performance improvements due to SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bitbonk, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. bitbonk macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    How much faster the whole iMac (27", i7 if that matters) experience when having the SSD installed as opposed to not having it? How do the actual boot times compare? How much faster does it "feel" in average daily tasks.
  2. SubaruNation555 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2007
    Arlington, VA USA
    An SSD will speed up the boot time and most applications will open in one or two bounces. Day-to-day tasks will feel much "peppier."

    I can't link you to any timed tests involving an iMac Core i7 but I sure Google or a MacRumors search can.
  3. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    Day to day tasks will NOT feel peppier. It will not make a web page load any faster*, convert an mp3 any faster, download your email any faster or make you type any faster. ONLY tasks that read from data stored on the SSD will have any improvements. I recently put an Intel SSD in my 27" i5 Quad iMac & it feels exactly the same when using it... unless I am launching an application, booting or opening a large file that happens to be on the SSD.

    *Cached web content may load faster, making frequently visited websites a bit snappier.

  4. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
    That is false information. Installing an SSD into my G5 and mini have been the single biggest upgrades to performance I've seen.
  5. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Oct 13, 2010
    There's a couple of different ways of approaching this.

    My field computer is a MacBook Pro with an SSD. It starts up from cold boot in 20-30 seconds. It's just great. In a field computer that is being carried around all of the time, but which still has to be powered off because you cannot plug in enough to keep it charged even on its excellent sleep mode, this might be the thing to think about.

    Obviously any other system like this that you will frequently have to start up from a completely cold state will benefit similarly.

    My desktop, however, is a 27" iMac with 12 GB of RAM. It does not have an SSD...just the OEM 1 TB spinning drive. I do not really miss having an SSD in it because with 12 GB of RAM I just leave everything loaded all of the time, even a Parallels virtual machine set at 4 GB of use.

    I'll maybe have to re-start this machine once every other week. It runs quite speedily without an SSD.

    There is no denying that an SSD is a huge, huge boost to performance in any situation where you are having to load and unload a lot of applications, very large applications, or huge files in Acrobat or Keynote. But there is also an intelligent argument to be made for an Apple SSD being so expensive that you might just as well spend the money on something else.

    My personal solution was to have more RAM in the iMac, and an SSD in the MacBook Pro.

  6. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Oct 13, 2010
  7. SubaruNation555 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2007
    Arlington, VA USA
    Well perhaps I should have been more specific. By "day to day" I mean things like: opening a folder containing lots of files, open applications, loading system preferences, previewing files, saving files, etc.

    That has been my experience with an i5 MBP with an OWC SSD. Maybe the "peppiness" is less evident on a new iMac.
  8. iDutchman macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2010
    Amsterdam, NL
    I've had my iMac with and without an SSD. And I really do feel it's a very important upgrade.

    Websites won't load any faster. But searching your computer for stuff, opening applications and just general read/write stuff on the hard drive goes much much much faster. It boots in 17 sec. I've measured it 3 times. From the moment de button is being pressed.

    It's just awesome. A significant upgrade.
  9. Bmaintz macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2010
    Austin, Texas
    Not to mention if your Hard Drive decides to crash....:eek:

    Also would the SSD give you less HEAT inside the iMac?
  10. wingzero1285 macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2010
    Or if you buy an OCZ Vertex II 240gb and have it turn into a $500 brick after 2 months then you'll notice a dramatic decrease in its speed :rolleyes:
  11. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Owning an i7 iMac with SSD & HDD, I can tell you from experience what the SSD does for the day to day: not really that much. The boot speed is amazing compared to an HDD boot, but if you just sleep the computer rather than completely turning it off, you don't boot that often. I think about the SSD as much like a massive RAM drive, putting stuff on it that benefits from faster read speeds and not many writes. Thus, I've installed OS X, and all the applications on the SSD, but put my "home" folder on the HDD. My bootcamp partition is on the SSD, but the equivalent of my Windows "home" folder is also redirected to the HDD.

    I do a fair amount of graphics work, so, since I had so much space on the SSD, I put my stock clip art collections on there. They are pretty much always "read only" files and I do notice a significant access (speed) increase for those massive libraries over them being stored on the HDD. For this particular "day to day" application, I could make confident arguments pro-SSD (because of the accumulated time savings).

    Personally, I believe THE SSD application is for those kinds of situations:
    • where you need access to lots of files that almost never need updating, especially databases of libraries like that clip art
    • all applications- especially big applications that seem (too) slow to load from an HDD
    • the OS, and the Windows OS if you want to use bootcamp and/or Parallels or similar (for faster boot times)

    The key is identifying which are pretty much "read" intensive files, and which are "write" intensive files. The former can be good candidates for SSD space; the latter are poor candidates. The key to answering the OP question is in determining if the little bit of time savings from faster loads has enough monetary value to justify the cost of the SSD.
  12. gooffer macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2006
    Kingston NY
    truths about SSD's...

    well here we go.... lot's of misinformation out there...

    SSD's are massively more expensive, benefits....

    for laptop users, less heat = more reliable less likely to fail.
    for laptop users, lower power consumption = better battery live

    for Desktop users
    I venture to guess that most tasks will NOT be much faster, as SSDs real advantage is reading in straight data, meaning if you open a 75gig Photoshop file this will be much faster then before. But if you read / writing back and forth all day you will not find this faster at all. I won't even tell you about my dual raptor start up drive vs SSD.... I think dual raptors are much faster. But then it's all up to your personal choice ! Laptop users have huge benefits. Desktop users need to think if the $$$ and smaller drive sizes are worth the slight potential benefits. More Ram will certainly help more then getting an SSD....
  13. Uhu macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2010
    Upgrading your Computer with a SSD will be the biggest speedbump you ever achieved. No CPU/RAM/GPU/... update will ever boost your working-all-day-performance like upgrading to an SSD. It is really an amazing experience
  14. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Oct 13, 2010
    ROFL.... Now, that was just mean! :)
  15. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Oct 13, 2010
    Although I am sure that I am about to take a bashing, I am going to agree with you.

    I have a 240 GB SSD in my MacBook Pro, and it is awesome...mainly because of how often I have to shut it down and restart it again in the field.

    My iMac stays on all the time and has enough RAM that I don't even have to load anything new very often. The nightmare situation would be having to do a complicated search of information that is stored...but the only time I've had to do that, it was a big database that was on the Time Capsule so an SSD wouldn't have helped me with that, either.

    I'd like to have an SSD in my iMac. But I do not think it is as necessary for the iMac as it is for the MacBook.

    In my case.

    Your mileage may vary.

    Standard disclaimer applies, there is no warranty, and in the event of capture Her Majesty disavows any knowledge of the operation.

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