What To Do for Storage (Internal vs External Flash)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MaxMike, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. MaxMike macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2009
    Going to buy an iMac by the end of this month (whether there's a new one released or not) and I'm going a little nuts on possibilities for storage to have attached to it. I was planning to run everything I could from my NAS, but with all of the SMB problems I'm having on Mojave (semi-fixed on 10.14.1 but still not where it should be) I'm thinking I need to keep some direct attached storage around (at least 1TB flash). I've been going back and forth and will probably go with one of these options:

    1. Two SATA SSDs in RAID 0 (obviously keeping a backup). Micro Center currently has 512GB Intel 545s drives for $75, coupled with some USB enclosures it would probably come in under $200 for 1TB. Figured I could have them both connected at all times to the USB-A ports and have Disk Utility create the striped volume and theoretically in certain instances I'd get 10Gbps across the volume.

    2. M.2 NVMe SSD in a USB-C 10Gb enclosure. Would be roughly double the cost (probably around $400-$450 with the enclosure), but then it's a smaller device to keep attached. But then I'm also wasting the bandwidth of the drive by a few hundred MB/s. Wouldn't go for a Thunderbolt enclosure because I'd like for it to be bus powered (all I've seen need external AC power).

    3. Option the iMac with a 1TB SSD from Apple. The most expensive, but also the fastest. But for my needs, I wouldn't really be exploiting all of the bandwidth that the drive has to offer anyway. Also then it would be quite difficult (if even possible) to repurpose the drive in the future.

    When I order, at least a 256GB SSD will be specified instead of a Fusion Drive. These are kinda just the thoughts running through my mind about it, but thought I'd post to see if anyone has some input.
  2. alien3dx macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2017
    if you want to buy it, go for it..Just remember RAID is not a backup ..
  3. MaxMike, Nov 2, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018

    MaxMike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2009
    Well that's a given since RAID 0 is striping across the disks without mirroring or parity.

    I already looked and all the stock of the Intel SSD I saw at Micro Center is already gone since last night. Revisited the M.2 SSD's and the cost will likely be closer to $300, so half the price of the internal upgrade to 1TB. Just debating a TLC vs MLC SSD. Yes, I know the difference between them and know that a higher price comes with the MLC territory and it probably won't make a difference since I won't be writing much to the drive besides an initial migration. And it seems like they have become pretty few and far between (Samsung 960/970 Pro) since TLC is 99% of what I'm seeing.
  4. MaxMike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2009
    Just ordered the 970 EVO 1TB and an enclosure from Amazon. I could have gone for an 860 EVO that would be cheaper, but then I would be leaving at least 4Gbps of bandwidth on the table (which would be 50%-60% of what USB over a Thunderbolt 3 port can deliver). And while USB 3.1 Gen2 will still be a bottleneck on the drive, ~1GB/s will be plenty of speed for everything I'm doing. Wasn't worth it for a Pro Samsung drive for the MLC when the EVO with TLC has the same 5 year warranty and still rated for 600TBW which the drive probably won't ever get near, and the slightly higher speed would be moot since it's not an end-to-end PCIe connection. I'll still have my NAS for archive storage to keep what doesn't need to be on flash accessible (just need another software update to fix the quirks on Mojave).

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3 November 2, 2018