In this article, you will learn how to speed up your older iMac by booting to an external solid state drive. For this example, you will discover how you can boot to Mac OS Mojave using a Samsung T5 SSD.
Before we get into how to do it, let’s cover a few reasons why you might want to consider booting to an external SSD with Mac OS Mojave installed. This may surprise you, but even in 2019, some iMacs come with a 5,400 RPM spinning hard drive installed.
Hard drives that run at 5,400 RPM or 7,200 RPM are noticeably slower than modern solid state drives. A solid state drive is also slightly faster than Apple’s Fusion drives, which are a combination of flash storage and a traditional spinning hard drive.
If you don’t upgrade to an SSD when you order your iMac, the only way to upgrade to a solid state drive afterward is to remove the iMac screen. Removing the iMac display screen is the only way to gain access to the inner components of the computer. A more cost effective and less intrusive method is to use an external solid state drive instead, like the Samsung T5.
Booting from a solid state drive like the Samsung T5 should give you a boost in performance, especially if you are running an older iMac with a 5,400 RPM hard drive. On top of booting from an external solid state drive, it is also a good idea to store your media files on another solid state drive separate from your operating system.
Having two solid state drives will speed up your photo and video editing workflow and video rendering times, and as of 2019, the prices on solid state drives have come down considerably. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up an external boot drive with Mac OS Mojave, check out the video tutorial in this article.
If you are running a similar setup using solid state drives, let me know in the comment section below.