[Tip] Booting from an external FW 800 SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by louwrentius, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. louwrentius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    #1
    Hello,

    For the people who don't want to open up their (brand new) iMacs and spend too much $$$ on the Apple built-to-order SSD, there is an alternative solution.

    All iMacs have a Firewire 800 connection and although it isn't as fast as a regular SATA connection, it is fast enough to enjoy the benefit of an SSD.

    The throughput of a Firewire 800 connection is about 70 MB/s, way lower than an SSD is able to deliver. However, SSDs are about (random) IO performance and in that case, the Firewire connection is almost never a true bottleneck.

    I would have bought a thunderbolt external HDD case if it would exist. So that's why I went with a FW 800 casing.

    I bought this case.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Although FW 800 does supply power to run the SSD, I had to supply power to the DC input also, otherwise I got random lockups. By suplying extra power, the system is now rock solid for a week.

    I made a blog post about this also.
    http://louwrentius.com/blog/2011/07/cheap-solution-for-putting-an-ssd-in-an-imac/

    I'm very happy with this setup. This way I can use my 'old' Intel SSD from my previous system with my Mac. The system boots from the 'boing' to the login screen in about 17 seconds. Login is almost instantaneously.

    I hope somebody finds some use in this. Maybe other people had luck with other FW 800 casings?
     
  2. premneo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #2
    Thanks for the information. I could add my Intel X25 SSD to my firewire daisy chain. Do you know if you can install bootcamp on the firewire drive?
     
  3. louwrentius thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    #3
    As far as I know Windows cannot boot from a firewire disk.

    I have an intel X25 SSD put into the enclosure myself so it would work.
     
  4. mikeandbecka macrumors newbie

    mikeandbecka

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Southern CA
    #4
    what speeds are you getting from this? (black magic speed test)
     
  5. Hairlesswookiee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Location:
    Pensacola
    #5
    Yes I would also like to know the speeds you're logging on this setup. I thought about doing this a long time ago when I was close to buying an iMac last year.
     
  6. Major.Robto macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #6
    Eh, this does not sound like a bad ideia to be honest, I am looking to install one in my imac 8,1 but I need a adaptor for the IDE drive because I want to take that out.
     
  7. BSoares macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    This topic is old. Today you can use thunderbolt and get full SSD speeds. FW800 isn't fast enough.
     
  8. Major.Robto macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #8
    Sorry, said it was new and to be honest. it some how was higher then my topic I made this afternoon


    also my cace I can not use thunderbullcrap....its still to new for me. still rocking out on 2008 macs
     
  9. antman2x2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    New YAWK
    #9
    Please show me a way to hook up an SSD to thunderbolt without spending 400+ on useless crap.
     
  10. BSoares macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Location:
    USA
    #10
  11. joesegh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #11
    My mid-2007 iMac had an HDD failure. Would this be a viable solution for implementing a new drive without having to open up the case myself or paying for someone else to do that?

    Would it support SSD via FW800, or (because of the age), would I need to consider another HDD via FW800?

    I'm looking for a temporary solution until the 2012 iMac comes out (hopefully!) so ideally it would be a cheap fix.

    Thoughts?
     
  12. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #12
    I got a Vertex 4 128GB SSD, SeaGate Thunderbolt adapter, and El Gato Thunderbolt cable from Amazon for just a little over $300 with tax and shipping...If you wait for the holiday sales, I imagine you could get that same setup for ~$250.
     

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