SSD or HDD as a downloader?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by espegelan, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. espegelan macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2015
    Hey everyone,

    I have a iMac 27" late 2009 model, and my hard drive just failed so I have to get a new one. But I am having trouble deciding whether to go for a new SSD 500GB or a 2TB HDD. I have tried to do as much research as possible to find out which of the two will live the longest. Most articles I've read says that the SSD can almost live eternally whilst the HDD is bound to die sometime, BUT not if you write a lot of heavy files, then the cells in the SSD will die.

    I will use programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and ArchiCad, so the speed of the SSD would be nice, but I'm going to buy a new 15" macbook pro soon which I will use for most of that work. So the iMac will be mostly used to download files (about 3-5GB a day), watch movies and photography work.

    How long will the SSD maintain its speed and how long can it live, writing 3-5GB a day, and storing about 300GB constantly? Will the HDD be a better option for me?

    By the way I'm from Norway, everything is a bit more expensive here and I'm just a student. The different disks with the work included will cost;

    328$ for the 2TB HDD
    486$ for the 500GB SSD
  2. Asher133 macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2015
    From personal experience they will last around the same amount of time, it mainly comes down to speed over storage the SSD will greatly improve your performance, but you will have far less space to work with, but if your constantly writting 300GB I say go with the 2TB seems like you need the space over performance just make sure you get a good brand rather than looking for the cheapest hard drive
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Assuming cost is not an issue and you can live with the smaller size of the SSD, the SSD is better in every way. The only issue with SSDs is they do have a finite number of write cycles, but for the light usage you described that SSD will be working long after the computer is dead. Take a look at this and this.
  4. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Most NAND cells in SSDs last a lot longer than the conservative estimate manufacturers give. And if worn out they don't just die. They will gradually loose capacity that is all.
    Controllers are much more likely to fail than to actually wear it out.

    A typical SSD like the Samsung 840 in 500GB would last about 100 years with 3-5 GB per day. About 40 with 10GB per day.
    You really need about 30GB on average (that means every single day) to wear it out in the 3-5 years in which most likely some other component in your notebook will die.

    SSD endurance was a problem with small SSDs because a 500GB SSD can handle twice as many writes as a 256GB SSD. So 64GB SSD used to have a problem. Also in the beginning controllers were bad. Now it is a non issue especially with 500GB SSDs.
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    A hard drive will likely malfunction long before the SSD would. As for the SSD you'll be throwing the iMac in the dumpster due to obsolescence long before the SSD gets worn out.

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4 February 10, 2015