Real World SSD Improvements?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by disarticulate, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. disarticulate macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Please excuse my ignorance and don't flame me if what I wrote below is way off. I'm just trying to get an idea if what I'm imagining is realistic.

    Obviously there are noticeable speed improvements from a spinning drive to an SSD. But with newer SSDs offering read speeds in the 400's, is it noticeably faster than a SSD with reads in the 250's?

    Just by calculating with hypothetical values...

    5400rpm drive reading at 50MB/s loads a 500MB program in 10 sec.
    SSD reading at 250MB/s loads a 500MB program in 2 sec.
    SSD reading at 450MB/s loads a 500MB program in 1 sec.

    It seems like you would reach a threshold in which the speed of the SSD is negligible because it wouldn't even be noticeable in a real world scenario, aside from boot times. Of course people do benchmarks on how fast their SSD can open all their programs, but I've never wanted to open all of my programs at once.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The difference between a new, really fast SSD and an older SSD is far smaller than the older SSD and a HDD, so you're correct.
  3. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    You're right but I'm confused to the point of your thread.
  4. disarticulate thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    I'm just pricing out SSDs for an upgrade. Instead of thinking in terms of Read/Write Speed per dollar, I'm thinking in terms of noticeable difference per dollar.
  5. wikus macrumors 68000


    Jun 1, 2011
    Planet earth.
    Youre best off buying an OCZ Vertex or Agility III. Easily best bang for your buck with a dramatic increase in performance.

    However, I would recommend an Intel SSD, theyre probably the most reliable in terms of failure rates.
  6. Quinoky macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2011
    Groningen, Netherlands
    Except for the Intel 510 which is causing numerous problems to OS X users.

    To the OP: if the best of the best performance is not what you are looking for, then look for reliability. I've never heard of one situation where the Samsung 470 failed on someone, so that'd be your best bet (or wait for its successor, the 830, but it's obviously not yet certain whether it'll have the same reliability).
  7. Minhthien macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    I went from HDD > SSD > HDD! Yes the SSD does install program much faster but I have time so I can wait! My HDD boot up time 20 second VS 15 second SSD! I have 5 second to spare :cool: I needed space so I pick HDD over SSD for now! As soon as the SSD price drop around $200 for 256gb or even 512gb then i will switch again!
  8. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    I know people love to judge their SSD by their boot times. However, some of the other things I've found in real world usage:

    - image imports from the DSLR improved drastically! When doing large photo shoots, getting the files loaded and imported takes only a couple of minutes instead of 10+.

    - The same is true when loading up a large iPhoto library, or similar.

    - Loading up VM has been a lot faster too. I know booting Win 7 is kinda like looking at boot times for the Mac, but the faster speed is appreciated.

    - Thanks to the SSD, I can now fast forward .wmv files when watching .wmv movies in OS X. With traditional HHD you can after the entire movie buffers, but it buffers a lot faster in the SSD.

    - Loading up 1GB+ text files is a non-issue. This is more work related for me as I have to look at log and XML files from time to time. Doing a search in large text files in the SSD only takes 30 seconds or less. Never tried it in the HHD so I don't know what the difference is.

    - If you work with movies, I'm sure the speed will help as well. I haven't touched huge files so I can't say much about this.

    I didn't think I needed a SSD at first - in fact, I got it cause I could not necessarily because I was dying for one. However, I am very happy with the amount of time this upgrade has saved me despite having to sort through some of the early adopter issues.

    BTW, I owned a Micron C400 and now I'm running an Intel 320. Very happy with the latter and I honestly couldn't tell a difference in speed between the two. In fact, the lack of beach balls actually makes the SATA II choice the better one. I haven't felt the need to switch back to the m4 since installing the 320. Still have it sitting around. I need to get rid of it.
  9. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    The main benefit of an SSD is random read/writes, not sequential read/writes. Yes, the SSD will be faster there than a HDD, but with no head needing to bounce around physical platters, you really notice the speed not when loading one program or one large file, but launching a few programs or loading multiple files at a time.

    If you're adding an aftermarket SSD, might as well ante up the extra cash for a SATA III model. But I bought my iMac with the stock SSD from Apple because even though it's not as fast as the latest aftermarket SSDs, it's significantly faster than a HDD for the kind of work I do and I have factory warranty and technical support.
  10. disarticulate thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    I guess the best analogy I can come up with here is to cars.

    Going from a 150hp car to a 500hp car, I would notice the real world difference substantially. When going from a 500hp car to a 1000hp car, while the track times would be a lot better, the real world difference would be negligible to me.
  11. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    In a laptop: comes out of sleep faster, boots faster, no noise, better durability due to no mechanical parts, less heat. Also perceived speed improves even on a slower processor/GPU because everything opens near instantly.
  12. MBHockey macrumors 68040


    Oct 4, 2003
    New York
    It would be much less of a difference. The biggest advantage SSDs have over platter drives is the random read and random write times. You keep posting about sequential read and write times which are nice but don't affect the real-world usage as much as random reads/writes (bulk of OS operations).

    For someone who isn't constantly copying/moving/working with giant files the real-world difference between an older SSD and a newer SSD with similar random read/write speeds is not noticeable.
  13. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Exactly as far as launching apps speed, snappyness and boottimes go. Sequential speeds are more or less irrelevant.

    The 450MB/s drives are in random operations not that much faster than the 250MB/s drives. While they beat HDDs by a factor of 100.

    If you would list the differences of random 4k read speeds.
    current gen SSD 30-70MB/s
    last gen SSD 30-50 MB/s
    HDD 0.8-1.2 MB/s
    The difference should be quite obvious.

    Secondly. When it comes to booting and launching apps the CPU plays a quite significant part too which is why current gen SSDs are already too fast for the CPU. There are hardly any noticeable differences in launching speeds.
    The current generation (400-500 MB/s) SSDs only help with stuff like file copy on the same drive or unrar an archive. Also level loading in games is a very squential business but for most other stuff a last gen (200-300 MB/s) SSD is almost equally fast.
  14. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    In normal usage you will not notice much if any difference between a SATA II and a SATA III drive. The only time you may notice a difference is if you are moving around very large files on the drive, say copying a 10GB video for example. That copy would be appreciably faster with the SATA III drive.

    Since the latest EFI updates, I have not seen any posts about problems with this drive.
  15. spencers macrumors 68020


    Sep 20, 2004
    More things in addition to what kappaknight said:
    - Photoshop CS5 opens in about 5 seconds
    - iTunes opens in ONE bounce
    - iPhoto opens and loads my library in about 5 seconds
    - Browsing the web (drawing pages) seems faster
    - Rebooting into Boot Camp (winXP) doesn't take ages anymore
    - Installing applications is much faster
    - Spinning beach ball? What's that?

    It's the little things, and they add up. Especially with my aging Late '08 MBP.

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