Who's going for an SSD in the new MP?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by xgman, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #1
    I'm leaning towards one for the great performance gain, but the 3 issues I have are:

    1) PRICE!!! :eek: ouch! How bad are we going to feel a year or two down the line when these things come down to earth and we over paid so much? I must admit that running the OS and Apps on a SSD would certainly be a noticeable speed increase, but can anyone justify the $1500 or so a 512GB SSD will cost? God that hurts.

    2) Size. Going form a 1 gig OS drive to 256? Is 256 enough. Is 512 enough? What if you have to start moving apps onto a second normal drive? That is a tough one.

    3) Lack of TRIM. How much will the lack of a TRIm feature hurt performance or effect things in general comparatively?

    What are your thoughts on the above. At least we now have some time to think it over and not make a bad decision too hastily.
     
  2. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #2
    I'm not planning on buying a new Mac Pro but I do use an SSD in my current machine. Honestly, I wouldn't go for the 512GB BTO. I do find a 256GB SSD to be perfect though (Crucial M225). I don't keep any user documents on it though, I have my home folder mounted on a separate drive. 256GB is so far proving to be more than enough for my system, applications, boot camp partition and I still have loads of space free as a scratch area for work stuff.
     
  3. xgman thread starter macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #3
    Looks like you can get that Crucial for as low as $500. I think Apple is charging $600 for the upgrade, at least on the imac version.
     
  4. Ravich macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Also wondering about TRIM


    What I want to know is the specs of the SSDs that Apple offers are.
     
  5. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #5
    I think in the past they've always used Samsung SSDs which are usually pretty good but not the best.
     
  6. xgman thread starter macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #6
    for anyone wondering about TRIM: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=712557

    Mechanical drives are able to overwrite data with virtually no performance penalty, which is why even after years of use, the performance doesn't seem to degrade. The situation is different with SSD's, though, due to how NAND flash works.

    To give a brief explanation of why this is the case, picture simple fragmentation. As more and more data is written to various blocks on a storage device, anything to be deleted later from the same block isn't likely to take all of the data within the block with it. There may be a few 4K blocks that are part of an image, for example, and another few 4K blocks that are part of a Word document. If you delete that image, the remnants of the Word document remain.

    After a certain amount of time, these blocks end up in a very cluttered state, which basically explains the reason of performance degradation. So then we have garbage collection schemes, which help in this area by occasionally removing all loose data in a certain block and moving it to a more convenient one. But that doesn't rid the issue of an SSD having to write more than a block's worth of data.

    For that process to take place, the SSD must first purge the data in the block, then write the fresh data to it. Compare this to a mechanical drive which simply overwrites the old data. It's easy to spot why there would be a hit in performance on the SSD. That's where TRIM comes in.

    Mechanical drives are able to overwrite data with virtually no performance penalty, which is why even after years of use, the performance doesn't seem to degrade. The situation is different with SSD's, though, due to how NAND flash works.

    To give a brief explanation of why this is the case, picture simple fragmentation. As more and more data is written to various blocks on a storage device, anything to be deleted later from the same block isn't likely to take all of the data within the block with it. There may be a few 4K blocks that are part of an image, for example, and another few 4K blocks that are part of a Word document. If you delete that image, the remnants of the Word document remain.

    After a certain amount of time, these blocks end up in a very cluttered state, which basically explains the reason of performance degradation. So then we have garbage collection schemes, which help in this area by occasionally removing all loose data in a certain block and moving it to a more convenient one. But that doesn't rid the issue of an SSD having to write more than a block's worth of data.

    For that process to take place, the SSD must first purge the data in the block, then write the fresh data to it. Compare this to a mechanical drive which simply overwrites the old data. It's easy to spot why there would be a hit in performance on the SSD. That's where TRIM comes in.

    am sure I'm not alone in having deleted an important file at some point in the past. There have been occasions where I haven't been able to get my data back, but other times, tools such as testdisk proved to be an absolute life-saver. There are few levels of relief as high as the one you get when you successfully recover that all-important file.

    But on an SSD with TRIM enabled, if you delete a file (and subsequently empty the Recycle Bin / Trash), you're simply not going to get your data back. As far as I'm aware, even with forensics, the data recovery simply isn't going to be possible. Unlike mechanical hard drives, which hold data magnetically, all it takes for NAND to assuredly erase the data is that little command, and boom, gone.


    from the thread link above:
    to sum things up:

    1. It is VITAL for SSD's to have some sort of feature to prevent fragmentation and write degradation as well as wearing out of the flash chips.

    2. One way this is implemented is through TRIM. You can read more at wikipedia. Just search for TRIM.

    3. TRIM is an established standard, but requires the OS to do the work.

    4. A Better way of implementing some way to prevent write degradation is a Garbage collect feature. Both OCZ vertex and Corsair drives (rebranded samsung SSD's) support this.

    5. The Samsung SSD's only do the garbage collect for NTFS file systems.

    6. The OCZ drives do this for ALL filesystems.

    7. as a Mac user, i would get the OCZ Mac edition drives because they have been TESTED by apple and approved. A lot of people say "its the same drive with a different sticker" and i talked to OCZ about this. They showed me the specs on their drives for the Mac and Normal versions of their drives.

    It turns out they are NOT the same and should NOT be mistaken for the same. The OCZ Mac edition drives are 10MB/s SLOWER in both read and write due to The Journaled Format (HFS+) of Snow Leopard. What i mean by this (and OCZ tech support confirmed this) is that drive speeds have to be tuned with the OS and with extremely fast SSD's this causes some hanging. The speeds used in the Mac edition provide the best performance for apple machines.
     
  7. xgman thread starter macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #7

    Do they have some sort of self healing function built in?
     
  8. Ravich macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Ah... but OSX will support TRIM eventually, right? It's not a hardware issue (aside from the SSD, obviously), right?
     
  9. xgman thread starter macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #9
    apparently yes. Also, I would assume you could clone a normal drives 10.6.4 install right to the SSD via booting to the DVD/disk utility and would be good to go?
     
  10. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #10
    Yup, the SSD behaves just like any other drive in that regard. Just a lot faster.
     
  11. keewe macrumors member

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    Mar 18, 2010
    #11
    just to be sure: there are still the 4 HDD bays as they were in the 09? how is apple to fit the SSDs? with an adapter? i was hoping that they would redesign the HDD stuff to get a separate 2,5' slot to place them by myself.
     
  12. xgman thread starter macrumors 601

    xgman

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  13. strausd macrumors 68030

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    #13
    What about the OWC SSDs? They have the same controller as the OCZ vertex 2, both SandForce, wouldn't that work just as well?
     
  14. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #14
    Although I'm not in the market for a 2010, I personally wouldn't buy the 256GB SSD and the 512GB SSD is just way more solid state storage than I need.

    You can get better performance running two smaller SSD's in RAID0. You can also buy drives cheaper than what Apple is charging, although for once, their pricing is not out of the stratosphere.

    For example, you could buy a pair of 120GB drives for around $600 and get double the STR performance.

    If drive bays are at a premium and you really need that much solid-state storage, then you could buy the Apple SSD and move it to the optical bay, but I would wait and see what vendor they're using first.
     
  15. xgman thread starter macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #15
    I'm not sure how much cheaper they really will be outside Apple. A quick check at places like newegg shows them all over the place plus it would be nice to have Applecare or at least the warranty on the MO cover it. It's too expensive to mess around. I did a quick check of my main OS drive and it shows 150GB full. So even though a 256 drive would seem fine for now, you have to take a good chunk of needed space for a swap file, a good chuck for moving around large temp images. Future large updates, new oversized apps, it's easy to see how you could run up against a too close for comfort ceiling. I don't want to have to suffer over what size files can sit on my drive. So I'm thinking it's either all the way to 512 or resign to a normal drive, but that extra ooomph sure is tempting. It's just hard to justify.
     
  16. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #16
    Honestly, provided you host your user folder on a regular drive, 256GB will easily be enough. Warranty wise, most SSD drives come with a longer warranty than Apple's. My Crucial M225 has a 5 year warranty.

    Personally I don't like the idea of having two smaller SSD drives. You use up too many drive bays for such small amounts of storage and my theory is that when SSD prices drop a fair chunk I will probably get a 512GB drive to replace my 256GB one and put the 256GB one into my laptop.

    If you hunt around it is possible to get SSDs for a good chunk off. The M225 256GB sold for about £500 when I bought mine but I got mine on eBay (new and sealed) for £400.
     
  17. xgman thread starter macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #17
    I wish I knew what brand they were going to use. The ocz 3.5" colossal series with self healing features seems pretty nice and no adaptor needed. Better yet a new 480GB Vertex 2 model with even faster speeds and newer tech in a 3.5" size!
     
  18. strausd macrumors 68030

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    #18
    I am glad we are starting to see 3.5" SSDs. Also, I am pretty sure that some come with an adapter so you don't need to pay extra, like the Intel x25-m and the OCZ Vertex 2.
     
  19. xgman thread starter macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #19

    Like I said the new Vertex 2 just now out does come in 3.5" size and up to 480GB, so that seems like a winner to me.
     
  20. Quash macrumors regular

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    #20
    In the market for a 2010 mac pro, and will buy an ssd but not from apple. Will make my decision when the intel g3 ssd will hit the market. Most likely end of this year.
     
  21. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    SSD's: Correct me if I am wrong.. but like memory..

    Is it wise to buy ssd's from OWC rather than Apple?? After all its not like Apple's going to use their own home made part to install SSD drives and I am sure whatever it is it too would work in all the mac pros though..

    I thought SSD drives are going to be cheaper through OWC and MCE?
     
  22. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    The 2010 mac pro..

    is the 2009 mac pro.. nothing has changed.. except for the firmware update which apple should have just given to us rather than make us by a whole new 2009 box look-alike.. But, everything from the processor tray to the logic board is the same.. same part numbers, same everything.. even an Apple tech told me that is what Apple did because it wasn't worth the effort building a new logic board and costing money..

    SO, yes its the same thing, except using OUR needed firmware!


     
  23. xgman thread starter macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #23
    I can't imagine a world where SSD drives are not cheaper elsewhere. I would also expect that you could get a better performing drive. I plan on a OCZ Vertex 2 in the new 3.5" configuration so no adapter needed.
     
  24. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #24
    From the Mac Pro tech specs page under Storage:

    I'm assuming this translates to 2.5" adapters? Nice for us, but there goes some business for Icydock and other companies!
     
  25. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    #25
    No, that's the standard wording for the 3.5" drive trays that come with the Mac Pros. I imagine Apple will only give you an SSD adapter if you buy an SSD from them direct.
     

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