Symlink from HDD to SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tekcor, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. tekcor macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Just got a new MBP, installed an OWC Mercury Extreme 6G as my boot drive, and put the 500GB@7200 drive into my optical bay. I have my home directory stored on the HDD.

    My concern comes from Steam. Steam insists on storing content in ~/Library/Application Support/Steam. So I moved this folder to /Library/Application Support/Steam and used a symlink to point my user version to it.

    What I'm not sure about is if I've created a bottleneck. Because the symlink is on the HDD and the source is on the SSD, is the HDD bottlenecking the reads? I haven't been able to find a drive benchmark tool that lets you choose which directory to test in, only which volume, so I haven't been able to confirm this myself.
  2. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    It will only be a bottleneck for as long as it takes to read the symlink from the directory structure of the hard drive, which should be far less than a second, and then from that point on, it's in RAM. Don't worry about it. You won't notice a difference at all.
  3. tekcor thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Thanks for the confirmation.

    I ended up restructuring my setup so that my home folder exists on the SSD, and Documents, Music, Movies, and Pictures are on the HDD. This way Library (among a couple others) is still under SSD. This makes a big impact Lion, where autosave and persistence is stored in Library.

    I think this is a good tradeoff between storage and speed.

    After doing so, meaning Steam is no longer symlinked but is stored on the SSD, L4D2 didn't appear to load any faster. So you're absolutely right.

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