- Jan 3, 2018 at 1:59 am #3510554
Sacrificial uneditable first post.Jan 3, 2018 at 2:00 am #3510556
Franco DarioliBPL Member
Yes , it is possible.Jan 3, 2018 at 2:15 am #3510557
A day hike with a BPLer buddy and some trail tech talk has me looking at a solution that doesn’t involve me cracking open my iMac to replace its aging HDD. I’m hoping the hive and all you IT folks can help point me in the right direction.
I have a 2011 iMac 21.5 version 12,1 that I need to set up an external boot drive for.
Below are the things I think I know:
The fastest port, I believe, is Thunderbolt 1 (something I’ve never used) that can transfer speeds at 10 gbps.
I’m trying to figure out a way to Frankenstein together an external 1TB SSD for well under $400, preferably closer to $300.
So far I’m looking at combining a Samsung Evo 1TB 2.5″ SATAIII with a Transcend StoreJet 3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure via a KanexThunderbolt to eSata Plus USB 3.0 adapter. Links below.
I’ve looked for a Thunderbolt 1 or 2 external hard drive enclosure but all of them have dead/discontinued links.
My concern with the above proposed solution is that the I’d create a choke point with either the USB 3 jack at 5 gbps or the eSata jack at 6gbps (assuming it’s the current/fastest version).
Since this will be my boot drive and I will be running some programs like Photoshop and Final Cut X, I’mt trying to war game a solution that maximizes performance without breaking the bank.
Any thoughts on how I could optimize this?Jan 3, 2018 at 2:23 am #3510558
To preemptively respond to the “buy a new ‘puter”
If you can show me how to get a mac with 1TB SSD storage and 32gb RAM for under $700, I’m certainly interested.Jan 3, 2018 at 2:41 am #3510559
The Samsung specs show 540MB/s so perhaps USB 3.0 isn’t an issue?
Definitely outside of my wheelhouse here.Jan 3, 2018 at 2:53 am #3510562
I’d seriously consider an OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini. It’s not exactly cheap, at around $400 with no drives (on sale for $350 at the moment), but it’s an excellent piece of kit, and it will grow with you. You can add up to four SSDs (or 2.5″ HDDs, but why would you), has Thunderbolt 2 (which is backward compatible with 1), is RAID compatible so, in the future, if you wanted to get more drives and configure them in a RAID, you can. And since each drive is separate (unless you configure a RAID), you could have two drives set up as a RAID and 2 drives set up as distinct drives.
I have the older version, have had it for a couple of years now. Has always worked perfectly.
If you want to start a bit smaller, they also have the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual enclosure with USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 2. Two drive bays instead of four. It’s only $270, but you’d also need a couple of 3.5″ to 2.5″ drive adapters at $15 each. Personally, I’d go for the Thunderbay 4 Mini. Not much more dinero, but much more useful configurations.Jan 3, 2018 at 3:06 am #3510565
That’s an interesting proposal but I’m still trying to wrap my head around what RAID protocol is the best to go with for the next fiveish years. Now that I’m shooting almost entirely in RAW and am starting to dip my toes into 4K, I definitely foresee my storage needs increasing exponentially in that timeframe.
I’m not sure if you can set up one drive as a boot drive and the others within the same case into some sort of RAID configuration or not.
As of this moment, the Elite Pro Dual appeals to me *if* I could use one 1TB SSD boot drive and a 10TB HDD for storage, but from reading their specs, I don’t think it’s doable.
Jan 3, 2018 at 3:11 am #3510567
- <h4>Drive(s) Supported<sup><span style=”font-size: small;”> 3</span></sup></h4>
- (2) 3.5″ SATA 6Gb/s drives
- (2) 2.5″ SATA 6Gb/s drives<sup><span style=”font-size: small;”> 4</span></sup>
- SATA revision 3.0 (6Gb/s) compliant
- Compatible with SATA revisions 2.0 (3Gb/s) and 1.0 (1.5Gb/s)
- Footnote 3. Not compatible with the following Seagate drive: Seagate ST8000NM0055, part number 1RM112-102, AND firmware version PN02. Please note that drives with the same model number but different firmware DO work correctly.
“I’m not sure if you can set up one drive as a boot drive and the others within the same case into some sort of RAID configuration or not.”
My bet is yes, but give OWC a call and ask.
“but from reading their specs, I don’t think it’s doable.”
My guess is you could easily use a 3.5″ drive and a 2.5″ drive together. Can’t think of a reason it wouldn’t work. But, call OWC and ask. :-)Jan 3, 2018 at 3:14 am #3510568
The cleanest solution would be to box up my iMac, mail it to OWC and have them swap my HDD for the SSD an pay the $279 dummy tax above and beyond what the external solution would cost. I watched a couple of their videos on how to swap out the HDD for the SSD, and while it looks doable, my destruction of an iPhone 5s during a battery swap does not inspire confidence.
Bull in a china shop sort of scenario.
While I’m shooting for 32gb of RAM, I have four DDR3 slots and it’s likely 16gb is more than I need. So one possibility is to throttle back on the memory and divert some of those funds to storage.Jan 3, 2018 at 3:28 am #3510570
If you want to get into serious video editing and such, the cleanest solution would be to box up your iMac, donate it to your local school, and buy a new Mac Pro. C’mon, it’s only about $5 grand. :-)
As far as RAIDs, have a look at SoftRAID‘s site (well-known, highly regarded software RAID for Macs). Lots of great info on various RAID configurations. Everything they talk about, though, starts at 4 drives, not two, FWIW.Jan 3, 2018 at 3:33 am #3510572
BTW, also FWIW, I use an external SSD via USB 3 as the boot drive for my Mac Mini (constantly records video from a security cam, 24/7) and it’s worked quite well. No real issues to speak of, so I think, for now and for cheap, a USB 3 enclosure would work just fine as an external boot drive for what you’re trying to do with an old Mac.Jan 3, 2018 at 3:33 am #3510573
The new Mac is definitely drool worthy, and pretty far outside of my budget. Maybe in five years.
At any rate, this iMac performed admirably with iMovie and Lightroom out of the box with 4gb of Ram so going from a 5400rpm HDD to an SSD and 16-32gb of RAM *should* be plenty to stack images in Photoshop and some more processing intense editing in FCP with kits and whatnot, all for well under $1000.Jan 3, 2018 at 5:12 am #3510581
Chatting with my brother about this. You’re iMac doesn’t have usb3 ports, they’re usb2 ports. An external usb2 drive would suck, and you would not want to use that as a boot drive.
so for your iMac, you’d want an external firewire 800 drive if you don’t want to open it up, an external usb3 drive would do you no good.
My bad for not looking up the specs on your iMac.Jan 3, 2018 at 5:19 am #3510583
Yes on the USB 2 ports but I have a Thunderbolt 1 port. From my Mac it’d go thunderbolt to USB 3/eSata adapter, and then connect with the SSD’s case.
In theory this would give me a 6gbps conduit to the SSD. If I can find something that interfaces with the SSD with just the Thunderbolt 1, then I’d be closer to 10gbps.
Again, in theory.
If I’m understanding the the SSD’s specs correctly, The USB/eSata choke point wouldn’t have an impact on its read/write speeds.
But don’t have a warm fuzzy on any of this and think I’m misunderstandingJan 3, 2018 at 5:24 am #3510584
The more I write out how convoluted it is to set up an external boot drive the better mailing it off to OWC is starting to sound.Jan 3, 2018 at 5:28 am #3510585
If you’re talking about the Kanex, I don’t believe it supports booting from a connected external drive.Jan 3, 2018 at 5:34 am #3510586
That may be true regarding Kanex but I’m not finding it in its specs. My understanding it jay it’s simply adapting my Thunderbolt 1 jack into a eSata and USB 3 jack.Jan 3, 2018 at 5:45 am #3510588
You could just get a used Macbook Pro 13″ (Retina, early 2015, 3.1 GHz i7) with 16 GB RAM and a 500GB SSD hard drive, with a 27″ Apple Thunderbolt Display for $2000.Jan 3, 2018 at 5:49 am #3510589
Easy there Scrooge McDuck. We all don’t push piles of cash around our house with a bulldozer ;)Jan 3, 2018 at 5:51 am #3510590
Ha!Jan 3, 2018 at 3:55 pm #3510632
Daryl and DarylBPL Member
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
I’m impressed with the way you guys can talk about technical stuff. Sounds like you really know your stuff.
Jan 3, 2018 at 4:39 pm #3510643
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Daryl and Daryl.
Ken T.BPL Member
Sounds plausible, I guess.
- <h4>Drive(s) Supported<sup><span style=”font-size: small;”> 3</span></sup></h4>
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