Sierra on a 7200 rpm drive - will it be slow?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by DianeK, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. DianeK macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    #1
    I LOVE my current Mountain Lion but my husband is nagging me about security issues using an older OS. My iMac shipped with ML and I have not upgraded the OS in the time I have had it.

    My hardware is compatible for Sierra: late 2013 iMac, 32 GB 1600 MHzDDR3 but this machine has a 3TB 7200rpm rotational disc. I do not want to upgrade the hard drive to an SSD because I have a lot of Adobe perpetual licence software and uninstalling and reinstalling Adobe has never, ever gone well in the past. If I had to do a clean install on a new SSD drive I would very likely lose some very expensive software.

    So I will be doing an upgrade on the current hard drive. My question is (I'm sure you were wondering when I will get around to it) is how slow will Sierra be on this rotational drive compared to my current OS. Am I going to be getting the dreaded beach ball a lot? This is a bit of a deal breaker for me and if I am going to end up with a machine that slows to a crawl I will just stay with ML, security risks be-damned.

    So anyone out there who has installed Sierra on a rotational disk willing to wade in here with personal experience please?
     
  2. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

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    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere In Time
    #2
    Sometimes there are reasons to do nothing. Assess your risk to security issues. If you're behind a firewall on a secure network, don't have a target on your back, and don't click on stupid stuff your risk is minimal.

    I'm not a security expert. The only other thing I have is a VPN app (Cloak, but there are others), although they might not be compatible with ML.
     
  3. DianeK thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    #3
    Thanks for your reply.
    Yes, I am on a secured network and I always have the built-in firewall turned on and I think I am pretty good about not clicking on stupid stuff ;). In addition to my husband's security issues, there are a few things that also bug me with my current OS, i.e many sites won't even open on Safari, there is no Chrome compatible with ML, and now even my Firefox (although still working) cannot be updated. I was going to investigate what is involved with putting Sierra on an external bootable SSD but leaving my Adobe software on the original hard drive. Don't know a thing about this kind of set up and how I would go about making the two drives talk - this is way out of my league. Perhaps a trip to the "un"genius bar at the local Apple store is in order.
     
  4. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

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    #4
    They have their core competencies, but I'm not sure your question would fall within that of the average genius. But you could get lucky.

    How would four-year-old Adobe software work in Sierra? Would you need to get updates? I've never done dual-boot anything. I wonder how quickly you could switch between your spinner and a thunderbolt SSD during a normal session? Is that even how it works? Sorry for the questions, just thinking out-loud.
     
  5. DianeK thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 4, 2013
    #5
    Your questions are exactly the ones I am asking myself. I know from researching that my Lightroom, Photoshop, Acrobat Pro will work on Sierra. Illustrator (which I use rarely) will have some issues as well as InDesign although there is a fix for the InDesign issue. We have an independent Mac dealer here where I got this computer from and I think their service techs will be a lot more helpful than the ungenius bar.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    OP asks:
    "Sierra on a 7200 rpm drive - will it be slow?"

    Yes.
    It -will- be slow.
    Modern versions of the Mac OS seem not to be designed to run their best on platter-based hard drives.

    But there's an easy, cheap and fast solution:
    Buy an SSD in a USB3 enclosure, plug it in, and set it up to become your "external booter".

    Then, things will run MUCH faster.

    Re the licensing issues:
    I don't use Adobe products, but I wonder if this might work:
    1. Initialize external drive
    2. Use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to clone existing OS and apps to the external SSD
    3. Check to see if licensing is preserved.
    4. If it is, THEN run update to Sierra on external SSD.
    And then continue to use it as the external booter.
     
  7. DianeK thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 4, 2013
    #7
    Spoke with a local Mac dealer service tech. If I boot up Sierra via an external SSD then I will not be able to access the applications I still have on my internal. So my only option would be to also move all my third party software except Adobe products, e.g. Microsoft Office to the SSD and then when I need to access my Adobe software, reboot to my internal drive. This is not looking like an attractive option. But he also stated that with a 3TB spinning disk that has over 2TB free space + 32GB RAM that I shouldn't see any slowdown of my machine on Sierra. That doesn't really match with what I have been reading here in the forums. So, still don't know what to do but thought I would post back here to keep the thread updated.

    Still hoping someone else in a similar situation as myself can post their experience with Sierra upgrading here.

    Thanks
    --- Post Merged, Aug 29, 2017 ---
    Hi there. We were ships passing in the night and my last response was posted just as your response was coming in.
    Lucky for you that you do not need to use Adobe products (!) and as a result you can't comprehend what a mess things become very quickly with them. They no longer provide support for perpetual licence products, only their subscriptions which I won't do (I'm in Canada and with the exchange rate their subscription plans are ridiculously expensive - close to $100 CDN a month). So if things go badly with your suggestion, what could very well happen is that licencing will not be preserved on the external SSD AND will also be deleted from the internal. This I can tell you is likely to happen from my nightmare experience when I first got this computer and had to transfer my Adobe over from my laptop. I could not use Migration Assistant but had to unlicence on old computer and reinstall from disks and relicence on new computer. But Adobe being Adobe they did not recognize the uninstall on the old computer and so wouldn't re-licence the reinstall on the new computer. But at least back then they still had phone support for perpetual licence products so over the course of two days (yes, 2 days....) on the phone with them almost constantly I finally got my Adobe re-licenced on the new computer. So I am certain by cloning and rebooting from the clone which is on a new hard drive, that will be recognized by Adobe as a "new install" and all hell with break loose - with no phone support from them.
     
  8. CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #8
    I think Fishrrman's recommendation is a good one and will work for you.

    I did a test for you. I have a fresh Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) clone of my OS 10.12.6 internal on a Samsung SSD in a USB 3 enclosure, so I booted from it. I was able to run Photoshop CS6 & CS5 from the cloned drive. I did have to install the Legacy Java SE 6 for CS5 to load and run. When you gat the alert about needing Java then click on the "More Info..." button which will take you to a Apple web page with a download of the Java you need to install. I did that and CS5 launched fine after Java was installed.

    Java SE 6.jpg

    If you proceed with installing Sierra, then I would recommend using CCC to clone your ML internal to a external drive before the Sierra upgrade. That way you have a way to recover back to Mountain Lion if you do not like the way things work with Sierra on your internal spinner HD.
     
  9. Fishrrman, Aug 29, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017

    Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    OP wrote:
    "Spoke with a local Mac dealer service tech. If I boot up Sierra via an external SSD then I will not be able to access the applications I still have on my internal. So my only option would be to also move all my third party software except Adobe products, e.g. Microsoft Office to the SSD and then when I need to access my Adobe software, reboot to my internal drive."

    I believe what the guy was saying was, if you are set up to boot from an external drive, you can't run apps on the -internal- drive.

    But...


    You can install ANY app onto an external bootable drive, and it will just as if it were on an internal drive. (this does not mean you might not have to re-register it, but once done, it will run)
    I have never seen ANY app that behaved otherwise.
    I welcome correction from anyone who can post otherwise based upon actual experience.

    There's a very easy way to test this.
    Just use CarbonCopyCloner to clone your current internal drive to an external one, and then try booting from it.
    Disclaimer: I have no experience with Adobe products (other than Lightroom, which seems to run anywhere). One of those companies I'd prefer not to have to deal with...
     
  10. DianeK, Aug 29, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017

    DianeK thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 4, 2013
    #10
    No, he was specifically saying when I create the bootable Sierra drive to leave my Adobe software on the ML internal drive but migrate my non-Adobe software to the new SSD external. Since the computer will now boot with the new drive by default, I won't be able to access Adobe unless I shut down and restart holding down the option key at the chime in order to choose to boot up with my internal drive and do my Adobe work there. However the one thing he couldn't definitely tell me was if I left all my documents/photos/music on my internal ML drive whether or not those folders/documents would be accessible by the Sierra drive via Finder. Example, I want to email a document while booted into Sierra, will the internal ML drive be visible in Finder and can I go into the document folder on the ML drive and select a document to attach to the email that I am composing on the Sierra drive? Any thoughts?
    --- Post Merged, Aug 29, 2017 ---
    You are wise to have very little to do with Adobe. And FYI, they are now monitoring Lightroom usage so that program isn't as flexible as it once was.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 29, 2017 ---
    Thank you!!
    Did you have an unused licence on your Photoshop? You can have it installed on 2 separate computers (which I think two distinct hard drives would be interpreted as by them) as long as you don't use it concurrently on both computers. Did you reboot with your internal afterwards and check to see if the Adobe was still operating there after having opened it on the external?
    Thanks
     
  11. CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

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    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #11
    No unused licenses, as far as I know. Yes, I did reboot to my internal drive afterwards, launched Photoshop CS6 successfully and loaded some pictures. No problems.
     
  12. DianeK thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 4, 2013
    #12
    Thanks!
     
  13. BugeyeSTI macrumors 68030

    BugeyeSTI

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    Aug 19, 2017
    Location:
    Arizona
    #13
    I'm running Sierra on a 2010 iMac with a 1tb 7200rpm hd and 32gb of ram and I have no beachballs.. I did just buy a 500gb Samsung evo850 to install as a second drive but, I just want to run the os and home folder on the ssd and keep everything else on the hd to see how much of a difference it makes..
     
  14. DianeK thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    #14
    Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Glad to hear of your lack of beach balls!
    What is your computer usage like, e.g. heavy Microsoft Office usage? photo processing in Photoshop?
    I'll also be interested in hearing what the difference is once you install the SSD, please.
     
  15. DianeK thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    #15
    Thought I should give those who helped me an update.

    Yesterday I just went ahead and updated my late 2013 with a 7200rpm hard drive to Sierra. I did an update over ML, did not do a clean install because of potential licencing issues with my perpetual CS6 products.
    I am happy to report that so far (12 hours in), no serious problems. I have launched and worked in Office for Mac and all is fine, no speed issues. I have launched my CS6 applications to ensure they would at least open and they did, however I have yet to do any serious photo editing work. Safari lost the favourites bar at the top:confused: but Firefox kept its.

    The only glitch I had was after the install, during setup, when I declined iCloud Drive, Apply decided to "punish" me by giving me a frozen black screen with the Apple logo. So I just shut it down with the power button, unplugged from power for about 10 minutes, reconnected and rebooted and all has been fine since. I have yet to try a restart (too scared ;)).
    If I encounter any problems, I will post back here in case there are others in my shoes following the thread.

    Oh, and it won't let me update iMovie, Garage Band and Photos. I get an error message saying those apps aren't associated with my Apple ID. Odd, because they came with the computer when I received it brand new...very confused about that one.

    Thank you to all who took the time to help me make this jump.
     
  16. MIKX macrumors 6502a

    MIKX

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #16
    Slightly off topic . . I'm running High Sierra Beat 9 on a 2,5" spinner HD in my 3,1 cMP and it doesn't feel slow and so far everything is working OK.

    I did this install as a test - I also installed a spare flashed XFX HD 5770 in place of a HD 7950

    I installed to a clean install of Mavericks 10.9.5 and with all other hard drives removed from the system. Maybe that helps.
     

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15 August 28, 2017