Solid-State Drives vs. HDs

henhog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
23
0
Canberra
Hey,

I have a quick noob query about SSDs vs. HDs in the MBP :eek:

Pretty much, what are the advantages of having a solid-state drive over a normal 5400 or 7200 rpm drive? Is it just speed vs. space?

Thanks for your help.

H :)
 

aeronauticsrock

macrumors member
Jan 30, 2010
83
0
1. Go SSD

2. Never go back.


Seriously, SSDs are incredible. I will never use a platter hard drive again. My 13" MBP booted in 14 seconds with an Intel 80GB Gen 2 SSD. The 160GB I just picked up is even faster. Its the biggest performance increase Ive ever seen in a computer.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
Bing? Really? not to start a flame war, but if you don't mind my asking... why? (seriously surprised and want to know why you use bing over google (or just mroogle))
Really? You're going to derail a thread over bing? :rolleyes:

OP consider what you use your Mac for, is the speed of the drive matters not then don't waste you money.
 

spinnerlys

Guest
Sep 7, 2008
14,329
7
forlod bygningen
Bing? Really? not to start a flame war, but if you don't mind my asking... why? (seriously surprised and want to know why you use bing over google (or just mroogle))
To show that there are other search engines out there, and to be somehow tongue in cheeky.

I could have used Altavista or Metacrawler or Yahoo (wow, that's in the dictionary).

Just because Bing belongs to Microsoft, doesn't mean I .... ah whatever.

ANd I used MRoogle to find the thread I pointed to.
 

bsizz234

macrumors member
Jan 25, 2010
45
0
To show that there are other search engines out there, and to be somehow tongue in cheeky.

I could have used Altavista or Metacrawler or Yahoo (wow, that's in the dictionary).

Just because Bing belongs to Microsoft, doesn't mean I .... ah whatever.

ANd I used MRoogle to find the thread I pointed to.
gotcha. wasn't sure if it was an "I default to bing because...". that makes sense.

I'd forgotten all about Altavista...

[for the record I don't hate bing just because it's MS... it's the default on the computer at a store I work at, and it has never once given me useful results in the first page.] </thread hijack>
 

kny3twalker

macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2009
1,241
0
Bing? Really? not to start a flame war, but if you don't mind my asking... why? (seriously surprised and want to know why you use bing over google (or just mroogle))
he or she probably suggested bing cause of the cashback.
 

slade1988

macrumors newbie
Mar 7, 2010
5
0
Ok,

HOPEFULLY to get back on the more important topic at hand here,

(sorry, but a parley over 'search engines'? :confused:

Anyways, I'm with henhog as well - is there really 'that' big of a difference between these newer SSD's (especially like the newer 256's) over a standard internal HD, such as a 500gb for the MBP's?

I well understand that the standard 500gbs are 'cheaper' and store more, but as aeronauticsrock states, - there must be a HUGE difference, especially for the major money increase these things are going for now!

But also, usually where there's 'speed' - there's some type of 'overall performance' improvement (or at least to what I've heard on this subject matter so far) - is this true? I mean, it can't just be on 'reliability' issues alone, can it?

(and I'm not referring to just 'boot-up' time) - but what about things like 'overall system performance', 'video quality' (or rendering for that matter?), or possibly certain 'application' performances working maybe 'faster' or 'smoother'?

- and I do realize that maybe the physical make-up of 'any' internal HD might not really affect some of these particular issues - but again, I have heard some of this myself from others, and just wondering if it's really true?


* and one more thing I'd like to add to this 'or 'ask' for myself:

* with most of the customizable features that Apple allows for us to opt for - the actual 'processor speed' has started to slightly become more of interest to me as of lately, so my question would simply be this for now - "how significant or 'major' of a difference is it to spend the extra money on say, a 2.26GHz processor to a 2.66GHz processor now?"


I mean, I used to think that it either wasn't or 'couldn't' really be all that big of a difference. But seeing how it's costing a lot more nowadays (especially at a cost of nearly $1400!!) - is it really worth that much amount of additional money? Do you really see that much a 'difference' ($1,400) in overall Apple performance?
 

tibi08

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2007
703
75
Brighton, UK
1. Go SSD

2. Never go back.


Seriously, SSDs are incredible. I will never use a platter hard drive again. My 13" MBP booted in 14 seconds with an Intel 80GB Gen 2 SSD. The 160GB I just picked up is even faster. Its the biggest performance increase Ive ever seen in a computer.

Agreed
 

rumpus

macrumors member
Mar 4, 2010
58
0
I have a noob question too. I've seen getting my MBP's HD replaced only once but didn't catch the whole installation properly, so is it as easy as pulling out the HDD and just plugging in the SSD ? Are there cables to connect to the motherboard or anything complicated as such ?

Also, I've heard many times that one could replace the optical bay with an SSD. Does anyone know a link or a video that shows how to do that ?

Thanks truckloads.
 

spinnerlys

Guest
Sep 7, 2008
14,329
7
forlod bygningen
...

Anyways, I'm with henhog as well - is there really 'that' big of a difference between these newer SSD's (especially like the newer 256's) over a standard internal HD, such as a 500gb for the MBP's?
Read and write speeds of SSDs are 2 to 3 times faster than HDDs.


I well understand that the standard 500gbs are 'cheaper' and store more, but as aeronauticsrock states, - there must be a HUGE difference, especially for the major money increase these things are going for now!
Read and write speeds of SSDs are two to three times faster than HDDs.


But also, usually where there's 'speed' - there's some type of 'overall performance' improvement (or at least to what I've heard on this subject matter so far) - is this true? I mean, it can't just be on 'reliability' issues alone, can it?

(and I'm not referring to just 'boot-up' time) - but what about things like 'overall system performance', 'video quality' (or rendering for that matter?), or possibly certain 'application' performances working maybe 'faster' or 'smoother'?
Files and applications open up faster on SSD than on HDDs. Writing RAM to disk (SWAPPING) is also faster.
Video quality and render times are independent of read and write speeds, unless you render something so easy, that the rendering process can write the resulting media to disk with more than 100MB/s.


- and I do realize that maybe the physical make-up of 'any' internal HD might not really affect some of these particular issues - but again, I have heard some of this myself from others, and just wondering if it's really true?
An HDD is platter based, meaning spinning and moving platters are inside of an HDD.
An SSD has no moving parts.


* with most of the customizable features that Apple allows for us to opt for - the actual 'processor speed' has started to slightly become more of interest to me as of lately, so my question would simply be this for now - "how significant or 'major' of a difference is it to spend the extra money on say, a 2.26GHz processor to a 2.66GHz processor now?"

I mean, I used to think that it either wasn't or 'couldn't' really be all that big of a difference. But seeing how it's costing a lot more nowadays (especially at a cost of nearly $1400!!) - is it really worth that much amount of additional money? Do you really see that much a 'difference' ($1,400) in overall Apple performance?
Those 400MHz will hardly be felt during day-to-day tasks. The additional costs from upgrading your CPU result from higher price of the CPU in the first place and Apple's own markup.

That's why it is recommended to upgrade RAM and HDD/SSD yourself, as that is cheaper than going with Apple.



I have a noob question too. I've seen getting my MBP's HD replaced only once but didn't catch the whole installation properly, so is it as easy as pulling out the HDD and just plugging in the SSD ? Are there cables to connect to the motherboard or anything complicated as such ?
It's as simple as replacing the HDD, as the SSD uses the same interface.


Also, I've heard many times that one could replace the optical bay with an SSD. Does anyone know a link or a video that shows how to do that ?

Thanks truckloads.
It's called Optibay, and here is a link or two.
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=680228
http://www.mcetech.com/optibay/
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=851189
 

deadjoe2002

macrumors member
Nov 18, 2007
61
0
Optibay and memory cards

Going along the optibay route, first I assume this voids any and all warranty associated with the machine, secondly is this possible and more importantly worth doing for one of those SSD comprised of a load of memory cards (http://www.sharkoon.com/html/produkte/speicher/flexi-drive_s2s/index_en.html this is just an example, I havent had a read as to whether this drive is compatible and the like).

The idea would be to have a smallish (16-32 GB), fast (not sure how fast) SSD that I could use to hold SL and the OS stuff and maybe a handful of applications .
 

rumpus

macrumors member
Mar 4, 2010
58
0
Is it possible to install Mac OS on an ExpressCard SSD, boot and run it from there ? Has anyone every tried it successfully ? I read somewhere that the disk gets unmounted everytime the computer goes to sleep, so it isn't a good way to do so.
 

ae3265

macrumors member
Feb 3, 2009
85
0
But also, usually where there's 'speed' - there's some type of 'overall performance' improvement (or at least to what I've heard on this subject matter so far) - is this true? I mean, it can't just be on 'reliability' issues alone, can it?

(and I'm not referring to just 'boot-up' time) - but what about things like 'overall system performance', 'video quality' (or rendering for that matter?), or possibly certain 'application' performances working maybe 'faster' or 'smoother'?
Pretty much as soon as you launch any given application, it's open with SSD. The pure responsiveness makes HDD feel just plain slower. SSD is the single biggest improvement you can make to the overall performance of your computer.

HDD I/O is the slowest sub system of your computer. It's stuck relying on relatively speaking, slow mechanical technology. Most times, your CPU is stuck waiting on data to be retrieved from the storage system when you have to hit it. With SSD, that time is dramatically reduced.

If you need performance, go SSD. If you need space more than performance, get the larger HDD. If you need performance, space and speed, get the largest SSD you can (check the reviews on any product you are considering) and be prepared to pay a hefty price.
 

phoobo

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2008
192
0
No noise or vibration

Hey,
Is it just speed vs. space?

H :)
For me, the main advantage is the freedom from noise and vibration. A spinning hard drive in a Macbook drives me nuts with the constant tremor in my hands. And zero noise. I write all day, so this makes a huge difference.

I could care less about power; in fact, I UNDERclock my mac so it runs very, very cool (around 45 degrees C - it's *not* an MBA of course; those are impossible if you like it cool and quiet). Hardware is way ahead of software these days. Even the slowest Macbook rarely gets taxed unless you're a gamer. Always buy the slowest computer in the series: it's cooler and quieter (less fan use) in addition to being cheaper, of course.

I think SSDs also produce less heat than the spinners.
 

slade1988

macrumors newbie
Mar 7, 2010
5
0
"Those 400MHz will hardly be felt during day-to-day tasks. The additional costs from upgrading your CPU result from higher price of the CPU in the first place and Apple's own markup.

That's why it is recommended to upgrade RAM and HDD/SSD yourself, as that is cheaper than going with Apple."



- well, actually I already 'do' my own RAM & HD upgrades on my own anyway - so that's not really a major problem or concern for me.

But I think what I was trying to find out, was that since you really can't 'upgrade' your entire CPU (hence, 'is it really worth that extra cost for that smaller % of CPU MHz?') - when you're buying your Apple from the 'beginning', and pretty much have to make that decision then & there?

If it's really worth that much more money, then I can see the point - so I guess that's probably my main question at hand here: is it simply worth it, and roughly how much 'noticeable improvement' is shown within the slightly 'larger' applications? (not so much with the 'smaller' and simple daily tasks, if that makes any sense?)
 

Exinor

macrumors member
Feb 9, 2010
87
14
I'm tempted to get a SSD over a HD on my first Mac, but I keep hearing that the one that Apple offers is pretty bad. This is my first Mac, so I still wouldn't know how to...

1. Physically switch the HDs
2. Any special procedures with reinstalling the OS
3. If it's ok if I just switch it fresh out of box or if I should boot up the OS the first time first.
 

gwsat

macrumors 68000
Apr 12, 2008
1,920
0
Tulsa
Lately I have researched SSD drives and have been impressed. Although they are expensive and have limited capacity compared to hard drives, they are apparently exponentially faster than hard drives. This intrigues me because RAM is so often cached to the disc. Consequently, I suspect that most tasks would run much faster with an SSD than they do with a hard drive.

Despite how intriguing SSD technology is, I am not really in the market for one to upgrade my MBP because I have AppleCare coverage that still has a year to run. Nevertheless, I will seriously consider an SSD for my next laptop. Thanks to all for the useful information.