Do Mac computers need defragging?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by saintforlife, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #1
    Sorry my new MBA is my first Mac and have never used anything but Windows before.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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    #2
    Don't defrag a ssd
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

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    #3
    I'll bet you used one of my Fav's Diskeeper. In my Windows days I relied on every version from 1 to 11, that was the version out when I switched, I heard OSX does it automatically, thou I could never find it in writing, that said I use a program called iDefrag every 3 months, along with running MacKeeper weekly. Necessary? still don't know, figure it cant hurt, and I fell better because I do :D
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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    #4
    Defragmenting is only necessary for hdd with moving parts
     
  5. macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #5
  6. macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2010
    #6
    Mac OS/X automatically defragments files that are larger than a certain size, I think it's 4 MB or so.
     
  7. macrumors 68030

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #7
    As a couple said, never defrag an SSD. You'll wear it out much more quickly.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    stockscalper

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    #8
    You don't defrag SSD's. But I've used Macs for 25 years and I've never defragged a Mac mechanical drive either and I've never had any problems.
     
  9. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #9
    x2. This is true regardless of the operating system. SSDs have no moving parts, so "fragmenting" doesn't really affect performance. However, reading and writing to an SSD very often (which defragging does) eventually wears out the flash memory, and it also leaves "garbage" around which can slow down performance. It's technically pretty complicated, but the bottom line is that defragmenting an SSD is counterproductive at best, and potentially harmful. Just use an SSD as normal, and with modern operating systems it will maintain decent performance for a long time.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

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    #10
  11. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

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    #11
    Sorry, i missed the fact he had an Air, DUH! My comments sb directed to Disk HDD's My bad with 63 year old eyes, that speed read:eek:
     
  12. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #12
    OS X does not need defragging.

    Do not defrag SSD.

    Yeah. Can't remember the number but it's just a number and not needed for OS X to work its magic.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

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    #13
    it's 20 MiB (link). I second not defragmenting (the more recent) SSD's. In the last generation (25-nm baked), cells wears on average after just 3000 writes! (in the previous generation (I thought 40 nm?) cells wear on average after 5000 - 10000 writes).

    I don't fully agree with the 'major advance in SSD technology' mentioned in the link. To me its ridiculous that we are making storage devices that have a real high chance of dying on you years before any other part of the device does.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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    #14
    Unless your writing alot or gigantic files daily im sure your SSD won't die a few years after getting it. Reformatting all the time and transferring files to and from alot I'm sure it will die quicker
     
  15. macrumors 65816

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    Chester, NJ
    #15
    Anyway if you decide you still want to defrag (and don't have an SSD) I've used iDefrag in the past.

    Some 1st gen Airs have hard drives not SSDs.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

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    Nov 3, 2009
    #16
    Unlike Windows of any type OS X is a modern operating system and handles defragging on its own. Also no registry to clean, no viruses or malware to constantly run apps against and all that other nonsense that should not even exist in 2011.
     
  17. janstett, Mar 21, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011

    macrumors 65816

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    #17
    If OSX handled defragging on its own, then iDefrag would not have any work to do, does it not stand to reason?

    If you want to see for yourself, I came across a tool called hfsdebug that lets you inspect the filesystem. HFS minimized fragmentation but it does not eliminate it nor does it automatically defrag.

    And finally OSX is based on BSD Unix which traces back to 1977.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Oregon
    #18
    Sometims Macs do need defragging.

    Many Mac users (including myself) who do a large amount of video work on Macs will tell you that they defrag regularly. It keeps things from slowing down. But even in every day usage it can speed things up. You can test your drive and see how fragmented it is. Now, I know that OSX is supposed to keep things fairly tidy but there have been quite a few times when I noticed some quirky things happening or things not moving as zippy as usual and a quick check showed that my system drive was pretty fragmented. Defragging made things better. But things are probably different for an SSD since there are no heads to move back and forth between fragmented files.
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #19
    Every single laptop computer that I have owned before now (probably 7 over the last 15 years) has been put to rest by a mechanical hard drive that failed. One can replace hard drives but usually that is the last straw: A new hard drive is required???...might as well get a new computer (with updated everything)!

    I love the SSD in my MBA! I will give it the benefit of the doubt over mechanical hard drives that have always eventually failed me.
     
  20. macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #20
    Wow...Mac fanboy much?
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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    #21
    He's just stating the facts
     
  22. janstett, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011

    macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Not entirely.

    • Is Mac OS modern? In many ways, but in others it's older than Windows. BSD started in 1977 and Unix overall started in 1969. Windows from the NT (and OS/2) branch of the family tree, which includes Win 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7, have no relation to DOS whatsoever, and can trace their lineage back to Windows NT which was first created in 1989.
    • No registry to clean? Perhaps not, but your drive can still get littered with orphaned .plists, and there are Mac cleanup utilities.
    • Deleting an app from the applications folder doesn't get rid of all of its components -- it can leave behind plists, system components, etc.
    • No need to defrag? Not true.
    • No viruses or malware? Not true (but thankfully very infrequent).
    • No mention of the headaches you do have to uniquely deal with as a Mac user -- such as constantly needing to repair drive permissions (or worse when they cannot be repaired), or the need to reset PRAM, etc.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #23
    No cut and paste for moving files...I mean come on Windows has done this since 3.1, maybe earlier.

    I see a lot of gaps that dont make me say OSX is modern.

    Dont get me wrong, I do like my Mac ...but I also like windows....
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #24
    What? Copy/paste, delete original.
     
  25. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #25


    • Not entirely true. Windows XP merged the NT branch back with the DOS/Win3.1/Win98 branch. NT was originally an attempt to break compatibility and establish "independence" from the x86 architecture (there was even a PowerPC version), but market forces drove those lines back together. It's only the 64-bit versions that finally broke compatibility with 16-bit applications. And parts of Windows 7 can still trace their roots to Windows 1.0. Check the copyright dates on Windows 7 (they still go all the way back to 1985).

      The registry is FAR worse than the Library, plists, etc. on a Mac. Migrating to a new computer is a LOT easier on the Mac because applications are largely self-contained.
     

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