What is SSD, and is it worth getting?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by geniusABBY, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. geniusABBY macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2010
    This has been confusing me for a while now... it seems expensive too upgrade and has less memory. Yet, people rave about it.

    Educate me please:)
  2. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    It is a faster and more reliable form of drive. Ssd stands for solid state drive.

    It is more expensive right now and hence te smaller sizes. Read and write times are significantly faster than even 7200 Hdd. And the drives don't get damaged from movement like normal platter type drives.
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    "Is it worth getting?"

    Since you're asking, probably not.
  4. geniusABBY thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2010

    I'm just trying to learn more about the systems is all. I'm a newbie.

    So, is getting a more expensive but smaller SSD than HDD the better option? Or go for what has the most memory?
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  6. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    I just got one for Christmas. It's blazing fast. Apps open almost instantly. It's the single-best upgrade you can perform that will speed up your computer.

    That said, unless you a) have less than 120 GB of files or b) you have more than one computer (say, a laptop and a desktop) then I would steer clear for now. Prices should drop significantly in the next year or so. I put my SSD in my MacBook Pro, and while it's only 120 GB in size, it's OK because most of my big media files are on my desktop computer. Still, I wouldn't want to go any smaller, and drives greater than 120 are still helluva expensive.
  7. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Actually, you're just getting confused yourself here. Both RAM and SSD/HDD's are memory, just with different purposes and different speeds. Commonly, RAM is referred to simply as memory, but referring to the storage space of a HDD or SSD as memory is absolutely correct as well, particularly in the way it was used in the post you were referring to.

  8. ChaosAngel macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2005
  9. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Over the past ten years, almost every aspect of the computer has increased dramatically in speed; except the hard drive.

    Hard drives hit a ceiling of 7,200 RPM a long time ago (there are some specialty higher RPM drives that cost a fortune, but that's it). Keep in mind that we're talking about a platter spinning 7200 times per minute with a magnet constantly reading data on it.

    Then keep in mind that data on a computer is not stored linearly. Everything's written on this big disk, but as time goes on, you delete some older stuff, then you write newer stuff (which goes in the same physical place on the hard drive), it might not fit in the space of those old files you deleted, so some of it goes in that spot, then some of it goes elsewhere on the drive where there is free space...a single application might have bits and pieces of it scattered all over the hard drive, even though from the perspective you see (in Finder) it's in one place.

    Now, you try to launch that application and all of its dependencies...your hard drive loads some of it from one place, then has to seek out and find the other bits, and you're limited by the speed that drive is spinning while the magnet waits for the platter to spin around while trying to find the next bit of data.

    SSDs eliminate that whole bottleneck and read data much, much faster than hard drives. You'll be able to launch applications and read data from the drive much faster.
  10. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    I used to have one in my old Macbook, I have now upgraded to a 27" iMac. Im waiting till the next paycheck and im on the look out for another. A standard HDD just seems slow now.
  11. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I disagree. Anyone would see the value of a SSD. As it closes the largest existing speed gap in modern computers, it significantly improves the experience of even mundane day-to-day usage. Especially in a laptop hindered by the performance of a 2.5" hard disk, going from a SSD back to a normal drive is quite the experience - it honestly feels like something is broken!
  12. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Since your first question was answered by wiki - I would say that yes it is worth it to get if you want to make your computer run faster. Apps open instantly, reduced risk of failures (my apple drive is kaput), and faster boot times. It is awesome.
  13. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Doesn't the 27" iMac have a second internal slot in which you could install a SSD?
  14. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Aug 11, 2010
    If you have lots of files that take up room, not really. It gets incredibly expensive.
  15. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    Only if you got it with an SSD from the factory. Otherwise, it's missing the bracket and the necessary cables.
  16. ICY DOCK macrumors newbie


    Dec 15, 2010
    Hey geniusABBY,

    Everyone's input and explanations are good and correct, I'd like to add a couple of points of differences:

    1. SSD's are much faster due to the non moving parts it uses (uses NAND technology), while HDD does use moving parts hence you can hear it spinning. Because SSD do not use moving parts, they are perfect for laptops because of their lower heat output!

    2. As you may now, the new Macbook Air uses a SSD as well, which is partly why they could make it into that thin size. Also, with the SSD, they tend to use less power, so that can lead to better battery life too!

    Just as a note, there are many users that use a SSD as a boot drive and then have an external enclosure backup for their media and such.

    So, these are some things to consider when comparing the two. Hope you got some more information about SSD's and HDD's!
  17. freddiecable macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2003
    you can always upgrade to an SSD at a later stage. if you start with a regular drive you will also exprience the magnificent performance boost you will get after using a regular drive.
  18. freddiecable macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2003
    yes - but you can install an SSD afterwards - but it is somewhat complicated.


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