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Q. Should I partition my iMac’s SSD?

Apple iMac computer.Photo: AppleI’ve recently bought an iMac and would be grateful for any advice on how to set up the hard drives for music. In Windows the advice is to have separate partitions for OS, data, samples, and projects, so do you need to do the same on an iMac?

SOS Forum post

SOS Reviews Editor Matt Houghton replies: It’s possible, but I wouldn’t personally want to be running Komplete and BFD alongside my DAW and OS from the Mac’s system drive, even if it’s a solid-state drive (SSD). You’ll use up much of the drive space very quickly, and you’ll find before long that upgrades, any new software (that obviously need downloading before installing), and any expansion packs or new instruments you want won’t fit. It also means it takes longer to make proper backups of your system drive (Time Machine is useful, but it’s not a proper backup).

With all that in mind, I’d suggest installing Komplete (and other sample libraries) on a dedicated external drive, which could be a 7200rpm HDD or an SSD if you prefer — with an SSD your instruments will be quicker to load, but while HDDs are slower they’re not so bad, and they’re cheap as chips by comparison! Whichever way you go, there’s no need to partition.