SSD for iMac solution?


macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 26, 2013
liverpool, england
Hi all

Replaced my macbook pro 2010 hard drive with a 500gb crucial M500... wow what a difference!

Now I have a 2013 27"iMac, i7, 680mx, 32gb ram etc with a 1TB fusion. But now I'm noticing my apps (photoshop, dreamweaver, fcpx etc) all load up quicker on the old macbook pro.

I looked into replacing the iMac HD but that look way too difficult for me.

Is it worthwhile buying an external SSD and running the apps externally via usb 3 or thunderbolt? Can I do that?

Anyone have any possible solutions? Thanks


macrumors member
Jan 17, 2014
the crucial hard drive you put in your macbook pro is 6g speeds. The one Apple have as their fusion are 3G, apple does anything to save a bit of money :p I would definitely not try to replace the hard drive myself. External SSD via thunderbolt would be an option but is it really that much of a difference to go that expensive and cluster mess route? It is only launching the software after all.

PS and Illustrator take around 1-2 seconds to launch on my exact same iMac as yours. I doubt I would see any more lifespan in myself cutting that down to 0.7 seconds. I usually leave the apps open permanently anyway thanks to the 32gb of memory :)


macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 26, 2013
liverpool, england
Thanks for the response..

AI takes about 25 secs on mine, is there a way to check why its not as quick?

UPDATE: Actually i hadn't opened up AI for a bit so when i opened it up send time it was 4 or 5 seconds
Last edited:

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
App Store requires the apps to be in the Applications folder, so you can't move them. And giving the overall system the benefit of an SSD is also highly recommended.

But if you just use the applications on your iMac more, then they will also start faster.


macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
Takamatsu, Japan
Check out this thread.

I just added a Samsung 840EVO 500GB SSD in a Delock 42490 2.5" enclosure. I split it in half and moved OS X to one half and BootCamp to the other and am now booting to the enclosure.

I also just got an Inateck UASP USB3 2.5" enclosure I will be testing as well.

Actually, I expect to find that the performance between the two is quite comparable but I decided to go for the Thunderbolt only due to certain limitations of the USB bus, namely TRIM cannot be enabled for SSDs and you're probably not going to be able to update SSD firmware over USB either. Thunderbolt has no problems with either.


macrumors member
Dec 2, 2013
the crucial hard drive you put in your macbook pro is 6g speeds. The one Apple have as their fusion are 3G, apple does anything to save a bit of money :p
1. 2010 MBPs can only take up to speed of 3Gbps even with 6Gbps SSD installed. I myself had exactly the same SSD and same year model of MBP like OP's until last year. Speed of SSD is bottlenecked by 3Gbps controller of the MBP. While it's OK to use on most daily basis, SSD certainly does not perform @ 6Gbps. Having pure SSD rather than Fusion is probably a better choice, but it does not mean that putting 6Gbps SSD into 3Gbps capable laptop would operate @ 6Gbps. Oh and it's not a hard drive... it's SSD

2. I it's not clear what you are trying to say on the second sentence, but from what I understand I assume you're trying to say that Fusion Drive is running 3Gbps. This is not true, as ONLY the hard drive portion of the Fusion Drive is running at 3Gbps and SSD is running at PCI Express spec'd speed(2013 model), or 6Gbps of SATA3(2012 model). Plus, IMHO hard drive that are capable of 6Gbps inside of an iMac is useless anyways. Hard drive inside of an iMac can never achieve(unless you have insane raid setup or something?) or make full use of that 6Gbps speed anyways. Do bit more of a search around and you will clearly see that SSD part of Fusion Drive isn't running at 3Gbps speed. Lastly, I don't think it's about saving money thing. Why put a 6Gbps HDD when a non-raided single mechanical drive can't even reach the full speed of SATA2?

Anyway, back to the topic. I'm pretty positive that the real reason why your MBP is launching faster is that because it's PURE SSD(although the speed is capped to 3Gbps, still better than HDD) and your iMac's SSD portion of Fusion Drive is full or close to being full which causes files to be pushed over to HDD, not because of your MBP uses 6Gbps SSD and Fusion Drive running at 3Gbps, which I discussed above.

If you want to avoid the route of opening up an iMac, then SaSaSushi's solution would be your best choice of now.


macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2014
I'm running the LaCie 256 SSD external as my boot drive via ThunderBolt on my mid-2011 iMac. No surgery required. LOVE IT. Applications startup so much faster than before.