Should I Buy an SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ninjaslim, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. ninjaslim macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #1
    I've been caught in a bit of a dilemma. I do a lot of photography work and video editing using Aperture and Final Cut Pro X. I also use a bunch of Adobe programs. As of late, I've been considering adding a Mac Mini to my setup, which includes a MacBook Pro 13" 2011 as my standard machine right now. However, I realized that both of these machines have 5400 RPM hard drives, which is a major bottleneck. If you were in my situation, what would you put money towards? A new Mac Mini, which could be used in cluster mode for FCPX, or a 256GB SSD drive to add to the MBP? The MBP already has 8GB of RAM, which is fine for what I do.

    Thanks
     
  2. Nick McEnjoy macrumors member

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    Oct 21, 2011
    #4
    When it comes to graphic stuffs, you need a graphic card.
    Save your money and get a machine with a dedicated graphic card.
     
  3. ninjaslim thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #5
    Aren't gains from a dedicated graphics card minimal at best? All it does is background rendering...
     
  4. happle macrumors 6502a

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  5. Nick McEnjoy macrumors member

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    Oct 21, 2011
    #7
    Whatever it does, the GPU relieves the burden of the CPU, and outputs the graphics, right? Background rendering is a serious task.
    I have little technical knowledge about graphic cards, but I believe gamers, video makers, and photographers prefer dedicated graphic cards for some reasons. I believe the MBP 13" is not the right machine for graphics stuffs.
    I think you should also do some search in some graphics forums.
     
  6. ninjaslim thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #8
    Right, but the issue here is that video is significantly more CPU-intensive than it is GPU-internsive. In any case, I'm looking for more immediate gains, and buying a machine with a dedicated GPU is not feasible right now. Would an SSD give me what I'm looking for?
     
  7. Spencer Reynen macrumors member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    #9
    Yes, it would significantly increase the speed of everything you would do on the laptop.
     
  8. ninjaslim thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #11
    Thanks, the other question finally is that would it help improve my video editing experience?
     
  9. matt94gt macrumors member

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    Jul 9, 2011
    Location:
    Victoria BC Canada
    #12
    Well after effects or any other heavy program will launch much faster, save much faster, zoom much faster, render much faster......so yes.
     
  10. Steve's Barber macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 5, 2011
    #13
    No. Rendering/encoding video is all CPU muscle and the SSD won't help with that.

    But it definitely will save you hours editing massive RAW pics like I deal with almost every day. In and out of photoshop is pretty quick.
     
  11. ninjaslim thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #14
    Would it not help with disk I/O operations involved in video editing?
     
  12. stevemiller macrumors 65816

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    #15
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    Depends on how big your video projects are. Anything substantial is gonna eat through 250gb pretty fast, and offloading footage to externals defeats the benefit of the ssd. My laptop does have an ssd, but I notice no real difference between editing off the ssd and a 7200rpm external connected via FireWire. Snappier application loads are nice but that's like 3-5 seconds saved, which is more of a psychological boost than a meaningful increase in productivity. but, there are other benefits like being quieter and seemingly less prone to mechanical failures.
     
  13. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

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    Nov 20, 2007
    #16
    I run an SSD and HDD dual setup in a 13" MBP for some video/photo work (and a lot of other multitasking simultaneously). Granted, my needs are not massive, but still, I find it a bit painful at times going back to a straight HDD computer, (like my i7 iMac!).

    I find an SSD makes a lot of micro-waits disappear to deliver a much smoother ride every day.

    SSD all the way! You won't regret it.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    I actually went with a dual SSD option, partly for the performance but mostly because I wanted to remove the risk of a head crash on hard drive. I have two kids that I generally don't let touch my laptop, but as you know accidents can happen
     
  15. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

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    Nov 20, 2007
    #18
    I would have liked that too, but SSD prices for large capacity is currently prohibitively expensive for me just yet. One day... (*sighs* - looking at 600 GB Intel 320)

    640 GB HDD for $80 . Can't argue with that.
     
  16. Nick McEnjoy macrumors member

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    Oct 21, 2011
    #19
    You know what, you can try. Get an SSD and try. If it doesn't work, return it. You may have to pay for return shipping and restocking fee (hope not) but it should answer your question, practically.
     
  17. ninjaslim thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #20
    I think I'm now considering putting money towards software instead and just using my current FireWire drive as a scratch disk for Final Cut Pro X. Does that seem like a better idea?
     
  18. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #21
    I don't do any video editing thus I don't know how much actual I/O matters there.
    In theory once a program is loaded in and the data is there or only small parts are streamed in there is really absolutely zero gain from an SSD.
    Thus this statement is completely wrong.
    If I were you I would just watch the disk access in activity monitor on a second monitor while working. If nothing substantial happens there chances are an SSD won't buy you much speed. When the CPU runs almost full speed it won't help either. What you need to look out for is longer periods with significant I/O and only medium or low CPU utilization. That is the CPU waiting for something to do.
    An SSD can help tremendously but I wouldn't bet on anything with video editing. The access is probably mostly sequential and not random thus the difference between SSD and HDD isn't all that big.
     
  19. nova2wl macrumors newbie

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    Nov 27, 2011
    #22
    Do you have the SSD in the main drive slot or in the Optical drive slot? I am looking to do the same thing as you.
     
  20. ninjaslim thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #23
    Just to update everyone, I installed the Crucial M4 128GB SSD in my MacBook Pro 2011, and I've seen great improvements in rendering performance and overall smoothness of editing. Although, I should say that I keep my video files on an external drive.
     

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