do you use Ps and "a few more" apps for.
 

abdulawaluzzal

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2019
3
0
Thank you nihil0 for your response.

you did not mention how many GB of RAM you have and what exactly do you use Ps and "a few more" apps for.
I have 8 GB of Ram.

Do far, I found it slower when opening photoshop and when I try to create a new file in photoshop. The popup takes a while to appear. I am confused if its being caused due to less ram or slow disk.
 

nihil0

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2016
342
233
Thank you nihil0 for your response.



I have 8 GB of Ram.

Do far, I found it slower when opening photoshop and when I try to create a new file in photoshop. The popup takes a while to appear. I am confused if its being caused due to less ram or slow disk.
Well the amount of RAM should not be responsible for only opening Ps and creating new file. 8 GB RAM is bare minimum for Ps but it is not something horrible. I tested Ps on 2016 12-inch Macbook which has 8 GB RAM and it worked fine. So I guess the culprit will be the platter drive. If you have the option to buy and try T5, I would go that way first (just create test install on T5 first, install Photoshop and if it runs better, you can migrate your system there). Although X5 provides much much faster speed, T5 is still plenty fast for working in Photoshop.
 

Sir Ruben

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2010
1,638
610
UK
I too considered the X5 but it’s overkill for what I need as my 2019 iMac is coming with a 512gb ssd. In addition to that I have an external 1tb hdd, so I have decided to go for a Samsung T5 500gb ssd. All told that will be more than enough storage. Were I planning to boot from an ssd though, I’d be tempted by the X5, but feel that the T5 is probably sufficient.

I am still concerned about the lifespan of these portable ssd’s though. I wouldn’t trust one with all my backup data, so I plan to back up on 1 ssd, 1 hdd, and also the cloud for the really important stuff.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,615
6,835
jonatious wrote:
"As far as I know, You can not have primary MacOS on External drive."

ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY, POSITIVELY WRONG.

The Mac will boot and run from ANY good copy of the OS, be it on an internal drive, external drive, USB flashdrive, SD card... almost anywhere.

OP:
Yes, the Samsung X5 should give a GREAT speed increase on a 2017 iMac, which has USBc ports and thunderbolt3.

Setting it up to boot and run from an external drive is not difficult.
Actually, pretty easy.

BE AWARE:
You don't have to buy the pricey X5 to get a speed increase, you could use a t5 (USB3) and do quite well with that.
However, if you wish to spend the extra $$$ for the X5, it will run at least 4x faster.
 
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faraway52

macrumors member
Mar 3, 2019
32
10
Germany
I have two Samsung 2TB X5 SSDs (the ones with the red belly) on my iMac 2017 with 256GB internal SSD used for an emergency system only. All bootable systems and data reside on the external Thunderbolt SSDs.

ps. Black magic reports about the same speed for the internal and external SSDs (the external larger SSDs are a tad faster)
 
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abdulawaluzzal

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2019
3
0
I think I got my answer already. Thanks a lot everyone for your valuable comments. I'll get an x5 soon.

Thanks again.
 

nemoryoliver

macrumors member
Apr 9, 2013
90
22
Philippines
I have two Samsung 2TB X5 SSDs (the ones with the red belly) on my iMac 2017 with 256GB internal SSD used for an emergency system only. All bootable systems and data reside on the external Thunderbolt SSDs.

ps. Black magic reports about the same speed for the internal and external SSDs (the external larger SSDs are a tad faster)
How fast is the Samsung X5 based on the blacmagic disk speed test?
 

nemoryoliver

macrumors member
Apr 9, 2013
90
22
Philippines
I think I got my answer already. Thanks a lot everyone for your valuable comments. I'll get an x5 soon.

Thanks again.
Did you get the X5 already? How's it doing?
[doublepost=1562308650][/doublepost]
I have two Samsung 2TB X5 SSDs (the ones with the red belly) on my iMac 2017 with 256GB internal SSD used for an emergency system only. All bootable systems and data reside on the external Thunderbolt SSDs.

ps. Black magic reports about the same speed for the internal and external SSDs (the external larger SSDs are a tad faster)
what are the speeds you get on the external samsung x5?
 

Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,412
523
UK
I've watched your video before I saw your comment here. I thought write speed of the Samsung X5 could go more than 2000MBps/ Thanks for doing the test
You'll hardly ever get manufacturer quoted speeds for any drive - although the speed test in the video was done with a 500GB drive. I now have a 2TB drive as well - I'll do a test on that to see if the results differ at all.....
 
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faraway52

macrumors member
Mar 3, 2019
32
10
Germany
I ran Blackmagic on my 2017 21,5" iMac 16BG with this results:

a. Internal Apple 256GB SDD: 1458 / 2248
b. 1st TB3 2TB Samsung X5 : 1720 / 2340
b. 2nd TB3 2TB Samsung X5 : 1660 / 2380

ps.
1TB Samsung 850 EVO attached to a passive USB 3 Hub perform 370 / 372
4TB WD Elements HD attached to a passive USB 3 Hub perform 98 / 101
That is the reason why a SSD is almost always a good choice.
 
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nemoryoliver

macrumors member
Apr 9, 2013
90
22
Philippines
I ran Blackmagic on my 2017 21,5" iMac 16BG with this results:

a. Internal Apple 256GB SDD: 1458 / 2248
b. 1st TB3 2TB Samsung X5 : 1720 / 2340
b. 2nd TB3 2TB Samsung X5 : 1660 / 2380

ps.
1TB Samsung 850 EVO attached to a passive USB 3 Hub perform 370 / 372
4TB WD Elements HD attached to a passive USB 3 Hub perform 98 / 101
That is the reason why a SSD is almost always a good choice.
Great tests! Thanks a lot. Have you tried using the x5 as the bootable drive?
 

faraway52

macrumors member
Mar 3, 2019
32
10
Germany
Yes, the X5s are the system SSDs (active boot and backup boot volumes). The internal SSD is an auxiliary storage with an emergency system only.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,615
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faraway wrote in reply 15 above:
"I ran Blackmagic on my 2017 21,5" iMac 16BG with this results:
a. Internal Apple 256GB SDD: 1458 / 2248
b. 1st TB3 2TB Samsung X5 : 1720 / 2340
b. 2nd TB3 2TB Samsung X5 : 1660 / 2380"


Those are VERY impressive results coming from the X5.
The first time I've ever seen an external SSD beat a recent Apple-installed SSD.

Based on info like this, it now looks like booting and running a 1tb fusion or 2tb fusion iMac from an externally-mounted X5 must be consider a good alternative to booting from an internal Apple SSD.

There is NO "speed loss" disadvantage AT ALL.
 
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faraway52

macrumors member
Mar 3, 2019
32
10
Germany
Almost but the internal is a tiny 256GB while the external are 2TB SSD. I understood in SSD technology is size an advantage. I take it as an indication that Apple tied the external TB3 bus as good as the internal storage bus to the processor.
But anyhow, they are just great performers.
 

Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,412
523
UK
I ran Blackmagic on my 2017 21,5" iMac 16BG with this results:

a. Internal Apple 256GB SDD: 1458 / 2248
b. 1st TB3 2TB Samsung X5 : 1720 / 2340
b. 2nd TB3 2TB Samsung X5 : 1660 / 2380

ps.
1TB Samsung 850 EVO attached to a passive USB 3 Hub perform 370 / 372
4TB WD Elements HD attached to a passive USB 3 Hub perform 98 / 101
That is the reason why a SSD is almost always a good choice.
Strange how speeds between the X5's seem to differ slightly.

I'm hitting 1854 / 2496 with my X5 2TB - which is ever so slightly faster then the 500GB I tested in my review video above.....
These small differences, however, probably mean nothing in real world day to day usage anyways ;)
 
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nemoryoliver

macrumors member
Apr 9, 2013
90
22
Philippines
Yes, the X5s are the system SSDs (active boot and backup boot volumes). The internal SSD is an auxiliary storage with an emergency system only.
Have you ever experienced any boot slowdowns or hiccups when using any programs because of the external ssd as the boot drive?
 

faraway52

macrumors member
Mar 3, 2019
32
10
Germany
The boot process has significant delays sine High Sierra when there are USB attached HD or SSD present. That is one of the reasons why I went the more expensive TB path.

I assume it is not in Apple's interest to avoid their expensive internal SSD with budget USB 3.1 attached SSDs even those in many/most cases are well performing USB attached SSDs sufficient. The technical explanation is a much more intense boot process to scan all attached USB devices for the complex APFS structures even all USB devices are HFS formatted...... pick your choice ;-)
 
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nemoryoliver

macrumors member
Apr 9, 2013
90
22
Philippines
The boot process has significant delays sine High Sierra when there are USB attached HD or SSD present. That is one of the reasons why I went the more expensive TB path.

I assume it is not in Apple's interest to avoid their expensive internal SSD with budget USB 3.1 attached SSDs even those in many/most cases are well performing USB attached SSDs sufficient. The technical explanation is a much more intense boot process to scan all attached USB devices for the complex APFS structures even all USB devices are HFS formatted...... pick your choice ;-)
So using an external thunderbolt SSD will not have significant delays compared to USB external SSD?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,615
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I've never had "boot delays" when booting from a USB3 SSD.
And I did it longer than anyone else here (MORE THAN 6 years).
 
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