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by Kari Post on Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:53 pm
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I'm in the market to upgrade my computer (finally, yay) and found a good deal on a spec'd out iMac. My only reservation is that it has a 256 GB SSD drive (otherwise its got the display, processor, RAM, and graphics that I am looking for). This obviously isn't enough to hold all of my images, so they would be stored on an external HD while I would run all of my software (such as Lightroom and Photoshop) off of the internal SSD.

My question is, will I see any benefit to having an SSD internal drive if I need to pull the images I am working on off of external hard drives using a Thunderbolt 2 or USB 3 connection? Would I be better off having a larger capacity internal Fusion drive? I know that if I have any projects I am actively working on I can store them temporarily on my internal SSD and then export them to an external drive to archive, but am curious about working off the external HDs because I do that quite often right now.

I know that the performance of either option would be far superior to my current setup, but am wondering how different they are. Thanks in advance for your help!
Kari Post, NSN Editor 2009-2013
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by Stephen Feingold on Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:35 am
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I would avoid the Fusion drive as Apple has reduced the flash portion to 24GB. With the 256GB for the SSD my ideal would be for an additional high capacity internal HD. To future proof the iMac, I would suggest the 512GB SSD.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:42 am
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There is almost nothing you can do that improves performance more than a SSD. For your external, a USB-C or Thunderbolt 2 connection will give you very good performance.
 

by photoman4343 on Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:43 am
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Hi Kari,

If your current laptop is worth upgrading, consider doing what I did in December to my Sony Vaio. I replaced the traditional internal hard drive with a 1TB SSD, larger than the original, upgraded to win 10, and started to use as my external hard drive a 1 TB SSD. The addition of the new internal SSD is just remarkable even with my RAM limited to only 12GB.

Or you could consider a new win 10 laptop with 16 GB RAM or more, and just upgrade its internal drive to a 1TB SSD if it does not come with one.

The technical experts here will have to advise as to what else needs to be present for an external SSD drive to perform as fast as an internal one.

Joe
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by Kari Post on Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:29 pm
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Thanks for all the help. I decided to take the plunge and purchase the iMac! I'm excited about having an SSD drive, even if its a little smaller than I was looking for. The improved display, processor, RAM, and graphics will make working on large files and video files so much better.
Kari Post, NSN Editor 2009-2013
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