SSD's - Optimum Settings

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by aaphid, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. aaphid macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    #1
    I'm about to put an X25 into my Mac and want to make sure I've got everything setup correctly from the start. Suggestions I've read are as follows:-

    1. check to make sure you don't have TRIM firmware installed on the SSD.
    2. dissable sudden motion sensor
    3. enable don't sleep
    4. no safe sleep
    5. apply noatime
    6. disable spotlight
    7. don't defragment

    Does that sound about right or are there other opinions? Even better is there a wiki or how to out there somewhere?

    I'm not sure why someone suggested disable sleep. I don't think this takes too much disk activity.

    And why would you disable spotlight? I know that it spends a fair amount of time accessing the drive to do indexing but it needs to do that to work properly doesn't it?
     
  2. dyn macrumors 68030

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #2
    It sounds rather silly actually. Some people see strange problems when they have the sudden motion detection enabled as well as the "sleep disk" option in the powersaving settings. To prevent such problems you have to disable those two options.

    Number 7 is something you can't control as it is part of the filesystem. The other options are aimed at reducing the amount of writes to the ssd in order to prolong its lifespan. However, as ssd are relatively new there is no real world data, we only have theoretical lifespans calculated by the manufacturers. We do not know if disabling all those options will even work in the first place. Disabling Spotlight will disable one of the biggest key features of OS X which I do not recommend. Spotlight is also a good example of something you'd want to have on a ssd: the ssd makes it bloody fast! Same goes for sleeping/waking the Mac, again it's fast.

    As for option 1 this is something you want to do for the OCZ Vertex (and maybe other Indilinx Barefoot ssd's). OCZ has 2 firmware versions: one is TRIM-only and will only work with Windows 7 (version 1.4); the other is GC-only which will work with any OS (you want the GC-only version which would be version 1.41).

    The most important thing to do with a ssd is to sit back, relax and simply enjoy its speed. Don't worry too much about lifespan.
     
  3. colourfastt macrumors 6502a

    colourfastt

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    #3
    Seems rather silly; why not leave the default settings? (I suspect as soon as there are a few updates to OS X, we'll have someone on here complaining that this and that don't work .. all because someone farked his system to begin with.)
     
  4. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
  5. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 30, 2009
    #6
    Whoa why all those? The only one I'd do is disable the SMS.

    Defragging a SSD is pointless too.

    But why the otherones? Seems like you're a bit paranoid about the write cycles on a SSD.
     
  6. aaphid thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 3, 2009
    #7
    No, not paranoid. Just want to get the best bang for my buck.

    Not having TRIM could speed up some write speeds as much as 100%.

    Personally I think that No. 3 and 6 are pointless suggestions but I only listed them here as it has been suggested elsewhere and I wanted to get feedback from others.

    I'm not sure if No.2 or No.4 applies to desktops, ie is No.2 a setting in the drive or the Mac. I suspect it's in the Mac.

    Not really sure what No.5 is but a lot of ppl have suggested it.
     
  7. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    I have two OCZ Vertex Turbos running in a RAID0 in my G5. One is version 1.4, the other is version 1.0. Both run fine under Leopard...

    EDIT: Also, all I did was noatime and turn off spotlight (with the utility Spotless, so I can turn it back on easily if I find I need it). I've thus far seen no degradation, and there's a thread about regaining written blocks in OSX here:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=841182

    The truth of the matter is I figure that, even hitting HALF the lifespan the manufacturer claims, I'll probably be ready to replace them by the time they die, so I'm not too worried about it. Noatime is sort of a no-brainer, though, since it sped things up on my platter-based RAIS and actually used to annoy me more than anything...
     
  8. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #9
    3 is pointless, 6 is paranoia. 2 does not apply to desktops, they have no SMS. 4 COULD apply to desktops, but its already off by default. Only notebook Macs ship with safe sleep enabled.
     
  9. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #10
    Defragging is actually not entirely pointless. SSDs suffer from performance degrades and apparently defragging the drive helps somewhat. You suffer on the extra write cycles but you get a little bit more performance back. It's a balance of more cycles and performance. I see better responsiveness after a defrag but I don't do it often, once every 2 months is just fine.

    Remember, defragging is organizing all the files for a single program or such in order, not just putting it closer to the center of the rotational disk (for hdds)
     
  10. dyn macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Every ssd manufacturer will warn you not to defrag the ssd as it will kill the drive due to the many many writes. Unfortunately they have some experience with customers who disregarded the warning and bricked their ssd by doing this. Defraging is NOT RECOMMENDED!

    You also do not need to defrag, the garbage collection algorithm will do its job and keep the ssd nice and clean so the performance degradation will be minimal (less then 5%). TRIM does a similar job but this is only supported on Windows 7 systems. You can also choose not to partition the entire drive but only 80% or 90% of it. That's because performance degradation is only an issue when a lot of memory cells are filled. You can simply test this by filling up the drive and than deleting stuff. The performance will get worse and stay worse until the garbage collection kicks in. A more destructive way would be doing something like a secure erase with gparted (not with disk utility!). This will effectively clean out the entire ssd (be sure to have an image or backup ready because this means dataloss).
     
  11. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    Defragging is unavoidable with OSX, though, unless you customize the OS/kernel. There's a post on one of the SSD threads from a guy who used to work at Apple talking about it; on the other hand, if you're using an SSD properly, defragging isn't really going to be much of an issue to begin with.
     
  12. aaphid thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 3, 2009
    #13
    Thanks disconap

    Thanks Ninja
     
  13. dyn macrumors 68030

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    .nl
    #14
    It does defragmentation differently. It is only done for certain files not for the entire drive and every file that is on it. The latter will cause an enormous amount of written cells due to moving data. The former doesn't as it mostly is not triggered and when it is, it only needs to move around a very small amount of data. In the end the user won't notice much as opposed to a manual and complete defragmentation of the drive.
     
  14. aaphid thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    #15
    Found It !!!

    I found all the answers here
    http://bit.ly/93kZqL
    Especially helpful is the enable noatime instructions half way down page 6.
     
  15. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #16
    i am quite confused as to why we need to disable sleep, or is it just to free up some space? i would rather feel safe enough knowing that i can continue where i left off once my battery goes flat, rather then leaving it in my own hands :p
     
  16. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #17
    The best I can figure is that it's an attempt to avoid hibernating, where the contents of the memory are written to disk so the computer can cut power to the RAM. I don't see how that has any real impact on the life expectancy of an SSD, though. I'd just use it until it stops being used. SSD capacities are increasing so fast these days anyway that, as disconap says, you'll probably want to replace it by the time it fails.
     
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #18
    i would seriously never want to avoid hibernating! hibernation has saved my butt a number of times. consider the scenario - i have written up a large essay at uni, battery goes flat and i call it quits for the day. i drive home. the drive home takes 2hrs because of traffic, during this time - my battery goes COMPLETELY dead - RAM contents are saved to HDD.

    without hibernation, im dead in this scenario!

    i can see the advantages though, increased disk space blaablaa. not for everybody though.
     

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