What to store on SSD vs HD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by glxyjones, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. glxyjones macrumors regular


    Jun 29, 2007
    I splurged for the 2TB vs SSD option with my new 27" iMac and now I'm wondering what type of files to put where. Obviously, the OS(s) and programs will go on the SSD and I'm planning on moving my home folder over to the HD (since that's where you do most of your writing). All of my really big files (like movies) will be going on the HD as well. I was hoping you HW/Mac experts out there could give me some tips on what else I should put on the SSD vs HD.
  2. nylon macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2004
    I also ordered the 1 TB + SSD option. I'd love to know how best to set it up. i think the best would be to keep apps and system files on the ssd and keep the user folder on the hdd. Is it easy to point itunes and iphoto etc to a library on a different hard drive?
  3. joejoejoe macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2006
    Very easy to do that with iPhoto and iTunes. You can have multiple iPhoto libraries on your computer, and to open specific ones either navigate to the library through finder or hold down option when opening iPhoto, it'll give you a list of available libraries and you cam choose which one to open.

    Also interested to see what the experts have to say about what to store on the ssd other than system files and apps.
  4. RWil85 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    not an expert by any means..but have been reading up on a similar solution for my MBP - and i have read that many people do exactly as you said:
    SSD: APPS + OS
    HDD: Home Folder, storage, etc.
  5. ryannazaretian macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
    On a similar note... anyway to move the User's folder to the hard drive?
  6. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    SSD: OS, Applications etc. Thisll help with everything booting up faster.
    HDD: Videos, music, any big files. You can still put things like documents on the SSD. They're not that big a file.

    Id love to buy the SSD option. But apple charges ridiculous amounts.
  7. glxyjones thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 29, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback.

    So the consensus so far is:
    SSD: OS and Apps
    HD: Home directory and general storage

    Any other suggestions?
  8. contractcooker macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2006
    Try symlinks! that should let your computer "pretend" that the folder is on the SSD while in actual fact it is on the HDD.

    Check out THIS LINK for instructions on what to move and how to create symlinks.
  9. al2o3cr macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2009
    If at all possible, split the "big file" parts of the home directory (iTunes library, videos, etc) from the core parts (the 'Library' directory, for instance). You want any files that are going to be accessed frequently and quasi-randomly to be on the SSD (as the performance gain is xbawks-hueg) rather than on the HD.

    I can't speak to the performance of the BTO SSD, but in my 2010 MBP I get about 15MB/s from an OWC SSD for random 4k reads (the sort of stuff cache does, or loading prefs on startup). Sounds crappy, until you realize that the 5400rpm drive the SSD replaced could *barely* manage 1MB/s under that same load - the heads spent most of their time moving around, not transferring data.

    Probably not relevant for the iMac, but one other advantage this offers is that the HD can spin down when not in use (when iTunes isn't playing anything, etc) - there's a noticeable pause when it's first accessed, but it does save some battery life to not keep it spinning.

    Overall, here's a simple guide

    - on the SSD: files that are accessed randomly and/or that will block the system waiting for them to be read

    - on the HD: files that are mostly read sequentially, bigger files. Conveniently, those two categories are nearly identical for most workloads (doing heavy NLE on uncompressed HD video is a typical exception - big files, accessed somewhat randomly).
  10. TheBaconKing macrumors regular


    Dec 2, 2010
    Northwest Arkansas
    I have my home folder set to the HDD on my Macbook Pro with a SSD and an HDD inside it. iOS still boots very fast, and applications load almost instantly.

    It makes it easier for me to keep things organized as well. I also could hear my HDD spinning down when not using it, then spin up when I open iTunes. I felt it was happening too often so I put my home folder on the HDD so it would just constantly spin. Less wear and tear that way. It also made me feel better and thats all that matters.
  11. CHSeifert macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark - Scandinavia
    SSD: OSx + Applications/Programs
    HDD: Music + Movies + Photocollection + docs/sheets

    Claus - TapaTalk on my Ip4
  12. seepel macrumors 6502


    Dec 22, 2009
    If you open System Preferences and click on Accounts. You can then right click/ctrl click on a user to bring up advanced options which will allow you to set the Users' home directory. Certain applications will still expect the home folder to be in /Users/username however (cough, Ecclipse, cough). So what I did was just symlink my new home directory to where it normally is

    ln -s /path/to/new/home/folder /Users/username
    I've done this with only symlinking before and I think I ran into trouble somewhere along the line, though I can't remember the exact details. I've been using the setup described above and haven't had any problems.

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