SSD Boot Drive: Have you yet? When will you?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by IceMacMac, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. IceMacMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #1
    All of us will be booting to SSD drives in the future. It's all a matter of when.

    So here is my question for you fellow Mac Pro users.
    -Are you already using one to boot with? If so, what size and make?
    Or
    -When would you...under what circumstances?

    For me...I'm keeping my eye open but will wait for 400 usable GIGs at under $600. I also want to wait for one more generation of development/performance.
     
  2. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #2
    My Mac Pro boots to a OWC 120 GB ssd (actually dual boot with OS X and Windows 7 Professional) and has everything but my user directory on it. Under OS X my user directory including photo library, music library, and video library are on a 2 TB RAID 0 (dual drive), while the Windows stuff is on a Velociraptor 300 drive.

    Time Machine backup is to a 7 TB Drobo FS in the basement via the network which backs up all the Macs in the house. Windows backup is to a HP MediaSmart Home Server which also collects photo, music, and video files from all Macs and performs as a Server for those files. This also backs up the Windows Virtual Machines (VMWare) running under OS X.

    It works well for me...

    -howard
     
  3. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 6, 2010
    #3
    Sounds like a nice setup. How many Macs in the house?
     
  4. bluesteel, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011

    bluesteel macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Earth
    #4
    you know, i waited and waited until i couldn't wait any longer...i waited at least a year. i just had to see what all the hype was about, so i purchased an OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SSD and installed it in my Mac Pro as the system/applications drive. i cloned my previous system/applications drive onto the new SSD, and i was good to go. i was hooked within seconds. i couldn't believe the increase in performance to my system.

    i was so hooked, i went right out a few hours later after buying the first one, and bought another OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SSD to use as my Windows 7 Boot Camp partition, and another OCZ Vertex 2 80GB as the system/applications drive for my Macbook Pro. the new SSD made my Macbook Pro feel like a completely different and new computer. everything just happens so fast with an SSD...i'm a heavy multi-tasker, so the extra speed an SSD gives me, makes a huge difference in daily computing. and if you use Windows under bootcamp, is really nice to be able to switch from OSX to Windows and back so quickly.

    i can't speak much for the brand of SSD i purchased. i was very lucky with all 3 of my OCZ Vertex 2's working flawlessly out of the box....no problems or failures yet. the only thing that i find EXTREMELY annoying about OCZ SSD's, especially under OSX, is that there are frequent firmware updates.....and don't get me wrong, firmware updates are a good thing, but its a hassle to perform them. to update the firmware on an OCZ SSD you need to download an OCZ firmware update utility that only runs in Windows. Also, the utility will only recognize the SSD for update if its NTFS formatted, and it will not update the firmware on a primary drive (boot drive). this has created lots of frustration...at least for me.

    all in all, if i could go into reverse, i would have bought OWC branded SSDs...they officially support Macs, and their SSDs are quality...and i buy so much stuff from them, and their customer service and technical support is hands down the best i've experienced. nonetheless, i'm very satisfied with my OCZ SSDs. they are fast and have not suffered from any degradation or slow downs.

    another thing is that i don't feel the need to have an SSD with a capacity larger than 120GB. i store all the rest of my data on large capacity hard drives in RAID-0, which gives me roughly 270 MB/s read/write, about the same as my SSDs.

    what i find even more appealing is the SATA 6.0 GB/s interface, super fast PCIe SSDs, and these new SSDs coming out with 500+ MB/s read/write :)
     
  5. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #5
    Currently 8 ... 4 desktops and 4 laptops ... :eek::eek::eek:
     
  6. TheDoc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    #6
    I'm rocking a very simple OCZ Vertex 2 60GB. It's small, but it came nearly free in a package that I purchased to upgrade my RAM.

    It's been a revelation of an upgrade - will be looking to buy another one for my Macbook (should be an amazing boost for my four-year old machine). CS5 opens in a flash on the Mac Pro, couldn't be happier!
     
  7. X2468 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    #7
    Have been using various SSD's for 2 years.

    Presently:

    15" 2010 MBP i7 / 8GB / 240GB OCZ Vertex 3
     
  8. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 6, 2010
    #8


    Wow.

    I didn't think the Vertex 3 were shipping yet.
     
  9. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #9
    I don't in my MP. my laptop has a 64GB Crucial C300. the speed is impressive, but not impressive enough to warrant the price, at least not for those who don't get a return on their hardware.

    I think solid state is a bigger deal for laptops, which get carried and bumped around, and because 2.5" HDDs aren't as fast as 3.5" ones.

    when prices drop below $1/GB, I'll consider buying SSDs for my desktops.
     
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    I reckon the majority of regular Mac Pro users around here uses SSD drives. For a good reason.

    Using a Mac Pro with a regular mechanical boot/app drive is like driving a Ferrari with only one cylinder enabled.

    Every time I boot my boot clone (WD Black drive) to restore a previous system to the SSD it seems like sitting in front of a 10 year old computer. The speed difference is just plain ridiculous. I paid about 360€ ($500) for the Intel G2 SSD about 18 months ago and to be honest, it was (and still is) worth every cent. For the majority of use cases it's the best upgrade you can do to your computer.

    Shortly after that I upgraded all my machines with SSD drives. Once you experienced the speed difference, there is absolutely no way to go back to mechanical drives.
     
  11. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    +1

    I purchased a 120GB OWC mercury extreme 3 months ago and i'm amazed at the speed of it.
     
  12. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #12
    I'm sure I'll love it...but I have tons of apps and like the comfort of plenty of boot drive headroom. So I keep waiting until I can cost jusfity a BIG ONE!
     
  13. Whaditis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    #13



    +1
    Using OCZ Colossus 3.5" 120gb SSD - Best upgrade so far.
     
  14. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #14
    They are fast but I want a big one really I do 1tb would work for me.

    I want a 1tb one for about 750usd but I may break down with the new intel and grab a 600gb.
     
  15. Bob Kiwi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    #15
    I'm holding out until Lion, and then I will probably buy the best SSD I can, maybe two, for OS X and Windows 7, at around 120-240GB.

    And then I'll start thinking about network-based storage devices like Drobos!
     
  16. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Why exactly do you need a 1TB SSD?

    Do you have that much data you need to access at high speeds?
    Personally I store only OS / apps my home folder (excluding iTunes) and a couple of VMs on my SSD. Since day one, filling level stays around 50%.

    All other data is on a RAID0 of mechanical drives. I don't need iTunes on a SSD, neither do I need to access video files with 250MB/s.

    There is data that needs to be on a SSD, but unless you're video producer or else, I don't see the need for high capacity SSDs in a workstation with multiple hard drive slots.

    Sure, moving files with 250MB/s in each direction is nice, but you can easily get that speed with mechanical drives as well and random access isn't really an issue with large files.
     
  17. designs216 macrumors 65816

    designs216

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Down the rabbit hole
    #17
    I used the Intel X25 G2 160GB as a OSX/Win7 boot drive in my 2009 MP. I was very pleased with it but it seemed to lose speed over time.

    Now I use the OWC Mercury Extreme in my 2010 MP. It is very fast but crashes the system upon auto sleep. The problem can be circumvented by disabling auto sleep. OWC says that they are working on a fix.
     
  18. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    I have only used 74GB on my 120GB SSD. I've never needed more space for apps and OSX.

    You could always get a 2nd SSD for any data you really need to access that fast.
     
  19. Riot Nrrrd macrumors regular

    Riot Nrrrd

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location:
    Lost Androideles
    #19
    :eek:

    How are you getting updates done, then?

    I was just about to pull the trigger on a 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 (like X2468's) but now I'm worried.

    I want to use it for my OS X boot drive as well as having Boot Camp partitions on it for Windows 7 & XP SP3. Seeing "the utility will only recognize the SSD for update if it's NTFS formatted, and it will not update the firmware on a primary drive (boot drive)" scares me. :(
     
  20. zephonic macrumors 65816

    zephonic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    greater L.A. area
    #20
    I read somewhere that while SSD offer significantly higher read speeds, it can actually write slower, depending on a number of factors I forgot.

    As such I don't think I'd want to pay the premium for an SSD boot drive, but I'd definitely want to dump all my sample libraries onto one, come upgrade time.
     
  21. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    Not true at all.

    Both read and write speeds are considerably higher than those of mechanical drives.
    The sequential speeds are up to 4 times higher for 6Gb/s drives (doesn't sound that impressive), the random speeds however are waaaay higher, more than a 100 times faster and that's exactly what makes them so convenient for boot and apps.
     
  22. zephonic, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011

    zephonic macrumors 65816

    zephonic

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    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    greater L.A. area
    #22
    I don't remember where I read that, but I got it from several sources, mostly tech sites. I just dug this up from Wiki for reference:
    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Solid-state_drive

    This could explain why boot up times and opening apps are dramatically faster, as that is mainly about read performance.

    Another thing to consider is that Apple does not mention the speed advantage anywhere on their site. They tout SSD's superior reliability but not a single word about any performance increase.

    You'd think they'd mention every advantage in the book to explain the much higher price tags.
     
  23. kultschar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #23
    Best upgrade ive EVER done!

    120GB vertex

    80GB free (user folders on 2TB Samsung drive)
     
  24. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #24
    1x 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 for OSX and apps
    1x 120GB OCZ Agility 2 for Win7 and games
     
  25. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #25
    This doesn't make sense:confused: How often to you re-write your boot drive, it is pretty much always reading, so read-speed is what you want for booting and for application loading. Writing to a SSD is slower than reading from a SSD, but both are better than a mechanical drive.
     

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