Time Machine: SSD Worth it?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by inmotionnow, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. inmotionnow macrumors regular

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    Toronto
    #1
    Has any one tried using an SSD for time machine? If so, is it worth it?

    I had installed a 1TD SSD (Crucial MX300) in my old mid-2009 Macbook Pro and I'm thinking of pulling this out, putting it in an enclosure (USB-C Type 3.1 https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01LXC82S8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and using it for my time machine back ups (replacing my current Seagate Back Up Plus Drive) for my new 13" TB MBP.

    I'm thinking that SSD + USB-C will mean faster back ups plus future restores (i.e. if I buy a brand new mac in a few years). When I used migration assistant for my current 13" TB MBP, it took about 4-4.5 hours to migrate about 500 GIG of data (which felt super long since I wanted to use my new machine!).

    Any help/input would be much appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #2
    I have an SSD in a similar Inatech enclosure I use for Carbon Copy Cloner clones and it is super fast, so I would think the same would apply to using it for Time Machine. I probably would not spend the money for it, but heck if you have the drive laying around left over, I think it is a great idea.

    The only issue I can think of is SSDs can lose data if just stuck on a shelf for years at a time (archival storage), but with you using it continually for TM backups, I don't see that as an issue.
     
  3. inmotionnow thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks! I wasn't sure if time machine would actually take advantage of drive speeds (migration assistant was transferring from my Back Up Plus drive at a sluggish 20mb/s via a USB 3.0 cable connected to a USB-C adapter).
     
  4. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

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    #4
    other than the initial transfer, SSD speeds probably wont be terribly relevant. and as you noted above, the types of files involved (small and many) will transfer much slower than a block of larger files. there is no downside to an SSD (other than cost). to keep in mind, I believe the recommendation is that the target (Time Machine drive) be roughly twice the size of the source (system volume plus any other drives backed up).
     
  5. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

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    #5
    The whole idea of TimeMachine for me is that it running in the background without me noticing or needed to intervene, which it pretty much does!

    On that basis, it really doesn't matter how long it takes, so I can't see how a SSD offers anything, given the price v capacity is going to be higher than a spinning HDD.
     
  6. SteveJobzniak macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

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    Dec 24, 2015
    #6
    The Time Capsule is so slow that a hard drive is not the bottleneck.

    Time Machine transfers data over the network at something like 8-20 megabytes/second. A regular hard drive can write at around 80-130 megabytes/second. An SSD is (500 megabytes/second) is therefore totally pointless, and also offers much less storage at a much higher price - which is the opposite of what you want for backups.

    And most data is at rest in Time Machine, it doesn't need constant fast access/read speeds.

    So no. Do not replace the HD with an SSD in your time capsule. No point except that it's more silent, I guess.

    Edit: Oops, I thought you were talking about replacing your HD with an SSD in an Apple Time Capsule router. I didn't see that you're using a regular external drive for backups. Well, the advice is still correct for your case. USB 2 is only a fraction of the speed of a regular HD. So an SSD would be totally wasted.
     
  7. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

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    Nov 30, 2014
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    Atlanta, GA
    #7
    Like others, I'm using an SSD (256GB) for my Time Machine backups. It is in an enclosure...
     
  8. inmotionnow thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 12, 2014
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    Toronto
    #8
    Thanks for the responses! Good point about random write/read being more important than sequential (which I believe would be the main benefit of an SSD time machine drive).

    @SteveJobzniak Does your advice still stand if the enclosure is running USB 3.1 (5Gbps) via USB-C connected to a new USB-C MBP? (13" TB)

    At this point, I'm thinking maybe I should just keep using my Seagate Back Up plus as my Time Machine drive and use my 1TB SSD + enclosure for storing movie (since I would be batch transferring files from my machine to the drive and vis-versa).
     
  9. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

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    #9
    I didn't pick up that your using TimeMachine on an external device, although I've never understood why people use it in this use case. It's designed as a constant network solution running in the background and not something you have to connect every so often.

    I also take a backup to an external device (in addition to background TimeMachine) but think something like Carbon Copy Cloner is a much better tool for this. With USB-C or Thunderbolt you might see some benefit of SSD over HDD in this case, although I think I'd still got for capacity over speed for the same or lower price.
     
  10. inmotionnow thread starter macrumors regular

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    Toronto
    #10
    I do leave my time machine external HDD attached to my mac at all times when I'm at home so it is doing regular back ups. I couldn't justify the cost of a Time Capsule when I have a solid AC router already and external hard drives are pretty affordable these days (I bought my original Seagate 2TB Back Up Plus for around $80 CAD). I was also under the impression that CCC is not a good idea when moving from an old machine to a brand new one vs. just swapping hard drives for the one and same machine (as an example, I used CCC when I replaced my mid-2009 HDD with an SSD).
     
  11. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #11
    Technically, it does not matter all that much. Though be aware that Time Machine will fill the drive to full capacity. It may slow down a wee bit after a while or when you back up large files, that is, when it needs to perform garbage collection (since TRIM will not be supported over USB). It may be worthwhile to keep a buffer of unpartitioned ‘free space’ around when you set up the disk.
     
  12. inmotionnow thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Well... sounds like sticking to my Seagate Back Up Plus for my time machine purposes is the way to go :)
     

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