Early 2011 model, A1278 / 2.3 GHz i5 or 2.7 GHz i7 processor.

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Two computers in one

Is it possible to install another version of the same OS on the same computer from a 2nd SSD?

Sometimes I need my computer to be faster and cleaner, with just a few apps, so I got the idea to use one disk for everyday use and one disk for professional use.

Would this act as two different computers? What would be the downsides of this?

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Sure you can do that. You can even partition a drive and do it that way. Downside is things like calendars being different. But as long as you have about 30% of the hard drive free you should discern little difference. Examine the apps that you think are slowing you done and see if they are really needed. Check your System Preferences > Users > log in items and see if you are loading a bunch you don't really need. The nice thing is that you can back up your documents from one drive to the other and be able to repair one disk from the other. Not all SSD drives are equal. Higher end drives just run better.

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Technically its still the same computer. What you are talking about is setting up multiple boot volumes. In this case two distinct drives.

You could also create multiple partitions within one drive as well. The other approach is to setup multiple user accounts within the same running OS. And, the last method is to setup virtual machines (VM's) which runs within a single drive & partition volume, but allows one to run very different OS's concurrently. Apples BootCamp is an offshoot of a VM. Each of these setups have there benefits and disadvantages.

Here you are using the same OS just setting up different drives. You would then need to reboot your system holding down the Option key to switch between the boot drives.

You do have a few wrinkles here as you'll need to give up your optical drive for a 2nd drive carrier and you will also encounter a few known issues with the optical drives SATA port. First it does not support crash guard so you shouldn't use a HD that doesn't have it. The second issue is the SATA port speed is not a clean SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) signal, you'll need to install a fixed SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) drive either HD or SSD. So your 2nd drive will not be quite as fast as your primary drive (if you have a SSD presently installed).

The truth here is the dual drive is not the direction I would go! A single SSD should be able to support your needs. I suspect your real issue is your current SSD is running out of space so it appears to be running slower as it needs to work harder to reuse the limited free space it has. This is one of the reasons I strongly recommend you have at least 1/3 of the drive free and if you have a smaller SSD (128/256 GB) 1/2 free. If you don't have that much space maybe the better answer here is to upgrade your SSD to a larger unit or at least try cleaning off some space.

I should also point out if you run a SSD lean for free space you will wear it out sooner as the free space cells will be over used.

If you want to isolate what is exposed then you will just want to setup a second user account. Frankly, Most of my setups have a minimum of three user accounts: The system Admin account which the IT staff owns. The users primary account and a guest account. For my own systems I add another account for my banking needs, so it is fully isolated. And one more for when I'm shopping online. That way I've compartmentalize things so my information is protected and doesn't give away the gifts I give my girlfriend who is a bit of a snoop ;-}

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