Does SSD make a big difference in performance? What is the recommended size?

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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Hello, for multi-core higher performance workstations, does SSD make a big difference in performance? If so, what is the recommended size in the case of: 1. only mac os, 2. only windows 7 64-bit, 3. both mac os and windows bootcamp? If not using SSD, I would get 2 x 1TB drive at 7200rpm.

I plan to use Matlab/Simulinks, Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks, 3DsMax, etc.

Thanks
 

MRU

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Aug 23, 2005
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Yes it makes a huge performance improvement and everyday speediness of your computer.


As for size, depends on your needs and budget.


I use 1 256GB SSD in first bay in my mac pro with a SSD for the operating system and all my applications.

The rest of my bays comprise of standard HDD's 2 x 1.5GB and 1 x 3GB (my timemachine backup of everything)

I keep my media library, music, books, films etc on one of the 1.5gb drives, and my design work on the other.. (both backed up via TimeMachine)

For me it gives me space and speed for a reasonable cost. Yes I'd love 4x512mb SSD's all raided together but my budget would never allow such extravagance :)
 

El Awesome

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2012
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Zurich
Yes, the improved is huge. I can agree with the guy above me.
Your Mac will be booted in just a few seconds, apps willbe opening much faster (you will notive this when openong Adobe softwarre or Microsoft office stuff)

I ordered a 128Gb Samsung 830 (the most reliable SSD out there). I only have my system folders and my application folder there. Still like 60-70GB free. A 256GB is twice the price - not necessary for me.

All my other files are stored on two 1TB HDD drives. And then, I have a 640GB drive for Bootcamp.
 

takezo808

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2011
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0
Hello, for multi-core higher performance workstations, does SSD make a big difference in performance? If so, what is the recommended size in the case of: 1. only mac os, 2. only windows 7 64-bit, 3. both mac os and windows bootcamp? If not using SSD, I would get 2 x 1TB drive at 7200rpm.

I plan to use Matlab/Simulinks, Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks, 3DsMax, etc.

Thanks
solid state drrives have no moving parts which means ultra fast access times.
read and write speeds are much faster than the standard HDD wich uses spinning magnetic metal plates and an armature to read it.

There is one draw back on SSD is the amount of writes it currently can handle. This amount is still so large that most people will not beable to reach it. However if you love to do HD video editing with very large files the write limit can cause corruption of data for extreamly intense work loads.

The HDD is more robust for sustanied writes which makes it ideal for extream video editing.
 

El Awesome

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2012
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Zurich
solid state drrives have no moving parts which means ultra fast access times.
read and write speeds are much faster than the standard HDD wich uses spinning magnetic metal plates and an armature to read it.

There is one draw back on SSD is the amount of writes it currently can handle. This amount is still so large that most people will not beable to reach it. However if you love to do HD video editing with very large files the write limit can cause corruption of data for extreamly intense work loads.

The HDD is more robust for sustanied writes which makes it ideal for extream video editing.
The Samsung 830 has a 3-year warranty (at least here in Switzerland, ignore this post if it's different in the USA).
If it gives up, just get a new one by warranty. And if the warranty expires and the SSD quits, then you can get a new, better one.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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So, the general practice is to install the OS and the applications on the SSD drive. The rest (e.g. data files) go to the 7200rpm drive. Am I right? Looks like a typical size is around 256GB?
 

El Awesome

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Jul 21, 2012
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So, the general practice is to install the OS and the applications on the SSD drive. The rest (e.g. data files) go to the 7200rpm drive. Am I right? Looks like a typical size is around 256GB?
Correct. Most fo the SSDs are between 128GB and 256GB.
In iMacs and MacBooks, sometimes people have a 256GB SSD alone. If you don't use more than 256GB of data, you can put all your stuff on the SSD.
In the Mac Pro, things are often different because I would say most of the MP-users are "advanced" users. You have big applications, big data (e.g. video files, 3D-Animation stuff) where you have way more than 240GB used.
Thats why you put your data onto a HDD.
You can also put several SSDs in a RAID-system, then you can sotre your data on them. But that is damn expensive.
 

Melbourne Park

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2012
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The Samsung 830 has a 3-year warranty (at least here in Switzerland, ignore this post if it's different in the USA).
If it gives up, just get a new one by warranty. And if the warranty expires and the SSD quits, then you can get a new, better one.
Its three years in Australia. For about 15% more here, we can buy an Intel 520, which has a 5 year warranty. So, I think I'll buy the Intel.

But I am not sure how to put the photo files on the other drive ... for instance with iPhoto libraries, can I just drag a folder over to the HDD?
 

El Awesome

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Jul 21, 2012
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Its three years in Australia. For about 15% more here, we can buy an Intel 520, which has a 5 year warranty. So, I think I'll buy the Intel.

But I am not sure how to put the photo files on the other drive ... for instance with iPhoto libraries, can I just drag a folder over to the HDD?
Yes. Simple as that.
If you have a Backup, try to migrate the data from the Backup.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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Correct. Most fo the SSDs are between 128GB and 256GB.
In iMacs and MacBooks, sometimes people have a 256GB SSD alone. If you don't use more than 256GB of data, you can put all your stuff on the SSD.
In the Mac Pro, things are often different because I would say most of the MP-users are "advanced" users. You have big applications, big data (e.g. video files, 3D-Animation stuff) where you have way more than 240GB used.
Thats why you put your data onto a HDD.
You can also put several SSDs in a RAID-system, then you can sotre your data on them. But that is damn expensive.
Thanks.

As a reference, my MBP has a 500GB hard drive. 320GB is assigned for Mac OS. It has only 75GB left. As for my bootcamp windows partition, it has 80/181GB left. What SSD size do you recommend?
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,568
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Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
My 2008 Mac Pro has a 256GB SSD in bay-1 and is partitioned 160GB for OS X boot and apps, 80GB for Windows7.

I then have a 2 TB RAID-0 (dual 1GB disks in bays2 & 3) for OS X user accounts, data, photos, music, video, etc. In the 4th bay I have a 500GB disk formated NTFS for Windows data, games, etc.


-howard
 

El Awesome

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Jul 21, 2012
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Zurich
Thanks.

As a reference, my MBP has a 500GB hard drive. 320GB is assigned for Mac OS. It has only 75GB left. As for my bootcamp windows partition, it has 80/181GB left. What SSD size do you recommend?
Well that means you have 245GB used.
How much can you delete of that (unecessary apps and stuff)?

I'd recommend you to buy a 128GB SSD just for system and apps, and if you have enough space left, make a little bootcamp partition where you install just windows. This would be the cheapest idea.
Or you can get a 300+GB SSDfrom Intel e.g. which are at least 3x the price.
Then get one or more HDDs and throw your data on them. There, the advantage of a SSD is not so big. And additionally, in case your SSD fails,you don't loose your data (migrating from a backup takes a lot of time for all my data...). Jest replace the SSD and install the systemagain.
 

WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
756
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Texas
An SSD will make almost all your day-to-day activities exponentially faster. It won't really help with stuff like encoding and other CPU-intensive activities, though, although you might notice a little speed boost.

It is definitely the best investment I have made to speed up my computers...I might even go as far as to say it is even better than adding additional RAM. :)
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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Well that means you have 245GB used.
How much can you delete of that (unecessary apps and stuff)?
...
Or you can get a 300+GB SSDfrom Intel e.g. which are at least 3x the price.
Then get one or more HDDs and throw your data on them. There, the advantage of a SSD is not so big.
I have already deleted lots of stuffs.

Why with the 300+GB, the advantage is not so big? Is it because of storing the data on the HDDs? I think Inventor/Solidworks often need to pull out CAD data from storage. Not sure about Matlab/Simulink+Toolboxes.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Feb 25, 2012
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NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
Yes, they are great for everything except large amounts of storage, still to expensive.

The best way to do it imo is get a small SSD as a boot/main drive. And a couple giant 1-2TB Hard drives to keep your data on.