Thunderbolt External HD vs SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JamDonut, May 23, 2011.

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Thunderbolt External vs SSD

  1. Thunerbolt

    57.1%
  2. SSD

    42.9%
  1. JamDonut, May 23, 2011
    Last edited: May 23, 2011

    JamDonut macrumors member

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    #1
    Hi all, just made this into an official poll,

    i'm interested to see how many iMac users would use an external thunderbolt HD that could support the 10Gbps it offers against what i believe is the 6Gbps of SSD. Obviously this isn't possible yet but surely will be soon...

    started this as a thread only but how many of you would use thunderbolt to boot/load apps at blistering speeds over spending insane amounts of money on an SSD ($500+)

    Note: i realise the poll says thunerbolt but cba to do it all again haha
     
  2. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    #2
    :D cool ..

    I voted .. as an OP you could vote too ... now you may announce on the old thread that you moved your poll here

    I assume your poll is between Thunderbolt external SSD vs internal SSD, right? Cause Thunderbolt HDD still no faster than internal SSD.

    Anyway, my comment regarding the poll:

    Well, it´s all about your budget, if you have another $600 to give to Apple, it´s cool to order 256Gb SSD from them, they´re quite properly priced, though they dont use the best SSD available. But it´s neat to have them installed inside, as all in one should be.

    I, personally going rebel about SSD, I don´t want to spend another $600 only for SSD, though it´s great
    But I dont want to install them inside, because i need proper kits, mount, patience and skill to do so, that would be pricey anyway.

    So I decided to wait Thunderbolt SSD drive and buy smaller 128Gb SSD, which in my 2cent would cost around $300 - $400 along with the case. Well it might seems expensive, but you get 10Gbps bandwidth (perform equally compared to internal with SATA III), cool chassis (if you buy the good one), and also removable in case you need it.

    If you´re a regular guy, how would you use Thunderbolt anyway? It´s not like USB, not yet anyway. Beside if Thunderbolt being more common, you can always chain it without the need of another Thunderbolt port. Cool
     
  3. seand macrumors member

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    #3
    You seem to be misunderstanding what Thunderbolt will give you; the "choice" doesn't make any sense.

    Thunderbolt is just a way of connecting various things to the computer. If you wanted a fast boot drive over Thunderbolt, you'd still need to buy the SSD. The only difference is whether it's connected internally through SATA or through the external Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt external drives will almost certainly use SATA to Thunderbolt adapters, just like nearly every Firewire or USB external drive, so you won't even have a theoretically faster link. The only speed advantage you might get would be through buying a faster SSD than whatever Apple is putting in the iMacs.

    The way you phrase the question makes it sound like you think connecting a regular physical hard drive through Thunderbolt would be faster than an internal SSD, which is not true at all. The speed limitation is the drive itself, not the link between the drive and the computer.
     
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #4
    this is a poor poll.

    TB doesnt make hdds faster....ie a ssd will still outperform it
     
  5. JamDonut, May 23, 2011
    Last edited: May 23, 2011

    JamDonut thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    I completely get what you are saying and am not saying you're wrong at all! but as SATA 3 offers a transfer rate of 6Gbps, would Thunderbolt-Thunderbolt not offer a transfer rate of 10Gbps? i may well be completely misunderstanding this idea...

    it's also likely to be cheaper than forking out $5-600 and saves you pulling apart your iMac, as apple still do not fit the best SSDs :)
     
  6. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    #6
    The spec sheet may say 6Gbps for SATA III, but too bad it´s just maximum bandwidth .. SATA II was supposed to be 3Gbps, yet internal HDD read/write varied between 80 - 100 MBps, should be equal to 640 - 800 Mbps.

    While SSD with SATA II can reach about 200 - 250 MBps = 1.6 - 2Gbps
    SSD with SATA III can reach 400 - 500MBps = 3.2 - 4Gbps
    Not so much with HDD, still at embarassing rate around 100MBps

    So, HDD with thunderbolt is futile, you may want to compare between putting SSD inside, or external SSD using Thunderbolt.

    With Thunderbolt SSD, you can always chain it with external Thunderbolt HDD when needed, while still using 1 Thunderbolt connection to your Mac, because truly, 10Gbps is still too much for actual data rate of a single SSD or HDD .. unless you use RAID
     
  7. JamDonut thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    damn you know your stuff lol... i'm beginning to think i should have left this to people who really knew what they were talking about. apologies for the naive approach guys.

    so we need an internal SSD capable of the read speed of thunderbolt as in 'thunderbolt internal SSD' or something before what i'm actually talking about even becomes possible..?
     
  8. seand macrumors member

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    #8
    When you buy it it may be cheaper if you wait long enough for SSD prices to drop, but Apple's price isn't too bad right now. You could choose to buy a smaller SSD and save some money that way, but in any case you'll also have to pay for the enclosure. I expect you could save some money, but not a huge amount, at least not in the timeframe between now and the next iMac refresh.

    The speed of the link won't help you though. For one thing, you'd need an SSD which would saturate the SATA link, which as far as I know isn't really happening yet for SATA 3. More importantly, nearly all external harddrives are implemented by using SATA plus a bridge between SATA and whatever interface you actually want, so you wouldn't even get a theoretically faster link.
     
  9. JamDonut thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    This is basically the answer to the thread. Apologies again for the misunderstanding. makes sense now. Hey, isn't that what forums are for? ;)
     
  10. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    #10
    It´s okay .. most of iMac consumers don´t do much about technical, nor hanging around MacRumors too often also :p

    You understand that Thunderbolt is external port and designed for multiple devices, right? Just like USB, FireWire etc ..

    But Thunderbolt offer more potential, it could be daisy chained ---> multiple device plugged in continuously using 1 Thunderbolt port on your computer
    Thunderbolt also can be used for display, just like HDMI

    For those heavy activities, Thunderbolt offer a huge 10Gbps bandwidth for each way in or out, so it´s 20Gbps total

    All you need to take benefit of SSD speed, without risking and ripping apart your iMac is using external SSD with Thunderbolt port ..
    SSD with SATA III capable of 6Gbps, but Thunderbolt itself able to transfer 10Gbps .. so there still a surplus on the Thunderbolt side. You can use the remaining bandwidth for Thunderbolt HDD, or even external monitor, etc

    That can be done even without sacrifice SSD performance. That´s the benefit of using external SSD on Thunderbolt.

    The drawback is, some people just dont like things hanging around their iMac, it supposed to be all in one, so any external device considered annoying if presented permanently. Not to mention some naughty kids could take your external SSD away, playing around with it, or bang it to the floor .. oh well
     
  11. JamDonut thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    s*** did i sound that naive lol i've done my research on thundebolt, just maybe not as much as you ;) so what we are saying is thunderbolt is preperation for when SSD hits SATA4/5 and reaches 10Gbps and will be able to make use of transferring data at that speed, which is why apple voted for it over USB 3.0 which will be outdated as soon as SSD can read/write at anything over 6Gbps. I did not know you can chain peripherals together. Damn i'm loving learning more and more about this!
     
  12. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    #12
    Above the paper .. USB 3.0 (5Gbps) has been lost compared to SATA III (6Gbps)

    But truly, the actual performance could be identical for single SSD/HDD drive.
    Actually Thunderbolt may perform equally to USB 3.0 if you only use 1 SSD drive.

    Good news is, Thunderbolt wouldnt be Apple´s exclusive. It would be Intel´s. That way many PC can use Thunderbolt too in the future.

    Just remember, who did it first? :p

    There are a lot of debate going on between Thunderbolt vs USB 3.0, truly similar as competition between Bluray vs HDDVD back in 2006ish. I bet Thunderbolt win and gaining more popularity, but USB port has been known to people for too long. I guess we´ll see.
     
  13. JamDonut thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    so we are all victims of figures on paper once more. I also find it hilarious that no one has adopted USB3 and it has already been outdated.

    Lets just hope DELL aren't the next company to adopt thunderbolt, or apple may lose all credit... ;)

    like you say though "we had it first" ;)
     
  14. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #14
    While yes, the Sata 4/5 would eclipse USB 3.0, it wouldn't make it outdated. Think of how usb 2.0 drives are so common place and they perform at a much slower rate than sata ll

    Alot of computers have usb 3.0 on them already. Just apple isn't on of them
     
  15. theSeb, May 23, 2011
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  16. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #16
    I am not sure what you're trying to say in your first paragraph, but it looks as though you're blaming SATA for the fact that a single mechanical hdd cannot saturate it. The hard drive speeds are a limitation of the hard drive itself. Maybe I just didn't understand but your statement about what SATA is supposed to be threw me off. SATA is exactly what it was supposed to be and it's not the fault of the interface if a single mechanical hdd is too slow to use all of the available bandwidth.

    SATA ii max transfer speed per device is 300 Mega Bytes per second. SATA III is double that at 600 Mega Bytes per second.
     
  17. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

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    #17
    I got a 5,25" and a 3.5" lying around here somewhere, as soon as I can solder on a TB interface onto them, I want them in the Poll also ;)

    Though living in the present, SSD is the only viable solution. I am not going to run an OS drive through TB, not on a laptop anyway.
     
  18. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    #18
    I was trying to say that traditional HDD simply can´t keep up with SATA connection speed. SATA itself is fine, SATA III max bandwidth is 6Gbps, which clearly show improvement between SSD on SATA II vs SATA III

    But the HDD is considered slow, so it´s futile to try external HDD with Thunderbolt for storage, unless you chain it with other device.
     
  19. qap macrumors 6502

    qap

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    #19
    Internal SSS (alone) plus external thunderbolt 10k rpm drive for films and other files ;)
     
  20. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

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    #20
    Basically a traditional HDD is never going to take advantage of Sata 3, USB 3 or TB.

    I think the first drive coming onto the markert is this

    http://www.lacie.com/us/technologies/technology.htm?id=10039

    Now here is the catch, which people do not realise, its needs SSD drives to take advantage of the speeds. The Lacie, drive uses SSD in Raid 0.... this thing is going to be so expansive!

    So if you want an TB solution in the future, to take advantage of the speed, be prepared to pay heaps for it.

    Also consider what the bottleneck is in your system. Having a HDD drive inside your iMac, and then copying files on a TB with SSD.... is going to be bottlenecked by the HDD. Sata 3 and everything above it is great, if your willking to spend big $$ on compatible devices and remove bottlenecks.

    TB is a great concept, if we can make HDD die and SSD continue to go faster and get cheaper.
     
  21. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #21
    Ahh. Ok. So we're saying the same thing. Raid 0 is another matter, but out of the context of this thread.
     
  22. JamDonut thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    For what it's worth, I know this thread has kinda moved on now, but this is what I was thinking :D
     
  23. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

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    #23
    I can't wait to throw my USB keyboard away in favor of a Thunderbolt keyboard, and get my typing speed up from the current limit of 40 million keystrokes per second right up to a billion! :D
     
  24. JamDonut thread starter macrumors member

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    #24
    So this is the conclusion this thread has been looking for, looks like it is necessary to get myself an SSD before I can even think about making 'proper' use of thunderbolt? Not that I can exactly buy any of these things yet lol
     
  25. qap macrumors 6502

    qap

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    #25
    Yep, only 256gb internal SSD is my choice (deliver 28 June :( ) plus an external HD with FW800 for the moment, next i will upgrade to TB but at the moment i've never seen external HD-Bay with TB ports.

    If you need max speed the 10.000rpm drive its' the correct choice, isn't expensive (here in europe 149€ for the Western Digital WD3000HLFS 300 GB - VelociRaptor ) or a normale 1-2TB drive if you don't need the high-speed.

    But i would NOT use an external SSD, there aren't all the "SSD benefits": no noise, no heat, high access speed, etc.. if the SSD is inside the mac is worth, outside not (for me).
     

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