SSD as boot drive questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by strausd, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    So I am contemplating getting an SSD as my boot drive. I read a huge article on anandtech talking about how SSD degradation works.

    So I would only want the OS and Applications I have to be on the SSD. I know how to change my downloads to go to a different drive and set up my iTunes music folder somewhere else too.

    However, how could I make the desktop be on a drive in bay 2? Or photo booth pictures to go to the drive in bay 2? Or an iPhone backup? Basically, how can I get everything to not go on the SSD besides just the necessary files for the OS and my applications?

    I just don't want a bunch of random files being written to the SSD. I want to try and keep the SSD at peak performance for as long as possible.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
     
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    What you're asking is how to move your home directory to another drive. I personally don't know but If you don't get a quick answer here then try the OSX forum as it's more of an OS question than a Mac Pro question.

    Also, I wouldn't worry about performance degradation too much. Anand tests to extremes. Real world performance impacts on using SSDs for all my storage has been unnoticeable. Don't let your SSD become a garage queen... Use it to the fullest!
     
  3. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    Thanks for the advice! I already read your thread and downloaded the ISO so I'll be ready if I ever need to restore it to peak performance.
     
  4. ValSalva macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Burpelson AFB
    #4
    I agree. These newer SSDs are meant to write like 20+ GB a day for 5-7 years. By the time most people would notice any significant degradation they'd be more likely to have moved on to a new system. I've had a Crucial M225 256GB SSD for almost a year and it is as fast as the day it was installed and it's used every day.
     
  5. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Thanks guys, I'm gonna try the OS X forum and see if they can help me out.
     
  6. exodius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #6
    If you option-click on a username in System Prefs > Accounts it'll bring up an advanced dialogue box in which you can relocate your home directory. If you have a lot of users this could be a bit of a pain, but it's a simple process for each one. Look up the details on google.

    Personally, I've decided against the SSD route at this time. RAID0 gives me double hard drive speeds, and with adequate backup solutions the question of losing data isn't much of an issue. SSDs are VERY fast for reading, but much slower for writing.

    For many people, the read speed of the drive is a bottleneck for opening programs and running processes. I tend to turn my computer on, do something for a minute, and come back when it's ready. Likewise, I don't open and quit a lot of applications. Nothing takes more than maybe half a minute to start up, and that's on my old G5 dual processor machine. I'm not in THAT much of a hurry.

    My bottleneck occurs with processing photos, which involves a LOT of reading and writing to the disk. Reading may be fast, but write will be slow. Plus, SSDs have no disk cache, meaning writing large amounts of data will be even slower.

    Even so, I'd go with an SSD if the price difference weren't so great. For what a modest sized SSD costs, I can buy almost 2TB of HDD and have redundancy. SSD is certainly the wave of the future, but operating systems are still largely optimized for HDDs and the cost is a bit issue. It's probably a great thing to try out if you have the money to just throw at it, but it's not a huge leap forward yet.
     
  7. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    control-click?

    I have thought about a RAID 0 option. That, 10,000 rpm, and the Seagate Momentus XT. The problem with RAID 0 is an extra $700 for an Apple one, just not worth it for me. I could get an Areca or ATTO controller but then I'd need to mount in the optical bay or get special connectors. The 10,000 rpm drive doesn't seem like that good of an idea, not much better, louder, and more likely to fail. The Seagate hybrid drive is still an option, but if I can afford it, I'm leaning more towards the SSD.
     
  8. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #8
    Understand your point, but the SSD is for the OS - not photos. You'd have all your photos being written to a HDD, and the OS running off the SSD. ;)
     
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    Actually when it comes to random reads/writes, which most desktop I/O consists of, SSD's kill RAID arrays of mechanical drives...

    [​IMG]

    That's a 25x improvement on random writes between an Intel SSD and a Raptor.

    [​IMG]

    That's a 100x improvement on random reads between an Intel SSD and a Raptor.

    You really owe it to yourself to read up on this article...
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2829/1

    And try an SSD if you can find $200 to spare. It will be a new lease on life for your old G5. :D

    EDIT: BTW those graphs are for SSD drives that have been used and abused... note how the Intel's hold up.
     
  10. bzollinger macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #10
    Currently what SSD do you guys recommend? I'm thinking about buying an SSD an putting it into a new mini, then transferring it to a new MP when they come out.

    I've heard great things about the intel X-25s but has anyone used the OWC SSDs? Or what are your thoghts on the Momentus XT?
     
  11. tomllama macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #11
    Control-click = right click. A google search will easily turn up the procedure to move user files to an alternate drive. It takes a couple minutes to copy all the files to the new location, change the user profile and then reboot.

    I bought an OCZ Agility 2 (240 GB) after a review of all the stuff on Anandtech. I'm thrilled with the results (speed). I have it stuffed into the 2nd ODD bay on my new MP4,1 and use it to boot with either 10.6.4 or Win7 x64 via boot camp. All user files are on other HDDs.
     
  12. exodius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #12
    Well, if I run Aperture off the SSD, I get the read boost but "not" the right. I'm seeing now that even if there's a discrepancy between read and write speeds with SSDs, write is still mountains faster than with a HDD, even in RAID. And then there's still the question of storing them on the HDD, which means transferring them over and so forth. And on top of that issue with cache and so forth. Not to mention price.

    BUT, it does seem I was unaware of the actual metrics of SDDs. Thanks for the info. I don't see myself trying out a SSD any time soon if I'm going to be buying a new computer anyway, but there's no reason I couldn't buy an SSD for a yet-unbought Mac Pro and try it out now.

    Finally, OSX does software RAID0, 1, and 10. Not as efficient as a hardware based controller, but it'll work. And it's free.
     

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