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The SSD advantage


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#1 Bard

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 11:06 AM

Hey!
I'm new to the forum, this looks like a great place to exchange ideas and learn from. Looking forward to being an active member!

I figured I'd post a little hardware upgrade tip to everyone, it's quite obvious, but here are the results that I got from just upgrading my system disk to an SSD drive:

SSD Drive vs. SATA2 drive


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgNXd1Zay1k&feature=player_embedded

Speed results:

Shut-down/Boot up time:
To get this 100% accurate, I decided to use the restart function to gauge boot times. Basically this also shows how much time the computer uses to shut down and then restart.


Standard harddrive: 1 minute 26.6 seconds
SSD harddrive: 26.7 seconds


Application start-up time:
I also did a test of how much different the application startup time was between the two harddrive types.
All running Snow Leopard, no plugins installed.


Adobe Photoshop CS5
Harddrive: 22.6 seconds
SSD: 4.4 seconds


Adobe Illustrator CS5
Harddrive: 21 seconds
SSD: 5 seconds


Adobe After Effects CS5
Harddrive: 35 seconds
SSD: 29.9
seconds


Autodesk Maya 2011 64 bits (1 plugin)
Harddrive: 30 seconds
SSD: 8.3 seconds




It's really quite the incredible upgrade, my Mac is so much faster due to the SSD drive. I would really suggest upgrade to SSD to everyone doing hardware intensive work.


Edited by Bard, 20 July 2010 - 11:07 AM.

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#2 Duder

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 05:54 PM

Imo RAM is more important than your boot drive. You launch a program and it stays in memory.

SSD's are good, but they are too expensive, for now.

#3 Bard

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 06:08 PM

Imo RAM is more important than your boot drive. You launch a program and it stays in memory.

SSD's are good, but they are too expensive, for now.


Essentially I agree with you, once the app is in the RAM, then it's all good. But getting it into the RAM from the harddrive is where it takes more time for a slower SATA/SCSI drive than an SSD.
The entire OS is 2-3x faster, everything just loads right away instead of churning around on normal drives.

128GB drives are more than enough as a boot drive and they are actually quite reasonably priced.
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#4 Duder

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 07:32 PM

Yeah I agree with you. 128GB drive is ok, but anything more than that I recommend getting more RAM instead.

Definitely SSD's are on my list once the prices drop.

For now, 7200 RPM drives are plenty fast imo.

#5 joedonaldson

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 07:36 PM

Im very interested in finding out more about SSD's. I will be purcahsing a new MBP soon but have to agree with hyp they are pretty expensive.

But then again having a nice speedy OS would be very nice.
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#6 scott frizzle

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 01:13 PM

SSD's are like flying cars; we were supposed to have them a long time ago. If you would have told me 15 years ago that in 2010 my main work computer would be physically larger and heavier than what I used back then, and still have spinning hard drives and clunky PCI slots I would have laughed in your face. The joke is on me. It makes you wonder what would be sitting on our desks had Apple (or whoever) spent 10% of their iPod /iPhone /iPad efforts on the pro market. But now I'm just whining.

I'll probably go SSD on my next workstation, but I'm still stunned at how slowly these are coming to market, and a little disappointed that they aren't a lot faster than they are, although they do generally outperform normal hard drives. I'd love to replace my large, loud RAID arrays with a nice quiet, compact SSD RAID, but it seems that's still a bit into the future.

#7 Beaver

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 01:37 PM

I'll probably go SSD on my next workstation, but I'm still stunned at how slowly these are coming to market, and a little disappointed that they aren't a lot faster than they are, although they do generally outperform normal hard drives. I'd love to replace my large, loud RAID arrays with a nice quiet, compact SSD RAID, but it seems that's still a bit into the future.


I've always got the feeling that 7200rpm drives were "good enough" for most consumers so the demand isn't really there to make SSD cheaper and more mainstream. That's how I feel about a lot of performance technologies. We get the shaft because we make up such a small sliver of the market.

#8 joedonaldson

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 05:20 AM

As mentioned before I am purchasing a new MacBookPro and am very intrigued by the speed of having an SSD.

My question is would 128GB really be enough?

Right now I have Final Cut Studio 3, Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collections and Cinema 4D R11.5. All of those are easily more then 128GB. Grant-it I do not use every one of those programs daily but it is nice to have.

Is it possible to install only the essential applications on the SSD then move all the program/support files on to an addition 500GB 7200 RPM external while leaving the app itself on the SSD? But then doing that wouldn't that negate the benefits of an SSD since the computer still has to communicate with the external drive?

I am looking to make my purchase within the next few days so if anyone has any words of advice it would be much appreciated.
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#9 Bard

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 08:59 AM

As mentioned before I am purchasing a new MacBookPro and am very intrigued by the speed of having an SSD.

My question is would 128GB really be enough?

Right now I have Final Cut Studio 3, Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collections and Cinema 4D R11.5. All of those are easily more then 128GB. Grant-it I do not use every one of those programs daily but it is nice to have.

Is it possible to install only the essential applications on the SSD then move all the program/support files on to an addition 500GB 7200 RPM external while leaving the app itself on the SSD? But then doing that wouldn't that negate the benefits of an SSD since the computer still has to communicate with the external drive?

I am looking to make my purchase within the next few days so if anyone has any words of advice it would be much appreciated.



For a laptop, SSD seems like a difficult choice. 128/256 is very little for a main drive. Only if you have a Mac Pro would I suggest an SSD as you will need a secondary internal drive for your work. 128 should be enough for the apps you mentioned if you remove all the templates and crap they install though.

In regards to Macbooks, it's weird because Gizmodo has this article: Macbook Air SSD Performance Pretty Much Non-existent.
Yet they did say that beach-balling was severely reduced with an SSD.


SSD vs. 7200 rpms in normal machines in terms of performance; I disagree that there is little advantage in the SSD. I can open an uncompressed 1 GB video on my SSD in Quicktime without any choppy caching playback issues. That same does not go for my 7200 disks...
When we get 1 TB SSDs, video-editing should be a whole new game ^-^
I agree that it's a real shame it's taken this long for SSDs to mature, it's about time we said bye-bye to standard drives.

Edited by Bard, 22 July 2010 - 09:03 AM.

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#10 joedonaldson

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 01:53 PM

For a laptop, SSD seems like a difficult choice. 128/256 is very little for a main drive. Only if you have a Mac Pro would I suggest an SSD as you will need a secondary internal drive for your work. 128 should be enough for the apps you mentioned if you remove all the templates and crap they install though.

In regards to Macbooks, it's weird because Gizmodo has this article: Macbook Air SSD Performance Pretty Much Non-existent.
Yet they did say that beach-balling was severely reduced with an SSD.


SSD vs. 7200 rpms in normal machines in terms of performance; I disagree that there is little advantage in the SSD. I can open an uncompressed 1 GB video on my SSD in Quicktime without any choppy caching playback issues. That same does not go for my 7200 disks...
When we get 1 TB SSDs, video-editing should be a whole new game ^-^
I agree that it's a real shame it's taken this long for SSDs to mature, it's about time we said bye-bye to standard drives.


Thank for the reply Bard I really appreciate it. Look like the 500GB 7200RPM drive will be what I go with for now. Who knows maybe in a year or so the cost per/gb will decrease and I can upgrade then.
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#11 joedonaldson

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 01:54 PM

For a laptop, SSD seems like a difficult choice. 128/256 is very little for a main drive. Only if you have a Mac Pro would I suggest an SSD as you will need a secondary internal drive for your work. 128 should be enough for the apps you mentioned if you remove all the templates and crap they install though.

In regards to Macbooks, it's weird because Gizmodo has this article: Macbook Air SSD Performance Pretty Much Non-existent.
Yet they did say that beach-balling was severely reduced with an SSD.


SSD vs. 7200 rpms in normal machines in terms of performance; I disagree that there is little advantage in the SSD. I can open an uncompressed 1 GB video on my SSD in Quicktime without any choppy caching playback issues. That same does not go for my 7200 disks...
When we get 1 TB SSDs, video-editing should be a whole new game ^-^
I agree that it's a real shame it's taken this long for SSDs to mature, it's about time we said bye-bye to standard drives.


Thank for the reply Bard I really appreciate it. Look like the 500GB 7200RPM drive will be what I go with for now. Who knows maybe in a year or so the cost per/gb will decrease and I can upgrade then.
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#12 Duder

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 11:31 PM

You can always remove your MBP's DVD drive (I never use it) and put a 500GB 7200RPM drive in there (Hitachi's are great). And then remove the main OS drive and put another Hitachi 500GB drive in there. RAID 0 those and you get excellent performance and space. Although no security as far as losing your files.

Haven't kept up with hard drives lately, but I think 1TB 7200RPM drives will now fit in the MBPs? Correct me if I'm wrong. I probably am.

#13 joedonaldson

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 06:15 PM

You can always remove your MBP's DVD drive (I never use it) and put a 500GB 7200RPM drive in there (Hitachi's are great). And then remove the main OS drive and put another Hitachi 500GB drive in there. RAID 0 those and you get excellent performance and space. Although no security as far as losing your files.

Haven't kept up with hard drives lately, but I think 1TB 7200RPM drives will now fit in the MBPs? Correct me if I'm wrong. I probably am.



Thats pretty interesting, I am going to have to look into that. A big issue with me is that I have to have the MBP for school and am required to have the apple care protection plan. I wonder if apple would do a mod like that themselves because Im pretty sure I would void my warranty if I did that myself.


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#14 Duder

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:18 AM

It doesn't void your warranty if you just replace the drives. It's really easy to do and there are instructions all over the web.

If you ever need to take it to the Apple store, just open up your MBP and put everything back the way it was before so you won't get any hassle from the "Genius Bar". That's what I've been doing for years.

Always keep everything you take out, nice and neat.

#15 kitkats

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 01:26 PM

I installed a crucial 64GB SSD in my 2008 MBP a month ago, and I have to say it's working great. Definitely recommend it although the bigger ones are kind of pricey. I don't tend to use templates or any of that media that bulks out the installs so my Applications folder is under 15GB with the main parts of Production Premium, Final Cut Pro and Cinema 4D (No DVD SP, no Soundtrack loops etc, just the bare bones). My Home folder is about 20GB which leaves about 20GB to play with. So far that's been enough for the current project which I always archive via firewire drive after its wrapped up. I think in retrospect I would have been better off with a 128GB drive but I'll probably get a new machine soon anyway.

The whole thing just feels much snappier. I'll definitely put one in my next Mac Pro.

#16 Duder

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:27 AM

I would definitely look into this and add a 1TB drive in your optical slot. That way you can store everything in there besides applications.

Who still uses the optical drive anyway? You can just carry it in your bag as an external device for emergency purposes.

Edited by hyp3, 27 July 2010 - 09:28 AM.


#17 Nerra

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 11:26 AM

I've just stuck an OCZ 60gb SSD in my Mac pro and its awesome! Everything is just so snappy and instant. It was about 100 here in the UK which I think I'll easily make back in time saved over the life of the computer not to mention how much more pleasurable it makes using the it which is the biggest benefit for me.

I like speed though, when I upgraded my iphone from a 3G to 4, the thing I liked most was the speed increase.

#18 dan_hin

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:29 PM

that cheap?? another item to add to the ever-growing, mystical upgrade shopping list.

#19 Bard

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:43 PM

that cheap?? another item to add to the ever-growing, mystical upgrade shopping list.


I don't think I'd recommend 60GB disks. My 128 was nearly running out of space due to serious temp file generation when using After Effects / Maya the other day. To be running optimally, I think it's better to invest in a larger SSD for your system drive. 128 GB is the smallest I'd use to be honest.
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#20 Nerra

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:32 PM

I don't think I'd recommend 60GB disks. My 128 was nearly running out of space due to serious temp file generation when using After Effects / Maya the other day. To be running optimally, I think it's better to invest in a larger SSD for your system drive. 128 GB is the smallest I'd use to be honest.


A 120gb is double the price of a 60gb so there is no cost saving in going for the bigger one. The way I see it, I'll see how the 60gb goes, if I really need more space, I'll just buy another 60gb and raid them which will cost the same as the 120gb but will be even faster.

At the moment I've got AE caching to my main RAID and so its not filling up the SSD.




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