Specs & Source for ext SSD Boot Drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by garycurtis, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. garycurtis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #1
    This has probably been hashed over here 1000 times. But I'll be getting a used 2010 (late) iMac i5. It has an onboard 1Tb drive. I'm getting it for free and want to boost the ram. And, since it has a Thunderbolt port, I could really get modern if I could configure an SSD boot drive.

    Who sells them? OWC only carries iSata SSD drives.

    The prices at Newegg were pretty scary. Any cheaper source for a 128Gb SSD?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    The late 2010 iMacs do not have Thunderbolt, TB was introduced in 2011 Macs.


    As for the SSD, look here for guides on how to replace the SSD on the iMac model you will get. Normally any 2.5" S-ATA SSD will work, but you might need some additional hardware.

    And here you can look up the model and EMC number.

    HERE is the relevant iFixIt guide according to your screenshot, though the serial number gives a 2.8 GHz i7 iMac.
     
  3. garycurtis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #3
    Thanks. I think I'll leave that job to a mac fix shop owned by my son's friend. The model numbers and years are too baffling.

    Replacing the RAM looks like a no-brainer. But as far as an SSD drive goes, I want it external. And would prefer to boot from it. So, why does the ABOUT THIS MAC info screen show a Thunderbolt port if none exists?

    And, does booting from an external drive require a TB cabling?
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    If it is the Mac you posted the screenshot from, then there is no Thunderbolt.
    And ABOUT THIS MAC normally does not show Thunderbolt as anything, I guess you meant System Profiler / System Information.
    If so, click on it to see, what it says.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. garycurtis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #5
    Thanks. My friend is giving me this machine, and so I can't pepper her with questions. She only runs Windoze on it and knows zero about the Mac OS.

    So it would pushing to query her about investigating the specs of her machine. She lives 1000 miles away in Oregon, so I can't go over and take a peek.

    I'm not even sure of the year/model of the computer. This will all be self evident when FedEx drops it on my doorstep in about 3 weeks.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    You can boot externally with an SSD drive running via USB2 -- no problems.

    The boot time (even with an SSD) will be slower due to the speed of the connection. But once up and running, the Mac should seem as snappy (or even faster) than running on the internal drive. Note: I believe the USB2 connection will probably "max out" around 38mbps.

    You can use either an external enclosure, or a USB/SATA docking station.

    I prefer the docking station concept because it's easier to access the drive (to swap it for a different drive, for example).

    I would strongly suggest that you get an enclosure that is "USB3 capable". Sometime in the future you may decide to "move up", and a USB3 "external booter" will run VERY fast on a USB3-equipped Mac. When I switched my SSD from USB2 to USB3, the initial read speeds jumped from 38mbps to 410mbps (2012 Mac Mini).

    ALTERNATIVE COURSE OF ACTION:
    The 2010 iMac has firewire 800. If you put the SSD drive into a firewire 800 enclosure, you will get read speeds around 78-80mbps (vs. 38mbps on USB2). Your boot times will be faster, up-and-running speeds may be "slightly perceptibly faster" (but not too much overall, unless you're loading up a big file).

    A firewire 800 enclosure will cost a little more, but you might prefer it.

    Note: I would NOT recommend a firewire/SATA docking station. I would specifically AVOID the OWC "Voyager" dock -- I had one that was purportedly USB3/firewire capable, and the USB3 portion DID NOT WORK at USB3 speeds -- only yielded USB2 speed with a 2012 Mac Mini.
     
  7. garycurtis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #7
    Thanks. Here is the reason I ask about this stuff. In the next few weeks I'm going to a 2012 iMac. The few places offering credit for the sale don't sell the Fusion Drive-equipped iMacs. Hell, even the Apple Store here in Santa Monica doesn't carry 1Tb Fusion. Only the 3Tb FD model.

    So, either I have to walk on hot coals to raise cash for the machine I prefer, or try to rig something that would mimic fusion. But if you say a USB 3 connection is enough for booting purpose, at least then I could get part of the experience of true FD.

    It's odd how Apple control their sales channels. For a few months, an Apple representative was present at the Best Buy near my home. When asked about the FD Macs, he said that Apple will never make them available to stores such as Best Buy or Amazon. Though BH Photo in New York does have the FD configuration.

    I'm currently limping along on a G4 tower with a PPc chip. The iMac will be subjected to harsh duty doing digital photo processing.

    Thanks for your advice.:)
     
  8. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    macrumors
    #8
    First you said your friend was giving you a 2010 imac. which is the point of the thread. now you say your getting a 2012. which is it?
     
  9. garycurtis, Apr 21, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013

    garycurtis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #9
    My friend is giving me her old iMac. I'll try it for a while and keep an open mind. But I think I want computing in the 21st Century and I don't believe a 2010 model will give me the experience of lightning fast boot times and quick applications.

    I'm weighing options here. But I think in the end I'm going in the direction of a 2012 iMac with Fusion Drive.
     

Share This Page