Using an external thunderbolt SSD external to speed up

Discussion in 'iMac' started by d82k, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. d82k macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #1
    Dear All,

    I would like to increase the speed on my iMac 27" mid 2011. Currently it has the standard 1 TB hdd (almost empty) and 12GB RAM. I was thinking about adding an SSD internal to it but the cost is high, especially if I have to use one of the disks provided by Apple (http://www.macrumors.com/2014/10/31/angelbird-ssd-trim/).

    For this reason the alternative could be to buy an external ssd 250GB thunderbolt disk, install Yosemite and boot my iMac from it.

    Would I actually benefit from doing it or not really?
    I found this right now: LaCie 250GB SSD Rugged Thunderbolt/USB 3.0 Drive
    Do you have any other to suggest?

    Thank you for your support and advices.
    dk
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    You would benefit it greatly.

    You can also just buy any 2.5" SSD (you'll need a 3.5" to 2.5" adaptor though) and stick it inside your Mac if you can open it up.
     
  3. bassjunky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    I have the same iMac and opted for this external Thunderbolt SSD:

    http://www.amazon.com/Transcend-256...&qid=1423694132&sr=1-3&keywords=transcend+ssd

    I feel it's quite fast and should last a while. I went with the Transcend over the Lacie because it was slightly cheaper and not near as ugly, though I'm sure that orange case can be removed.

    Eventually I'll probably crack open the Mac and install it internally, but the external option seems to work nearly just as good. Getting 280+MB/s on reads, 380+MB/s on writes.
     
  4. colorspace macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    #4
    Were it me I would stay with an external TB SSD. Allows for possible mobility for say a MBP -- nice to be able to boot into the same environment and have the same data, etc on the road.

    More importantly you will see no speed increase by moving internally, and MOST IMPORTANTLY getting into a 2011 iMac is a huge PITA.

     
  5. bassjunky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    So an SSD directly connected to the internal SATA connector would show no speed improvement over an external Thunderbolt SSD?

    I realize Thunderbolt is an external PCIe connection, but I'm curious if the throughput on the external is limited by SATA controller within the external chassis (in my case, the Transcend) or possibly the flash memory they use.

    I'm pretty sure the Transcend doesn't use a typical 2.5" SSD in its case, but I'm curious if I were to use a good SSD like a Samsung 850Pro, if I would see any speed increase using it either internally or externally over TB.
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #6
    There is actually a bottleneck with an SSD in a TB enclosure.

    My 840 Pro in my LaCie rugged clocks in at 400MB/s read and write, but when connected natively via SATA3, it gets 510 MB/s read and 470 MB/s write.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    [[ There is actually a bottleneck with an SSD in a TB enclosure.
    My 840 Pro in my LaCie rugged clocks in at 400MB/s read and write, but when connected natively via SATA3, it gets 510 MB/s read and 470 MB/s write. ]]


    Granted, there IS a slight speed difference which can be measured by benchmarking software, but....

    .... IN THE REAL WORLD of "human perception", there will no "discernible difference" in these speeds.

    The OP wanted the easiest way to increase the overall performance of the iMac.
    The easiest, fastest way without doing surgery on it is to "go thunderbolt".

    I predict the OP will be VERY pleased by going this route...
     
  8. colorspace macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    #8
    Agreed that based on the specific chipset used in the SATA/TB board there might be a very slight decrease in thruput, but hardly significant in most cases. I have an OWC enclosure with a Samsung 840EVO and even using USB3.0 the drop in performance about the same you mention below.

    What that I do know for sure though is that opening a 2011 iMac, if you haven't done it before, will age you 1.83 years :)

     
  9. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #9
    ^ ^

    Yes, the difference is only there in benchmarks, not in real-life usage, where huge reads/writes are very, very rare. SSD = random read/write awesomeness, no matter if your SSD is first generation or current generation. It's full of win!
     
  10. d82k thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #10
  11. bassjunky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    Not true, you can still enable Trim on 3rd party SSDs and install Yosemite on an external SSD.
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    OP wrote above:
    [[ My only concern is about the usage of a 3rd-party SSD drive (not Apple SSD) and Yosemite since it seems Apple only supports Trim on its own SSD drives.. ]]

    My recommendation:
    Don't worry about TRIM.
    With many drives you buy now, it won't make any difference at all.

    My opinion only, and others will disagree.
    Some may disagree vehemently.
     
  13. d82k thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 24, 2011
  14. WilliamG, Feb 13, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015

    WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #14
    Save yourself the money. Just use Trim Enabler. Works just fine in Yosemite.

    And to answer your first question, yes - the difference will be huge if you switch to a Thunderbolt SSD. Don't overthink it. Just pick up a Samsung Evo or an OCZ/Corsair/Crucial whatever, shove it in a Seagate Backup Plus Thunderbolt enclosure, enable Trim Enabler, and you're done. Or do the Lacie Rugged if that orange thing is your bag.

    I used a Thunderbolt boot SSD on my 2012 iMac for 2 years, and am still doing so on my new 5K iMac.

    Personally, I'd buy this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Thund...=8-3&keywords=seagate+backup+plus+thunderbolt

    OR:

    If you see this in time, it's cheaper here:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Seagate-Thu...Home_Network_Storage_NAS_&hash=item259c8a6fba

    Either way, the drive+adapter bundle comes with a detachable Thunderbolt cable, which I prefer to the integrated ones on the e.g. Lucie Rugged.

    Pop the 1TB drive out and enjoy it as a spare or backup disk or... whatever.

    Then put this disk in the enclosure:

    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-2-5-I...3851087&sr=8-1&keywords=samsung+850+evo+250gb

    And voila. $10-$50 cheaper than the Lacie (depending if you buy from eBay or Amazon), with a 5-year warranty SSD, and a free 1TB 2.5" disk to go along with it. :)

    (I'm using that very enclosure/Thunderbolt adapter - with a 1TB Samsung 850 Evo)
     

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