SSHD as data drive? Helpful?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by camner, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. camner macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    I was just given a Seagate 1TB SSHD as a gift, and my Mac Pro already has an SSD boot drive. My current data drive is a 1TB WD Black. Is there any value in using a SSHD as a data drive?
  2. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Only if you want faster writes and faster access to frequently accessed files.
  3. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Depends upon the read/write ratio of your data. Typically most of these have relatively small ( but not as ridiculously miniscule as the HDD RAM caches ) caches. Unless prime the cache with the right data it won't be a huge difference. If have a modestly high hit rate this can turn in performance like that of a 10K-15K RPM drive. As good as a SSD? No. But can be higher than what usually got for this price range.

    I can't remember if Seagate has this "issue" but how they fill the cache is a bit of a contrived heuristic on some of these drives too. Some only look for the data grabbed repetitively during the first couple of minutes of start up. That mainly caches core OS and application data. Unless your app consistently loads an index every time start up, it is going to miss much of the useful flow of data. That kind of gimmick tends to work on synthetic benchmarks because that what the foks typically compiling those kinds of results do.

    Even when not highly skewing the data to "boot time" data most of the drives ignore sequential file access. So if constantly opening large files it probably isn't going to help much either.

    Generally, Apple Fusion/CoreStorage solution is a bit more well rounded for larger pools of data.
  4. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    If you have already got an SSD boot drive I wouldn't bother, though you could make it into a Fusion drive. I wouldn't complicate it more than necessary though unless your SSD is more than 75% full. The WD Black is an excellent data drive anyway.

    SSHD's are great for high capacity upgrades on a budget though, the 2.5 for the older MacBooks and the 3.5 for iMac's. Though the first generation Momentus I would avoid in MacBooks full stop I had nothing but grief with them. Fixed in the second gen XT and the newer SSHD's though.
  5. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    If it were me I would use it as a boot disk clone.

    I keep a wD red 1TB that I regularly clone the SSD onto in case it ever breaks. I would be lost if my mac were out of action. Having an SSHD would be a great choice for this as in an emergency it would still run the mac pretty darn fast.
  6. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    They're great for for single drive systems where you don't want to choose between an SSD and an HDD; these hybrids only have 8gb of SSD storage on them, but that's plenty for speeding up boot-times without sacrificing capacity, which is perfect for laptops or other compact machines like HTPC's, which is really what they're intended for.

    The caches should work for non startup related files, but the OS will take the biggest chunk so it's unlikely you'll see much of the SSD like speeds unless you use it with a system that's running continuously with infrequent shutdowns/restarts, in which case more of the cache will become related to what the machine runs most often, it just takes a while for that to happen.

    I've often wondered what it'd be like to use these in things like RAID setups, but it's not really what they're for. It'll make a great drive for extra capacity if you decide you need some, but personally I've found that an SSD + HDD Fusion Drive setup (or self managed if you can be bothered) is vastly superior to one of these drives, as it'll keep most OS files cached plus other frequently used apps and files.

    So yeah, great for smaller single-drive machines, or self-builds on a budget, but probably not so useful for your setup.
  7. camner thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    Thanks to all for your advice. The consensus seems to be that it isn't all that worthwhile to use an SSHD as a data drive.
  8. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    An SSHD is an excellent data drive. It will never be slower than a non-hybrid drive.

    The consensus is about your particular constraints.
  9. camner thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    Since the SSHD is a 5400rpm drive, when the file I need is coming off the HD part, wouldn't it be slower than a WD Black spinning at 7200rpm?

    Pardon my ignorance if this is an unintelligent question...
  10. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Are you sure it is a 5400 RPM drive?
  11. camner thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    Well, I THOUGHT I was sure, but it turns out I was wrong! The drive (Seagate ST1000DX001) IS a 7200rpm drive. Thanks for pushing me to research better.
  12. toke lahti macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2007
    Helsinki, Finland
    Just got 4TB sshd. Was a bit not-impressed with it at first and then checked BareFeats test:
    Sshd wasn't any faster with any test than just plain hdd!
    Anybody have explanation to this?
    Was there any discussion about this anywhere?
  13. CaptainWD macrumors newbie


    Oct 6, 2014
    Hey camner,

    You can benefit from a SSHD if you have a few applications or files that you use much more frequently compared to everything else. Usually SSHDs have a 8GB SSD that caches the HDD. It calculates what you use mostly and stores the load files of those applications for faster loading times. Everything else should work pretty much similar to a regular HDD. The HDDs in SSHDs are usually 5,400 rpm so I'm guessing it would work slower compared to your WD Black (for everything else that is not cached).
    I would also back the guys up and say it wouldn't be worth it when you already have a SSD boot drive and a good performance drive as a storage one.

  14. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    Remember it's a plain HDD with a big cache. So it probably wouldn't be very fast on raw performance tests, but you'd see benefits on frequently accessed files.

    Mainly the benefit I saw was it calculates file/folder listings a bit snappier than a plain HDD. Eventually though I upgraded my primary data drive to a Crucial BX100 1TB and haven't looked back.

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