SSD as a external boot drive?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by garirry, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. garirry, Jun 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013

    garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #1
    Hello,

    I would like to know, if I order my iMac 21.5" with a 1TB hard drive and I add an external USB 32GB SSD, would that be a great idea for a boot drive? I'm not sure about the speed of an external SSD compared to SATA.
     
  2. vtyler98 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    #2
    Best option would be to either buy a LaCie or Oyen SSD, 128gb or 256, or possibly build your own using a seagate thunderbolt adapter and an SSD of choice (Crucial M500 256gb or 128gb is a good choice for a mac). Whatever you decide, don't go with more than 256gb on your SSD unless you have an external power source for it.
     
  3. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #3
    The fact is that SSD are costly. Where can I find them for the cheapest price? And also, the thunderbolt adapter cost about 100$! So, I don't know about this...
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    For an "external booter", I'd recommend that you go USB3 instead of Thunderbolt. It's more economical and will give you boot/run speeds that will be virtually indistinguishable from Thunderbolt in day-to-day usage.

    If you're considering an SSD as your boot drive, you don't need a 3.5" enclosure -- a 2.5" enclosure (or a USB3/SATA dock) will do fine.

    You can get a USB3/SATA dock for under $30. Then, just drop an SSD into it, and you have your "booter". I'd suggest plugable.com as a possible source for the dock (no financial interest).

    For an SSD, I don't think 32gb is going to be enough. You probably want _at least_ 128gb, I'd recommend a little more (I picked up a 180gb IBM 520 series drive for $130 a little while back). A good SSD of sufficient size is worth spending the $$$ on.

    Once you have your external drive ready, initialize it with Disk Utility, then use CarbonCopyCloner to "clone" the contents of your internal drive to the external. You can use CCC free for 30 days from the time you download it. CCC can even create a recovery partition on the new external drive, if that's what you wish.

    Once your external booter is set up and running, you might consider keeping a "spare boot partition" on the _internal_ drive, too. It's always a smart decision to keep a second, fully bootable source nearby. Someday, you WILL need it.
     
  5. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    Apr 27, 2013
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    Canada is my city
    #5
    Thanks, but if I keep both drives bootable, then how I set the SSD as the default bootable drive?
     
  6. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #6
    System Preferences>Startup Disk
     
  7. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #7
    Oh, I thought that option was just for temporary. But anyway, thanks a lot everyone, once I'll save for my iMac, I will start saving for my SSD (and a USB 3.0 adapter).
     
  8. SpeedFleX macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Interwebz
    #8
    Hey, I am doing the same thing at the moment.

    The biggest downfall TRIM Enabler won't recognize the SSD and usually the enclosures only have SATA II.

    Other then that it seems to work pretty good ;)
     
  9. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    I would suggest that you save a bit longer and get the FD. This will give you the most options going forward. Just using it stock is likely to give you the best overall experience.

    /Jim
     
  10. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #10
    FD? What is that?
     
  11. d0nK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    If you really want an iMac now, just pay for the fusion drive.
    I've had nothing but bad experiences with external enclosures over the years and I certainly wouldn't want a boot drive in one, especially a cheap one.

    Internal SSD boot drive + data drive should be standard in Mac's already. Apple really love to scrape the pennies with BTO options. It doesn't do a lot for their rep (cue the stock-owning fanboy to say how much Apple cares :rolleyes:).

    Me and some of my friends are waiting for the next iMac update to see the specs upgraded. The current iMac's just don't seem worth it unless you shell out for the top of the range.
     
  12. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #13
    Of course I wish for the Fusion drive, except it costs 250$ more, and the SSD cost 300$ more! Plus, I don't have any money right now so if I don't order with the Apple Store, then I have almost NO WAY to upgrade by myself. So, I can order the low-end model and once I save for an SSD, all I have to pay is 102$. And I can't really wait too much, my only computer at this moment is an iMac G4. I will only wait for the next upgrades, if there will be no SSD's, then I would have no choice but to buy it with a hard drive.
     
  13. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14
    Fusion Drive... but I think you already figured that out. ;)

    /Jim
     

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