OS X tweaks for SSD users - exaggerated or useful ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Dragonforce, May 2, 2010.

  1. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    London (Ealing) UK
    #1
    After digging around a bit, I collected a few "tips" some people seem to recommend when using a SSD with OS X, like...

    • disable safe sleep and delete the sleep image
    • disable the sudden motion sensor
    • disable atime (set noatime flag)
    • disable spotlight
    • disable journaling (which disables hot file clustering and automatic defragmentation)
    • use safari only in private mode to reduce strain on the flash cells due to cache and cookie saving

    and a few more "tips" I already forgot...

    So I guess its no plug and play, or do you think all those tweaks are exaggerated ? I could see how disabling safe sleep would make sense, but the rest ?

    Should I be worried about my new Intel SSD if I do nothing from the above ? :eek:
     
  2. germinator macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #2
    I call B.S.



    Already done for other reasons.

    No because I also have an HDD.
    No idea about this one.

    Huh? Certainly not. I do want spotlight functionality.


    Don't see a reason for this one. It's too late now, as I already formatted with journaling on.

    No.
     
  3. jufros macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    #3
    Yeah it really doesn't matter. I've been using my G2 160GB for a while and was curious enough to buy DiskTester. No performance degradation whatsoever so far so I went ahead and bought a 2nd SSD (Samsung 256GB) to house multisamples and other large Logic files. Projects are archived on a 2TB Lacie via eSATA and the system is SMOOOOOTH.
     
  4. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    I have had an SSD for around 14 months in my MBP, and I can say that I have done zero of those tweaks. However, some of the older SSDs, like mine, struggle when there is too much concurrent disk activity. When my computer feels sluggish, I look at the processes and "mds" is always the culprit - this is the spotlight indexer. So... disabling spotlight could definitely help keep your disk from getting chewed up a bit. However, I pretty much use it HOURLY so I'm not disabling that!

    My new MBP w/ Apple 512GB SSD should arrive tomorrow or the next day. Hopefully this is a big improvement!
     
  5. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    Also if you disable Spotlight, you can't use Time Machine.
     
  6. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #6
    SSDs should last something like 10,000 writes. If you rewrite the whole drive once a day, it should last 27 years. Of course, some areas will be rewritten more than once, but that's what wear leveling is for. Even if you overwrite the whole drive 10 times a day, it will last nearly 3 years and by that time bigger faster cheaper SSDs will be available.

    The only valid point there is disabling the SMS if you have your SSD in the normal hard drive bay. If you put it in the optical bay, I think SMS does not apply. The rest of them are useful (or important to the working of the OS) enough not to disable.

    No journaling means you may lose data if the computer crashes or loses power. No atime may interfere with Spotlight or TM, but I don't know for sure. It sets the time a file was last accessed. If you disable Spotlight you might as well just use Windows!
     
  7. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #7
    Contrary to what others have said, this will be vital; defragmentation damages SSDs.
     
  8. mattrothcline macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    #8
    There are a lot of people on these forums who either don't know how SSDs work, or haven't kept up on the development of the technology, so they consistently repeat myths and urban folklore about how to "optimize" SSDs.

    None of the "tips" you have listed will give you any real-world benefits.

    Several of them will actually cause you harm. For example, disabling Spotlight prevents you from using a great OS X feature. Disabling safe sleep leaves you without a safety net in case your laptop's battery runs low.

    This is an excellent example of what I'm talking about. If you know what defragmentation is, and you know how SSDs can be damaged, then you'll know that this statement is false.
     
  9. Dragonforce thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    London (Ealing) UK
    #9
    I ended up setting the hibernate mode to 0 (aka disabling safe sleep) because I use my new MBP mainly at one place and won't carry it around (its 99% of the time plugged in next to my Mac Pro) so I think I'm on the safe side and I disabled the sudden motion sensor. Gonna ignore the other "tips".

    Anyway, thank you everyone for your comments and thoughts.
     
  10. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #10
    defragging will not damage the SSD straight away, but it will hammer it pretty bad regarding using up erase cycles on the cells. Long story short, there is no point in defragging; but there are negatives to it.
     
  11. germinator macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #11
    It would be interesting to know, from the people who have ordered a BTO MacBook Pro with SSD option: Does it come formatted with Journaling off?
     
  12. mattrothcline macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    #12
    You are correct that there is no point.

    Yet you just posted that defragmentation damages an SSD. Which is completely wrong.

    Write cycle "endurance" used to be a problem, but with a modern drive, it's effectively not anymore. Modern SSDs have a write cycle endurance measured in decades - the drives will almost certainly outlast the computer they're in.

    Even if you defragment.

    So the "negatives" you think exist, don't.
     
  13. mattrothcline macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    #13
    You're not helping yourself at all by doing any of these.

    If you want to, of course, go ahead; it's your computer, and it's your time to waste.
     
  14. Garrus macrumors member

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    Mar 26, 2010
    #14
    Each time to use a write cycle you do loose performance each time...
     
  15. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #15
    Wrong. You loose performance when every cell is full and the drive has to erase empty cells before writing new data. Once you get to that point (maybe a few days to a few months depending on how full the drive is and how much you write), the drive will operate at the same speed for its entire life. After a certain number of cycles per cell (typically around 10,000 for a MLC drive), that cell will no longer work. Good drives have extra cells that are mapped into the place of the dead cell, so you will never notice it. Once all the spare cells are used up, the drive will start loosing data, at which point it can probably be considered "dead".
     
  16. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    I should probably post that I've never done any tweaks and I've never had any issues.
     
  17. Dragonforce thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    London (Ealing) UK
    #17
    Time to waste ? Both took less than 30 seconds Terminal work.
    Never liked the safe sleep anyway (have it off on all Macs I own) and I don't see any point in having the suddon motion sensor activated)

    But I agree on the other "tips"
     
  18. mdnz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #18
    Yeah because Windows doesn't have a search indexer:rolleyes:

    As other people pointed out here, those tweaks might help a bit, but you disable some functionality that I'd personally wouldn't want to shut down.
     
  19. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #19
    Please know that your MBP will be long sold, dead, or replaced because its so slow by the time your SSD dies...
     

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