Use the Internal or External Drive?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by GovtLawyer, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. GovtLawyer macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2008
    Now that I have my 21.5 - 3.2 - 16Gb - 1TB Fusion, I want to set it up to work optimally.

    Specifically, I have my entire photo library and ripped CDs on the internal drive. I have yet to work extensively with Lightroom, (I will at times be processing photo shoots of 100 to 200 20MB photos) so I have not yet asked my iMac to use the Hard Drive portion of the drive much at all. It seems to be using the SSD for most of what I do, (documents on Pages, Safari, & my business related Filemaker program which uses an offsite server) and I hardly ever hear the drive, and everything is very quick.

    I also have an external Toshiba 2T - USB 3.0 - 5400 Drive, which is partitioned for 850GB for Time Machine and 1.15 for files. I have yet to put any files on the external file portion.

    My computer is additionally backed up daily by Carbonite

    Is there any benefit for me to transfer the photo files to the external drive and to use that drive when in Lightroom? I gather it would take work off of the internal drive, but that is not too often, and it ought to be dependable for some time, I assume. On the other hand, if I do transfer to the external, I would need to tell Carbonite to back that up, at a nominal additional cost of $40 per year.

    Also, would the external drive slow up work in Lightroom?

    As always, thanks in advance for the good advice I know will be forthcoming.
  2. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2013
    I assume the internal is 7200rpm? In which case if you get a external 7200rpm usb3 performance should be the same. Once in the app. The app should be using internal ssd to launch. Should or shouldn't? I guess should just keep it were it is in order to stay with your line of thinking when you bought the mac. You bought it with 1 TB of storage so you could store stuff right? Not to use it would be a waste then. I went the other way and got a internal 512 ssd and try and store everything on my external. The ssd is basically for apps. I'm a app whore
  3. GovtLawyer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2008
    Makes Sense

    I did buy it expecting to use the internal drive. Buying an external for Time Machine made sense, as I would need it if for some reason my iMac was inoperable or stolen or whatever. It just seems to me that I have all of that drive space on the external and thought it should be used.

    I think my 1TB fusion, since it is on a 21.5, is a 5400, same as the external, and the 7200 is on the 27" So, there may be some speed issues, although I doubt I'd see it much. Will the transfer over a 3.0 USB degrade the speed?
  4. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2013
    Don't quote me, but I do not think using a usb3 external would degrade the speed at all considering you have a 5400 internal as well. The bottle neck won't be in the USB as it's 3. Prob be in the 5400rpm drive. Either way you can't go wrong. You may see a slight speed increase on your Mac by not filling up her memory. But that's about it prob. If they are important pics to you you should have them in more than one place anyway. I've lost all my stuff before and it was not a pleasant experience. Did give me something to do though for 5 months. Rebuilding my entire docs lol.

    But is the mac usb3 as well? Or just backwards compatible? Because in which case if it was usb2 you prob would see a speed decrease.
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Since you have a Fusion drive, I would just continue using that for the Photos as well.

    As for your time Machine drive, you should just use it for Time Machine. If you put active files on it and it fails, you lose the active files as well as your Time Machine backups. And I like having more than one backup of my data/photos because stuff does happen.

    And if you do need to go to an external drive because your internal drive is getting too full, I suggest you get a 7200 RPM drive for the external data drive.
  6. GovtLawyer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2008

    I think I'll stay with the internal. If it starts to get full, I'll use the external. If I do go external I would have to back that with Carbonite. However, I do not think it would be slower as the new iMac is 3.0 USB. I guess I have several options, which is always a good thing. Thanks for your help.

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