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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Spinning HDD vs solid state drives in 2012

Spinning HDD vs solid state drives in 2012
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The Godfather
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Feb 5, 2012, 05:36 PM
 
So have you weaned yourself from the udder of $0.20/GB, or are you going to wait a little longer?
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Feb 5, 2012, 05:53 PM
 
I've got a mac pro so it's best of both worlds.
     
P
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Feb 5, 2012, 06:51 PM
 
One small boot/app SSD, one big data HDD. Now if I can also get ZFS set up the way I'd like so I can make the SSD a cache of the HDD...
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
reader50
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Feb 5, 2012, 08:20 PM
 
SSDs run around $1 per GB on sale. Before the Thailand flooding, HDDs were running around $0.04 - 0.05 per GB. Even at current prices, 3 TB drives run $0.08 - $0.10 per GB.

For mass storage or a media library, spinning disks are the only sensible way to go. They're a good call for backups too, since backup space should be larger than primary drive space.

With the price disparity still around 10x, I'd only use an SSD for an OS + Apps drive.
     
The Godfather  (op)
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Feb 5, 2012, 08:26 PM
 
Yes, however most Mac users have MacBooks and the decision is an either/or for them.
     
mduell
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Feb 5, 2012, 11:16 PM
 
I'm still mostly HDD; here's the storage setup for last 10 computers I've bought

2 HDD
24 HDD
4 HDD
2 SSD, 14 HDD
1 SSD
8 HDD
2 HDD
2 HDD
2 SSD, 30 HDD
1 SSD, 1 HDD
     
Eug
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Feb 6, 2012, 01:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
Yes, however most Mac users have MacBooks and the decision is an either/or for them.
I have an SSD in my MacBook Pro, but if it were my primary machine, I'd probably get a hybrid drive. I have a 128 GB SSD in my MBP, but for a primary machine I'd probably want 500+ GB.

There is the 500 GB Seagate Momentus XT with 4 GB flash, and now there is the 750 GB Seagate Momentus XT with 8 GB flash. The latter should probably be a significant boost in speed over the former, but it also uses more power unfortunately.

My iMac has a 2 TB platter drive (with multiple backups), and it's OK. I definitely need the space though, since it's my primary machine. However, these days some of the stuff is staying only on my NAS, which has two 2 TB drives in RAID 1.
     
Big Mac
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Feb 6, 2012, 02:49 AM
 
Haven't taken the plunge yet. Thought about it but will probably wait until prices drop some more because right now it seems like a high luxury item. Although I hear people rave about SSD speed changing computing for them, I'm pretty happy with my high-end builds with traditional drives for now.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
OreoCookie
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Feb 6, 2012, 05:23 AM
 
I'll add an SSD to my MacBook Pro this week. The SSD and the optical bay adapter should arrive either today or tomorrow, so I'm already looking forward to the upgrade in speed.

Soon, an 180 GB SSD will complement my 640 GB of traditional storage by means of a hard drive. I'm still kicking myself in the nuts for not picking up a 3 TB drive before the flood in Thailand. On the other hand, who could've known?
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
P
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Feb 6, 2012, 05:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
Yes, however most Mac users have MacBooks and the decision is an either/or for them.
Not really - just put an SSD in the optical bay.

Originally Posted by Eug
There is the 500 GB Seagate Momentus XT with 4 GB flash, and now there is the 750 GB Seagate Momentus XT with 8 GB flash. The latter should probably be a significant boost in speed over the former, but it also uses more power unfortunately.
My experience with a 500 GB Momentus XT has been very positive. I put one in my dad's Wintel laptop, and he has commented several times what a large boost it was. I'm not convinced that an 8 GB flash cache makes that big a difference, but it would be a huge boost if they could make it cache writes as well.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Nergol
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Feb 7, 2012, 02:54 AM
 
I've read more than one source that says that the SSD (which presumably would be your boot drive) should always be put in the main hard drive bay, and the (presumably non-boot) HDD put in the optical drive space. Apparently there are stability and speed issues otherwise.
     
P
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Feb 7, 2012, 04:39 AM
 
If they're both SATA, I don't see why. Now, if the optical is ATA, then sure, but that has to be a fairly old Mac by now.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
11011001
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Feb 7, 2012, 06:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Nergol View Post
I've read more than one source that says that the SSD (which presumably would be your boot drive) should always be put in the main hard drive bay, and the (presumably non-boot) HDD put in the optical drive space. Apparently there are stability and speed issues otherwise.
This is the first time that I have heard this. My Mac Pro has been running fine for 2.5 years with the SSD (boot) in the top optical bay. Perchance the MacBook Pro is different.
     
Eug
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Feb 7, 2012, 10:14 AM
 
Some SSDs didn't work reliably (or at all) with the SATA connection in the optical bays of certain Macs. It was some sort of incompatibility issue.

This was true for some models of both MacBook Pros and Mac Pros.

Just Google "SSD Mac optical bay" or something like that and you will get some hits. OWC had blogged about this problem a long time ago too.

http://blog.macsales.com/10433-macbo...update-5272011

http://blog.macsales.com/11895-2011-...blems-resolved
( Last edited by Eug; Feb 7, 2012 at 10:23 AM. )
     
SierraDragon
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Feb 7, 2012, 01:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
...most Mac users have MacBooks and the decision is an either/or for them.
MBPs allow easily replacing the optical drive with up to a 1-TB HDD, and it is very easy to carry the optical drive as an external device. IMO (a year ago) buying the $100 Apple SSD option was a no brainer (cheap price, fully Apple-supported SSD). For most folks the bargain Apple 128 GB SSD should be plenty of capacity when combined with a second drive in the optical bay (except maybe for those of us with large volume still/video images workflows).

My original plan was to upgrade the SSD to bigger/faster at the end of warranty (this month) but after using it for me the SSD r/w speed differences seem functionally meaningless for still images work; the real benefit is reduced latency and for latency the slow Apple SSD works just fine. I like the SSD latency so much I am holding out to see if lower-end SSD prices fall enough to justify putting a large second SSD in the optical drive slot.

I expect Apple to lose the optical drives in the next case redesign and include internal SSD + HDD Apple options. That would fine unless Apple hamstrings the ability of retrofiitters to easily provide third party SSD/HDD options.

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Feb 7, 2012 at 01:09 PM. )
     
Waragainstsleep
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Feb 7, 2012, 01:32 PM
 
It would be cool if Apple enabld USB optical drives (like the MBA unit) to work on an Airport Extreme.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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