SSD drive in the optibay (not HDD bay) - Performance

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by karohan, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. karohan macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #1
    Does putting an SSD in the optibay and making that my boot drive reduce performance (compared to putting the SSD in the HDD bay)? I understand issues with hibernation with this setup, but I have heard that the SSD will perform slower on the whole because the SATA connection in the superdrive is inferior to the one in the HDD bay.

    Will there also be an issue with heat/durability by keeping my SSD in the optibay that would lead it to failing sooner?
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
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    On the fence
    #2
    As far as I know, they use the exact same connection, so no issues there, unless you are talking about a pre-unibody model. SSDs don't really produce heat either, and you don't need to worry about vibration, sudden movement, etc. due to the lack of moving parts. With the extra open space, it should actually dissipate heat a bit better from the logic board.
     
  3. karohan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #3
    Sweet, I hadn't thought there would be an issue with different connections either, until I saw it in another post so maybe I just misread or misinterpreted something. Are there any people out there that use Adobe's CS4 or CS5 with an optibay setup? Which disk do you use as a scratch disk? Conventional wisdom says to use another hard drive besides the primary hard drive, but with my primary drive so much faster than my secondary (a 5400 rpm 500gb stock HDD), what's the best option?
     
  4. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #4
    You would use the SSD as the scratch disk.

    Usually with Photoshop you use another disk (not the one with your images or the apps on it). This is to reduce latency (the access delay) by ensuring that the disk heads are in the right place to access scratch, not skipping backwards and forwards between scratch, app and images.

    SSDs have effectively zero latency, so you can keep both scratch, app and image data there.
     
  5. karohan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #5
    Will this reduce the lifespan of my SSD drive? I heard that another benefit of a scratch disk is that repeated read/writes with Photoshop and similar programs can wear out a HDD and a scratch disk can suck up some of those constant read/writes.

    Now an SSD is a different kind of hard drive, so is its lifetime still going to be affected dramatically?
     
  6. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #6
    It shouldn't really be a problem. SSDs have 'levelling' built in, so they don't actually keep writing to the same place (even if you update the same file, it will be written somewhere else). This keeps down the number of accesses to any particular memory location.
     
  7. karohan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #7
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1017323

    This thread seems to argue that using an SSD as a scratch disk will cause the drive to fail in around 1-1.5 years. Of course, I won't be using it constantly, all day but I would like to feel confident in the drive lasting about 4 years (it will be primary drive).
     
  8. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    Dec 31, 2002
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    #8
    It's difficult to say definitely what effect it will have without more solid information.

    This 'wear levelling' keeps choosing new locations to write files, to keep the number of writes per location down. Of course, if you only have 10% free on your SSD, all those rewrites will occur on that 10%, so there will be more wear.

    If you go for a bigger SSD and always leave say 35%+ free, this problem isn't going to be as bad. Another point made in that thread was to go for lots of RAM - since this stops Photoshop from relying so much on scratch.

    Fast scratch will improve speed a lot. I think I'd want to put it on SSD even if it did increase wear.
     

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