Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  •  Community Terms of Use  •  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  •  Community Search  •  Learn & Support


Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > General Discussion & Off Topic > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-04-2019, 01:39 PM
gthm's Avatar
gthm gthm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NJ/NY
Posts: 124
Default iMac and SSD. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2?

Hi,

I have a late 2014 iMac with 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports and 4 USB 3.0 ports.

My sessions are very light but slow, even though on an SSD (Samsung T3 USB-3.1 to 3.0 SSD).

My sample, VI drive is a Glyph Blackbox Pro HDD. (too slow?)

I am looking to upgrade my sample, VI drive.

It is between the Glyph Atom Thunderbolt 3 SSD or the Samsung T5 USB 3.1 SSD.

Question: which one would be faster for my setup?

1) Glyph Atom Thunderbolt 3 SSD, with Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter?

or

2) Samsung T5 USB 3.1 SSD, with USB-C to 3.0 cable?

Should I utilize my second, unused Thunderbolt 2 port (the first Thunderbolt 2 port is taken by my audio interface, Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt), or just get a regular Samsung T5 USB 3.1/3.0 SSD and be done?

Would there be a big difference between Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 basically?

Let me know guys!

Thanks_
__________________
Pro Tools 2019.6
Mac OS 10.14.5
iMac (Retina 5K, 27", late 2014)
(4.0GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD internal)
Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-04-2019, 01:46 PM
BScout BScout is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,060
Default Re: iMac and SSD. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2?

TB2 is 20 Gbps
USB3.0 is 5 Gbps

So, yes, TB2 with a solid state drive that can keep up will be substantially faster.
__________________
Pro Tools Ult 2019.6, HDX 3, MTRX/SPQ, HD OmniMac Pro 5,1 - 3.06 GHz 12 core - macOS 10.13.6RAM 64GB, SSD 4 x 2TB, GPU GTX 980 4GB
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-04-2019, 02:27 PM
gthm's Avatar
gthm gthm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NJ/NY
Posts: 124
Default Re: iMac and SSD. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2?

Thanks man, exactly whatI wanted to hear!
__________________
Pro Tools 2019.6
Mac OS 10.14.5
iMac (Retina 5K, 27", late 2014)
(4.0GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD internal)
Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-04-2019, 04:45 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13,423
Default Re: iMac and SSD. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2?

Ah not so fast. Lots of acronyms and misleading and dishonest Glyph marketing being thrown around here.

You likely want to get a Samsung T5.

You have USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbit/s aka USB 3.0) on you iMac. The Samsung T5 SSD is a USB 3.1 Gen 2 (aka 10 Gbit/s)drive... it's already faster than the port it will connect to on the iMac... but internally the T5 is only a SATA 600 Mbit/s SSD drive. Which will bottleneck a little past the USB 3.1 Gen 1/USB 3 speeds anyhow.

Now to the utter dishonesty of marketing that Glyph is doing with that Atom SSD. It is *not* a Thunderbolt drive, it's a USB 3.1 Gen 2 drive.... exactly the same interface as the Samsung T5. And it likewise has a SATA SSD inside of if. There is nothing Thunderbolt here, except Glyph seem to be using the claim that since a USB-C connector that has Thunderbolt will also have USB included on it and so work with this drive.... that is just absolutely misleading, and dishonest marking from Glyph. And there goes many years of building up a trusted brand in the audio community, just pissed away by some ****tard.

If you want a real Thunderbolt 3 SSD drive. You would get a Samsung X5 or a Sonnet Fusion Thunderbolt 3 (stupid name, nothing to do with Apple awful fusion hybrid HDD/SSD stuff)....

.... BUT DON'T DO THAT...you only have a Thunderbolt 2 interface on your iMac. Thunderbolt 3 drives are typically not backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2 host interfaces. Yes I know lots of other Thunderbolt 3 peripherals are, and adapters like Apple's Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter are bidirectional and can do that... with certain peripherals... but Thunderbolt 3 drives are not one of those periperals. And Sonnet and Samsung state that clearly for the drives mentioned above.

Now even if the dishonestly marketed Glyph drive had a Thunderbolt 2 port on it so you could connect to your iMac, it would be still running at slow SATA 600 Mbit/s internal speeds because that's all the onboard SSD controller is. And many other cheap "Thunderbolt" drives also use a SATA controller and give no better performance that USB 3.1 Gen2, or maybe even Gen 1. If you want faster than SATA on Thunderbolt or what I'd consider "real Thunderbolt" drives you need PCIe SSD controllers, and more recently they will all be NVMe as well (more efficient than the older AHCI interface spec). That's what the Samsung X5 or Sonnet Fusion Thunderbolt 3 use, NVMe/PCIe over Thunderbolt 3, but again since they are Thunderbolt 3 they are not compatible with your iMac. Older Sonnet Fusion Thunderbolt 2 drives used PCIe/NVMe as well and were compatible with your iMac, but I doubt you'll find them still available. You could also use an expansion chassis and insert some M.2 SSD drives, but all that effort is unlikely worth it here unless somebody really needed maximum posible performance. Just get a Samsung T5.

I have multiple of the T5 and X5 drives and they work very well. Biggest concerns for me are the USB-C connectors not being very secure/bump proof. On an iMac I might consider velcroing etc. the drive to the back of the iMac, out of the way of being bumped.

Please do not give your money to dishonest vendors like Glyph.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 09-04-2019 at 05:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-04-2019, 07:33 PM
Sardi Sardi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Perth
Posts: 1,632
Default Re: iMac and SSD. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2?

Not promoting Glyph at all as I’ve always bought enclosures and drives separately so I know EXACTLY what I’m getting, but are you positive it’s not TB3?

This one here:

https://www.glyphtech.com/product/atom-pro-nvme-ssd


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-04-2019, 08:56 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13,423
Default Re: iMac and SSD. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardi View Post
Not promoting Glyph at all as I’ve always bought enclosures and drives separately so I know EXACTLY what I’m getting, but are you positive it’s not TB3?

This one here:

https://www.glyphtech.com/product/atom-pro-nvme-ssd


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Let me clarify

The *Glyph Atom* is not a Thunderbolt drive, even though Glyph talk about it being "Thunderbolt compatible". https://www.glyphtech.com/product/atom-ssd/ That "Thunderbolt compatible" is the awful deceptive marketing, and what I assumed the OP was talking about. Either way its' still awful.

The *Glyph Atom Pro NVMe* is a Thunderbolt drive. https://www.glyphtech.com/product/atom-pro-nvme-ssd. This drive will not work at all on the iMac for the reasons I mentioned. Also note the poor marketing here with Glyph not clearly warning that product will not work on Thunderbolt 1 or 2. What the hell has happened at Glyph?

With marketing as bad as this, Glyph is now dead to me. And they will not have better core technology here than Samsung or other mainstream manufactures... these are such deep pieces of technology, I'm not sure small companies can add much value here.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 09-04-2019 at 09:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-05-2019, 01:38 PM
gthm's Avatar
gthm gthm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NJ/NY
Posts: 124
Default Re: iMac and SSD. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2?

Thanks Darryl for once again helping me not make the wrong decision! I really appreciate it!

It's funny that on the packaging of the Atom drive there is no mention of it being TB compatible. It only says USB-3.1 Gen 2. I wonder why.

The Atom Pro is a different story. It seems they finally made a real Thunderbolt drive to compete with other real Thunderbolt drives like the Samsung X5. A little late to the party. To be honest, the only reason I like Glyph is for their warranty system. It gives you peace of mind if something goes wrong with one of their drives.

I'll call it a day and get a couple of Samsung T5s but I'm a little concerned that it would be difficult to get some help from them if something goes wrong with a drive of theirs, as they're a huge company and probably wouldn't pay attention to an average user like myself. Like would they retrieve the data from a faulty drive and send it back on a new one like Glyph would do? I doubt it.

p.s. I was also looking at the Samsung 970 EVO Plus drive but I am not sure which Thunderbolt 2 enclosure it would fit in. Would it fit in the Sonnet Echo Express SEL Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Expansion Chasis (they still have a couple of these available on Amazon).
__________________
Pro Tools 2019.6
Mac OS 10.14.5
iMac (Retina 5K, 27", late 2014)
(4.0GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD internal)
Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-05-2019, 02:20 PM
JFreak's Avatar
JFreak JFreak is online now
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Tampere, Finland
Posts: 16,900
Default Re: iMac and SSD. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gthm View Post
I was also looking at the Samsung 970 EVO Plus drive but I am not sure which Thunderbolt 2 enclosure it would fit in. Would it fit in the Sonnet Echo Express SEL Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Expansion Chasis (they still have a couple of these available on Amazon).
That is a PCI-e enclosure so in addition to that you would need a PCI-e card that accepts your M.2 SSD stick(s)
__________________
Janne
What we do in life, echoes in eternity.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-05-2019, 03:10 PM
gthm's Avatar
gthm gthm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NJ/NY
Posts: 124
Default Re: iMac and SSD. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
That is a PCI-e enclosure so in addition to that you would need a PCI-e card that accepts your M.2 SSD stick(s)
Hi!

Would this do?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...EaAie5EALw_wcB
__________________
Pro Tools 2019.6
Mac OS 10.14.5
iMac (Retina 5K, 27", late 2014)
(4.0GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD internal)
Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-05-2019, 05:51 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13,423
Default Re: iMac and SSD. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gthm View Post
Yes. That is a fairly generic and dumb 4 x PCIe lane to M.2 adapter card.... what you want in this case. And Startech make good stuff.

Thunderbolt 2 fans out to 4 x PCIe 2 lanes so the 4 x PCIe 3 M.2 card will run as PCIe 2, at half the speed of PCIe 3, but the actual drive throughput delivered will be better than 1/2 what the drive is really capable of.

Hopefully you are running a recent macOS version, in which case create an APFS filesystem on this SSD. Just more robust and better performing than HFS+. Then you should be able to just clone from the current HDD using Carbon Copy Cloner or similar... and then turn your Glyph HDD into a backup drive.

But that is if you go this route.... if your sessions/VI use is not heavy weight it may not be justified vs just getting a T5 drive. Are your VI startup slow (for preloaded/cached VIs or do streaming VIs have problems? Have you looked for VI plugin settings to tune? (And OK I will admit I love my fast PCIe SSD internal on the MacBook Pro and external X5....).
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HD Native with iMac and Akitio Thunderbolt box jacko Pro Tools HDX & HD Native Systems (Mac) 1 12-22-2014 02:15 AM
New Imac out today! 5k Retina and Thunderbolt 2! nst7 macOS 11 10-28-2014 11:52 PM
SC48 to iMac Thunderbolt Issues chrismoran VENUE Live Sound Systems 3 11-21-2013 03:33 PM
Imac i5 with HD Thunderbolt Psychonaut4 Pro Tools HDX & HD Native Systems (Mac) 4 02-21-2013 04:04 AM
[ASK] iMac thunderbolt with Digi003 Ivaniponk macOS 1 10-03-2011 03:47 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:03 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com