Thank you for buying via links and ads on this site,
which earn me advertising fees or commissions.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Other World Computing...
B&H Photo...
Amazon
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Upgrade the memory of your 2020 iMac up to 128GB
877-865-7002
Today’s Deal Zone Items... Handpicked deals...
$3049 $2399
SAVE $650

$3508 $2998
SAVE $510

$998 $848
SAVE $150

$3999 $2998
SAVE $1001

$2299 $1799
SAVE $500

$1597 $1297
SAVE $300

$80 $33
SAVE $46

$2299 $1799
SAVE $500

$1898 $1498
SAVE $400

$2799 $2299
SAVE $500

$2299 $1799
SAVE $500

$600 $400
SAVE $200

$240 $175
SAVE $65

$699 $499
SAVE $200

$400 $300
SAVE $100

$1599 $1398
SAVE $201

$2027 $1597
SAVE $430

$1699 $999
SAVE $700

$180 $100
SAVE $80

$1199 $1099
SAVE $100

$1199 $1099
SAVE $100

$999 $949
SAVE $50

$400 $300
SAVE $100

$1699 $999
SAVE $700

Sizing and Setting Up Your Mac Boot Drive

2010-09-06 - Send Feedback
Related: how-to, memory, RAID

How big a boot drive do you need?

My boot drive (system and applications) — 21GB used!

A “boot” drive for the Mac system and your applications can be as small as 10GB for an emergency drive, but 60–120GB is a better idea for most users.

More space allows some breathing room; it’s not worth the hassle of redoing it prematurely when it fills up.

Sleep file needs space too

Sleeping the Mac can require as much space as there is memory for the sleepfile, e.g., 16GB of free space for a Mac with 16GB of memory, so be sure to allow for that.

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron

Ultra-high performance across entire capacity, outperforms the competition.

Tiny, bus-powered, rugged, compact!


√ No more slow and noisy hard drives!

Virtual memory

On machines with limited memory, virtual memory can also use drive space when the Mac gets low on memory; allow 8GB or so extra.

Separate system and data

The reason the boot volume can be so small is that your important data can and should be stored on a separate drive (on systems that allow this conveniently, such as the Mac Pro).

I store all my important files on a separate Master volume; it’s contains everything critical. The boot drive (I name mine Boot) contains the Mac OS X system, my applications, and my home directory. Even portions of my home direction I relocate to my Master volume (e.g., Mail, Documents).

Mirrored or striped

Your boot volume can be a RAID-1 mirror or RAID-0 stripe with one restriction: a bug in Mac OS X does not allow such a volume to be booted in Safe Mode. Because I’ve never had a need for Safe Mode, and because a clone is a much better alternative anyway, I don’t consider this an issue.

As this was written, my boot drive was a triple-SSD RAID-0 stripe, whose performance maxes out the internal SATA bus of the Mac Pro. While that performance is not needed for the boot drive, I use much of the space for a Scratch partition (a Boot volume and a Scratch volume).

Fast and cost effective way to backup!

Backing up your boot drive.

Clone it. Then you can boot the clone anytime.

OWC Accelsior 4M2 PCIe SSD
6000 MB/sec!
Mac or PC.


Ideal for Lightroom, Photoshop, video.
Capacity up to 16TB!
OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD

Blazing fast, up to 16TB.

YEE HAH!



√ No more slow and noisy hard drives!

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

diglloyd.com | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY
Contact | About Lloyd Chambers | Consulting | Photo Tours
Mailing Lists | RSS Feeds | Twitter
Copyright © 2020 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.
Display info: __RETINA_INFO_STATUS__