Main drive for 2012 iMac?

I asked about another SSD raid setup but think this sounds even better. Could this be my main drive for iMac?

I was disappointed to read its noisy though I'm sure it's not that bad. Mac peeps prolly have higher standards. One possible use case for me if possible would be with windows and the new mech warrior game if that might work? The speed boost might really make my stock iMac a capable game machine for even new titles (it's easily handled the few older Mac titles I've experimented with.

But mainly my reason is speed without compromising my iMac's style. My two previous computers are a Linux box and MacBook Air both with 128GB SSDs and I find it hard to go back from near instant booting and app loading they give me to the retro waiting experienced with old timey spinning platters.

  • Asked about:  LaCie SATA III SSD Thunderbolt Litt…

2 Answers from the Community

  • Answer

    Alexander thanks for your reply.

    Funny but I did decide on the Mercury Helios/Accelsior and it is very fast. It's not as fast as I was imagining (for $800) and I think that has to do with latency with Thunderbolt as I think you were suggesting- sustained reads and rights get a blazing 700 mbps so yes the target case is someone who has to do fast transfers and this is certainly blazing for that.

    So that's 10 times faster than the stock HDD which gets in the 60s but Application loading and booting are definitely not 10 times faster but probably closer to 4 times faster (time to login screen went from one minute to fifteen seconds). I do agree now that the internal one would likely be faster but still it's a $1300 option.

    The Mercury Helios is noisy...not super noisy by any means (I would have said really quiet before I owned my iMac) but when you're talking about an addition to a whisper quiet iMac it may be a concern. I got a 2 m thunderbolt cable so I may see about putting it a bit away off my desk. I'm also going to look into replacing the stock Helios fan with a super quiet fan.

  • This can work as a boot drive on an iMac although I would not recommend it. It is very fast, particularly for larger files. However, application loading is sketchy when used as a boot drive. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Perhaps partially due to thunderbolt latency and partially due to this drive being designed for creative pros needing to stream large data files on the fly from something like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. It is indeed a very loud drive. I am not picky at all but this thing, trust me, is very loud. For whatever reason, the LaCie LittleBig SSDs are noisy and continuously run(or at least sound like it). They generate a great deal of heat as well which is normal but scary if you're not prepared for it. I had to purchase a 10 foot Thunderbolt cable to hide this little guy behind my couch before replacing it with a 5Big. So it's unlikely that this will sit next to your iMac and add to its style. I returned the LittleBig and now a giant LaCie 5big 20TB sits next to my iMac. It is virtually silent which is odd considering it uses mechanical drives. LaCie makes a 10TB version as well which is only $400 dollars more than their 512GB SSD drive and quite a bit faster for video work. Overall, this an expensive drive that's really supposed to be a portable drive for creative professionals on a low-end Hollywood set or out in the field. For a main boot drive, I would ask "why not just purchase a 2012 iMac with a 768 GB internal SSD?" Although the specs for the 768GB flash drive aren't as fast on paper as the LaCie, the internal flash drive will be much faster overall as a main drive since it's specifically designed by Apple to work in this regard. The best external boot drive solution for an iMac that I've seen is to thunderbolt a Mercury Helios + Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD. This will get you read/write speeds of 750MB+/s and is designed to be Mac Bootable