SSD for iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MarkieMark92, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. MarkieMark92 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
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    London, UK
    #1
    Im going to get an External SSD to plug into the thunderbolt port on my iMac but am wondering if to get an SSD with the thunderbolt port or if to get an SSD and a thunderbolt enclosure separately? Also has anyone had any experience with the Seagate Go Flex Thunderbolt Adapter and could I put any SSD onto it? and would it be alright to boot off?
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #2
    Well, the problem is, no SSDs have its own Thunderbolt port. SSDs have either PCIe, mSATA or SATA3 interface.

    You must buy a Thunderbolt adapter for it, i.e. the Seagate GoFlex Adapter you mentioned. However, I've heard not-so-good comments about it. Performance between Thunderbolt adapters may also vary depending on controller implementation.
     
  3. richorlin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #3
    SSD and iMac

    I'm booting my 27" 2013 iMac off of an external 256gb Samsung SSD. The OS and all my apps are on the SSD and my home folder is on the internal iMac drive. Just set a pointer to it in System Preferences>Users. Right click on your user and select "Advanced Options". Be careful you don't change anything BUT the location of your user folder. The SSD drive is connected via a Seagate GoFlex TB adapter and a thunderbolt cable. You can use either the portable adapter or the desktop one. They both work just fine. The advantage to the desktop adapter is that you can daisy-chain more TB drives.
    My iMac boots in 12 seconds and the apps just "pop" onto the screen. Just like my Macbook Air. Sweet!
     
  4. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #4
    I am using the Delock 42490 Thunderbolt enclosure with a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD. The Delock is about $100 without a Thunderbolt cable. It's really well constructed aluminum and, unlike the Seagate Thunderbolt adapters, it is AC-powered. I prefer this for a drive I am booting the OS off of. There is no pass-through port, so it needs to be at the end of any daisy-chain.
     
  5. mpainesyd macrumors 6502

    mpainesyd

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    #5
  6. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #6
    I don't own a Seagate Goflex adapter but I know many people use them with SSDs with no problems aside from the fact that since some SSDs are physically thinner than the Goflex drives, they sort of sit at a diagonal unless you shim it with something. You will find many reports from users of the Goflex adapter with SSDs in these forums.
     
  7. hfg, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #7
    Yes ... they simply plug in to the SATA connector. For a more "finished" look, you can get empty drive shells on eBay to snap around your SSD.

    I have had problems with 512GB Crucial M4 SS drives on the Seagate bus powered adapter which I think were power related (these have pretty high power spikes when running hard). I have had no issues with 256GB SSDs using Samsung 840 Pro drives. Some of the newer SSDs use lower power technology (and have slightly lower performance) and may work fine on bus powered interfaces (EVO, M500, M550 series), but I haven't tried them. I did recently purchase a 500GB LaCie "Rugged" Thunderbolt SSD which contained a EVO series 500GB drive.

    I have also had some issues with other bus powered Thunderbolt enclosures with these large higher performance SSDs, so it may not be unique to the Seagate adapter. Other posters have recommended the wall powered desktop version of the Seagate Thunderbolt Adapter with higher power SSDs. This unit is physically larger as it will accommodate 3.5" disk drives, but the 2.5" drives will mount to the connector as well.
     
  8. mpainesyd macrumors 6502

    mpainesyd

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    #8
    Great - thank you to both of you. I will go hunting for the bits...
     
  9. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #9
    Would anyone with an external SSD be so kind to upload a screenshot using that blackmagic disk benchmark app along with brands/specs. I'm curious to see real world comparisons from people I can talk too....
     
  10. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #10
    I did some head to head comparison of BMST results in my mini review of the Inateck UASP USB3 enclosure. As mentioned, although the Inateck is actually ever so slightly faster, I prefer the AC-power and ability to enable TRIM with Thunderbolt.
     
  11. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #11
    Thanks! Interesting stuff.
     
  12. mpainesyd macrumors 6502

    mpainesyd

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    #12
    I have bought a Samsung 840EVO 250GB. Worked brilliantly with the Goflex Thunderbolt adapter. I just had to use Disk Utility to format the SSD for the Mac and I was away. Copying a 62GB folder on my Retina Macbook took about 5 minutes.

    Thank you for the tips
     
  13. mpainesyd macrumors 6502

    mpainesyd

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    #13
    The steps for for installing Mavericks on an external SSD drive and migrating an existing system are described by Robin Monks here:
    http://robinmonks.com/2013/10/speed-up-your-mac-with-an-external-ssd/

    I just went through this process with a 2010 iMac (using a Goflex Firewire adapter - no Thunderbolt or USB3!)

    I had difficulty migrating from a Time Machine backup and so I tried instead migrating straight from the old internal hard drive and it worked well. The migration assistant reported that the destination drive was too small and allowed me to deselect some items such as music, photos and movies (oddly this deselection option only appears after the program has determined that the destination drive too small)

    The system then booted normally (but faster) and I could set iTunes and iPhoto to use the files on the internal hard drive.
     
  14. mpainesyd macrumors 6502

    mpainesyd

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