General Opinions on SSDs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by isaaclimdc, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. isaaclimdc macrumors 6502

    isaaclimdc

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    #1
    I know there are many resources already out there, but I just wanted to gauge an open discussion as to people's opinions on SSDs: their price, worth for money, performance compared to HDDs, durability, potential in the future, etc.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #2
    SSDs are great as a boot drive but their volume is behind HDs, so for storing data, they are extremely expensive (and useless). Fast ones are quite pricey as well. I'm still waiting because in a year or two, they will be in reasonable price range and have bigger volume and faster write and read times. They are definitely the future. Also, SSDs are much quieter and cooler than HDs because there are no moving parts inside.
     
  3. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #3
    For most users, they still are not worth it. I also don't understand why seven seconds of boot time is relevant, especially at a hefty price. I mean time is money, but not that kind of money.
     
  4. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502

    mcpryon2

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    #4
    I like having an SSD because for some reason I am really sensitive to vibration. If I used a HDD laptop for a few hours my hand will get numb from the vibration of the spinning platter.
     
  5. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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    #5
    I was a sceptic myself, they seemed so expensive. A couple of weeks ago I bought an OCZ Vertex SSD, and I feel in love with it immidiately. The whole computing experience goes up a notch with it, and everything feels so much more thoroughly engineered. Now, that is a purely subjective stance, so I expect other people to disagree.

    I love my SSD as a system disk. It boots really fast (that's not that much of an issue), all applications, even heavy ones, are loaded within two seconds, and the general flow of the OS is improved. I find it worth the money if you're like me and really appreciate those things. If you're not, save the money and don't bother buying one. They will get better and cheaper. :)
     
  6. jpyc7 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    There have been reports of slow-down with use, but that this is expected. The slow-down still leaves the SSD ahead of HDD, but it is something to be aware of.

    Basically, as the unit is filled up with more data or the same data is saved again, the SSD controller has a write-levelling algorithm that spreads out the flash blocks that are used. When the unit is new, the algorithm doesn't need to do much, but when blocks are in use and re-written then the controller spends time making sure that different blocks are used. This is because a block only has so many lifetime writes, so the controller tries to keep all blocks written with the same avg amount. The expectation is that new/better algorithms will keep this slow-down to a minimum.

    I don't know if there are any SSDs that support firmware replacement, but that would seem to be a useful feature. Especially since there was a case where Intel found a bug in their controller software and fixing it reduced the slow-down.
     
  7. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #7
    How do the fans not bother you? Or, have you considered a desktop?
     
  8. isaaclimdc thread starter macrumors 6502

    isaaclimdc

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    #8
    Thanks for the insights guys. I'm actually considering getting one for my MacBook Pro 2009. For me it's not so much about boot times as application launch times, durability and quietness. The price is hefty; thus my hesitation to purchase one. I currently use an average of about 62GB of my HD space, excluding my 40GB of media. So, I suppose I could live with a 64GB SSD and store my media in my existing 2.5" HD in an external casing.

    Maybe if I do decide to get one, I will get an MLC, since SLCs are even more expensive.
     
  9. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

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    #9
    I'd have one in my mini, but I don't have the money now. They are definitely the future of storage. (FYI, GE is working on a UV optical storage device)

    For now, they are expensive and low capacity, and for most people, won't make a difference.

    If I ever get a G4 Cube or fanless iMac G3, I'm putting in a SSD for a silent computing experience :cool:.
     
  10. isaaclimdc thread starter macrumors 6502

    isaaclimdc

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    #10
    Wow, the G4 Cube. That's some serious nostalgia!
     
  11. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

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    #11
    IMO, the G4 Cube is the second-best looking computer ever made, behind the iMac G4.

    The G4 Cube is in MoMA, but the iMac G4 isn't.
     
  12. iMav macrumors 6502

    iMav

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    #12
    For me, storage space is more precious than a bit more speed.
     
  13. silentnite macrumors 6502a

    silentnite

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    #13
    Let me start by saying I don't want to come across as a know it all, but will speak from my experience, my opinion on SSDs is, the price like any new product on the market will always start out high but eventually work it's way down. DVD burners, blu ray etc. Are SSDs worth the money? it all depends on the individual using it and what your using it in, for Lap Tops they are great, extremely small, solid drive that fits in the palm of your hand, very easy to install into your Mac book pro, about 20 min. from start to finish, very light weight, no moving parts, less fragile than hard disks and are silent as there are no mechanical delays, low access time and latency.

    I don't agree with using the word useless only because I have owned other drives and found myself replacing them at one time or another, due to problems, with this drive the only time I expect to replace it would be to get a larger one once prices begin to drop. You can find some made by other company's for a little bit less but I don't recommend buying these drives from just any company unless you know who your dealing with.

    I own 3 drives one being a SSD made from intel 80 gb which I just installed into my new Mac book pro 13" and must say I love it so far but have not ran any test yet for speed or performance, what I did like is how quiet it is, almost like nothing is there and have also noticed my computer is moving more faster to open tracks in Garage band which is a program I use everyday, I'm also the proud owner of a WD scorpion black 320gb which is installed into my Mac mini, I like this drive as well but have notice it does make some sound (a little spinning) not so much vibration but does improve performance as well. I also store a lot of work on an external 1tb firewire drive which is what I use for my back ups.

    Testing will be necessary for me to determine what is actually going on.

    I know we will begin to see SSDs in the near future as computer company's begin to refresh their products for the new year.
     
  14. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

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    #14
    Bravo! Three paragraphs with almost no periods.
     
  15. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #15
    They will probably be the future (hard to tell with technology)
    However, the cost v. return on investment is too high for most right now
    The prices will drop and it will become more affordable at time goes on

    Some have to have the latest and greatest right now, and that is OK
    For me, as others have said, I can live without it for now

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  16. upinflames900 macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

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    #16
    I would have to second this sentiment. They are up and coming, but for majority of people they are not worth the investment now especially when they are going to probably drop in price by half over the course of the next couple years.
     
  17. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    Dec 13, 2004
    #17
    I think they're great, just now isn't the time to buy them yet. With prices dropping so quickly, I'd wait at least 2-3 years for the tech to mature and for the prices to become more reasonable.
     
  18. Big Boss Man macrumors regular

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    Oct 27, 2006
    #18
    So where do people think we will see the greatest improvement, in price or in performance? Are you just waiting for prices to come down or are you waiting for performance improvements? I know both are expected, but which is the more important factor at this point?

    I would like to get one (or maybe two) for my MBP. I use my MBP as a DAW so noise and speed are very important. I would not necessarily mind paying a little more to get one now, but I do not want something that will be significantly inferior a year from now.
     
  19. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #19
    Pricing is still too expensive for mass-market adoption. It's not worth the storage capacity per dollar. Reading speed from SSDs is extremely fast, can saturate a 3.0Gb/s SATA connection. Writing speed may vary from brand to brand, but should be faster than HDD. Durability is very stable, robust, no mechanical parts, so extensive shaking will not corrupt the data being written/read from drive. And the SSD's potential in the future is looking very bright, as soon as prices/capacities ratio decreases to about the HDD level, mass-market adoption will follow. For most users, DO NOT buy SSDs for notebooks. For netbooks? Maybe, because sometimes a regular HDD won't fit or is too slow, and the SSD option is similarly priced, but better spec'd. For most non-netbook machines, SSDs are a waste.
     
  20. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #20
    I would wait also. Although performance degradation isn't nearly big an issue as it was, SSD's still have a long way to go. Relatively short life spans need to be addressed.

    As for outright performance, I've read posts on other forums where ram based SSD's are still faster than conventional SSD's. There are many types of memory access benchmarks and generally most conventional SSD's cannot keep up to ram based solutions. SATA2 limits are here, today.

    I don't think the ram based SSD's are for the average user but I think it is important to include them in the discussion.

    I'll consider a conventional SSD when they have a longer life span and are a bit faster.
     

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