SSDs & Macs - How well do they go together, and what do I need to know?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jack99, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. jack99 macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #1
    Hey all,

    I've got a question concerning SSDs going with MBPs. I'm aware that OS X doesn't have TRIM support but I've also heard that Macbooks are still able to perform the garbage dumping functions.

    What I would like to know is whether it's true or not. I'm considering buying a SSD to go with my MBP but would rather not have to keep WipeDriving just to maintain my SSD. As you can tell, I'm relatively new to the world of SSDs so a little explanation for this noob would be helpful! :D


    Also I'm planning to bootcamp and VMware Win7 with OS X.
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #2
    The bigger the SSD the less likely you'll need TRIM. Also, SSD quality is determined by the controller. In this case Intel, makes the best controller out there.
     
  3. jack99 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #3


    Ok. So I'm willing to pay more if the SSD does the job really well. But with OS X's garbage dumping feature, will I need to keep on reformatting OS X and time-machining just to get my OS X partitioning back? It may prove to be more of a hassle especially if I have to keep reinstalling Win7.
     
  4. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #4
    TRIM is useful in small capacity SSDs where space is filled up quickly and write speeds will degrade fast.

    However, large capacity SSDs don't suffer from this problem much. That doesn't mean they'll be fine. It just means it'll take longer.

    There are many ways to keep house cleaning on an SSD. Do not defrag an SSD, big no-no.
     
  5. jack99 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #5

    I'm really new to SSDs. So let's say I decide to buy a 80gb or 128gb 1-2 months down the road. Will I just need to reformat every couple of months or what? Will reformatting be enough or do I need to WipeDrive it? Also is there a program out there that would be useful for monitoring speeds?
     
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #6
    You need to wipe it. SSDs are not like HDDs when writing. If you need to know more specifically how an SSD works, try heading over to AnandTech and reading his SSD articles.

    The man knows what he is talking about and knows how to put it in simple terms.

    www.anandtech.com
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #7
    GC has fixed most of the problems, kinda.. and apparently TRIM support is being added in to OSX soon. stupid that its has to happen this way, but you know :(

    NEVER defrag a SSD. it DOESNT need it. all sectors have equal read/write time.

    why the dont make the controllers read/write less at a time i dont know :( stupid write amplification.

    what sort of data types will you be working with OP?
     
  8. jack99 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #8

    Thanks, will do! :apple:
     
  9. jack99 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #9
    Dunno about data types...I'll just be doing school stuff (e.g. taking notes, documents, etc) and downloading/watching movies. No heavy gaming.

    The movies will involve at least a couple of gigs worth of stuff being downloaded weekly. Is there anything I can do for my Macbook Pro to keep my SSD's performance from degrading if it's 80gb-128gb?
     
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #10
    oh is that all! i thought you would be doing intense stuff. you have nothing to worry about ;)

    it will perform well! maybe every year just reformat.
     
  11. jack99 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #11
    But ANANDtech says reformatting won't restore all the data blocks or something like that. Won't I have to wipe at least once a year? Also ANANDtech's website guide says I gotta boot to DOS prompt....

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/11

    Dunno how to do that...
     
  12. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #12
    I've got an Intel X25-M G2 160GB SSD in my Mac Pro, although I'm absolutely sure I've written to every possible block there is, it's still fast. No need to format it at all. Application start up times, boot time etc...

    BTW, if you're keeping movies on your MBP I recommend getting the 160GB Intel X25-M G2, but you know better whether you need that size or not (otherwise 80GB model is available).

    If anyone cares to share, I'd like to know how to return my SSD to its original state (so its fast), I need to erase it soon as I'm replacing my current machine with a 27" iMac and I'm not taking my iMac apart to put it in.

    Considering doing an erase/secure erase will just write 0s in all the blocks, that won't return it to its original state will it?

    EDIT: Having read that article about doing a secure erase, can I just do it from Disk Utility?
     
  13. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #13
    SSDs are different to HDDs. if you wipe an SSD (e.g. write 0s to it everywhere) - it actually performs WORSE then if it was left in its current state.

    reformat and you will be fine.

    that article is ridiculous - telling you to secure erase everything. totally uninformed. means you basically get write amplification on everything.

    mysticFrost - you are correct. 0 isnt the default state on a SSD.
     
  14. jack99 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #14

    Straight from anandtech:


    Unless wipe drive =/= secure erase?
     
  15. jack99 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #15


    Argggg! So confused! What now! :eek:
     
  16. chrisworld macrumors member

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    Nov 14, 2006
    #16
    Remember that flash technology wears out. SSD's are flash technology and the y WILL wear out eventually. There is only so much shocking a single flash cell can take. Good news though - the write cycles of a flash device are close to a million :D it'll take a good amount of years before you wear one out.
     
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #17
    MLC SSDs have bi-bit storage. so either 00, 01, 10, or 11. depending on the SSD, 10 might = the binary term 1, and 01 might = binary 0.

    if you erase everything to 00 - thats not optimal. that means that everytime you want to write to a block, 512KB (that is the amount that the controller can read at once) must be copied, written, then deleted from the block so that it can save just 4KB (assuming you use 4KB block sizes).

    basically - DONT DO SECURE ERASE.

    chris - the controller will ware out in 10 years - the actual SSD side of things will last hundreds if not thousands of years.
     
  18. jack99 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #18
    So what's the official verdict? Reformat my MBP once a year by using Time Machine function to restore my partition from my external hard drive?
     
  19. jack99 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #19
    I'm assuming I'll outlive my SSD's controller. Hopefully I'll be alive to see my SSD die out before I do. Okey dokes, no secure erase.
     
  20. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #20
    good man :p
     

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