Is the SSD useful with save files stored on HDD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by adminkatana, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. adminkatana macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2008

    I am about to order the new 27" iMac i7 and am debating whether or not to add the 256GB SSD to the 2TB HDD.I will use the SSD for the OS and Libraries, and the HDD for storing User Files.

    I use large files and Libraries daily and would rather keep them all in one place, the HDD.My question is, Boot time and Application loading aside will I see any speed increase by opting for an SSD? Will a large Photoshop file load and save quicker than if I went for an iMac with just an HDD?

    Thank you for your help, I've read through lots of other posts, but am still slightly confused.
  2. iAK macrumors member


    Jun 13, 2011
    Great Question! I hope we get an answer.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Where I see speed increases in your case:
    • If your system has to page, it would be using swapfile space on the SSD. This of course depends on how much RAM you have in you system and what you are doing.
    • I'm not sure about the current version, but Photoshop in the past used scratch space on disk. Pointing this space to somewhere on the SSD would help speed up Photoshop. (The same is true for any application that has a settable location for scratch/temp space.)
    • Photshop also doesn't load all the extensions at startup. It loads them as needed. With the program being on the SSD that would speed that up. (Probably only a minor savings.)
    • As a specific thing, printing a picture would be faster as it would dump the print informaiton on the SSD . So you could get back to other things in photoshop quicker. Of course your printer itself would still take time to print your picture.
    • You could have other things on the SSD so they don't interfere with disk activity on the HD. If you keep a web browser, mail, im client, etc running while in photoshop, their disk activity would not affect the HD in the proper setup.
    Now it comes down to how much can you afford and is the speed increase you'll see worth it.

    You only mentioned Photoshop, but I'll toss another thing out there. Some games load data on demand. Running them from SSD is a great speed improvement for those games.
  4. adminkatana thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2008
    Great, thanks for your help.

    I guess the best thing to do will be to actually try a system with an SSD in everyday situations, Shame the Apple Stores (at least in the UK) dont have any iMac + SSD configurations.

    I think for the relatively slight gains the SSD will offer, I might leave it this time. It still seems like a costly solution. However, when theres a 1 or 2TB SSD option in a few years, then there's no question :)

    Thanks again!
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    There is one comparison you could do. A MacBook vs a MacBook Air. both have Core Duo processors. The MB is a 2.4, the high end Air is a 1.86 or 2.13 depending on what they have on display. So whil it's not a perfect comparison, it probably would give you some of the feel for HD vs SSD.
  6. adminkatana thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2008
    I love the Idea of a Macbook Air due to the fact that all of the space is an SSD.

    I think thats the problem for me, until I can fit all my work onto a single SSD drive, I think I'll just have to wait.

    Thanks again

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