What is the Benefit of OS X on an SSD?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by benjobe2513, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. benjobe2513 macrumors member

    benjobe2513

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    #1
    This may be a stupid question but what are the benefits of having OSX on a SSD as compared to a HD? I know that SSDs are much faster than an average HD. And I've heard that SSDs will "speed up your system". But other than quicker boot up times and program load times, what's the benefit of having OSX on a faster drive? Will it make programs run faster after they're loaded?

    This isn't really a question of SSDs vs. HDs. It's about the benefits of having the OS on a faster drive. Will it speed up Handbrake compression times? Will it speed up Premiere Pro render & export times? These are benefits that would interest me.
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    The benefits are just what you describe. Faster boot times and faster app loading times. It won't make an app run any faster once it's loaded. That task is up to the CPU and RAM.

    SSD's will also benefit you when doing read/write operations within an app.
     
  3. SoAnyway macrumors 6502

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    #3
    You pretty much answered your own questions when you point out how much faster the read/write times are with an SSD compared to an HDD.

    Will SSDs improve the raw processing power of a CPU? Simply put, no. However, what I have noticed is that having the faster write times does help with overall performance as the entire system isn't taking its sweet time seeking the data it needs when doing its processing.
     
  4. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    #4
    Okay...

    It will speed up anything that needs disk access, e.g. copying files, starting programs, anything that involves data transfer.

    It could speed up the overall Handbrake and Premiere Pro render/export times, but only the read/write parts (importing and exporting, basically).

    You'd need to upgrade graphics and processor to really help those times.

    For example, my newest 13"MBP is lightning-fast compared to my 2.4 Core2Duo mini, but converting files using Handbrake isn't a ton faster because the processor difference isn't amazingly significant.

    But man...an SSD sure does make your computer FEEL faster, which is really great.
     
  5. SoAnyway macrumors 6502

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    #5
    One thing I do have to add is that if SSDs were far more affordable, I would switch my HDDs out for them. Why you ask? Well I value my time and don't like spending an entire day waiting for my data to be read and written.

    I said it in another post yesterday that if you're looking for mass storage, go with an HDD for now. But other than that, SSDs will speed along everyday tasks.

    Lastly, if you're thinking about getting a new Mac Pro, you're not going to get away from having an SSD as its built in.
     
  6. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    #6
    Yep!

    I figure as long as I'm running OS X from an SSD, I'll be fine.

    I also still buy 3.5" HDs for storage, with one 2.5" HD or high-capacity flash drive as a portable option.
     
  7. SoAnyway macrumors 6502

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    #7

    100% agree.

    My 2011 iMac has much more raw processing power than my 2014 MacBook Pro but the SSD sure makes things much snappier. I can't wait to breathe new life into the iMac by installing an SSD in it.
     
  8. benjobe2513 thread starter macrumors member

    benjobe2513

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    #8
    Thanks for the information. You pretty much confirmed my suspicion, which is that a faster OSX drive only leads to faster boots and app loads.

    I was curious because I was considering upgrading my current SATAIII SSD to a PCIE SSD like the Samsung XP941 blade. My OSX is currently on a Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD and I'm getting 430MB/s Write and 490MB/s Read speeds. I was hoping that upgrading to the XP941 (more than twice the read & write speeds) would improve in-app performance, specifically Premiere Pro playback, render, and exports. But it makes sense that those in-app performances would be dependent upon my processor and memory.

    My system is a 2010 Mac Pro 12-core 3.46GHz with 48GB RAM so I don't see how it's possible to improve upon those components without upgrading to the nMP or a Hackintosh. Hmmm, something to ponder in the future.

    In the mean time I will continue to practice patience with my video editing limitations. Thanks again for the thoughts.
     
  9. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #9
    You could get a dual SSD PCIe card (or dual PCIe cards depending on what you currently own), and get another 840 Pro SSD and run them in RAID-0 with your existing SSD. That will get you benchmark speeds approaching those of the blade SSD for less expense since you already have half of what you need.

    Here is a speed test with dual 840 Pro SSDs in RAID-0 on a Sonnet Tempo Pro dual SSD card in a 5,1 Mac Pro:
     

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  10. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #10
    Wow! Now that is some speed right there!
     
  11. shoehornhands macrumors regular

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    #11
    It's difficult to adequately describe the difference an SSD makes.

    IMO it's the absolute best upgrade you can make to a computer for an immediate, noticeable benefit.

    Seriously, the difference an SSD makes is so huge that I find it very difficult to use a computer that doesn't have one.
     
  12. Gav Mack, Oct 15, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014

    Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #12
    The biggest leap in performance since we went from booting from floppies to having a hard drive, I am old enough unfortunately to remember very clearly. I have yet to find a single client who isn't totally blown away with the difference going from spinner to ssd.

    Only one of my old servers which is due for retirement next year, my girls decrepid old iMac with not long life left and my media centre which doesn't need it are the only computers I own which boot with a spinning disk.

    Like floppies to hdd was - once you go solid state for boot there is no going back!
     
  13. bennibeef macrumors 6502

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  14. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #14
    SSDs are over-rated - buy more memory

    Do you really reboot often enough that shaving 30 seconds or 45 seconds from the boot time will actually make a difference?

    Do you run an application exactly once per boot, or do you run a mix with many repeats?

    If you buy more memory, two things will happen:

    • Any of your memory-short applications *will* run faster
    • Spare memory will be put into caching files - and reading a file from a cache in RAM is far faster than an SSD

    I like SSDs, and have lots of them (my big laptop has 3 SSDs) - but if you don't have oodles ("oodles" is a technical term meaning that your system seldom has more than 50% of RAM in use - not counting memory in cache) of RAM your overall "snappiness" might be improved more by buying RAM rather than putting the same amount of money into an SSD.

    Currently my "big laptop" with 3 SSDs has about 13 GiB in the file system cache. It fly - because it doesn't even touch the SSDs.
     

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  15. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    #15
    It's much much than just boot time. I was running Mavericks from an Apricorn Solo x2 and an 840 Samsung SSD. I really didn't realize how much faster my machine was (from my HDDs) until I became a Beta tester for Yosemite. Running Yosemite from a WD Black HDD was so painfully slow, that I became very frustrated. I wasn't ready to put the OS and my applications on my Samsung, so I bought another x2 and a Samsung 840EVO to run Yosemite. Boy, what a difference.

    I guess I'm spoiled, but running with an SATA III SSD is a World of Difference from an SATA II HDD.

    Lou
     
  16. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #16
    Do you have "oodles of RAM"? ;)
     
  17. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    #17
    ^^^^Not Really!

    Lou
     

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  18. Traverse macrumors 604

    Traverse

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    #18
    Apps that rely on heavy disk use (like photo managers and video editors) will get performance boosts. Copying large files will also be much faster.
     
  19. crjackson2134 macrumors 68040

    crjackson2134

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    #19
    I find Yosemite painfully slow on my HD as compared to my SSD. I have 48GB of ram.
    Does that qualify as oodles of RAM? ;)
     
  20. gugy macrumors 68030

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    #20
    My system is similar to yours, I do have my OS system on a SSD and boy it make a difference big time than my old 7200 rpm drives. I am planning to get a PCIe SSD for my working files (Photoshop mostly) and more RAM to match what you have at 48gb. I'll stop there and hold my machine for couple more years before upgrading to the nMP.
     
  21. benjobe2513 thread starter macrumors member

    benjobe2513

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    #21
    My working files reside on a 3x 3TB HD RAID 0 array that gets 515MB/s Read & Write speeds. This seems plenty fast to me. I don't think it's a bottleneck. But when I'm using Premiere Pro to playback, render, and export my CPU usage hovers around 30% so I know there's a bottleneck somewhere. I've tried adding more GPUs to my system (at one point I had three 280X cards in a Cubix Xpander) but that didn't make any difference in performance. I'm beginning to suspect that the bottleneck is the speed of my memory. 1300MHz is pretty slow by today's standards.
     
  22. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #22
    Memory waits should show up as CPU busy, not CPU idle.
     
  23. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #23
    "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" (Wm. Shakespeare)

    You actually feel physical pain when something takes a few 10s of milliseconds longer with the HD?

    Do you lament that you stay at the office until 17:00 instead of leaving at 16:58 because of the speed of the SSD?


    My home PC has 80 GiB, and it's barely adequate. It depends on what you're doing. "Oodles" means that there is lots of RAM available for file system caches - which can be far faster than the fastest SSD.
     
  24. crjackson2134, Oct 16, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014

    crjackson2134 macrumors 68040

    crjackson2134

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    #24
    Wow! How childish...

    I think you lament that not everyone shares your opinion.

    Look at number 5 if your superior attitude will let you...
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pains
     
  25. benjobe2513 thread starter macrumors member

    benjobe2513

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    #25
    How does that work? It would seem the opposite to me. If my CPU can handle faster data processing than my RAM's bandwidth then wouldn't the CPU be operating at less than 100% capacity?
     

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