Moving to an SSD: Questions.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Drummy, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Drummy macrumors member

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    Jun 20, 2010
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    York/Liverpool
    #1
    Hey guys just a couple questions for those among you who are familiar with the move to SSDs, not about SSDs themselves in particular but...well you'll see:

    1) How much space does the OS occupy on a disk, just so I can get an idea of what the bear minimum SSD I'd need would be?

    2)
    a) Would simply selecting the new SSD as a start up disk, once it had been installed, move the whole OS to the SSD?

    b) Would it also move the default folders (applications, videos, pictures, music)?

    c) In fact could someone explain to me just how in the hell this transfer bit works?!?! Haha!

    3) For audio work, would running active DAW projects on an SSD which is also running your OS and apps be quicker/less buggy than having a regular HDD dedicated to doing it?

    4) I'm in the UK; any SSD recommendations?

    Cheers!
     
  2. reel2reel macrumors 6502a

    reel2reel

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    I'd take a look through the numerous threads in this forum first to get an idea and some links to how-to's, but here's the basic idea:

    You would want to either install the OS fresh to the SSD or copy your existing system over (using something like SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner). Ideally, you'd move only the system and applications, but not Home folders. If you copy your Home folder(s) to a 2nd (mechanical) disk, you free up a lot of space on the SSD and still get the benefits (faster boot, faster app launch) and will most likely extend the life of the SSD. The Home folder(s) would contain things like documents, movies, music, pictures.

    System Preferences will only let you designate a drive with a valid OS to be your startup disk, so you won't be able to use the SSD as a startup until you've installed or copied a system onto it.

    Hope that gets you started. I'm sure others will have more info, but there are a few recent threads on this topic with a lot of good stuff.
     
  3. OptimusP83 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    #3
    Answer to 2: Buy an sled converter, so your ssd can slot into your mac pro like a normal sized HDD (SSDs are 2.5" drives, laptop sized, as opposed to the standard 3.5" desktop size) OWC sells come good ones.

    Plug the drive into your mac using the internal SATA port. Fire up your computer, run Disk Utility and format the drive (HFS+).

    Download Carbon Copy Cloner and clone your main boot drive over to the new SSD.

    Go to system prefs and choose the new SSD disk as the startup drive, and restart. Easy as that.
     
  4. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Texas
    #4
    Take a look at these posts:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=973851&highlight=mac+pro+ssd#2

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=979487&highlight=mac+pro+ssd#4

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=991654&highlight=mac+pro+ssd#5

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=999728&highlight=mac+pro+ssd#9

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1001280&highlight=mac+pro+ssd#10



    Also, look at some of the other comments on those. But those specific posts should really help you out.

    EDIT: And if you want to save a hard drive slot, you don't need a converter. I would suggest putting it in the empty optical bay (if you have an empty one) because that will save all 4 slots for mechanical drives.
     
  5. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    #5
    Answer to 1: Snow Leopard takes about 6GB I think. I'm using a 60GB SSD as a boot and applications drive. I've only used 20GB so far, although I installed a few larger games in my Home applications folder to save some space. Read some of the linked threads to see how to move your Home folder to a mechanical drive, which will allow you to get away with a smaller SSD.
     
  6. Drummy thread starter macrumors member

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    York/Liverpool
    #6
    Thanks for your help guys! I particularly interested in this. I've got a 64GB crucial SSD on the way, can I do this with that?

    Also I'm having some thought's initially setting the computer up; thing I'm not sure about. When a new MacPro comes out of the box does it have anything pre-installed on the system/HDs, or is it all put on there when you use the disk to select the location for, and install OSX? My query being that, if before I've turned the thing on for the first time, I install the SSD, can I then start from scratch with my preferred configuration, select SSD as my OS drive and not have to transfer from another HDD later?
     
  7. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Texas
    #7
    First off, what model Mac Pro are you using?

    Also, do you have a lot of stuff on your startup disk right now?

    Do you have any other hard drives in your Mac Pro?

    And do you want to move your home folder so it won't be on the SSD?
     
  8. Drummy thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    The model is the 6-Core 3.33GHz upgrade one of the recent updated 2010 single processor Mac Pros. It has also been upgraded to 8GB of ram and will have 3 Bays of 1TB HDDs and a 64GB SSD in the fourth for the boot disk (there's another question actually: will making it so that the SSD, seeings how it is the boot disk, uses bay 1, and moving the other 3 HDDs one along affect anything?)..

    BUT...I don't even have it yet; I've ordered it and it will arrive before the middle of next week. I'm basically just trying to make getting the exact set up as painless a process as possible when the thing arrives. I will, as you suggested, be placing the home folder on a secondary drive (I've been searching around at how to do this, and since I'll have no data to be lost when I set that up it shouldn't be too risky, though a reiteration wouldn't hurt if you were gonna inform me of the process anyway...;)) and populating it by cherry-picking out of the gunky mess that is my MBP HD, making the SSD just a place for the OS and Apps.
     
  9. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    Alright thats good to know, pretty much the same situation that I was in.

    Here what I did:

    1. Put SSD in optical bay before turning computer on
    2. Boot up and go through the setup process for OS X
    3. Open disk utility, reformat SSD to Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)
    4. Move home folder to a separate mechanical drive using these instructions. (I recommend moving your home folder to a separate drive from the one you originally booted off of because it will make the setup of the SSD easier. The next step involves copying the original OS X drive to the SSD and it will be best if you do not have your home folder on the original so it won't be copied over to the SSD.)
    5. Use Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! to copy everything from the original drive to the new SSD
    6. Once it is copied, go into system preferences > startup disk, and choose the SSD as your startup disk.
    7. Reboot and finish installing your new apps

    Also, make sure that the drive you put your home folder on has been reformatted for Mac OS X Extended (Journaled). If you are gonna use all your drives under OS X, I would recommend reformatting all of them. But if you are gonna use one for boot camp then don't format that drive.
     
  10. Drummy thread starter macrumors member

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    York/Liverpool
    #10
    Wow! That's really bloody helpful mate! Thank you so much! One thing though; I am very unfamiliar with the optical medium. I presume it's not the standard HD Bay...obviously haha... What can you tell me about it though? I'm mainly worried about how I connect my crucial 64GB SSD that I've just bought using optical. Do I need to get anything extra? Cheers!
     
  11. reel2reel macrumors 6502a

    reel2reel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #11
    Warning, clicking and reading the following links may require...clicking and reading:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...=mac+pro+ssd#2

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...=mac+pro+ssd#4

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...=mac+pro+ssd#5

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...=mac+pro+ssd#9

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...mac+pro+ssd#10


    :rolleyes:
     
  12. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #12
    :rolleyes: .............. nice links.
     
  13. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #13
    You will not NEED anything, but some people like to have a mount. For cables, you do not need to buy any cables. The cable that the Mac Pro comes with to connect to the second optical drive (for those who need a second optical drive) will provide both data and power to the SSD. All you need to do is take out the optical bay enclosure and plug the SSD into the extra cable, that simple. If you wana see a video of someone working with the optical bay, check this out. The only difference between this and using an SSD is that you will plug an SSD in instead of an optical drive. Also, you will not need to screw in the drive. Many people just let it sit there, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to be fancy and get a mount for the SSD in the optical bay, I would suggest this. I got that just cause I felt like it haha. It does what its supposed to and will hold a normal 3.5" drive if you ever want to put one of those in there.

    Edit: that is also talked about in the 3rd link I posted.
     
  14. reel2reel macrumors 6502a

    reel2reel

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #14
    You're missing the point. OP still won't click. See?
     
  15. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #15
    Haha all I did was a search to find some of my better posts on SSDs. There are A LOT of threads about them. And considering SSDs are pretty much the future, I think everybody should read what anandtech has to say about SSDs. It will take a while to read all of that, but its worth it.
     
  16. reel2reel macrumors 6502a

    reel2reel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #17
    I agree! I was trying to make a point about OP not bothering to read the links. Oh well, today will bring another new SSD thread.
     
  17. reel2reel macrumors 6502a

    reel2reel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #18
    OWC has amazing videos. Apple should try offering up a few of these. Oh wait...conflict of interest. Seriously, though, the videos are good.
     
  18. Drummy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    York/Liverpool
    #19
    Awesome! All understood now thanks. So are there any pro/cons of using the optical drive connection compared to using the regular drive bay connection? Also, what does the drive appear as in this configuration? Or is it just the same as if you plugged it into a drive bay? Cheers!

    Also, is there any particular reason that, in your instructions you moved the home folder directory before copying everything to the SSD?
     
  19. Drummy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 20, 2010
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    York/Liverpool
    #20
    I'm also wondering about what effects the speed of an SSD. If you have the applications and OS on the SSD I'm presuming that that's most of the battle? How do the speeds of opening a file from a separate HDD in an App on the SSD compare to opening a file from the SSD itself in an App that is also on the SSD in terms of speed?
     
  20. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #21
    :) well said.
     
  21. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    Texas
    #22
    Only pro is that you will save an extra HD bay for another drive. And yes, it will appear just like if it were plugged into a drive bay.

    If you keep your home folder in the same place before copying everything over to the SSD, then the home folder will be moved to the SSD and take up space. Then when you delete it later, it will already have taken up space. Read this post, it explains it really well.

    If you move your home folder to another drive, the SSD will dramatically increase boot time and app load time. I have about 5 apps to start at login, and it takes like 10 seconds to login screen from chime, and once I log in, it takes barely a full second for all the apps to start.

    If you open a file from the mechanical drive, it would be the normal speed of a mechanical drive. If you get a green drive, like the Western Digital Caviar Green, they spin at a slower rate, so it will take a bit longer. I would suggest a Caviar Black for your home folder and other files that you would want to open up, that is what I use.

    If you open a file and that causes an app to open, like say a .psd, Photoshop will open extremely quickly and it will take a little bit longer for the file to show up, but not much, it really depends on what drive you use for storage.
     
  22. jtoh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Location:
    Singapore
    #23
    Can we install 2x SSD in the 2nd Optical drive bay?

    Hi,

    I am thinking of getting a 6-core Mac Pro 3.33Ghz and I am thinking of installing 2 SSD drive in the 2nd optical drive bay. Is that possible? I understand that there is an extra SATA cable, but by any chance there is 2 extra?

    Reason is OWC 40Gb SSD are now at $99.

    --
    jtoh
     
  23. Drummy thread starter macrumors member

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    York/Liverpool
    #24
    Well explained! You really are extremely helpful so thanks for everything!

    In terms of hard drives I've gone with the SSD and then 3 x 1TBs of whatever Apple use. My home folder will just go on one of them. Okay for speed?
     
  24. Zoowatch macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #25
    Is there a way do a clean installation of Mac OS X on a SSD and designate the Home folder be installed on a secondary non-SSD hard drive? This would save me from moving the Home folder from the SSD to another hard drive, so that it won't waste unwritten blocks on SSD.
     

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