With macOS Is it possible to create a Swap File on an external SSD?

Skeptical.me

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 10, 2017
453
388
Australia
I have a new 2017 iMac 27" 5K iMac with 1TB Fusion drive. With macOS Is it possible to create a Swap File on an external SSD? Just wondering if it's worth trying.

Thanks :)
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,467
24,213
It would be easier, cheaper, and more beneficial to performance if you just upgrade the RAM instead. There’s literally no benefit to an external SSD being used as a swap file.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Skeptical.me

Skeptical.me

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 10, 2017
453
388
Australia
It would be easier, cheaper, and more beneficial to performance if you just upgrade the RAM instead. There’s literally no benefit to an external SSD being used as a swap file.
Ok, I wasn't sure. It helped my father's PC so I was wondering if would with a mac just out of curiosity. I've already got 64GB of RAM, no room for anymore. I just wish I had gotten an SSD installed rather than this Fusion drive. And I can't get it upgraded as I paid for AppleCare+ (3years warranty). I'm not overly experienced with this type of stuff, but, I read somewhere recently that you can use external ssd's to increase performance. So, I'll look i to that.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,467
24,213
Ok, I wasn't sure. It helped my father's PC so I was wondering if would with a mac just out of curiosity. I've already got 64GB of RAM, no room for anymore. I just wish I had gotten an SSD installed rather than this Fusion drive. And I can't get it upgraded as I paid for AppleCare+ (3years warranty). I'm not overly experienced with this type of stuff, but, I read somewhere recently that you can use external ssd's to increase performance. So, I'll look i to that.
Ohh right I see. If you’re struggling with performance, the hard drive is the bottleneck.

Sorry I misunderstood as I thought you meant swap file like RAM — if you’re looking for an external SSD as the boot drive then that would increase performance. :)
 

Skeptical.me

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 10, 2017
453
388
Australia
Ohh right I see. If you’re struggling with performance, the hard drive is the bottleneck.

Sorry I misunderstood as I thought you meant swap file like RAM — if you’re looking for an external SSD as the boot drive then that would increase performance. :)
oh, sorry, yeah. Im not "with it" today. performance is the issue. I was misunderstanding what a swap file actually does. Silly me. lol. Thanks!
 

Skeptical.me

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 10, 2017
453
388
Australia
Don’t worry buddy! Nice and easy to install MacOS to an external drive and set that as default. Let me know if you have any issues.
Thanks.

I just ordered a Wavlink USB-C M.2 enclosure for my 500GB M.2 SATA 2280 500GB I have, I have two of them for my NAS but I think I'll use one for the iMac. Looking forward to the enclosure arriving.
 
  • Like
Reactions: keysofanxiety

Skeptical.me

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 10, 2017
453
388
Australia
Don’t worry buddy! Nice and easy to install MacOS to an external drive and set that as default. Let me know if you have any issues.
Lol I was on a pain killer the day I wrote the above, man, they can cloud your thinking.

Anyhow, I installed a 500GB M.2 SSD in a USB-C to USB-C external housing and installed Mojave via USB, then set the SSD as the startup disk. Then I used velcro to stick the SSD Housing to the back of the iMac. It's running really well. Much quicker than the Fusion drive. I'm going to only install Apps that are necessary this time around rather than buying and installing a heap of Apps just because they look interesting. I did that with my Late 2015 model and it slowed down considerably.
 
  • Like
Reactions: keysofanxiety