If I go with a 256 GB SSD, is there any down faults?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by silvergts1998, May 20, 2009.

  1. silvergts1998 macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #1
    I am thinking of going this route for my main OS Drive. I hear great things, but then I also read that there can be issues such as writing to the drive? I wonder if I am just better off getting a Raptor Drive instead at 10,000 RPMS?

    What are the cons of going SSD? (Solid State Drive?)

    Pros- Faster I know that....anything else?
     
  2. ekwipt macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Cons, friggen expensive if you need a disk that big!

    Slow down issues when you fill the drives?
     
  3. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #3
    Even with the drive "slowing" down it is still an order of magnitude faster than any mechanical drive.
     
  4. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

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    #4
    Pro: Awesomeness -- great speed, very reliable.
    Cons: Price.
     
  5. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #5
    Cost is the biggest con, as is slow write speed when the drive nears capacity and lots of small files are being written.

    Latency is the big advantage, not throughput. The VelociRaptor has an average random seek time of 4.70ms and that changes depending on where on the disk the data is, thats why they use a 2.5" drive in a cooling tray instead of a normal 3.5".
    The SSD seek time is 0.01ms no matter where the data is. Compared to a 7ms seek time of normal drives, its 700x quicker!
     
  6. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #6
    Actually, random read and write speeds together with latency is the big advantage.

    As I said before, even with the drive slowing down (which only affects the Samsung based Solid State Drives to an extent) it is still an order of magnitude faster than the fastest mechanical drive available.
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #7
    Definitely. :D

    A single SSD can run as fast a a 3 drive stripe made up of mechanical drives, depending on the specific SSD of course. ;) Not too shabby. :p
     
  8. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #8
    RAID setups are still limited by the long seek time.
     
  9. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #9
    Not to mention that seek times get worse as you combine more mechanical harddrives.
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #10
    True, but that's the compromise for the lower cost. Ideally, in a money-is-no-object system, use RAID with SSD's. But I prefer the "I" = inexpensive part (relatively speaking), and even some mechanical drives aren't that wonderful for $/GB (SAS).

    SSD's have awhile to go before it's pricing drops low enough and the capacity to increase for it to become ubiquitous IMO. I end up being able to do more with $600 - $700 (256GB SSD's on newegg) or so on multiple drives than a single SSD. But if I didn't have to concern myself with any sort of budget, the Intel X25-E (64GB version) would be really nice to have. ;) :p
     
  11. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    #11
    The only issue is the steady state performance, meaning the drive actually slows down a bit (mostly write speed) when there is no fresh memory blocks left. 250GB would take a while to reach that stage but it'll still be faster than Raptor at any time. Over time, this is a non-issue once TRIM is supported in all OS.

    You have to get a very good SSD to justify the cost over getting the Raptor, such as Intels (no 250GB but 320GB is coming out in Q3 2009), Vertex (have 250gb), and finally Samsungs such as Corsair P256 or Summit. Forget the rest of the drives that uses jMicron.


    There are some compatibility issue with Macs for some of the SSDs, such as Vertex not working with Bootcamp (it is a known bug), Samsung (worse steady state performance and the worst random IOPS out of all three SSDs). All of the issues could be fixed over time with firmware update (some Samsungs aren't firmware-upgradable but Summit is).


    Pros:
    1) Latency almost never increase, it does increase in steady-state to something less than 2ms but that's the worst case situation, TRIM in future will almost eliminate all steady-state performance once all OS supports it
    2) Quiet, Less Power consumption (compare it to Raptor 10K), also no vibrations for the computer (Raptors at 10Krpm in a Mac Pro always annoy me)

    Cons:
    1) Price is high. This is still a cutting-edge technology. Over time, this would be a nonissue. (Remember Intel X-25M 80GB sold for $700-800 in August 2008, now it's $300-340)
     
  12. silvergts1998 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #12
    I was looking at the samsung drive. Sounds like that drive is full of issues? Raptor maybe the way to go. Money isn't really an issue. Just want the fastest most reliable drives. Where can I get a good SSD?
     
  13. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    #13
    It's not full of issues. It may be just a simple firmware issue that can be fixed with a firmware update.

    Fastest seq drive would be Vertex or Samsung. Fastest random IOPS would be Intels.

    Raptors can't touch the speed of an SSD.

    You can get the SSD at any computer stores that sell HD such as newegg and amazon.
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #14
    I've not used their SSD's, but how decent is Samsung with firmware delivery for them?
     
  15. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

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    #15
    Some people having problems with the Sumsung drives have noted that the new 256 GB Samsung MLC SSDs are not supported by firmware updates:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=695367

    Not sure if this is an isolated case or a general trend.
     
  16. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    May 20, 2008
    #16
    Flash based drives usually have a lower life expectancy when using journalling file systems. The flash chips have a limited number of times they can be read from and written to and a journalled file systems constantly updates it self making for lots of reads and writes.

    That said, I think the numbers have gone way since I last looked into it. Shouldn't be an issue.
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #17
    Thanks for the link. :)

    I hope it's not a general trend, but my experience lately with HDD support for mechanical drives is becoming dismal. :(

    Hitachi for example, won't help at all. They pass you back to the system/device vendor (Caldigit's RAID card w/ HD Element requiring firmware updates for stability). :mad: Then there's Seagate and the recent 1.5TB fiasco with the 1.5TB consumer models, and the enterprise were affected as well (Boot of Death). Denial for months, then once they finally admitted the problem, you had to get placed on a list. :rolleyes:

    Perhaps Samsung's lack of the ability to update the firmware was a result of the controller chip used? :confused:

    Oh well...The wonderful world of manufacturer's wanting to be cheap. :p
     
  18. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #18
    I think the consensus is that the Intel is the only real contender if you want reliable top-performance and money is no object. Consider a RAID0 array of their 80GB or 160GB products to achieve your desired storage capacity.
     
  19. frimple macrumors 6502

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    #19
    As for good SSD drives, pay attention to the controller. JMICRON is the big offender that caused the terrible stuttering issues in the previous generations. Andandtech has a 30 page article on this... will post the link once I've dug it up again

    Edit:

    Here it is. A great read for those looking at SSDs http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3531
     
  20. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #20
    Its writes that are limited. Journaling can be disabled.
     
  21. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    Nov 12, 2007
    #21
    First of all, there are two different type of SSDs, SLC and MLC. Second, the are no limits to read, only to writes. SSDs can be in read only state forever.

    SLC or Single Level Cell will last a while, 1 million write cycle. The bigger the SSD, the longer it will last due to wear leveling method.

    MLC or Multi-Level Cell, around 10-100,000 write cycle. Thanks to wear leveling, the bigger the SSD, the longer it'll last. 512GB MLC SSD can last longer than a 64GB SLC SSD.

    There are research going on for expanding the MLC's lifespan to a million write cycle as well.

    Journaling file systems are nothing to worry about, while they can be disabled, it is not needed for a good SSD.

    There's nothing to worry about a lifespan of a good SSD, people don't really have to do anything different than what they do on a typical HD. At any rate, they should survive for more than 2 years for MLC drive under heavy use constantly. I haven't had a HD that stays in the same computer or laptop more than a year and a half, majority of my hard drives die within 3 years.
     

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