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I have 2 computers, a faster iMac at work (i5) and an old macbook (C2DUO 2.0Ghz) at home.

The macbook at home has a SSD drive in it, I upgraded it and it's performance is really great.

Now I was wondering, instead of having to my macbook to work everyday, would be worth it to take the SSD out and boot into it from an external case?? This way I only need to take the drive and just plug it in.

I only have an uSB2 case.

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closed as not constructive by Xavierjazz, Kyle Jones, Canadian Luke, HackToHell, 8088 Jan 10 '13 at 7:51

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I would think you would have problems booting to a SSD with an operating system on it configured for a different hardware setup. Have you actually tried do it? – martineau Jan 9 '13 at 18:41
That would be a waste, regardless of it working or not. USB 2.0 speeds don't max out traditional hard drives. That said, the only benefit is having everything in one place. But you could just as easily get a large flash drive and work from that. – nerdwaller Jan 9 '13 at 19:26
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Yes, you can do it. Depending on the quirks of OS/X you may need to different OS installations on the SSD. That would be slightly more space using, but not a real problem.

However USB2 is slow. Sequential transfer rates via the USB2 bus are about 35MB/second, way slows than a HDD or a SSD. You would gain some performance gain on random IOs, but I expect the nett result to be a lot slower.

Now if you can replace the external USB casing with something faster (e.g. eSATA or thunderbolt) then: Yes, it will work and be a lot faster.

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You certainly would want to use USB3 instead of USB2, which the newer i5 laptops have, but even that 1st gen USB3 is too slow. What you really need is 2nd gen USB3.0, which is the only thing fast enough to keep up with an SSD, and there are not ANY laptops that have 2nd gen USB3 yet. – djangofan Jan 9 '13 at 21:26
Or the mentioned eSATA (up to ~270MB/sec) or Thunderbolt (mostly found on macs, which are the computers the OP mentions). – Hennes Jan 9 '13 at 21:39
In my experience, eSATA usually cannot go any faster than 1st generation USB3 (around 20-30 MB/s). The reason being that the eSATA is probably not connected through the system bus in the same way that internal SATA is connected. eSATA has the benefit of the command queueing like USB3, but not optimized, IMHO. I could be wrong. – djangofan Jan 10 '13 at 0:30
I get about 80 MB/sec on my Dell E6500 when reading via eSATA, and about the same on my desktop (a gigabyte EX58UD5). (Source disk in both cases is a Throttle pen drive.) – Hennes Jan 10 '13 at 0:36

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