Best value SSD for iPhoto/iTunes libraries?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nightfly13, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #1
    So I already have an Intel SSD (and probably take for granted how useful it's become) for my OS and apps. It was a great upgrade that I hardly think about now, but I'm sure I'd know it immediately if I went back.

    Despite spending most of my gadgetry budget on an iPad 2, I'd still spend money on the two things that are still slower in my daily desktop computing: iPhoto and iTunes.

    iPhoto is a lot slower because I've got like 80gb of photos and videos (3 young kids) and, while the app is on the SSD, but the library is on the stock original 250gb hdd my 1,1 came with. I'm sure I could speed things up by putting that library on a faster hdd, but I want those two libraries to be ssd-quick. I don't mind waiting 2 seconds for a HD movie to spin up.

    So specs don't matter much to me, I'm really asking what's the best GB/$ ratio among non-flawed SSDs. I haven't paid much attention to the development of the SSD market since I bought a couple 1.5-2 years ago. Back then there were some SSDs to avoid because of bad controllers or whatever. I assume those problems are a thing of the past. Do correct me if I'm wrong! Anyway - a relatively slow, cheap SSD would suite me perfectly. Looking for 160-200gb probably for those two libraries, giving me some room to grow.

    Recommendations appreciated.
     
  2. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000

    johnnyturbouk

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    #2
    the crucial c300 have really come down in price, are blistering fast and reliable
    240gb for $380 is a bargain

    i think you can find the vertex 2 for the sub-400 mark
     
  3. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #3
    Thanks. My own quick research had lead me to a Vertex 2 - $305 for 180GB.

    I'm hoping that I can get a 'poor performer' that you wouldn't want to use for a system drive for even cheaper/gb. Thanks again.
     
  4. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #5
  5. Cmd-the-World macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    #6
    I was going to wait till the end of the year to see what happens. A number of companies are releasing newer SSDs based on the 25nm process and SATA III.

    I was hoping that by the end of the year the older, slower SATA II SSD's would fall in price.
     
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
    I would avoid Sandforce based drives (Vertex/OWC) for photo/mp3 storage since the rated performance of these drives is dependent on compressible data, which these kinds of files are not.

    I think the best bang for your buck is probably the latest generation of Intel's... the 320 series. Although if you can find a deal on Intel G2 drives the performance is very similar. The C300 is also good, but doesn't hold up as well without TRIM as the Intel's. There seems to be mixed reviews of the performance and potential side-effects with the TRIM patch, so again, the safe bet is Intel.
     
  7. oel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #8
    I'm trying to decide between these two (320 and C300) myself so I read your post with interest. I know that Intel is known to be more reliable, and am trying to understand which is more consistent in its performance over time. According to you, it's Intel. Just curious, do you base this on review's such as Ars or your own usage?

    Then the TRIM hack complicates things further. I've searched the forum and found one or more 320 users complaining about beachballing after enabling the TRIM hack. For C300 owners it seems to work with no beachballing issues.

    If we were to compare C300 with real-time TRIM enabled vs 320 without - then which would win?

    I know I'm probably just OCD'ing.
     
  8. tamvly macrumors 6502a

    tamvly

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    #9
    I'm not sure why you'd want an SSD for iTunes?
     
  9. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #10
    Yeah it's not something I need, but it is something I want. The only two times I get frustrated with my computer being slow is iTunes (if that library's HDD has spun down then there can be a 2 second wait - a beachball!!) and iPhoto. I don't need those to be SSD-quick, but I'd love it if there were. However this thread has helped me to realize that my hope - that older SSDs that aren't optimal as system/app drives are not bottoming out in price to be viable browsable media archival (as opposed to video/movie files which I don't browse the same way I do photos and songs).
     
  10. chedda macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Location:
    Underwater
    #11
    Sleeping Drive

    Could it be you are allowing the drives to sleep in the energy saver preferences ? My 65,000 songs, 1.2 tb, 215 days, music library opens in one bounce on my mac pro with a traditional drive.
     
  11. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #12
    I've only used Intel and was referring to info from Ars with respect to the other drives.

    If what you say is true about the C300's not having any side-effects with TRIM, then that's a great choice. If you want to avoid TRIM (at least for now), then the Intel is probably the better choice.
     
  12. khollister, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

    khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #13
    Your iTunes issue can be simply fixed by turning off the hard drive sleep preference as noted previously. The SSD will add nothing to the perceived performance of iTunes aside from that. I am running mine from a an external eSATA connected RAID 1 set, and there is no lag on anything.

    I use iPhoto for a very specialized purpose and therefore do not have a large library. However, I'm not at all certain a SSD is going to make a huge difference there either. It's not like iPhoto accesses and loads every photo in the library when you start it. Most photo browsers are performance limited not by disk access, but by the processing overhead to build/display the thumbnail images.

    UPDATE: For the record, I have a > 500GB iTunes library with video and music. There is no delay in browsing the library since the library metadata is all that is used for that.
     
  13. oel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #14
    Turned out not to be true - after surfing around some more I found at least one C300 user complaining about beachballing after enabling the TRIM hack.
     
  14. odinsride macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #15
    You might get better performance out of iPhoto if you split your library into multiple libraries (say by year). So instead of having one massive 80gb library you might have 4x20gb libraries that are much easier to manage.

    Just an idea...
     
  15. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #16
    Thanks for the ideas, guys. I didn't know that splitting libraries out by year was possible. I should spend an hour making significant albums and then really just archive the old stuff. My kids like to look at their baby pictures, but really aside from a select few, I don't need 6 years or archives access from the came library. Great option. I can even keep my 'working' library on an SSD perhaps... I have 15GB free right now on my 80GB Intel system/app drive.

    Also yes, drives are already set to not ever spin down, they do anyway.

    Thanks again!
     
  16. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #17
    To clarify

    My iPhoto is just all-around sluggish.

    iTunes is quick once the drive spins up. If songs are already playing or have been recently playing then it performs very well. But if I jab the 'play' button on my keyboard after it's been idle for a while there's a 2-second delay that irritates me - irrationally :)

    The 'Energy Saver' pane in system preferences has the top option (Put Hard disk(s) to sleep when possible) unchecked. Weird.
     
  17. Wicked1 macrumors 68040

    Wicked1

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #18
    I went with this on my 2010 2.66 Mini as a boot drive, then I have a 2 TB external FW800 Drive for all my iTunes media and photos.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167055

    I do not keep anything internal on the SSD unless I have to, only because I have a backup drive for my 2TB so one is only backing up the other, then I put that in my fire safe, as I only back the other drive once a week, or unless I have new music, videos, photo/s that need to be stored and backed up.

    Works well, and I like the reliablility of the Intel drive in a Mac.
     
  18. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #19
    I have almost 3 TB of Music/Video that I access through iTunes on regular disks and the performance is pretty quick. I'm not sure that you will get any gain with an SSD.

    What is your ram on the computer?

    I would put a small sample of your media on your existing SSD and see if your access speed improves before you shell out the cash for more drives.

    Of course if you have a ton of cash then by all means load up on the SSD :)
     
  19. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #20
    Right - don't have tons of cash. The iTunes library being faster is low-priority. Just annoying once or twice a day that it takes 2 seconds before a song starts. The iPhoto part is a bigger nuisance, but no biggie.
     
  20. kudukudu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #21
    Hey Wicked1, I noticed that you put your back-up in an on-site fireproof safe. You should determine whether your safe is rated as being waterproof as well. In a house fire the contents of fireproof safes can be drenched with water (this actually happened to a friend of mine). You should consider an off-site backup that you swap out twice a year.

    Regards
     

Share This Page