Partitioning SSD in Mac Pro - For organizational purposes

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Sean Dempsey, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    I know that Partitioning a SSD won't matter in speed since there's no inner/outter rings to the platter.

    But is it possible for organizational purposes? Like if you want an OS partition, but then a different partition for files/temp things that you can format/erase all at once?

    I can't seem to get my system drive down to below 60 gigs, so the OWC 60gig SSD is just too small. But the 120 is way too big. So I was thinking of doing like an 80gig partition for my current OS/Apps and just SuperDuper it over, and then have a 40gig partition where I put my most recent "heavy use" files, like work files and such, where I can change them in/out depending on what project is at the top of the hopper. That way, if I have 20 gigs of work files, I can use the SSD to store them and have other SATA drives backup/store the main storage. And then if a new project comes to the forefront, move the files from the SSD to the storage, and move the new projects to the SSD partition.

    And, I could set that 2nd partition to be the photoshop scratch too.

    Is this something that would work?

    And yes, I have triple redundant backups, so everything on the SSD or SATA drives would be backed up to 2 different places daily anyways.
  2. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    All you "pro" users and not a single response? Maybe I should try some Windows Pro forums, sheesh!
  3. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Yes, it's possible. Just partition it, just as you would if the drive were a mechanical unit.

    Keep in mind however, you need 10 - 20% of the capacity for each partition available for wear leveling. This is especially important if you erase data, as SSD's, particularly MLC based units, aren't well suited to high write environments (i.e. scratch space). For scratch, you'd be better to stick with mechanical right now. If you need performance beyond what a single disk can provide, use a stripe set (RAID 0).

    It's probably fine to keep active open files/projects on the SSD, but not use it for scratch data (written to far more frequently), if I'm understanding what you're trying to do here.

    This is why I think you'd be fine for anything but scratch data, which would burn out cells faster. Better to keep that on cheap mechanical disks that you'd be willing to replace when needed (i.e. disposable compared to SSD in terms of cost).
  5. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    With my new Mac Pro that I ordered today, I ordered a 120GB SSD from OWC and 2x1TB drives (for a RAID 0 array). I plan to use the 120GB SSD for boot and apps, and use the RAID 0 array for scratch/media files. I think the system will fly...but as for your question, you should be able to partition an SSD fine, but I really wouldn't see why you would want to do it....they are so small (storage-wise) anyways for what you get. 120GB SSD is costing me about $350 while two 1TB drives are about $160. Much more space, still speedy, for much less cost. You could also get a 2TB drive and partition it up quite nicely.
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm not sure there's any advantage organizationally to using partitions vs folders on an SSD and actually a couple of minor performance/lifespan issues with doing what you suggest.

    As you pointed out, an SSD is not like a HDD and partitioning can actually make matters worse as it constrains frequent read/writes (eg. scratch) to a smaller subset of NAND reducing the benefits of broader wear-leveling.

    Also, there is nothing to be gained by formatting an SSD partition (fragmentation is not as much an issue with SSD's), just put your scratch stuff in a folder and erase it if you no longer need it.

    I simply can't think of a good reason to partition an SSD that can't be done equally as well if not better with a folder.

    As for putting scratch on an SSD in the first place... If you're all about performance, then put as much on your SSD as your budget will allow. If you can buy enough SSD for it all to fit, great. If not, then look at a hybrid model. I wouldn't worry about wearing out an SSD. By the time you could wear out your SSD, something twice the speed, and double the capacity for half the price will be begging you to upgrade anyway. :D
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Multiple OS's is all that I see that would actually need this (possible for multiple installations of the same OS, such as XP, Win 7, or different versions of OS X), particularly if they're each using different filesystems (OS X combined with Windows or Linux).

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