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+ and - of SSD
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PB2K
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Dec 28, 2010, 04:57 PM
 
Hi. I'm looking for a SSD for my new macbook pro unibody

Apple offers to upgrade the harddisk with a SSD, for a high price
It's also possible to replace the dvd unit with a SSD
And, the Expresscard slot would fit a SSD

Is it an option to have two expresscards and install osx on one, and win7 on the other?

how would you install the system, is it recommendable to use the normal 7200rpm harddisk for the useraccounts?
( Last edited by PB2K; Dec 29, 2010 at 06:24 AM. Reason: first post was unreadable)
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P
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Dec 30, 2010, 06:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by PB2K View Post
Is it an option to have two expresscards and install osx on one, and win7 on the other?
I guess, if you make the Win 7 expresscard using Bootcamp.

Originally Posted by PB2K View Post
how would you install the system, is it recommendable to use the normal 7200rpm harddisk for the useraccounts?
Yes, as the OS tends to put lots of things there, and the SSD would fill up quickly if you put everything there.
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.
     
polendo
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Dec 30, 2010, 06:06 PM
 
As far as I´m concerned someone else tried to install OSX on a SSD using the express card slot and it was a NO GO (I remember participating in that post). You might be able to search that post. I remember vaguely that one can not boot from the express card slot SSD.

regards
     
wfriction
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Jan 24, 2011, 11:21 PM
 
+Everything
-High cost

If you are interested in buying an SSD, let me know and I'll help you out with choosing the best model.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jan 25, 2011, 04:19 AM
 
- Lower capacity than HDD.

People seem to be forgetting this lately. Not everyone is a data hoarder like me, but still.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 25, 2011, 04:40 AM
 
+ (expensive) SSDs are wicked fast in every aspect (throughput, access times)
+ shock-resistant
- very expensive (especially the fast ones)
- capacities are relatively low; the ones with decent capacities (~500 GB) cost an arm, a leg and a first-born

That's it!
If you replace the DVD drive with an additional harddrive, it is recommended that you put the SSD there (otherwise the harddrive will no longer be well-protected against shocks and knocks). Then use the (low-capacity) SSD for the OS, apps and selected data. For mass storage, use the harddrive.
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DrBoar
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Jan 25, 2011, 05:42 AM
 
The HD on my macmini ( 1.66 dual core) was failing so I installed a Corsair 80 GB and the difference is enourmous. Opening Office apps or a webbrowser were 5 to 10 bounces in the dock, a short delay and then open. Now it is one bounce, open!

I will never buy a computer without SSD, infact I am thinking about getting a SSD for my dual 2.0 G5 tower and have all those extra files on the second HD.
     
ghporter
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Jan 25, 2011, 06:27 AM
 
Flash media, as used in SSDs, has a shorter usable write lifespan. You can only change each cell a finite number of times before it fails. This, I think, is the real down side of any flash-based device. Sure, that finite number of overwrites is pretty large, but it's nowhere near the number a magnetic drive's platters can be overwritten.

Pluses include fast (really, really fast!!!), very low power, and shock resistance. Minuses include very high cost per megabyte, much lower capacities than traditional drives, relatively small selection, and limitations enforced by the available interface options. I'm not looking at moving to a SSD in the immediate future because of the continuing drop in cost per megabyte in physical hard drives. It's just not a good idea for me.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Nergol
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Jan 26, 2011, 03:11 AM
 
How important is TRIM support and the fact that MacOS doesn't have it?

If a future version of MacOS starts supporting TRIM and I install it, will I get the benefits of it then?
     
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Jan 26, 2011, 04:47 AM
 
Lack of TRIM basically means that you have to take a little care that you don't fill up the drive completely and try to avoid excessive use of the drive as scratch (that is, making new files and deleting them again - modifying existing files is fine).

Once OS X gets TRIM support, you will gain the benefit over time. New files that are deleted will be marked as such by the system, but files that have been deleted previously will hang around until those file allocation blocks are reused.
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.
     
CharlesS
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Jan 26, 2011, 06:08 AM
 
Once OS X gets TRIM support, Disk Utility should hopefully get updated as well. This means you should be able to run a Time Machine backup and then do a secure erase on the drive, and reset all the blocks on the drive. If we're lucky, they might even make the "Erase Free Space" option SSD-aware so that it sends the appropriate TRIM commands.

Of course, if all else fails, you could just make a small program or script to generate a huge file that eats up all remaining space on the drive, and then delete it and let TRIM do its thing.

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Jan 26, 2011, 06:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Of course, if all else fails, you could just make a small program or script to generate a huge file that eats up all remaining space on the drive, and then delete it and let TRIM do its thing.
That's basically what Intel's manual TRIM program for XP does - create a big file equal to the remaining space on the disk, get the logical blocks of it, and send the TRIM command for those logical blocks.
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.
     
Salty
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Jan 29, 2011, 02:17 AM
 
Do we have any word on Lion having Trim?
     
CharlesS
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Jan 29, 2011, 03:54 AM
 
I'd be lyin' if I said I knew.

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Cold Warrior
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Jan 29, 2011, 10:14 AM
 
I got an OCZ Vertex 2 SSD and from OWC a data doubler. Couldn't be happier with 120 GB SSD as the main drive and 500 GB (my old HDD) in the DVD bay.

Apps open so quickly, the OS is so quick, and lots of things can be happening at once that would slow the OS and apps down previously, whereas now it all runs no problem.

You'll want to know whether your HDD and DVD bus speeds are different. I have a late 2009 MBP 13" and I thought the DVD bus was 1.5 Gb and HDD at 3.0 Gb. This could limit your SSD throughput, depending on what model you get.
     
The Godfather
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Jan 29, 2011, 11:05 AM
 
The price differential is 900% today.
It was about 9000% 4 years ago. That means that they will reach parity around 2015, just in time for OSXI.
( Last edited by The Godfather; Jan 29, 2011 at 11:39 AM. )
     
ajprice
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Jan 29, 2011, 07:31 PM
 
I've been looking around at Momentus XT hybrid drives for my MacBook and my PS3, both of them are getting full. More expensive than a plain hard drive but a lot cheaper than SSD, they've got flash memory on them (I think 4GB) for accessing frequently used data. Not completely SSD speed but it's faster than a hard drive by itself.

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
PB2K  (op)
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Jan 30, 2011, 06:59 AM
 
HI, an update..(I started this thread about an expresscard, not realizing I have a macbook with Sd slot)

I bought an OPTIBAY + SUPERDRIVE ENCLOSURE (60€ it's a bargain) with a VERTEX 2 ssd 90Gb (also a bargain at 130€)
the ssd replaced the internal 500Gb harrdisk and the optibay replaced my internal superdrive. the superdrive is now external in it's USB enclosure.

it's running very smooth. but somehow I fail to eject the HDD properly, because after ejection I can still hear it running (although it is unmounted). I (re)mount the hdd with diskutility.

If you need to know how to put your userfolder on a seperate harddisk or partition, a manual is here

I don't know much about the TRIM command, but I do know that the Vertex2 should support it, but the systemprofiler in OSX.6.6 says it's not supported
( Last edited by PB2K; Jan 30, 2011 at 09:40 AM. )
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PB2K  (op)
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Feb 15, 2011, 05:53 AM
 
I just hit trouble with my 90Gb Vertex2 SSD + mbp 2.8Ghz

i once installed bootcamp on it and removed that partition.
Now I try to reinstall bootcamp (on a 20Gb bootcamp partition) and bootcamp says it "cannot move files", (but there is 59Gb free)

Ok, so I try to zero all the free space. (This just takes 7 minutes on a SSD )
In the end (when it tries to make a temp file of whatever) I get an error that the startup disk is full.
I tried zero-ing it again and then it finished the process.

But I still cannot make a bootcamp partition with the bootcamp utility.
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ghporter
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Feb 15, 2011, 06:49 AM
 
It sounds like you've run into the same thing a lot of people have-OS X's fragmentation management is not "defragmentation" the way Windows utilities work it. Usually the "best" solution here is to backup your OS X partition, use Disk Utility to make the drive a single (blank) OS X partition, and then restore your backup. This usually results in a fairly monolithic block of written data that leaves your free space consolidated.

The problem with this is that with SSDs, while it's all fast and everything, it takes a lot of write actions which may shorten the life of your SSD. It should work, but I'm not sure it's a great choice in the long run.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
PB2K  (op)
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Feb 15, 2011, 06:59 AM
 
I was afraid this would happen..it means a solution will not be here until OSX.7

I'll just do without bootcamp on my startup disk
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anthology123
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Feb 15, 2011, 12:33 PM
 
I have a MBP 2009 with a 256mb SSD. An incredible difference! The startup goes almost immediately to the login window, no progress bar at all. App startup is great as said above, and working with image files is also great. This unit has been operating since Sep 2009 and I have not given this SSD any special treatment. I've run photoshop, use web databases, edit videos, run converters like Handbrake on more than 100 DVDs, many other things, and it has yet to show any speed degradation due to use. It's fast enough to make VMware practical to use over using bootcamp. I imagine it must work even better in bootcamp.
     
CharlesS
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Feb 15, 2011, 01:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by PB2K View Post
Ok, so I try to zero all the free space. (This just takes 7 minutes on a SSD )
Ouch. Never do this on an SSD! You just dirtied every block on the drive, which will almost certainly impact write performance. If you want to do this sort of thing on an SSD, you need to do an ATA Secure Erase, which will reset all blocks to an unused state. The "Zero all data" option, by contrast, will mark every block as used, which is actually the opposite of what you want.

Unfortunately, OS X does not yet support ATA Secure Erase or TRIM, so the best bet to do something like this is probably to boot into another OS such as Windows 7 or Linux and erase it from there.

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BLAZE_MkIV
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Feb 15, 2011, 06:47 PM
 
Sounds like a job for a LiveCD
     
Guy Kuo
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Feb 21, 2011, 03:30 PM
 
Yes, gParted works a treat for performing a secure erase on an SSD. DId that for an Intel SSD on my MBP 17.

Since, then have moved on to a 250 GB OWC SSD and no more stutters even after many months of writing 5+ gb / day.

Yes, the lifespan is limited, but probably will still be a few years of life - longer than I'll ever keep a drive.

Once you go SSD speed, you can never be happy with a HD again.
     
angelmb
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Feb 22, 2011, 03:28 PM
 
- Secure Erasing Isn’t That Secure with SSDs

"Secure Empty Trash left 67% of data accessible on an SSD, compared to only 9.8% on a USB drive. Even overwriting free space on SSDs turned out to be ineffective."

The Mac Security Blog Secure Erasing Isn’t That Secure with SSDs
     
Guy Kuo
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Feb 28, 2011, 02:51 AM
 
In this context, we are using the secure erase ATA command to force the SSD to mark its blocks as unused. For drives that lack TRIM support and do not have an internal garbage collect mechanism, this is needed to avoid the SSD becoming progressively slower and slower.

This is not a data security and destruction issue that is being addressed.
     
Salty
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Mar 7, 2011, 02:09 AM
 
OK so given that TRIM is coming in X.7 which is only a few months away that's probably not a huge deal.

My question is, when I go to Newegg there's a TON of SSD drives, and the prices are all over the place. So my question is, how do I know I'm buying one that's fast? Cause I'm guessing all SSDs aren't created equal. What numbers should I be looking for?
     
CharlesS
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Mar 7, 2011, 02:16 AM
 
Any drive powered by a SandForce controller is a pretty safe bet. The Crucial C300 is faster than the SandForce drives on a 6 Gbps bus, but it doesn't handle as well without TRIM support.

Additionally, there are a whole new generation of 25 nm SSDs coming out very soon, and they will be significantly cheaper than the current models. Some of these will be based on SandForce's next-gen controller which will support 6 Gbps SATA, and will probably be the fastest SSDs in town when released.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
Salty
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Mar 7, 2011, 02:39 AM
 
So what you're saying is, the few minutes I just spent on Newegg wasn't too useful for pricing things out?

What sort of write speeds are gonna be noticeable with OS X? I know in general OS X'll feel faster on most SSDs (though I saw a few that were stupid slow in comparison) but at what point is your average OS X user going to not notice the write speed difference?

I noticed one crucial one I was looking at (though after hearing that I'll wait, that plus the fact that my credit card is pretty well near maxed out... should probably find a new job before I get more toys)

Am I right in thinking the read speeds are going to be the much more important aspect? For me right now I'm mostly looking at keeping it as a boot drive, most of my big files will still be on a 7200RPM drive.
     
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Mar 7, 2011, 06:38 AM
 
Random read is the most important characteristic for an SSD to "feel" fast.
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.
     
audvidsvs
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Mar 7, 2011, 09:15 AM
 
I have one of the Samsung SSD pretty much panned everywhere as the worst of the bunch.
I got it cheap though and ignoring the specs and reviews have used it in 2 machines now.

The difference in speed is shocking to say the least,not subtle at all and I have to think that any SSD will be comparable or better?

I now have 2 Kingston SSD too and have found them just as amazing compared to the fastest spinning drives I could find.
In both cases I have made Windows use less of a pain and I am satisfied even with the trade-offs of size and price.

Like was said above, I have a hard time switching back to a non-SSD machine now.

Ed
     
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Mar 27, 2011, 08:33 PM
 
     
AKcrab
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Mar 27, 2011, 08:59 PM
 
I would certainly say "Use at your own risk."
     
badidea
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Mar 30, 2011, 11:04 AM
 
Works fine in my MBP with a 180GB OCZ Vertex2!
***
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 30, 2011, 01:34 PM
 
I am keeping my new 17" MBP clean of cute software/hardware tricks while it does a shakedown cruise under warranty.

-Allen
     
Cold Warrior
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Mar 30, 2011, 07:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by badidea View Post
Works fine in my MBP with a 180GB OCZ Vertex2!
Good to know. I have the 120 GB one in my MBP.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Mar 31, 2011, 06:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by badidea View Post
Works fine in my MBP with a 180GB OCZ Vertex2!
But is it any faster?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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