Solid State Drive *vs* ATA Drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacGroupie, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. MacGroupie macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2008
    Hello, long time lurker, first time poster=]

    I am really interested in getting a new MacBook, but i was just wondering what the better drive was, and what are the differences between the Solid State Drive and the ATA Drive.

    any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    Solid state will yield better battery life and possibly performance. It also costs more.
  3. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Jan 30, 2008
    SSD = not worth it unless you're a millionaire.
  4. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Solid state is definitely the future, but it's quite expensive right now and not the best use of your money as far as raw performance goes.
  5. WildElf macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2008
    Well, the tests I've seen only show a 5% battery life increase. Performance can be huge though, starting at like a 50% improvement.

    Is that worth $500 extra for half the storage space? Not in my book (pun intended).

    I would only consider a SSD if the price were the same or cheaper, or the storage space was the same or larger. At first I was excited to see the 128 GB offerings, but that was before I saw the default HDD was increased to 250 GB.
  6. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I heard that SSD is faster at reading data, but it's actually slower than your traditional HD when it comes to writing it. The only real advantage for SSD that I see is decreased rate of failure... but I've never had an HD crap out on me (ever). I'd wait a year or two for the prices to become reasonable.
  7. MacGroupie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2008
    Thanks for all the replies. Think I will be sticking with the ATA drive this go around:D
  8. Marchare macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2009
    The $50 for higher RPM is still very worth it though. If you aren't getting SSD, at least get that.
  9. Objectivist-C macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2006
    I don't think ATA means what you think it means.
  10. medharvest macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2009
    solid state vs ATA --- overheat issues?

    Hi, new to the forum... have kind of a dumb question about solid state drives.

    I currently have 2 Macbooks (plus 4 imacs). I am considering buying a new macbook to replace my main computer. I am considering solid state for temperature reasons.

    Both have major overheat issues. Apple had to replace the hard drive on one. I have to take lots of extra annoying steps to keep them cool. A quick google search shows that I am far from alone.

    I need a new laptop, apple is the only game in town... REALLY REALLY want to avoid heat problems on the next system!

    So SSD's consume less energy? It occurs to me that this must mean they run cooler? Can anyone confirm or correct this logic?

  11. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    My MacBook pro 13" has a SSD from Samsung with 256gb and it was expensive. But there are advantages. Booting is 30second and that is a full restart. When it starts everything opens even before you can blinck with your eye. The battery time improves indeed, in my experience with something like 30 minutes. I often work late at night an I had a Scorpio blue drive that was noisy. No noise anylonger. Ow, I also solved the annoying hard drive clicks. And I'm no longer worried for damaging the hdd by vibration or shocks. But the best feature is the ubelieveable speed at which the apps open, documents get loaded and the whole system is so snappy, no beyond snappy, it's almost scary, hair-triggered.
    Opening Photoshop within the time most systems take to open Safari?

    I never had any trouble with hot drives. Way back when I had a core duo, that was hot, but ever since they got cooler. Almost icey :D
    and I don't know if a ssd would be really cooler, memory can also get warm.
  12. medharvest macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2009
    Thanks for the input alecgold!

    The Macbook Pro I'm considering has a 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. The hard drives I am debating are the 500GB ATA @ 7200 ($50 upcharge) vs the 256GB SSD ($600 upcharge).

    $600 is a chunk of change to me! But it would be worth it if it extends the life of the system (I seem to average about 2.5 years on my laptops). Keeping the system cool seems to be my main issue with laptops.

    Let me add this.... I live in Florida, spend most of my working hours out in a non-temp controlled warehouse, but I keep a big fan pointed at it all day. I have a desk set up, in the morning I plug in keyboard, mouse, 24" monitor, sound system, and ext drive for TM. And I use fairly demanding software (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Video editing, etc).

    So I'm in a hot environment, plus all my external stuff probably tasks the puter more than a typical user. Any edge I can get on temp control, I will take.

    But $600 for a smaller drive is tough to swallow!

    Normally I can find ANY info I want on google. Just can't seem to find any info on SSD vs ATA w/ regard to temp! Grrrrrr :(
  13. ymarker macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2009
    I'm in tejas (ssd = run cooler than any mechanical part that moves) and upgraded to the ssd myself without paying apple the $$$.
  14. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2009
    Little more than 5% bud. :)
  15. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    how much more, and what evidence? Im curious because im considering switching or replacing the superdrive with my HDD and booting from SSD and i wanna know about the batt life.
  16. WildElf macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2008
    Link me the data! I haven't seen any tests that get better. Well, not in 2008 when I wrote that.

    I don't remember what articles I had found a year ago, but here's one from over a year ago that I might have found:

    A more recent article shows an improvement to 10%:

    That is, if you're willing to spend over $4 per gigabyte for the top end SSD drives that gets that performance, instead of about 20 cents per gigabyte for the HD drives they compared to, which performed on par with the low end SSDs (which will still cost you at least $3 per gigabyte) as far as battery performance.

    At that rate, I don't think 10% is worth it, hell 20% isn't enough to justify a 2,000% price increase.

    They might be worth it for application and files (if you're buying a quality SSD) but battery life, I'm not seeing it. If you have better battery test data, please link it!
  17. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    You are correct that the value of SSDs are in their read speed. Write speeds are similar between SSDs and HDDs. However... our Macs spend nearly all of their time doing reads. If you were to buy an enterprise SSD, it would have faster write speed as well, but you would never notice the difference over a client SSD (except the price). In real use... the difference between an SSD and HDD is stunning.

    I am really wanting to buy a 27" iMac, but I just cannot bring myself to do it since Apple does not offer an SSD option and I do not want to open it up to do an upgrade. All of the other machines that I use (1 PC and 2 Macs) have SSDs now. I will probably (but not definitely) wait till Apple offers an iMac with a small SSD (~200-300GB) for the OS, Apps, documents, etc... and a 2nd internal HDD (~1-2 TB) for my media files (pics, music, videos).

    Moving to an SSD is like moving from dialup to broadband. There is no going backwards.

  18. extrachrispy macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    When comparing write speeds, one has to be careful to compare apples to apples <g>. For sequential writes, the speeds are similar between SSDs and top-shelf HDDs. For random writes, the SSDs are going to blow the HDDs into the weeds: SSDs do not have to seek, nor do they have to wait for the right sector to rotate around under the read/write head.

    Couple that with the improved mechanical shock resistance, and an SSD is the Right Tool for the Job in a laptop. Yes, they cost more for less storage. In my case, I was migrating from a 17" G4 with a 120GB spindle to a 17" MBP with a 128GB SSD, so that seemed reasonable to me (with a $200 premium to switch from 500GB spindle to 128GB SSD). It's a laptop, not a file server.

    If I had the dosh, my mini would get an SSD today, but I've more than blown my Shiny New Computer budget for the year.
  19. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi, I'm tossing up between a 300GB with a higher RPM or a 128GB SSD. I'd like the extra battery life, and the startup time, and the fact that you can't damage the drive by shaking the machine around. I don't store a whole lot on my computer, so I don't need a HDD for storage space... What do you guys think?
  20. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    The battery life is marginal at best. Remember, for SSDs, its either On or Off, no inbetween. The Hard Drive have low and high and everything in between when it comes to eating power. If you were to do a lot reading or writing, an SSD might give you less battery life than a hard drive. of course there's other advantages to ssd vs hdd.

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