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  1. #1

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    Default iMac / Mac Mini Owners

    You can skip to the last paragraph if you want to bypass my narrative.

    I have a 2011 27" iMac, almost two years old but still runs great. With the exception of games (because it's a Mac), it handles absolutely everything I throw at it. I'll get flamed if I say it's the best desktop computer I've ever had, but I will say that I've enjoyed it more than any other machine I've built or bought. It's not as fast in any respect as the gaming computer I just built, but runs better overall. That's totally subjective because I prefer OSX over Windows, but whatever...

    ANYWAY...

    I just did my first upgrade on the iMac (other than the 16GB RAM upgrade I did right after I bought it). Since day 1 I've wanted to upgrade to a SSD for the OS and applications, and even had the parts to do it at one time, but just couldn't bring myself to tear apart the machine to do it, looks reasonably straightforward but I didn't want to mess with it. So I've had my eye on external SSDs for a while now, and more specifically the Thunderbolt drives. My machine is the generation before USB 3, but does have a Firewire 800 and two Thunderbolt ports along with the regular old USB 2 ports. With a SSD though the USB 2 ports don't do me much good, not fast enough. The Firewire 800 may be fast enough, but that technology is dead now so good luck finding an external SSD there. So thunderbolt it is, plenty quick enough and is catching on as new devices are coming out.

    There have been a handful of options on the market for a while now, but the options are very limited and have been very expensive. There are the prohibitively expensive Little Big Disk drives by Lacie, there are the still overly expensive drives by Elgato, there are a couple adapters (that take a regular SSD and convert to Thunderbolt) by Seagate that have mediocre reviews, and then a handful of drives like the OCZ Lightfoot that have been talked about for a long time but AFAIK don't actually exist. So the search has been a bit frustrating...until now.

    Lacie recently released a SSD version of the Thunderbolt / USB 3 drives in their rugged series, I picked up the 120GB version from Amazon, and I frikkin' love it! At $200 it's still one of the more expensive SSD options out there, but totally worth it IMO. It's rugged, well built, has thunderbolt and USB 3, and comes with both of those cables. Given everything it offers, I'd say $200 is a reasonable price. It's actually not quite as fast as the newer Intel or Samsung drives, but trust me it's plenty quick for an OS drive and you won't notice any speed it gives up to those two in that regard. When I open programs now they just pop right up with no delay, even my Windows VM opens in less than 2 seconds, it's amazingly fast. Bottom line, If you're on a Mac (or any computer for that matter with TB or USB 3) and want to really speed up your machine, give this one a shot.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  2. #2

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    Default

    Very cool , been looking at them anyway.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  3. #3

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    Default

    Thanks for the review. I've been wondering if an external SSD would be worth the trouble.

    Something to read: http://news.techeye.net/business/how...ed-thunderbolt

  4. #4

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    Default

    Awesome to hear. As you know, I was in the market for an external HDD (not SSD) for my mid-2010 Mac mini, ultimately going with the Seagate Backup Plus for Mac - 3TB. I was looking between getting USB 3.0 to be more future-proof (since mine only has 2.0) or going with the FireWire 800 for the present, eventually opting for the FW800 for the present.

    Enjoy!

  5. #5

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    I tore open my MAC man, it was super easy to do. I'm a comp geek like you, and think you could handle the task. I went with a 128gb Crucial M4 drive bro. I ordered the wiring harness from Amazon. SSD and 16gb RAM here also in my late 2011 model. Thing gets down, but I only use mine for web browsing. HA!.

    The new Imacs are ugly man, too thin for me.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

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  6. #6

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    I don't think the new iMacs are ugly, I do think they're dumb though. Thinner on a desktop has absolutely zero appeal to me, and my guess is it really doesn't matter to most other people either. It looks neat I guess, but I don't really LOOK at my iMac I just use it. I get the idea of moving away from optical drives and actually LIKE that my Macbook Retina doesn't have one. In laptops there's a valid argument for removing the optical drive to cut down on weight, regardless of which side you come down on at least there's a valid reason - you're basically trading one function for another and it's a matter of personal preference. Not so with the iMac, I can't think of one valid reason to remove the optical drive - in this case you're trading function strictly for form.

    Products like the new iMac are what provide fuel for my anti-Apple friends "typical Apple crap, choosing form over function" and similar statements, the idea that Apple has always held aesthetics in higher regard and focussed more on looks and neglected performance was the key reason I avoided them for so many years as well. The last few years they've really turned that around and every product they make (other than the Mac Pro) is competitive inside it's price category. The same is even true with this new iMac, but I do feel like they've taken a step backwards in the form over function category with this new machine.

    All that being said, I do slightly prefer the display on this new iMac with it's better AG, but not enough to even consider upgrading.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherardp View Post
    I tore open my MAC man, it was super easy to do. I'm a comp geek like you, and think you could handle the task. I went with a 128gb Crucial M4 drive bro. I ordered the wiring harness from Amazon. SSD and 16gb RAM here also in my late 2011 model. Thing gets down, but I only use mine for web browsing. HA!.

    The new Imacs are ugly man, too thin for me.
    Yeah I'm sure I could tear this one down, but this machine was really designed to be a plug and play hassle free experience and that would defeat the purpose, plus I've got another 2 years of warranty and don't want to void that. I really like the performance of this SSD though, easily worth the $200 I paid for it.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  8. #8

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    If you NEED more space and can't afford $200 then look at this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148837

    (there's a reason it's out of stock)
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 1.2TL's
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    It All Started here: http://tinyurl.com/lasareath2

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  9. #9

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    I forgot to mention before, the disk utility in OSX is brilliant. OSX and Windows do thing different differently and each has advantages over the other, and alot of times it comes down to personal preferences. That is not true when it comes to managing your drives, objectively OSX is far superior to Windows. You can repartition drives on the fly (even your OS drive while in use), set up RAID, clone drives or partitions and a bunch of other stuff right there in the native app. That stuff is doable on Windows, but not all in one place and not all with native Windows functionality so you're spending more money.

    Migrating my entire OS on to the new drive and setting the machine to boot from the new drive was done in about 5 mouse clicks right there in OSX using the utility.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

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