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Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

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Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby Matthew Seed » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:30 pm

Hi guys and gals. I have a Mac that is an iMac 2011 thats running quite slow.

Can I just ask a quick question, would it be faster operation to have all my software libraries like for Superior Drummer etc on an external SSD drive going into Thunderbolt rather than all of them on the computers built in drive.

Thank you
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:35 pm

If the internal drive is a spinning drive, then yes.

If the internal drive is an SSD, then it will probably be comparable speed.
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby Matthew Seed » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:42 pm

Thank you Desmond, below is the spec of my machine. Sorry to ask as it all doesn't mean that much to me, does this info tell you what I have ? Thank you

Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac12,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i5
Processor Speed: 2.7 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 20 GB
Boot ROM Version: 85.0.0.0.0
SMC Version (system): 1.72f2
Hardware UUID: 5A3856E8-4207-5889-AD28-239931F60A66
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:49 pm

No, that tells me nothing about your internal drive, really. If your iMac is from 2011, it probably won't be an SSD, unless you've bought one and upgraded it yourself (although, it may not be easily replaceable depending on your iMac).
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby Kwackman » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:51 pm

In your mac specs, to get that info you clicked.. "About this Mac"then "System Report"?
If my screen is like yours, on the left of all that info, if you click on the "Hardware" arrow, you should see in the list "Storage". That'll tell you what your internal drive is, hopefully!
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby Matthew Seed » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:56 pm

Thanks guys, this is that info:

Available: 182.22 GB (182,215,380,992 bytes)
Capacity: 999.35 GB (999,345,127,424 bytes)
Mount Point: /
File System: Journaled HFS+
Writable: Yes
Ignore Ownership: No
BSD Name: disk0s2
Volume UUID: ABE433F9-D355-35AE-88F1-E51BD4D9AC2D
Physical Drive:
Device Name: ST31000528AS
Media Name: ST31000528AS Media
Medium Type: Rotational
Protocol: SATA
Internal: Yes
Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:58 pm

Yes, it's a spinning rust drive. Any SSD will be much faster than what you have.
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby Matthew Seed » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:03 pm

Thanks Desmond, would you advise an external SSD over replacing the internal drive of the iMac ?

And just 2 more questions if i may, sorry I don't know much about these things.

1. I only have one spare Thunderbolt port on my Mac, can i daisy chain my UAD Apollo Twin through an SSD into the Mac with no problems.

2. Is there any SSD drive you would recommend, if not an exact one then anything, spec wise I should look out for ?

Thank you so very much.
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:36 pm

Matthew Seed wrote:Thanks Desmond, would you advise an external SSD over replacing the internal drive of the iMac ?

Well, first you need to find out if you can even replace the drive in an iMac. They weren't designed to be user-replaceable. If you can, yes, an SSD for the system will be a way faster experience in general.

Matthew Seed wrote:1. I only have one spare Thunderbolt port on my Mac, can i daisy chain my UAD Apollo Twin through an SSD into the Mac with no problems.

You can only daisychain TB devices if the devices have two TB ports, one in and one out. I think the Apollo Twin only has one, so it would have to be at the end of the chain. So you'd need a TB drive which has two TB ports in order to add another device to the chain.

Matthew Seed wrote:2. Is there any SSD drive you would recommend, if not an exact one then anything, spec wise I should look out for ?

Not particularly...
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby Matthew Seed » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:58 pm

Thats really useful. When you get an external drive like that, can you put on there the software like Logic for example, can you run software from an external drive or is it just for the likes of Libraries of content ?

Thanks Desmond, Your help is much appreciated.

I will look into getting a 2 port TB SSD drive

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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:04 pm

Matthew Seed wrote:When you get an external drive like that, can you put on there the software like Logic for example, can you run software from an external drive or is it just for the likes of Libraries of content ?

Just for libraries, your projects and so on. Apps and the OS always run off your system disk (this is why an internal SSD speeds things up so much.)

Logic has a tool to relocate it's sound content to a different location, and many other apps/plugins etc have something similar, or let you choose where to store the big stuff.
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby Matthew Seed » Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:06 pm

Great stuff, Thanks again Desmond.

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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby MOF » Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:58 pm

I put a SSD into my MBP 2009 and put the old drive into a usb housing for when I want to use apps that only work on that OS.
I don’t know how easy replacing your iMac’s drive will be but if it’s fast enough for your requirements (adding more RAM might give you more speed and be easier to install) then I would say just get an external SSD for your sample libraries.
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby wireman » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:02 pm

MOF wrote:I put a SSD into my MBP 2009 and put the old drive into a usb housing for when I want to use apps that only work on that OS.
I don’t know how easy replacing your iMac’s drive will be but if it’s fast enough for your requirements (adding more RAM might give you more speed and be easier to install) then I would say just get an external SSD for your sample libraries.

I have also replaced the drive with an SSD in a MBP of around that vintage.

It made a huge difference to the boot up time.
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Re: Host Drive Vs External SSD fro speed

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:50 pm

Matthew Seed - With a mac of that age its probably worth double checking that you do actually have a thunderbolt port and not a Mini DisplayPort (they look the same) check in system profiler or look at the logos next to the ports

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