Resolved Whoa! First time using an SSD

Discussion in 'macOS Mojave (10.14)' started by revmacian, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. revmacian macrumors 6502

    revmacian

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    Oct 20, 2018
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    USA
    #1
    I bought my Mac mini, Late 2014 model, last year and it has been ok but a bit slow - I have learned that this is mainly due to the HDD. I decided to try using an External SSD to save backups just to see how the speed was. I bought a SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD in the 500GB size. It included a USB Type C cable and an adapter to plug it into devices that only have USB Type A - such as my 2014 Mac mini.

    My first task was to copy over all of my personal file - about 400MB worth. This task completed so fast that I thought it failed to copy everything. After checking files on the new SSD I found that it copied everything. I am amazed these things are so fast! I was going to make some coffee while the computer did the work but I didn't have the chance.

    SanDisk SSD.jpeg

    This thing is so fast compared to the HDD on my Mac mini!

    This got me thinking.. I wonder how much work it would be to use it as the boot/system drive.
    I'll have to do some research, I may hold on to this Mac mini for a while longer and just use the internal HDD for storage.

    Anyway, if you're looking for a small, portable SSD that has an IP55 rating, the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD might be for you.
     
  2. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #2
    From what I've seen, many people on here use Samsung's popular and well-regarded T5 external SSDs for various purposes, including as a boot drive. There are posts around here describing just how to do that kind of setup. As for me, I've been using Samsung T-series external SSDs since the T1 was introduced a few years ago and IMHO they are just terrific. I use them mainly for backing up my files and also as "supplemental" drives to keep some files that I still need handy but not retained on the internal SSD. I first implemented this system back in 2015 with a 15" MBP that had 512 GB SSD internal drive. I've just recently started using a 2018 15" MBP with a 1 TB SSD internal drive, so I will have more space on my machine's internal drive now but am still planning to continue with the "supplemental drive" system that I've established, as it works well and keeps the internal drive from being cluttered up. These things are great for traveling, too.

    I am definitely hooked on both internal and external SSDs and cannot imagine ever again using a computer with a platter drive!
     
  3. revmacian thread starter macrumors 6502

    revmacian

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    #3
    I've spent the last hour on youtube and comparing SSD's and I just might buy a Samsung T5 to use as a system/boot drive for my Mac mini and keep the SanDisk SSD for backups - though I like the Glyph Atom too. I like how they're so small and light that you can put them in your pocket.

    Yep, these SSD's have me spoiled now!
     
  4. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #4
    I first got hooked and very quickly spoiled by the speed of SSDs when I bought a 13" MBP back in 2015 and noticed how it was running circles around my 2012 iMac, which had a 5400 rpm HDD. Soon I found myself using the laptop more and more and the iMac less and less. I kept waiting for the upcoming 21.5 iMac with retina screen, and when that was finally available, I was disappointed with the specs and decided for many reasons that I would be much happier with a 15" 2015 MBP, which I bought. It wasn't long after that when I learned about the Samsung T1 external SSD and was immediately enthralled; I have been using the Samsungs ever since. Now I'm lusting after a Samsung X5 (Thunderbolt 3) to use with my new MBP but my bank account warns me that this will have to wait a while.....

    In the meantime it was a piece of cake and so fast to transfer images from the older MBP to the Samsung T5, swap cables (both a USB-C to USB-A and a USB-C to USB-C cable come with the T5) and then plug the device into the new machine and transfer my documents, music, photos, etc......
     
  5. niji Contributor

    niji

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    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    tokyo
    #5
    yes. this Sandisk Extreme SSD is really excellent.
    i have had my (1TB) for a few months now.
    what convinced me to buy it was that i was able to confirm that it could be also used as the destination for Time Machine.
    this means that I always have my Time Machine with me when i travel.
    quick, portable, nice tactile feel to it.
    and, as you mention, it was forward looking when it 1st came out by being basically USB-C out of the box, and only for us who had USB-A ports that are so yesterday we need the included adapter for a short period until we updated our machines.
     
  6. trifid macrumors 68000

    trifid

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    May 10, 2011
    #6
    You can clone your hdd to the external ssd with an utility like Superduper and use the ssd as your boot drive. It’s easy and it’ll be a night and day difference for your mac.
     
  7. revmacian thread starter macrumors 6502

    revmacian

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    #7
    Yeah, I learned just earlier that Disk Utility (shipped with macOS) can do the same cloning.. seriously considering doing that.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 15, 2018 ---
    Can I use the internal HDD of my Mac mini as a Time Machine destination drive? Or, would that be too slow?
     
  8. HenryAZ macrumors 6502a

    HenryAZ

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    South Congress AZ
    #8
    Even better, keep your new external SSD for data, and replace that internal platter drive with a new Samsung SSD. This iFixit Guide explains how, step by step. Buy an external enclosure (Oyen Digital makes an excellent little enclosure for $30, MiniPro, Enclosure only). Then put your new SSD in the enclosure and clone your existing boot drive to it. Once you are sure it boots and is a good clone, swap it into your Mini to replace the old HDD and you have an internal SSD boot. Then you can use the enclosure with your old platter drive for more external storage. Having the SSD as an internal boot drive is the best of all worlds, and then you won't have to boot from an external.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    OP wrote:
    "This got me thinking.. I wonder how much work it would be to use it as the boot/system drive.
    I'll have to do some research, I may hold on to this Mac mini for a while longer and just use the internal HDD for storage."


    The research can stop right here.

    If you set up that external SSD to be the boot drive, you will come back to this thread and say:
    "I never could have dreamed that my Mini could run this fast!!!!"

    You can either buy another SSD, or use the one you have now.
    A Samsung t5 isn't really going to perform any better than the Sandisk Extreme.

    Some questions:
    How large is the internal HDD?
    1tb?

    If you want an easy, painless way to do things, and IF you can afford to buy a 1tb external USB3 SSD, do that.

    Then... use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to "clone" the contents of the internal HDD to the SSD.

    There's really not much to doing this. The hardest part is waiting for the clone to finish.

    The other way (with the existing 500gb SSD) would be to do "a selective clone".
    That is, you could use CCC which allows you to "DE-select" items you don't want to clone.
    That way, you can clone over the OS, apps, and -some- (not ALL) of your account to get a bootable SSD.
    This is easier than it sounds.
     
  10. revmacian thread starter macrumors 6502

    revmacian

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    #10
    I've been researching this all morning and it's going to be easy.
    I'll buy another external SSD for this. I want to keep my current SSD as a backup target because I'm never using external HDD's again. I don't feel like opening my Mac mini and doing an internal swap - I'm just too lazy for that.

    My current Mac mini is the Late 2014 model with a 500GB SATA HDD. I have never used more than 40GB of this drive in the year that I've had it, so I am assuming that a 256GB external SSD will suffice.
     
  11. saudor macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 18, 2011
    #11
    This. An internal SSD is going to be more seamless
     
  12. revmacian thread starter macrumors 6502

    revmacian

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    #12
    Agreed. However, it will cost more in tool purchases and time required. There is also less chance of me breaking something if I stay out of the casing.
     
  13. trifid macrumors 68000

    trifid

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    May 10, 2011
    #13
    I’m using mac mini with external ssd boot drive and works perfectly fine. I think this is a great way to go if you don’t mind external drive.

    And if you want to sell mac mini a year or so from now you can unplug ssd and sell it with the hdd it came with, no hassles.
     
  14. revmacian thread starter macrumors 6502

    revmacian

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    #14
    Ok, I've learned how to clone the existing internal HDD to an external SSD using Disk Utility from recovery mode. I'm sure Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper are wonderful apps, but I'm going to try it with Disk Utility and see how it goes. I just need to go and buy an external SSD and I should be all set.
     
  15. HenryAZ macrumors 6502a

    HenryAZ

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    #15
    Don't buy an "external SSD". A bare enclosure + a bare SSD will be cheaper, and you can later repurpose the case with another drive if you so decide.

    Get the case I mentioned above and buy the bare SSD to go in it. I could not be simpler to put the two together, if you have a #1 Phillips screwdriver. 4 screws to open the case, and 4 more to secure your SSD. The SSD just plugs into the case's board, which has a SATA connector just waiting for the SSD.
     
  16. trifid macrumors 68000

    trifid

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #16
    I like the ones sold at OWC’s garage sale better, $5 plus shipping, I’ve been using several of these with Samsung EVO and they are a delight. No power cable either, it’s powered via USB3:

    https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Seagate/SEXTDSLIM2.5/
     
  17. revmacian, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018

    revmacian thread starter macrumors 6502

    revmacian

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    #17
    Can I place any internal SSD into any drive enclosure? Does it mater who makes the drive, or the model number? I remember from back when I built computers, it was such a pain to have to match things up prior to purchase.
     
  18. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #18
    You can try "cloning" with Disk Utility, but... if that doesn't work...

    ... try CCC instead.
    It's FREE.
    It's remarkably easy to use -- one of the finest examples of Mac software available.
    And... it WORKS.
     
  19. HenryAZ macrumors 6502a

    HenryAZ

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    Jan 9, 2010
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    South Congress AZ
    #19
    The standard drive enclosures mentioned in this thread take SATA drives, including SATA SSDs, or 2.5" SATA platter drives. You cannot put a PCiE SSD in them. The make special enclosures for those. As for brand, any SATA SSD should work fine . Samsung has long been a popular choice, but many other vendors make them, like Crucial, OWC, Intel, etc.
     

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