SSD Propaganda

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rantingrich, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. rantingrich macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    #1
    I have heard 2 sides to the SDD Drives. Everyone want SPEED and power I get that. How I under stand it is that SSD drives are Fast as a Kennedy after a young hot waitress, as for saving and opening apps and files BUT have zero effects on PROCESSES such as Rendering animation or Photoshop chewing on a effect on a huge file!

    SO unless your some SAVING zombie or still close and reopen apps and files all the time an SSD is a waste of money?

    OWC has many graphs of how much faster SSDs are as opposed to 7200 rpm drives in Photoshop stuff! This I dont get? Are they talking about file SAVING! Certainly NOT Processing files?

    PLEASE ADVISE :confused:
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    If the drive is used as the scratch disk then it can be faster. But RAM is always better.
     
  3. pubjoe, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012

    pubjoe macrumors 6502

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    #3
    It's not just when you're physically saving or loading. Applications are constantly reading and writing to your drive. It basically makes multitasking and (very) large file work feel snappier.

    For example in photoshop, it will open up image files quicker and if you run out of ram, it won't drag while it page files or saves the working history. It will reduce the sluggishness you sometimes get when switching apps.

    It has nothing to do with processing, no. But it can make a difference indirectly for caching etc. The OWC tests were probably using huge files of several GB that cannot fit in memory with the photoshop workspace overhead. Applying transformations and effects in this case can really test your drive - even more so if you don't use a dedicated scratch disk. You might not ever work on such large files, but you might have several quite large files open at the same time, which could also benefit.

    Multilayered print work can cause a problem even when you have tons of ram, especially if you regularly need to open up secondary image files, and perhaps have a few other memory hungry applications open. Plus SSDS today are now quite cheap in comparison to RAM.

    It depends on your work flow really. If you have more than enough ram for your needs then you probably won't notice much benefit, especially if you rarely jump out of photoshop. If you've never had a problem, then there is nothing to fix.
     
  4. rantingrich thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 10, 2009
    #4
    Rammed

    Well I have my eye on a brand new MACPRO 12 x 2.4 core and plan to upgrade it to 64gb ram. Will take cover all that? and not worry about getting a SSD to help?

    ----------

    ALSO I might add, a lot of times, I will set my 3D Animation program to render, on my old G5 it may take days, And while it's chewing on that. I will do some work in Premier, Motion, FCP, After effects, Photoshop ect!
     
  5. pubjoe, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012

    pubjoe macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I can't really comment. 64GB is well beyond my experience. I should think you'd be more than covered, but then that depends on you. You obviously use a lot of taxing software, but it still depends on the size of the work itself.

    Let's just say 64GB was more than enough for you... An SSD would be a slower but cheaper upgrade that also brings benefits elsewhere - that's why people recommend them.

    That's in a whole different league to a common SSD. To be honest, it's making it kinda hard to have a serious discussion about whether or not an SSD is a "waste of money". I mean, that brand new mac pro is £3000 and 64GB of EEC ram is, what, another £1000? 128GB (for example) SSDs start from about £80 these days - that's 2% of your machines overall cost.
     
  6. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

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    #6
    I think of it this way, the data has to load from the drive anyway, so why have a bottleneck and moving parts if it can be avoided?
     
  7. Atomic101 macrumors member

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    Jul 19, 2010
    Location:
    Nottingham
    #7
    It is true that an ssd is not going to improve your render times by much, although if your rendering frames they will save quicker. But 3D is not just about rendering. Saving & opening textures, editing your movies & booting up will save you a lot of time.
     
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #8
    You are correct, SSD's have very little to do with processing power, but it has everything to do with i/o. Anything that pulls from the hard disk (whether it is a scratch disk, page ins, page outs, loading of applications, loading of OS, saving, deleting, reverting, etc) all are exponentially faster. After I purchased my first SSD, I vowed never to go back. It's night and day. It can make an old computer feel like new (or at least newer). And the price these days... I've seen 240/256GB SSD's going for less than $200. When you compare that to the entry level Mac Pro ($2500), it is only about 8% of the cost and it really can unleash the power of your computer. There is a reason why experts state the biggest bottleneck in modern computers is a mechanical hard drive. I've seen on these very forums, people who recently purchased a Macbook Air talk about how much faster it feels than their Macbook Pros simply because it is an SSD vs Mechanical HDD even when their Macbook Pro has much more powerful processor.

    Answer this: For such a "small" investment (compared to a Mac Pro's initial cost), can you really afford not to go SSD?
     
  9. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #9
    There is another way that the increased I/O with a SSD will help: some programs that use scratch space will only write to a hard disk, they won't even try to store data in RAM.

    If you have excess RAM (which is a chance with 64GB) you could create a RAM disk and configure your program to use that as the scratch space. Just be sure to copy anything out of the RAM disk when your down because it won't be saved after a reboot.
     
  10. brentsg macrumors 68040

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #10
    Why would you invest in a 12 core MP with 64GB RAM and cheap out on an SSD that would cost a couple hundred bucks?
     
  11. ssgbryan macrumors 6502

    ssgbryan

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    Jul 18, 2002
    #11
    Yes, you are very confused. And no, SSDs are not a waste of time.

    Processing isn't done by the hard drive, it is done by the the CPU (and if the software is capable, the GPU). A hard drive stores information, so what matters with them is how much information can they move off the drive and to the CPU (i/o operations). The more information that the hard drive can send to the CPU per second, the faster the CPU can process it. 99% of the time, the CPU is waiting for input.

    I have 2 ssds in a RAID 0 on my macpro. My throughput is 224.5 Mb read and 425.2 Mb write. At this point, I have saturated the SATA II bus, and the hard drive is no longer the constraining factor.

    My internal platter hard drive raid 0 gives me 172.4Mb read and 165.9Mb write.

    My USB external platter hd gives me 27.2 read and 37.4 write.

    So in comparison, my SSDs move data at 10 times the speed of my external hard drive. - which is ok, because the external is used for backup, and with that, speed isn't a priority.
     
  12. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    Location:
    Québec
    #12
    Hello,

    When comparing SSDs and HDs, be **VERY** careful of confusing theoretical performance, measured throughput performance and actual real-world performance. The only one that matters is the last one.

    I tested this a while back and redid it just now to verify it. I chose a 415MB PS file (12MP image, 11 layers with masks, 16bits) and opened it from my SSD, from my 2 drives RAID0 set and from a single HD that is almost full. I then saved it under another name. Here are the results:
    (Each result is an average of 3 open - save times. I did this on a 2009 MP.)

    SSD = 7.3 - 40 sec
    RAID0 = 7.5 - 37 sec
    HD = 7.6 - 40 sec

    I love my SSD and wouldn't go back to a HD for my boot disk, because general usage is much snappier. My SSD is getting old, and more recent ones would improve times a bit. But in terms of performance for PS, **it's negligible**.

    For PS, take care of CPU, RAM and GPU. The rest is not significant.

    Loa
     
  13. Melbourne Park macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    #13
    I am wondering two things:

    1 - Does your SSD manage its data? Because if it does not, then it will slow right down - I believe.

    2 - Is it more sensible to buy just a smaller sized hence cheaper SSD that does handle its data management itself (ie Samsung 830 or Intel 530) in the 120GB size area? And run photo and video apps that when virtualising will do so onto a traditional winchester mechanical drive?

    Because even with data management, I presume an SSD that is handling large files virtualising, the SSD's efficiency will be lost very quickly and hence it will slow right down, unlike a magnetic mechanical platter drive, whose performance will stay pretty much constant when handling multiple read rights of very large files.
     
  14. torana355 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #14
    Something is not right with the setup of your SSD lol. Ive done the same test at work after we installed SSD's for opening really large photoshop and Ai files and the difference was vast. The same 1 GB PSD file on the normal hdd took 5 mins to open where it only took 30 seconds to open on a Samsung 830 ssd.
     
  15. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    Jul 21, 2004
    #15
    SSDs for boot drives make the over computing experience faster and more responsive. I will never use a spinning disk for boot ever again. It really doesn't matter what you do or how powerful the rest of your machine is, SSDs make a huge difference. Stop wondering about it and just get one.
     
  16. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

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    May 17, 2011
    #16
    I have two 2011 Mac minis, one at home with two 128 GB SATA II SSDs and the other in the office with two 500 GB HDDs. For almost everything I do on them, the Mac mini with two SSDs appears to be much much faster.

    I have been thinking of upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro with a 512 GB SSD.
     
  17. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    Location:
    Québec
    #17
    How many things can you configure when setting up a SSD? It's directly on one of the Mac's SATA port, and TRIM is enabled. And as I mentioned; I did it in the past, when the SSD was brand new. Same results.

    Loa
     
  18. Melbourne Park macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    #18
    Is the SandForce 480 GB any good?

    Is this SandForce unit any good?
    Its going in Aus for under $450 ... seems cheap, but I am not sure sure if its as good as a Samsung 830 or an Intel. Both of which are OK for 240GB units in price, but become much more costly for 480Gb size units ...

    Capacity
    480GB
    Controller
    SandForce SF-2281
    NAND Flash Type
    MLC (Multi Level Cell)
    - SanDisk 24nm Toggle Mode NAND
    Read / Write Speed
    Read: up to 540 MB/s - Write: up to 460 MB/s (seq)
    Read: up to 39k IOPS – Write: up to 89k IOPS
    Interface
    SATA III 6.0 Gbps
    Life Expectancy
    2,000,000 Hours MTBF
     
  19. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    Location:
    Québec
    #19
    Keyword in there is "appears". The Finder is snappier, and some apps do get faster with an SSD, but when you get your stopwatch, things are different.

    Loa
     
  20. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #20
    Many older SSD drives were not all that great. However, what makes an SSD faster is dealing with small files and the extremely fast (sub ms) seek times. When comparing sequential reads and writes, it really isn't going to make a lot of difference, but in boot times where the OS is loading a lot of little files, or when starting up an application or dealing with scratch disks, etc (where again a lot of little small i/o occurs), that is where SSD's shine. That's why so many Database servers are moving to SSD's because it is rare that a lot of big files are copied but very common to have lots of small reads and writes....
     
  21. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    Québec
    #21
    I know, and that's why I'm defending the OPs main point: that SSDs are not all that great when dealing with rendering apps, or PS.

    Loa
     
  22. throAU, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Perth, Western Australia
    #22
    If you work with data sets that are larger than your available RAM (e.g., high def video, multiple applications, etc) then SSD will be a massive improvement. Even if you have heaps of ram, you need to get the data INTO ram.

    even if you are not hitting save all day, SSD is the single biggest speed improvement you can do for most machines being used for most people's work loads.

    Most people do not run CPU at 100% all day. They do not run GPU at 100% all day. Most of the time spent waiting on a modern machine is waiting for disk...

    If you are accessing multiple different files on different parts of the disk, SSD can be many many times faster. Hundreds, or thousands of times faster than a spinning disk.

    Worst case for example for a spinning hard drive - access to random files (or parts of the same file) scattered over the disk. If you run low on RAM, swapping to disk isn't totally unlike this sort of access pattern.

    A spinning SATA 7200 rpm disk can do roughly 75 random 4k IO operations per second (i.e., whilst sequentially, it may be able to read 100 megabytes per sec or more, random reads may be as slow as 300 kilobytes per second - worst case, the drive is simply spending all it's time waiting for the read head to move and the disk to rotate to the correct place for the data it needs). An SSD? 8000 or more random 4k IO operations per second is not uncommon. There is no physical read head that needs to move and delay the disk access.

    In general your IO will be more sequential than totally random, but if you multi task, and have the disk trying to load from multiple locations at the same time (e.g., processing multiple data streams/renders/etc at the same time) SSD will load the data into (and out of) ram much faster.
     
  23. torana355, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

    torana355 macrumors 68020

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    #23
    You must be running an older, slower SSD or only running at sata1 speeds (1.5gb/s). Try running a new Samsung or Crucial SSD at 6gb/s or even 3gb/s and you will see a decent SSD makes a significant difference opening big PSD files. To say only Ram, CPU and GPU are important for Photoshop work is just plain wrong as you need to get large 1gb+ PSD files into ram quickly before the RAM can benefit you. When im working on large photoshop files my CPU and GPU are not even being worked hard at all, its the disk where the bottleneck is!!
     
  24. rantingrich thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 10, 2009
    #24
    Wow

    So the answer is yes and no? I know close to nothing about SSDs. So bare with me.

    Using a SSD as your startup? So if your got huge field your gunna need a huge SSD right CHA CHING!

    I heard a ways back that SSD drive eventually cant not be written to, ie have a life span? If that true?

    What about Senstitve mayerail on a SDD. Once delleteed can it be retrieved?

    I know on my 7200 every few months I clean every thing up, caches, temps ect then WIPE the freespace with the install disk. Can you do anything like that for a SSD?

    Also I had not considered the SAVING of large files for my 3 d Program and yes it take for even on a 7200 spinner!
     
  25. Sackvillenb macrumors 6502a

    Sackvillenb

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    Canada! \m/
    #25
    Think about it this way, all a drive does is store data, and as a result, it also determines the speed with which the data is read and written. And THAT's where you'll see the speed benefit from an SSD. It's a fast hard drive, so it will make hard drive related tasks faster. Things like number crunching (e.g. rendering) are handled by the CPU, so the SSD will not directly help with that (although it can feed data to the CPU faster than a traditional hard drive).

    As for SSD's wearing out and having limited read/write cycles, higher end SSD's will have features to help mitigate that. It's usually not a problem under normal circumstances.
     

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