Algorithm for selecting SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sawxray, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. sawxray, Apr 9, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011

    sawxray macrumors newbie

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #1
    I have been reading a large number of threads on SSDs, and have NEVER had one before. I am salivating and finally ready!

    I have a 2011 MBP 15" 2.3, with the 750 GB HD. I have about 450 GB filled.

    I would like to keep this disk and add an SSD for the boot drive, and possibly other data, depending on best practices. Based on my uses and needs below, I am looking for guidance about what size to buy, what data to keep on it, and where to place the new SSD in my MBP.

    I do a lot of browsing and email. I so some image manipulation, and plan to use Aperture and iMovie much more, now that I have a 9 month-old baby (the wife takes a LOT of video and pics...). I listen to iTunes moderately, although with a new AppleTV 2, I expect I will rip DVDs and watch videos using AirPlay a lot more (also due to staying home more because of the baby. For some reason, they don't allow me in bars with her...). I use a VM through Parallels occasionally.

    So here are my questions:

    1. How much data does one keep on the SSD? Should I just have the OS, and applications, and leave all data on the HD? Or will iMovie and Aperture work better if data is kept on the SSD?

    2. Depending on the above, what size would you pick for the SSD?

    3. I would like to get the latest and greatest SATA III, but...

    4. I would have to put the SSD in the main HD slot and the HD in an Optibay or Data Doubler, which has no shock protection.

    5. Would the 6 GBPS make a difference for my uses?

    6. Should I keep the Parallels Windows 7 VM on the SSD? Again, with just the OS and apps, or with some data?

    Thanks so much! I see so many different approaches that I am a bit confused. I am hopeful that my particular details will make sense to somebody here.

    Cheers!
     
  2. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

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  3. sawxray thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #3
    I edited to make it clearer.

    I am trying to determine the best size of SSD, what data to keep on it, and where to place it (primary spot vs. Optibay or Data Doubler)

    Thanks.
     
  4. dhtmlkitchen macrumors newbie

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    Dec 23, 2010
    #4
    Presumably the one that he does not have but wnats. He needs help making a decision that is specific to his needs and his system.
     
  5. dhtmlkitchen macrumors newbie

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    Dec 23, 2010
    #5
    I plan to just replace my HD with an SSD so that I can still use DVDs.

    My difficulty is finding out which SSD is reliable and the best value, speed, size, and price-wise. There is review site for OWC SSD but they are sponsored by OWC. Then there's unreliability with OCZ drives that I found and posted up yesterday.

    Is there an FAQ for SSD for MBP anywhere? After having spent hours reading this forum an STFW, I'm not sure I'm closer to making a decision.
     
  6. NikFinn macrumors 6502a

    NikFinn

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #6
    My findings are:
    Reliable: Intel
    Value: Something last gen and small
    Speed: Vertex 3
    Size: Big?
    Price-wise: See value
     
  7. FluJunkie macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 17, 2007
    #7
    I am not sponsored by OWC, and have nothing but good things to say about them.

    My 120 GB SSD in my Mac Pro lives in Drive Bay 4 (using an OWC bracket, its in a Mac Pro) and houses my Applications and System stuff, while the user folder lives on a Caviar Black. There are, clearly, laptop equivs. to this setup.

    It's lightning fast and I couldn't be happier. Only complaint is I sometimes miss the fluff on game load screens because they load too quickly.
     
  8. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a

    Macsavvytech

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    #8
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    All SSDs with TRIM or firmware garbage collection are more reliable then a HDD though.
     
  9. dhtmlkitchen macrumors newbie

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    Dec 23, 2010
    #9
    All of them?
    Value is the ratio of perceived worth to cost. That depends on individual factors. I'm not conducting pop poll and neither is the OP. I'm reading about TRIM, that certain OCZ drives are unreliable, how on macs, SSD performance may degrade over time, SandForce (which I don't understand), etc.

    But what is "last gen"?

    http://www.hardmac.com/news/2011/03/25/how-to-activate-trim-on-any-ssd
     
  10. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000

    johnnyturbouk

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    #10
    last gen: being sf1200 for e.g the current owc drives; ocz vertex 2; real/crucial c300, intel x25 - these (except c300s) are all sata-2
    , corsair f-series
    the next gen will include the c400, intel 510 and the new sf2000 sandforce drives like the ocz vertex 3
     
  11. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a

    Macsavvytech

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    #11
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    Ok to answer your question. SSDs slow down over time due to the fact that data is never deleted, when you delete a file it is marked as needing deleting. When you copy a file onto your hard disk drive it is almost always copied from the beginning of the disk to the end. What happens in SSDs, is that left over data is left in the cells, and because of the way a SSD works this slows it down(this part is quite technical). TRIM simply removes the garbage (files from the cells), TRIM however is performed by the operating system, what sandforce did is they designed their controllers to do two things,
    a) Manage data better as to create less garbage
    b) Implement a kind of TRIM at the drive level so instead of the operating system cleaning the drive, the drive cleans itself
     
  12. phylumook, Apr 9, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011

    phylumook macrumors newbie

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    #12
    people could probably understand your problem better if you didn't try so hard with a lot of the ineffective or wrong vocabulary :p
     
  13. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a

    Macsavvytech

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    #13
    Your not referring to me are you? The OP right?
     
  14. lurrego macrumors member

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #14
    it looks like overall he is looking for the best practices that come with using a ssd: whether to keep a lot on it, whether to just install some applications on it with the OS as well, and then leave other files on a separate HD, etc.

    I am also interested in this. Been eyeing a vertex 3 and would like to use my stock 500gb from the new 2011's as an external HD. If, for example, I have a ssd with the OS and my main applications installed on it, like photoshop, will keep all my pictures files in an external drive still give me the benefit of faster loading times, rendering, etc? or do some still keep some files on their ssd?
     
  15. boontech macrumors newbie

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    Nov 1, 2010
    #15
    1 - Mine had 125GB on it with all applications (inc aperture, FCP, motion) music, movies and photos are on my HDD, everything else is on the SSD.

    2- i have the 240GB, spend as much as you can now, you cant add to it later.

    3- My SSD is in my optibay for the reason you mention, i still want the HDD to have the protection. but i only have the 2010 MBP so dont have the question of SATA 2 or 3

    4 - See above.

    5 - My XP is on the SSD, i want the speed this has to offer and i only have 6GB for it

    I blogged about it as i recently when through this

    http://booncunian.wordpress.com/
     
  16. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a

    Macsavvytech

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    #16
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    Hehe get dual SSDs like me then you can forgot about the optibay not having a SMS.
     
  17. hehe299792458 macrumors 6502a

    hehe299792458

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    #17
    What's a SMS? And what'd the advantage of dual SSD be versus SSD+ large HDD?
     
  18. brokeneck macrumors member

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    Jul 6, 2010
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    Boston, MA
    #18
    sudden motion sensor - useful to protect your HDD if you drop or seriously bang your computer. Apple only offers it in HDD bay, not the optical drive bay. So if you get two SSDs you don't have to worry as much about SMS because of no disk head. Problem is many people have reported issues with SSD in optibay.... So I think it's a bit of a stretch to think of dual SSDs as some kind of magic bullet here.
     
  19. TheUndertow macrumors 6502

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    Feb 20, 2011
    #19
    I was thinking about this setup...other than the OB being SATA II, curious what problems you've heard of.
     
  20. brokeneck macrumors member

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    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #20
    Some people have had issues with sleep and hibernation with their SSDs in the optibay that have been resolved when moving the drive to the HDD bay. This could be computer model and or SSD specific, I'm not sure. I didn't pay super close attention to it, but I saw enough posts about it to put my HDD in the Optibay. I am not worried about lack of SMS in the optibay, for me it was a no brainer. I back up my HDD regularly with Time Machine, and if I drop my computer the last thing I'm worried about is having to replace a $150 hard drive.

    I did disable SMS since my hard drive bay has an SSD in it. Not sure that's important, but certainly can't hurt.
     
  21. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000

    johnnyturbouk

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    #21
    The way OWC explained it to me: if the ssd is in the optibay and the osx is running from the optibay ssd and is put to sleep (timer). When the system awakens, it will look, in certain instances at the hdd not the ssd, and hence cause the system freezing and beachballing. Thus, this issue can be resolved by placing the SSD into the HDD.
     
  22. NikFinn macrumors 6502a

    NikFinn

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #22
    This.

    Yes. I saw a chart on here that looked like it was copied from Anandtech it showed that Intel being the most reliable, with OCZ being the least reliable. That was measuring by failure rate.
     
  23. fenderbass146 macrumors 65816

    fenderbass146

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    Location:
    Northwest Indiana
    #23
    My Experience

    I have done this process.

    Supplies:
    OCZ Vertex: 30 GB (computer reads as 32 GB)
    Fenvi eBay Optibay
    7200 RPM WD Cavair Black, w/o sms

    Orginally because I got impatience i installed the ssd, in the regular slot while I waited for my optibay to come. SSD is amazing, I had the whole os, cs5, apeture, office, and a couple of smaller progams and still had like 6 GB free out of 30 15 second boot time and I could open every application on my mac in less then 30 seconds without it freeizing

    When my optibay I put the ssd in the optbay and my 7200 back in the orginal slot. I would recommend this way over the other for many reasons.

    1. HDD having moving parts, the original harddrive bay had rubber mounts to help with vibrations, only the orginal hdd spot will supply sms to your HD, (unless your HD has it built in which is rare).
    2. There are some people who have problems with the drive getting two hot for the optbay.
    3. Overall the HDD was made to in the orginal spot for a reason.

    Now on the other side the ssd has no noise, heat, or moving parts, and you could drop it off a building and it would be fine.

    It could care less where it is put at.

    The one and only downfall to having the SSD in the optibay is that you have to turn of hibernation. Now this doesnst mean it can't sleep, it just means that if the battery dies, it won't save the ram into your HD. Basically if it dies, you will loose what you are doing, however for most people they don't let there laptop die.

    2 benifits to turning hubernation off is that you get the amount of ram that you have back. What i mean by this is that hibernation takes a section of your boot HD or ssd and sets it aside if the laptop dies ex. If you have a macbook with 4gb of ram, there will be part of your SSD that is always in use for hibernation. If you turn hibernation off and clear the file you will get those 4gb back. AFter doing that I now have 10 GB free as apposed to 6 GB

    Also there is no performance difference at all with it having in the orginal spot or ssd spot. Still same boot times.

    One last thing, Use the trim enabler that i found on this forum.... just mroogle it



    I have been using this setup for about a month now and am extremly happy
     
  24. dhtmlkitchen macrumors newbie

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    Dec 23, 2010
    #24
    Who knows. He didn't quote nor say what he thought was "ineffective", nor mention names.

    Kind of ironic, such poor communication used to criticize others' communication.
     
  25. sawxray thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #25
    Thanks

    Thank you for all the input.

    BTW: Fenderbass-I am a bass player, too. Nice to meet you.

    If I don't put the SSD in the primary spot, I will lose the benefit of SATA 3, so I shouldn't go with one of the hot new SSDs like the Vertex 3.

    I am real careful with my computer. How much of a shock does it take to disrupt the HD, should it be in the Optibay/Data Doubler slot?

    I think you all are saying to put the OS and apps on the SSD. What about music and photos? I would guess that would make them significantly faster (I don't know for sure), but that means I need a significantly larger SSD. My current HD is 750 GB, which gives me a very nice capacity.

    I can't figure out what the whiner was talking about, either...

    Cheers!
     

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