What do you do? iMac SSD or wait for a good Thunderbolt drive?
I fairly recently bought myself a new 27 inch iMac with Thunderbolt ports. Yes that’s right, the iMac 27 inch has two Thunderbolt ports, how cool is that?. I was really tempted, and there would have been no such thing as temptation, but a certain purchase if I had sufficient the cash to have an iMac SSD drive included. Everybody knows that if you use an SSD drive as your main drive and then have your secondary drive is a normal hard drive spindle drive, of the mechanical type, then you will get blisteringly fast usage out of your computer. The only fly in the ointment is the fact that the iMac SSD drive when you buy it as an optional extra, is incredibly expensive. So that is why the Thunderbolt external hard drive will be what people will buy first.
Thunderbolt hard drive device with SSD
For those of us that have had to make a decision, not to go to and buy the Apple SSD drive, we might think that a solution would be to add an SSD drive internally a year later, when we have more money available. It sounds like a good plan, because one year later or two years later, it would be like having a new computer. Another good thing that we could possibly expect, would be that the price of the SSD drives would be cheaper in the future. At the moment if you want to add a 256 GB solid-state drive to the standard iMac, then you would be adding $600 to the price of your computer. I know somebody that did buy the iMac with this configuration and she is completely delighted with the computer that she has. She says that the iMac SSD drive version is a very speedy indeed.
What else can be done to make an iMac faster
The option I took after buying the iMac was to buy an extra 8 GB of RAM and install it so that now I have 12 GB of RAM available. I was surprised that I was able to add to the RAM to the memory I already had in the computer. I expected to have to take out what was in, to put in the new third-party RAM. In this latest version of the iMac the 27 inch version, instead of there only being two slots for RAM there are now four. So although I could not afford the iMac SSD drive, I was able to speed up my iMac by quite a large amount just with using extra RAM memory. I still like the idea though, of adding an SSD drive at a later stage. Maybe it will be possible to do that and asked Apple to do it under AppleCare. You never know may be they will not be charging quite so much for a 256 GB SSD drive in a year or so. And pigs might fly!
Thunderbolt external hard drive – Mechanical and SSD
There could be a small problem with adding an SSD drive, as I have heard that the third-party iMac SSD drives are not quite the same as the Apple drives. It is something to do with the temperature sensors or the connectors that stop you from adding third-party drives. It is possible that a company like Other World Computing might come up with a compatible drive later. For that to happen, we might just have to keep our fingers crossed.
Thunderbolt iMac SSD Drive to the rescue.
This is where Thunderbolt comes in. Because of how Thunderbolt is electronically connected to the motherboard of the iMac to facilitate the speedy data transfer, then it is possible that an external Thunderbolt iMac SSD drive could be used as the main drive on the iMac. I believe it is possible to boot from a Thunderbolt external drive, so all that would be necessary would be to install the OS X system and the applications on the Thunderbolt external hard drive. With such an iMac SSD drive configuration via Thunderbolt instead of the SSD drive being internal, then once again it could be possible to have a very fast Apple iMac computer. All we have to do now is to wait for a reasonably priced external hard drive enclosure that has a Thunderbolt port included. It could also have USB 3 and FireWire on the same enclosure, just to make it versatile in terms of how it could be connected. Using Thunderbolt in this way is what I have planned because it would greatly improve the experience with using Final Cut Pro X on the iMac.