10 Replies Latest reply: Sep 15, 2011 6:11 PM by Pujoe1
GolaniMac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

There seems to be a lot of rumors or misinformation, so I am going to only  ask about what is reality today, and what would not be a reality when Thunderboldt drives come to market and what changes Lion will bring; unless documented by Apple.


So, If I order a 2011 imac with SSD and HHD. the OS: 10.6.8, or Lion will be installed on the SSD drive, No argument there. I will install my copies of iWork and Final Cut Pro X, etc. also on my SSD.


My confusion comes with the Home Folder and programs like iphoto/Apeture/ iMovie/ itunes. 


Remember, I have this lonely 1TB HHD that I can offload files to.


     I am assuming that if I click on the "Finder" on the left column I will see an icon for the SSD and a separate icon for the HHD, Or will there be a single icon for for both drives?


Now, even though under the home/user folder there is Pictures at the top level, I can move my entire library to an external Hard Drive, or the HHD that will be installed by Apple, same for itunes, etc.


The Home folders/useraccounts,  stay where they are. Do I need to do the same with the new imacs. Obviously the SSD will soon fill up and my HHD will be empty.


Obviously I am confused about how Apple organizes the OS and and these SSD + HHD configs.



If, what I mostly do is video editing, I am definitely  choosing the i7, would I really gain anything from the SSD, okay faster boot times, ahhh "Big Deal"


would I be better off adding more ram.



Opinions, and advice are sought and welcome

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 2010 iMac i3 3.06 GHZ 8G Ram
  • Pujoe1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I got my new iMac about a week ago. I ordered it four weeks before it shipped. Let me try to answer your basic questions.


    Your Finder desktop has two hard disk icons. On my system, one was named Macintosh HD, and it was the SSD. The other was named Macintosh HD 2. I renamed it to iMacHD. All files and the OS are on the SSD. The conventional HD was empty.


    When you boot for the first time, you get to Setup Assistant. I  quickly realized I could not migrate my old system to the 256 GB SSD. It was much too large. I quit the setup and began studying how best to proceed. I Googled some tips and watched Don McAllister's screen casts about setting up a new MacBook Air with SSD. It all wasn't directly applicable to my iMac, but I got the idea. You have to figure out what you want to store where.


    I finally settled with having only the OS and my apps on the SSD. All the rest of my stuff I copied to my iMac 2TB HD. I moved my Aperture library (iPhoto works the same) and did the same with iTunes. They both operate off the HD and not the SSD.


    After all this, I found some of my apps didn't recognize they were already installed. That was because I couldn't migrate my Library folder because it was too big. Make sure you have you license info handy.


    That's about it. The speed is amazing. Apps load almost instantly. The SSD is great.

  • Pujoe1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I should have mentioned that I upgraded every option on the order except RAM. I selected the 4G option and upgraded it to 16 GB with RAM from OWC.

  • flavius99 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)

    Your SSD machine will be build to order, so you have some time to organize things upfront. I ended up with a 'system' drive containing all my essentials that was ~180GB in size. When the new machine arrived I ran setup assistant with a Carbon Copy clone of my system drive and after 2 hours (the CCC clone was on a external USB drive) everything was fine.

  • John Kitchen Level 3 Level 3 (645 points)

    Maybe this will help, although it's Aperture, not video editing.


    I have made a "second" home folder on the HDD.  This has the same read/write restrictions as the real home folder, and has links in the Finder Sidebar.


    I put the Aperture Library in the SSD home folder, and most, but not all, master images in the HDD home folder.  Recently added images are placed in the SSD-resident Aperture Library.  As the library grows, I will "demote" masters to HDD to make more room.  By that stage, I should have finished most classification, rating and editing of those images.  I may keep recent "selects" (say 5 star) masters on the SSD.


    Thus the library metadata and other small files are on SSD and the big files (RAW images about 25MB each) are either on SSD or HDD.


    Large files don't get as much of a boost as small files when on SSD.  I imagine that large video files will get some benefit from SSD, but I've seen my HDD writing data at up to 150MB per second so it's not bad.


    So I get SSD speed for the following, in increasing order of importance



    Initial app loading

    Subsequent app module loading

    Paging in and paging out

    Library constructs, database, metadata, previews, thumbnails, adjustments


    You may be able to translate these notes into some relevance for your video work.


    Hope this helps

  • Bavich Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    How did you manage to move your documnts, movies or music files to your HDD ?

    When I drag and drop my documents file from the SSD to the HDD it makes a copy but it doesn't literally move the file.

    Thanks in advance

  • John Kitchen Level 3 Level 3 (645 points)

    Bavich, just delete them from the SSD when you are sure they have copied correctly.  Or am I missing something?

  • Bavich Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks for your reply.

    I cannot delete the file " “Documents” can’t be modified or deleted because it’s required by Mac OS X."


    Should I tried to use the symlink method?


    Thank you

  • John Kitchen Level 3 Level 3 (645 points)

    "Documents" is a folder, not a file.  It contains files.


    You can delete the contents of those folders that Mac OS X wants to keep.  You don't need or want to delete "Documents" or any of those folders directly under your home folder.


    I store small files in the Documents folder on the SSD, things like typical Word or Pages documents, or typical spreadsheets.  It takes a lot of them to eat up a significant amount of space.


    Larger files, like music, large image files and videos are stored on the HDD where I have a folder structure like this:-




    --------Movie Masters


    --------Photo Masters

    --------Archival Stuff

    --------iTunes Stuff

    --------Virtual Machines (for VMware Fusion)




    Those subfolders of "John" have their own subfolders of course, with a structure of my choice.

  • Pujoe1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hold down the Command key when you drag and drop.