SSD or SSHD?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Neiloid, May 21, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Location:
    Hants, UK
    #1
    I want an SSD and I want a second hard drive to back the HD of my mid 2011 i5 Mini. My initial thoughts were to get a Samsung 840 SSD (126gb) with a 1TB external HDD, then I thought 2 or 3 TB would be greater future proofing for not a lot more money. I then came across the Seagate external HDD go flex FireWire that is set up for backing up the Mini and my laptop, which would be useful. The final option seems to tick the boxes and that is the Seagate SSHD which I guess is like the Apple Fusion Drive but only 750gb.

    The SSHD would need to replace the original HD and have the OS on the new drive and then I could back up the new drive to the old?

    What are your thoughts on the three options - I'm not sure I need a large SSD just for the OS most of the storage needs are for nearly 200gb of music and then photos and video.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. philipma1957, May 21, 2013
    Last edited: May 21, 2013

    macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #2
    buy this


    http://www.macmall.com/p/LaCie-External-Hard-Drives/product~dpno~9105214~pdp.hcjeaji


    read my thread

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1280118

    run it with no mods for a while.

    then open it pull out the fan wire. put in an ssd . I have used mine since dec 2011 flawless.

    I have 2 tosh ssds in it right now with no fan. one boots one is a backup.

    the temps are low under 100f see the tosh temps in the screen shots.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    That's a common mispercetion people continue to make, that a Fusion and SSHD are similar. They are not the same and you'll be very disappointed if you go SSHD thinking you'll see Fusion drive performance.

    Look up SSHD reviews, they perform marginally better than the average HDD but nowhere near the performance of a Fusion drive.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #4
    Just put in a Samsung 840 pro 256Gb next to the 500Gb HD.
    Skip the normal 840, especially the 120Gb as it is way slower. The 840 pro pushes your SATA port in the mini to the max, and will keep it a top machine for many years to come.
    Then you can either fushion it (it will be faster than Apple's solution), or split data and system/apps/scratchdisk by hand. I do the latter because of reliability and ease of backup, and I can use the HD as startup disk in emergency.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #5
    true
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #6
    I would never go for a SSHD. A fusion set up is far better. Also your 'portion' of SSD in the fusion is far bigger than that in a SSHD.

    It is worth noting too that even the HDD part of the seagate momentus is not that fast in bench testing even though it is 7200.

    For example Tom's Hardware suggests the stock OEM HGST 5400 1TB drive that you get in the 2012 mini is faster than the Seagate Momentus.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/notebook-hard-drive-review,3270-3.html.

    Quote:

    The Hitachi Travelstar 5K1000’s focus on capacity and energy savings is evident in our benchmarks, where it places last among the four new candidates. Given that it's only narrowly beaten by Toshiba's MQ01ABD100, we still consider the 5K1000's 88 MB/s read and write performance fairly good. Let us be clear, this is not at all a slow disk; it even beats the Seagate Momentus XT and Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 (both 7200 RPM-based products) in the h2benchw benchmark.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Location:
    Hants, UK
    #7
    How do I "fushion it (it will be faster than Apple's solution), or split data and system/apps/scratchdisk by hand. I do the latter because of reliability and ease of backup, and I can use the HD as startup disk in emergency." Please? A link would be good or guide.

    Thanks for all the suggestions.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Location:
    Hants, UK
    #8
    How fast is fast.

    The Samsung Pro SSD is faster than the non Pro and the larger capacity SSD are faster than the smaller ones but how much faster? Is it noticeable to a non power user. And do I need a large SSD if its only going to have the OS and program's on it as the data will be on the HDD ?

    And with 8gb of ram will an SSD see the end of the beach ball making appearances ?
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    tmanto02

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Location:
    Earth
    #9
    The ssd and 8gb should eliminate the beach ball when doing regular daily computing.
     
  10. MJL
    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    #10
    I would suggest the Toshiba Q-series instead.

    Many do not realise Toshiba invented the NAND memory 25 - 30 years ago. Up until recently they only catered for the OEM and professional market but with the Q-series they've entered the consumer market and with their entry they are not going to risk a so-so drive.

    I've got presently a "Macbook Pro pulled Toshiba SSD" in my Mac mini server and a Samsung 830 in my base model. Have also had Intel SSD's. The Intel X25M-G2 was a very good drive for its time but is now superseded. Similarly the pulled Toshiba HG3 drive is now superseded but both were reliable performers and I cannot rave enough about those two. Everything I've bought since has not been giving me an as reliable feeling, only little things though (not total failures).

    I've just bought one of the Toshiba Q-Series SSD's. At the moment I am using it external only but it "feels" better than the internal Samsung 830 which every now and then "hesitates" for 20 seconds or there abouts. Initially I had only Windows on the 830 but now have put OS X on it instead. Under both OS's it is the same. Never happened with the Toshiba or the Intel SSD's. I am of the opinion that the Intel SSD's are these days only a so-so SSD and do not want to recommend those and after being underwhelmed with the 830 I am loathe to try another Samsung.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    #11
    I would go with a Samsung 840 250 GB, should be sufficient for a mini. You can replace your internal HDD with a 1.5 TB 2.5" HDD later or use an external drive.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    #12
    I used a Seagate Momentus XT 500 GB (first-generation SSHD) for a little over a year, and then upgraded to a Samsung 840 500 GB (non-pro). To be perfectly honest I was a bit disappointed in the Samsung. By the benchmarks it's not the fastest but nowhere near being the slowest of the SSDs, yet it didn't feel that much faster than the Seagate. There are certain tasks that clearly benefit - my startup time was dramatically reduced, for example - but I expected things to be near-instant, and in most cases they're probably less than a second faster compared with the Momentus XT.

    Having used my Samsung 840 for a few months now, I can appreciate the benefits of the SSD a bit better. It's dead silent, I don't have to worry about moving my computer while it's on (I'm using a MacBook Pro - I guess that's not a concern with a Mini), and I gained close to two hours on my battery life as long as I don't access the drive too heavily. Whereas the SSHD accelerated my commonly used programs but was only fairly normal for rarely used programs, the SSD is fast all-around.

    In general, at this point in time I'm not convinced that the price is worth it. The SSHD is a lot cheaper per unit storage, and the SSHDs released after my original unit were said to be even faster. If I had to make another system drive purchase in the near future I would go with a SSHD. Setting up Fusion doesn't seem like it would save you any money over a SSHD, and it's a bit of an added hassle. People are claiming that Fusion is much faster than the SSHDs but I can't find any benchmarks; further, given my experiences with SSHD vs. SSD I can't imagine that the difference would be that dramatic.

    But ultimately it comes down to what you can afford and what you're willing to set up. The SSHD offers the best storage and performance for the price. It's good news for SSHD owners, but I'm disappointed to say that the performance gap between the SSHDs (7200 RPM versions, at least) and SSDs don't seem to be that great.
     
  13. MJL
    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    #13
    One of the major differences between different brands of SSD's is the power consumption at idle and under load. I always look at that. For me noise, heat and protection against sudden shock were the primary reasons to go SSD.

    The major difference between a HDD and a SSD is in that the seek times are greatly reduced - in a HHD ithis is in the order of 10mS whereas in a SSD this is measured in nS. (a hundred to a thousand times smaller) This reflects in where there are lots of small blocks re-written or small blocks read and not so much in sequential reads and writes. Similarly the maximum latencies are important - one hardly notices a difference between 100 and 200 nS but if it every now and then hypothetically becomes 10 or 20 seconds then you'll surely notice it.

    In my own case it is not so much the data coming and going to the SSD or HHD but more the data being shoved in and out of memory to the CPU. There the bandwidth of the "backbone" and the latency of the memory comes into play.

    Network bandwidth is creating more latency than anything else in the computer and it hardly makes any difference for work done accross a network what computer you have.

    If all the software is being processed locally then the way the software has been created can make a far larger difference than everything else together.

    I've been called to troubleshooting some database designs that took 48+ hours to process and by doing things slightly different I brought it down to just below 30 minutes. Similarly I have one program that regularly hit 100% loadfactor yet when the designer reorganised the way data was processed it dropped to about 4% enabling me to double the things I am doing and still have only a 8% to 9% workload. It allowed me to run the software on an older machine that I had abandoned because it could not cope with the load presented by the old verion.

    Therefor one has to view implementing a SSD on an individual basis and it is important not not see a SSD as a "cure all for all".
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #14
    The stock apple OEM 5400rpm drive in the current mini is faster than the momentous in benchmark tests even though it is 7200.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/notebook-hard-drive-review,3270-3.html

    Quote:

    "Let us be clear, this is not at all a slow disk; it even beats the Seagate Momentus XT and Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 (both 7200 RPM-based products) in the h2benchw benchmark."
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    #15
    It may have beaten it in a single benchmark, but it still has less performance than 7200 RPM drives (including the Momentus XT's) overall according to the conclusion of that article. It's interesting to see that the 5400 RPM drives perform so well, but that article also makes me slightly skeptical of how well benchmarking compares to real-world performance. The Momentus XT's in that article don't seem to fare much better than the standard 7200 RPM drives that they're run against, indicating that the "SSD" portion of the "SSHD" isn't being utilized.

    It's true that there are certain tasks or usage patterns where the "SSD" aspect of the SSHD won't come into play. That's partly what makes the SSHD performance difficult to quantify in a meaningful manner. Whether or not the benchmark allow the hard drive to use its SSD aspect makes for a huge difference, but it's also potentially misleading because there's no guarantee that the benchmark mimics your own usage scenario.
     
  16. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #16
    Also he is comparing the 1tb 5400 rpm hgst travelstar against the 500gb 7200 rpm hgst travelstar.

    the drive gets soundly beaten by the 1tb 7200 rpm hgst travelstar.

    that said I advise mac mini owners to leave the oem drive alone and buy this

    http://www.macmall.com/p/LaCie-External-Hard-Drives/product~dpno~9105214~pdp.hcjeaji

    price is 159 with 2x 500 gb hdds in it. follow my thread and mod the lacie what is at risk a 159 usd piece of gear and for sure the 2x 500gb drives can get 45 to 55 each on ebay.

    so less then 70 bucks for an empty t-bolt case.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1280118
     
  17. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Location:
    Hants, UK
    #17
    Getting there

    OK, so I've decided to stick an 120/128 sata SSD in my laptop, put the HDD from that in a case to back up externally then put a Sata 3 SSD in the Mini via the OWC kit.

    Samsung SSDs will be used but in the Mini should I go with a Pro 840 128gb or the non Pro 250gb for £25 more ?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #18
    Not flaming you, but you're the first person I've read on these forums that hasn't been all that impressed with SSD performance.

    Long story short: I dropped a 120GB SATA 2 SSD into my old 17" MBP and got 2 more years of life out of it because it was so much faster than with the HD; I simply felt no need to upgrade to a new machine because of the SSD install. That was late 2010. Two years later (last November) and instead of buying the newly introduced iMac (which I was not too impressed with), I bought a mid-2010 model instead. I used it for a week or two in stock form, then replaced the 1TB HD with that same SSD from the old MBP. Same story: dramatically faster; no beachballing ever. A further 4GB of RAM (for a total of 8) and I've got a smoking fast machine (at least for consumer grade).

    I've not heard anyone say anything good about the hybrid drives out there (not including Fusion). Not much to write home about compared to a fast HD.

    Again, not flaming; just surprised.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #19
    Agreed with you would put in ssd to mac mini or macbook pro anytime, it runs as fast as the wind blows.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    #20
    I've read a few other opinions of people being unimpressed. There are a few things worth noting here.

    First, you're comparing a SSD to what seems to be the stock hard drives on those systems. When I upgraded from the stock 5400 RPM drive in my MacBook Pro to the Seagate Momentus XT ("SSHD") it felt like an amazing difference. My being unimpressed is with the upgrade from the SSHD to a full SSD. If you went from a 5400 RPM drive to a SSD then I have no doubt that it would feel like night and day, but that isn't where my disappointment comes from.

    Second, I have always maximized the RAM on my systems. My original system that received the upgrade from the 5400 RPM stock drive to the SSHD had 6 GB of RAM (maxed out); my current system, where I went from the SSHD to a SSD, has 16 GB. While I would experience some page outs with the 6 GB system, it is very rare that I experience page outs with 16 GB. That means that the hard drive isn't being accessed as often as someone with less RAM and a lot of page outs, who will be relying on disk access a lot more than me. The increase in speed with drive upgrades even more noticeable to a person with a lot of paging back and forth between the hard drive and RAM.

    The last consideration is hype. I read a fair bit about SSDs, reading over opinions and looking at benchmarks. By both metrics I was expecting to be blown away, but my expectations were likely unrealistic. This is as fast as it gets. My disappointment comes from the fact that the SSD isn't really that much faster than the SSHD for most day-to-day applications (read: my usage).

    The key here is that my opinion is about SSDs vs. SSHDs, not SSDs vs. traditional HDDs. It's just my opinion, also; I've read opinions of people who felt that SSHDs weren't much faster than HDDs, or that SSDs were much faster than SSHDs. As always, opinions must be taken with a grain of salt: we're talking about different usage scenarios and different computing setups. SSDs receive such massive praise, though, and the numbers should theoretically support it - it's just that for my usage the difference wasn't as great as I expected.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #21
    There is no universal answer that applies to everyone. Some basics:

    - it's possible for a 5400 RPM drive to have better performance than a 7200 RPM drive. While the 7200 RPM drive will always have the better access time, data density on the platters determines thruput performance.

    - flash on an HDD like the Seagate SSHD stores the recently used files in flash memory so it is retained in the flash if computer is put to sleep or hibernate. In other words, faster wake-up time

    - cache on an HDD retains the most recently used information read from a disk, and written to a disk; also enhances write performance as the computer/OS doesn't need to wait for a write cycle to complete bebefore continuing with other i/o tasks.

    - a cache on an HDD will sometimes prefetch information along with the specific i/o read request. Some disks will read in the entire track to have it available in the cache just in case a file is stored sequentially on the disk, and the OS is reading only a block at a time.

    - an SSD definitely is better for random I/O and sustained reading/writing, but it comes at a premium price.

    - a fusion drive tempts the user with better performance via a compromise; most recently and frequently used information is migrated to the faster SSD storage pool, while the less frequently used blocks reside on the slower HDD. It is not redundant, as the data resides in one place or the other, and I believe a file does not straddle both. there is overhead within the OS that migrates files to the best place within the storage pool dependent on its use.

    Many will look at the question based on $$$ and utility. Each of you need to evaluate your true needs. None of you will be spending the majority of your time running benchmarks everyday, so you actually need to consider how your are using your computer most of the time.

    As for the DIY Fusion drives, be prepared to watch over your system any time Apple releases a system upgrade, and make sure you have redundant backups in case anything goes amiss. It is a great technology, but Apple won't be watching your back if you have a DIY solution. Be prepared to understand the technical details and the tradeoffs.

    A faster SSD or HDD or SSHD is usually a welcome improvement, but your budget will determine what you can afford, and your actual daily usage will determine what may actually benefit you.

    I've got several laptops, PCs and Macs; some pure HDD (7200 and 5400 RPM), my primary laptop has a Momentus XT 750GB SSHD, and several with built-in or upgraded SSD. To me, the SSHD upgrade helped my workhorse laptop, and performance improvement was immediately recognizable. The laptop I upgraded from HDD to SSD also was a day and night difference, with the SSD clearly a big improvement.

    With prices falling every month with SSDs, and both reliability and performance a clear improvement, I'm a holdout for upgrading everything to SSD, as I've only needed to update a few of my computers.

    Whatever you decide, things will be even better next year!
     

Share This Page