Solid State Drives. Is Apple's Crap?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by johnsmith153, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. johnsmith153 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #1
    Is the SSD in the new iMac any good?

    I hear people are saying that Apple haven't included a very good one. Something about Sata II not Sata III.

    Also, I am told the following:

    (1) SSD's arent very good with encrypting files / folders and aren't very secure. Is this true?

    (2) SSD's have a short life span. Does the one included with the new iMac last very long (roughly of course). Are we talking 1, 2, 5 or 50 years (daily usage)?

    (3) Any other disadvantages with an SSD?

    (4) Are Apple likely to make a decent one available soon?

    Thanks.
     
  2. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

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    Toronto
    #2
    I cant answer all of your questions but: you asked how long they last. SSD if I am not mistaken is flash, and I have had a Flash based iPod since 2006 that I dont treat especially well. Assuming your iMac will sit on a desk and not be moved constantly (yes I know a hard drive would be more affected) it should last a while. The only disadvantage I think is the cost.
     
  3. akm3, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011

    akm3 macrumors 68020

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    #3
    If by decent you mean decent then yes, apple's is decent.

    If by decent you mean the fastest there is, then no, apple's is middle of the road for performance.

    It is still gajillions times better than a spinning magnetic disk.
     
  4. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #4
    Are you even sure you need a SSD?

    Since it sounds like you arent even sure what a SSD is, the difference between SATA speeds, how it works or its advantages/disadvantages perhaps its just not for you?

    And who is telling you these things? "I am told..." by whom?
     
  5. johnsmith153 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #5
    Thanks for the help so far, but can anyone answer the four questions?

    wrinkster22, thanks, it looks like it may last a reasonable time, but does anyone know more specifically?

    akm3, thanks, so it looks like Apple's isn't great, but it's still better than the HDD equivelent.

    Badger^2, a friend of mine, Dave Brown, told me this. Looks like he was reasonably right that the Apple SSD isn't great. Is he wrong about the other two points I provided his opinions on then (q's 1 and 2)?

    Anyone have any idea about q's 1, 3 and 4 specifically?

    Thanks for the answers so far.
     
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #6
    1) false. Not even applicable.
    2) false.
    3) size vs price is a pretty big disadvantage
    4) if "soon" means 6 months. No. Maybe a year plus.
     
  7. Bear macrumors G3

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    Sol III - Terra
    #7
    1. I don't understand the concern, the encryption is handled by the OS. It shouldn't work any different on SSD than it does on HD in terms of data security.
    2. I think you'll find the SSD will last the life of your system. But like a HD, a SSD can fail early.
    3. Cost vs Capacity.
    4. Apple ships decent SSDs, it's just not necessarily the fastest that is available currently. And it's always possible Apple will silently start putting in improved SSDs in systems. But you never know when or if the machine you get will have the better one.
     
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #8
    1) Don't know or care to learn about this as it does not affect my usage.

    2) Not true with some exceptions.

    3) COSTLY for the size !! Some builders have high failure rates. When they fail your data is lost.


    4) THE APPLE SSD IS SUPER RELIABLE AND PRETTY FAST! very important SUPER RELIABLE!
     
  9. zeromeus macrumors regular

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    SOCAL
    #9
    SSD vs. HDD

    Macbook Air with HDD... takes 30 seconds to start up.

    Macbook Air with SSD... instant on. Which do you think has faster data access?

    1. Encryption is handled by the OS, not the drive.

    2. SSD would have WAY LONGER lifespan than HDD. HDDs have moving parts than can be damaged simply by moving your computer around. The only failure you would likely get from SSD failure is whomever manufactures it use bad parts. If you get your SSD and HDD from the same company, your HDD will most likely fail in 3 years vs. SSD which will last you probably YOUR life if not longer. Think of the SSD as a manual tool. You can bang on it and nothing really happens vs. the HDD as a powertool that has moving parts. They both serve the same function but the power tool will break and stop working if you put too much shock on it.

    3. SSD costs an arm and a leg. You get 320GB SSD for the TWICE the price of a 3TB HDD (That's 3,000 GB).

    4. Apple tends to use parts that are readily mass produced at a reasonable price. Therefore, when these parts are available, Apple will use them.



     
  10. MacHamster68, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #10
    easy answer ,
    i would not waste my money on a MLC based SSD to limited write/ erase cycles !

    for SLC based SSD the lifespan should be up to 150 years so your descendants when you are 6 feet under should still get use out of it ...not in the iMac i suppose as that definitley wont last that long



    quality has its price and forget top sequential read speeds , thats like with cars , sure a drag race car has a huge top speed , but is useless at anything else...
     
  11. johnsmith153 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #11
    MacHamster,

    I'm not sure what you're saying.

    Are you saying that the iMac SSD is subject to a limited life span?
     
  12. simsaladimbamba

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    Nov 28, 2010
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    located
    #12
    Yep. Like every other computer component.
    SLC vs. MLC
     
  13. MacHamster68, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    #13

    yes believe me or not , your iMac will die one day and you might be lucky to stay problem free for 3 years
    and with todays technology thats a good result, its not the intention of any manufacturer to sell you a computer that keeps going longer then 5 years , after all they make a living from selling you new computers
    so building a computer that can last long is not economical for the manufacturer

    thats why they invented lcd displays , those old crt's just would not die early enough
     
  14. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #14
    Even a MLC-based SSD has longer life expectation than a traditional HDD, so your point is kind of irrelevant. I am not even talking about the fact that in 150 years your SLC SSD will be a historical relict.

    Of course, if you have money to burn...


    Here is my take on the OP's questions:

    (1) As already mentioned, encryption is handled by the OS, not the SSD. So your question does not make much sense.

    (2) This is a misconception based on people just mindlessly repeating stuff they don't understand. The fact is: the flash technology within SSDs has limited rewrite cycle count. Meaning, that once you overwrite the data within a single storage sell a particular number of times, it becomes useless. Anyway, the SSDs utilize many methods to make sure this won't limit your user experience. In reality, SSDs are more reliable then HDDs. Nevertheless: if your HDD fails, you could theoretically recover the data by using some advanced methods. If an SSD fails, data recovery becomes practically impossible.

    (3) SSDs are expensive and have less capacity than HDDs

    (4) Apple's SSD is decent, reliable middle of the road performer.
     
  15. DrChack macrumors newbie

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #15
    A lot of false info in this thread.

    Life span difference classic drive vs solid state:

    SSDs do not fail early or randomly like classic drives. Instead SSDs have a fixed life expectation in the form of a set number of rewriting cycles. Once these cycles are used up it will not break but instead become read only. Because of this your data is alot safer on SSDs. Most OEMs guarantee writing 20GB of data daily for 5 years before it becomes read only. Some guarantee up to 5 times that. But there isn't really any long term test yet so noone knows if these numbers are true.

    Compared to that classic drives can fail any day once they wear out. And compared to SSDs they don't wear out by simply writing data on them, but mainly by the head moving arround eg. reading data and also by moving the head from the standby to the read position.

    So if you write/erase many (50+) gigabytes of data to your drive every day then you should stay away from SSDs. If you don't then an SSD will last longer then your iMac anyway.
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #16
    Everyone is ignoring the possibility of controller failure. Any SSD that was bought within 3 years and has died after that didn't die because of it ran out of P/E cycles. It died because something, usually the controller, failed. Especially SF-1200 based drives have experienced from these issues quite a lot (look at e.g. Vertex 2).

    When the controller goes, it just goes, there won't be any warnings. HDs usually want you before hand by getting slow and noisy but SSD works and then it suddenly doesn't. And all your data will be gone.
     
  17. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Poole, England
    #17
    Quite correct. And the new gen sandforce drives do not seem to be doing any better. Both corsair and Ocz vertex 3 drives are having "firmware issues".

    http://www.reghardware.com/2011/06/22/ocz_vertex_flash_bsod/
     
  18. timtom33 macrumors member

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    Mar 30, 2011
    #18
    Yes Apple's SSD is pretty slow compared to whats on the market and very expensive. A Cheaper, faster, smaller SSD would have been better.
     
  19. bullseyetech macrumors member

    bullseyetech

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    Aug 29, 2010
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    London
    #19
    I was thinking of getting a SSD with my new iMac I'm ordering but after reading this thread I'm doubting my decision. I'll have to make that decision pretty soon though :confused:
     
  20. philipma1957, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #20
    If your iMac is a 2011 it will have T-bolt. If you don't mind a tag on piece of
    gear this would be faster.

    http://www.lacie.com/dk/products/product.htm?id=10549


    not out yet.
     
  21. izbholla macrumors newbie

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    May 17, 2011
    #21
    Is there a way to find out how much data I actually write/erase on daily basis? (Sorry about the newbish question)
     
  22. philipma1957, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #22
    go to utilities click on activity monitor click on system memory look at page ins and page outs. also go to disk activity looking at both items can help.

    my page outs are zero so nothing was written to my disk due to lack of ram.

    ( BTW if you get 10Mb of pageouts each day look into getting more ram. )


    next picture says I wrote 24.66 gb to my hdd. SO LOOK EACH DAY and do the math.
     

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  23. MacHamster68, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    #23
     
  24. bullseyetech macrumors member

    bullseyetech

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    London
    #24
    Yeah it will be the 2011 version and Thunderbolt is great is just don't want to hook something up to it all the time if you know what I mean. So would you recommend installing an SSD or not? Cheers pal
     
  25. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #25
    No Just get the biggest hdd a 2tb can be ordered for the 2011. I wish I had ordered a 2tb for my iMac. I have a 1Tb in my 2009 27 inch c2d 3.06 (no yellow! iMac) and since I use my iMac for a TV/dvr I have to offload the recordings to storage a lot. A 2tb would have helped.

    I use ssd's all the time in systems I build for others they are still not worth the cash.
     

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