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Question: Spend money on internal SSD upgrade or USE Thuderbolt SSD.

I have a 2017 21.5 iMac 4k with 1TB 5400rpm Drive. I wanted to upgrade to an SSD and was wondering what are the best options for this device. Is it worth paying and getting it installed internally, or would Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C give similar speeds as an SSD.


Ideally I would like to go for the external option as my work out cheaper. So run my OSX on the external SSD and then use the internal HDD as an extra drive for storing large files, (Pictures, Videos etc)

iMac, iOS 11.2.6

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Mar 18, 2018 4:20 AM in response to jittzdulay In response to jittzdulay

same speed really


most ssd not very very pricy max up around 500MB/sec


SATA3 which your internal hd is using is 6Gb/sec which is around 750MB/sec


usb-3 5Gb/sec


thunderbolt 10Gb/sec, 20Gb/sec and 40Gb/sec


so non of the interfaces would act as bottleneck for your ssd disk

Mar 18, 2018 4:20 AM

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Mar 18, 2018 4:24 AM in response to jittzdulay In response to jittzdulay

The external SSD will be much faster than the 5400 RPM HDD.


So, the choice is Thunderbolt or USB.


Thunderbolt devices will be pricier but will give you the best performance

possible out of an SSD (40 Gb/sec for TB3).


SSD via the USB-C, Gen1 (5 Gb/sec) or Gen2 (10 Gb/sec), will still quite easily

outpace that internal 5400RPM and be noticeably less expensive.


Unless you are doing high-level video work or working with massive files,

the USB approach would be the most cost effective.

Mar 18, 2018 4:24 AM

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Question: Spend money on internal SSD upgrade or USE Thuderbolt SSD.