I'm running intensive animation software and am having speed issues. At the moment I'm just working from an internal SSD. How much faster should it run if I put the project files on an external HDD? How much faster should an external SSD be than an external HDD? Is it worth investing in external SSDs in this situation?

My computer is a 2011 MacBook Pro running on Mavericks - 8GB memory and Samsung 840 EVO 750GB 2.5-inch Basic SATA Solid State Drive with AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1024 MB graphics. I'm running After Effects (3D animation software).

I just did a speed test on my internal drive and it's at approximately 390-460 MB/s write speed and 500 MB/s read speed.

My main question is whether there would be a significant increase in performance if I put the after effects project on an external SSD thunderbolt. And whether there's much in a Transcend 256GB StoreJet and a 256GB Lacie SSD Rugged Thunderbolt. My mac doesn't have USB 3.0

Thanks Steve

  • 1
    Could you elaborate what speed issue you have measured? adding RAM disk won't speed up a CPU bound or memory bound task. You'll probably need to learn how to profile your system before you can make any sort of buying decision. See this amazing FAQ on the server side of benchmarking before making changes or buying. serverfault.com/questions/384686/…
    – bmike
    Jun 20, 2015 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


In your case probably a upgrade to SATA 3 SSD (internal) would do the most.

AFIK your model supports it, and you will get up to 6 Gb/s R/W speeds and combined with RAM upgrade would get you what you want.

Adding a external drive to expand the storage if needed, the one would use the Thunderbolt SSD.

Find out if your Model supports the SATA 3 SSD before spending the money:

Open About this mac- more info- system report - SATA..

then you will see something like I have


My little MacBook Air rocks, it can run up to 6 Gb/s

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