Suggestions For An External SSD Drive To Boot Up A Base 2012 iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by beeinformed, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. beeinformed macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    I would like to buy a small external ssd drive (128 gb) to boot up my base 2012 iMac computer.

    Would this 128 gb sized ssd drive work if I had the operating system as well as my documents/downloads installed in them? Also would this help extend the life of the internal hard drive (1 TB Seagate drive) inside my iMac?

    I basically use my computer for browsing the internet, writing documents, doing some research work, storing some photos, documents and downloads and occasionally looking at you tube videos.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance you can gave me with my inquiry! :)
     
  2. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #2
    Any USB SSD would work, but you are wasting your money on an external USB SSD over other options including an internal; you will not get much performance gain from the SSD (some yes). I would not worry about extending the life of your internal drive, that is a false economy with using an SSD for booting if all your apps and data is on the internal drive it will be spinning and reading/writing data just the same except for the boot cycle.

    IMHO, install an internal SSD for your needs and move your current drive to an external enclosure for your less accessed data and employ a good back up plan to preserve your data in case of HDD failure.
     
  3. beeinformed thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for your reply! What other options would you suggest as far as an external harddrive, if I don't buy an external ssd drive? Thanks! :)
     
  4. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #4
    I suppose my question is why do you want an external drive? Is your internal reaching capacity? What will you save on it?
     
  5. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #5
    Both the 120GB elgato Thunderbolt SSD and LaCie Rugged 120GB SSD work fine for that purpose. One of the big advantages over hard drives is that in scenarios where hard drives get really slow, SSDs stay fast, and that is regardless of whether you install them internally or externally. However, 120GB tends to get filled up rather quickly by applications and documents, so you might want to consider 240GB to save you from buying another one when you run out of space.
     
  6. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #6
    Oh sorry, for some reason I had USB on the brain, a Thunderbolt SSD will provide good performance, but again, I have to ask what is the main goal? If it is to only save the life of the internal HDD I think that is a waste of money IMHO.
     
  7. beeinformed thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #7
    I was thinking of creating a "fusion drive" (on my base 27 inch 2012) by using an external 128 GB SSD to boot up my computer.
     
  8. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #8
    Fusion drives can only be created on internal drives.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    "Would this 128 gb sized ssd drive work if I had the operating system as well as my documents/downloads installed in them?"

    That's exactly what you want to do. That is, have the OS on the SSD along with your apps and user accounts.

    You would probably want to keep seldom-accessed data (such as movies, perhaps even some music and pic files) on a slower drive (such as the internal).

    Managing two drives at once is not a problem at all. You'll quickly adapt to "what is stored where". Don't let yourself be intimidated by this at all.
    EDIT: I would also recommend partitioning the internal drive, and keeping a relatively small "bootable backup" partition on the internal drive, as well. You always want to have a SECOND boot source close-at-hand)

    I would also suggest that you consider "building the drive yourself". Very easy to do (even I can do it!).

    Keep an eye out for SSD deals -- newegg.com just had some, you just have to decide what size you're looking for, what manufacturer, and wait for the right deal to show up.

    Put the drive into either:
    - an enclosure like this:
    http://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/U32-M.html

    or…
    - a docking station like this:
    http://plugable.com/products/USB3-SATA-UASP1

    You will get excellent performance from either.

    WARNING:
    You must select the enclosure or dock VERY carefully, to be sure it has the right controller chip in it (this is what ensures good performance).
    The controller chips that you're looking for are the
    - ASMedia 1051E
    - ASMedia1053

    Here's the report that "BlackMagic" gives me for an Intel 520 series SSD in the Plugable dock I mentioned above:
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #10
    Oh? And where have you learned that?
    I've read that several people here on Macrumors have had success in creating a DIY Fusion Drive with external drives.
     
  11. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #11
    From Apple.
     
  12. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #12
    How strange that people have succeeded in creating it with external drives then. Perhaps Apple just don't want people to create their own Fusion Drives and "forcing" people to get Apple's Fusion Drive instead. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #13
    After reading the more in-depth coverage of this topic, I'm not convinced that they are actually Fusion Drives (as opposed to just a concatenation of disks in a logical volume group).

    But, for completeness' sake, the 120GB Akitio Neutrino Thunderbolt Edition would be the right disk for this, as it's faster than both the elgato and the LaCie and, unlike the other two, comes with the Thunderbolt cable included.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #14
    Out of curiosity, what do you say that Apple's Fusion Drive is, if not a concatenation of disks in a logical volume group?
     
  15. Giuly, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #15
    A concatenation of disks in a logical volume group that relocates commonly accessed data onto the fastest volume according to a mysterious algorithm.
     
  16. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #16
    Which is exactly what the DIY Fusion Drives are so I don't understand what you meant by "I am not convinced that they are Fusion Drives"?
     
  17. g4cube, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013

    g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #17
    Both the LaCie Rugged and the El Gato come bundled with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 cables. The LaCie Rugged 120GB SSD is hard to beat at $199. It too is available at Amazon.
     
  18. johnrtaylor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Location:
    Croydon UK
    #18
    I have an imac I7 mid 2011 and I have added a Goflex STAE121 thunderbolt adaptor with a Samsung 830 128gb SSD, I also bought a goflex disk enclosure from ebay, to house the ssd.

    Whilst you don't get the full SataIII speeds you do get write speeds of 307.4MB/s and read speeds of 358.3MB/s, which is somewhere between SataII and SataIII. (Blackmagic Test)

    I have installed Mountain Lion and all Apps on the ssd, leaving the data on the inbuilt 2tb HD. Boot times and application load times are now lightning fast. It feels like a new machine and if anything goes wrong with the SSD it is easy to replace.

    Cost was £89 for the Goflex thunderbolt adaptor, £85 for the Samsung 830 128gb, £39 for the thunderbolt cable and £5.88 for the seagate golflex hd enclosure. Total £218.88. These were the costs when I purchased the items back in May 2012.
     

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