Does MacBook slow down as you have less SSD capacity?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by trjk434, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. trjk434 macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2014
    If you fill up your storage space, does MacBook get significantly slower?
    Also, is the SSD on MacBook Pro Retina upgradable? (I heard it was soldered to the motherboard)
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes, as a drive gets full it will slow down some, but it would need to be very very full for you to notice any difference. Like over 90-95% or so full.

    The flash storage in the Retina is not soldered in and is upgradeable, but the problem is nobody yet makes a replacement for the 2013 models. OWC made an upgrade for the older models and I believe they have said they are working on an upgrade for the current model.
  3. christarp macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2013
    I don't know the answer to this question, but I was under the impression that hard drives got slower as you filled them up because the heads would have to move across the disk and start filling programs in the nooks and crannies that were free between other areas of the disk that were taken up, causing more head movement and thus more time seeking.

    Not sure if SSDs have the same kind of problem or not, or perhaps it's just a thing that happens as the OS tries to cope with such little storage, not sure! Would love to see someone more educated on the subject chime in here.
  4. Barney63 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2014
    Bolton, UK.
    Another point might be as the HD gets fuller the files will be more fragmented taking longer to read than a sequential file.

  5. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    SSDs' write speeds (especially random writes) decrease dramatically as usage approaches 85% full. This is because there are more and more filled blocks (NAND memory adds an extra "E" state to the traditional 0/1 block states of HDDs) and the SSD must first clear (reset to "E") and then write.

    Now, the read speeds should be fairly consistent until every cell on the SSD has been written to at least once. For the most part, TRIM and garbage collection on modern SSDs and operating systems will alleviate these sorts of problems.

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